The holiday cheer seems to be missing for small businesses.
Small Businesses Are Anticipating Slow Holiday 2016 Sales
A new survey reveals only 23 percent of small businesses are expecting an increase in sales this holiday season. That’s down 29 percent a year ago.
Businesses are Optimistic Overall
On a positive note however, Capital One’s latest Spark Business Barometer, has found despite the drop in sales expectations, the overall small business sentiment seems to be improving.
Forty-nine percent of business owners reported “good” or “excellent” business conditions in their area heading into 2017. That’s an increase of eight points compared to the first half of 2016.
“It is encouraging to see many businesses improving their outlook about the future, after a brief dip in confidence earlier this year. While concerns related to costs and regulations still exist, we are glad to see that optimism is on the rise,” said Buck Stinson, Head of Small Business Card at Capital One (NYSE:COF).
Challenges and Missed Opportunities for Small Businesses
Although their future outlook is generally optimistic, small businesses are not keen on increasing their headcounts. The report says only 23 percent of small business owners are planning to hire new employees in the next six months.
What’s more alarming is small businesses’ reluctance in leveraging their marketing and ecommerce opportunities. According to the report findings, only 56 percent of small businesses say they have a company website, and just 53 percent of those websites are optimized for mobile. That’s a cause of concern because 60 percent of global consumers use their mobile devices as their primary or exclusive Internet source.
To compete with the bigger players and attract more customers, businesses have to create a growth strategy. And that strategy has to take ecommerce and mobile into consideration.
For the study, ORC International interviewed a nationwide sample of 400 small businesses in the U.S. on behalf of Capital One.
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