Small business owners reported feeling more confident in November by a margin that surpassed economist predictions, with the NFIB’s index reading 98.1 after a two point gain. In a Fortune.com article on the increase, it was reported that this level of confidence hasn’t been reached on the index since 2007, a positive sign that indicates small business owners believe in the potential for continued economic recovery. Despite this encouraging news, the indicators that brought about this spike in confidence were all soft indicators, while hiring and spending didn’t budge, which indicates that while business owners are prepared to believe in a stronger economy, they have been conditioned by the capriciousness of temporary gains and costly regulations to look before they leap in terms of spending on expansion. Holiday sales important to small businesses looking to end the year on a high note. The success of Small Business Saturday this year is a promising sign that may have prompted an increase in feelings of confidence, as Black

This week marks the final countdown to a trio of sale days that small business owners have already been preparing for for the past month. Potentially the most significant of these days for many small business owners (particularly those without a stake in the e-commerce bonanza of Cyber Monday) is Small Business Saturday, a day of recognition for small businesses and their contributions to their local economies and culture. Businesses that have been planning promotions for the day are busy gearing up for the busy holiday shopping season to follow, but in particular need to have everything in place beforehand in order to smoothly greet and serve an influx of customers that can greatly exceed the normal volume their businesses are used to. Prepare to follow up. One of the strongest aspects of Small Business Saturday for business owners apart from the potential for sales numbers that are higher than normal is the ability to create the beginnings of a relationship with a much larger number

In a great article from business2community.com, some stats were shared regarding sales figures for Cyber Monday, revealing that annual sales on the day have grown from $1.3 billion to $2.29 billion in only three years. But what is Cyber Monday exactly, and where does it fall in relation to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday? It is the Monday after the latter day, and while according to its Wikipedia page it has only been around since 2005, the fast growth of online commerce makes it a force that is hard for small business owners to ignore, but then, why would they? Provided that they have adequately planned and promoted for it, Cyber Monday can be yet another prime sales day for creating a cushion of profits and revitalized cash flows going into the start of 2015. Anticipate higher than normal traffic and orders on your website. This is pretty much the point of Cyber Monday after all, but if you have a strong website set up,

Small business Saturday, falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is the small business answer to slashed prices at big box stores created by American Express in an effort to boost awareness of local businesses and their contributions to the economy. Local business owners should take advantage of the social media campaigning that Amex invests in to promote Small Business Saturday, which continues to grow nationally. When combined with a positive forecast for this year’s holiday spending, both in brick and mortar locations and online, business owners would do well to remember the date, November 29th this year, and prepare for it by rallying their neighborhoods and other local business owners to get on board. Plan a promotion. A discount is what your customers will be expecting, so get ready now preparing a door-buster that will bring business to your location. Think of something that is popular and can be discounted without your business taking a loss, since this item may be the purchase that inspires your

Within a small business, the costs involved in obtaining inventory can be among the largest and most important to balance in a budget. In addition, many business owners get into trouble with their cash flows either because of a lack of adequate inventory when it is needed or alternately a surplus that they cannot translate into cash quickly enough to meet their needs. The financing of a small business gets a lot easier the lower inventory costs become, so if there is a possibility that business owners can replace some of their inventory suppliers with lower cost alternatives without sacrificing quality, then they should seriously investigate those possibilities. Buying locally can be a viable strategy for keeping inventory costs as low as possible. One of the strongest benefits of buying locally produced inventory is in the costs associated with shipping, which will usually be a lot lower the closer that a supplier is to a small business’s locations. The price of shipping can fluctuate as well

Summertime is a season that brings along warm memories, as well as the promise of new ones yet to be made. For small business owners, some of these memories might include the rush of the busy season along with longer daylight hours and sudden influxes of beach-goers. In order to make the most of this time, business owners should create a strategy allowing them to plan marketing, inventory and sales so that things go without a hitch. Planning ahead is also an essential component of getting ready to take a well deserved vacation, as leaving your employees with a road map will allow them to remain on track and you to remain sane while away instead of worrying about what’s going on. Review your historical data. A good indicator of what is going to sell is what sold last year, so dust off your records and look for trends indicating which months are going to be your most busy. If you have not already made collecting

A business’s inventory is not only part of its overall value, it is also what allows it to pursue larger contracts or orders with confidence that client demand can be met. While having excess inventory on hand is a waste, having too little inventory puts business owners at a disadvantage when trying to expand. If they approach larger clients hoping to secure the business they need to grow, they may all of a sudden be asked to handle orders that are much larger than they are accustomed to processing. If they are not stocked with the inventory they need, without a means of rapidly acquiring it they could lose the business they worked so hard to win. Bad credit business loan alternatives offer a solution. While a traditional small business loan requires a lengthy process of due diligence, alternative capital providers generally require less information and therefore are able to approve and fund accounts in a much shorter period of time, often within the 48 hours

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