Small Businesses Anticipate a Very Happy Holiday Season This Year.

imagesWhile small business optimism remains low in general according to the NFIB’s October 2014 Optimism Index, small businesses seem to be anticipating a successful holiday sales season.  According to survey results released by Capital One’s Spark Business Barometer, a majority (57 percent) of business owners believe current business conditions are excellent or good (up 10 points from the same quarter in 2013) and that 43 percent experienced increased sales over the past six months (up from 32 percent one year ago). They also feel good about the coming holiday season – with 71 percent expecting consistent or better sales results compared to last year.

In preparation for the New Year, respondents to the survey said their top three priorities, aside from attracting and retaining new customers — are enhancing advertising and marketing, reducing costs and expenses and improving cash and financial management processes.

But there is no doubt challenges remain for small business growth.  The NFIB survey found small business owners are slightly less optimistic about business over the next six months as well as the outlook for expansion.   Their top three concerns — government regulations, taxes and poor sales.

Interestingly, a record low percentage of small business owners reported problems getting access to capital and an unusually high number of owners say they have no interest in borrowing.

“The political class and a fair number of economists have assumed for years that small business is starved for credit,” said Dunkelberg.  “That appears to be an egregious misdiagnosis.  Local business owners, for the most part, can borrow all they need but mainly, they’re not interested now in taking on debt because they’re not confident in the future.”

What are your thoughts about this holiday season and the coming year?  Are you positioning your small business for growth?

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