The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and small businesses are optimistic, according to a new Manta survey released yesterday, October 28, 2014. Sales are on the rise; 67 percent of small business respondents to the survey reported steady or increased sales, and 71 percent feel positive about the approaching holiday retail season. However, because 82 percent don’t plan to hire seasonal employees to lighten the load, these small businesses created their own wish list to help them get through the holiday season.
The Manta survey polled 1,268 small business owners between October 1, 2014 and October 7, 2014 through an online survey that has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent. The small businesses surveyed are all members of Manta.com. The small business holiday wish list consists of items in five main categories of actual business items, along with some not-so-serious gift ideas. Some small business owners had some quirky choices, including big sacks of cash, a clone of themselves, a mind-reader and even a seven-series BMW automobile. Here are the top five categories of holiday gifts that small business owners wished for, in order of popularity. Instead of a Christmas-themed sweater, a recycled fruitcake or a Chia pet, make an entrepreneur’s dream come true with a holiday gift from one of these categories.
Small business owners need technology to run their businesses, and nowhere was that more evident than in this Manta survey. SMBs listed new computers, smartphones and tablets – including the Microsoft Surface tablet, like the one held by Eli Manning, which can replace a laptop computer for some – at the top of their wish lists.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners need cold, hard cash to keep their businesses running. The second most popular category of gifts for small business owners came in the form of money (loans or cash) or gift certificates that can be used for business purposes (and a bag of $100 bills, which may or may not be used for business purposes).
More business and new clients.
Clients and customers are the lifeblood of any small business, and third on the list of the small business owners wish list was for more of both to walk through the door.
Marketing and advertising.
The fourth most popular item on the wish list for small business owners came in the form of marketing and advertising. Small businesses wished for ad space or free advertising, branding advice, access to a social media guru (not a celebrity fitness guru, like Tracy Anderson) and search engine optimization (SEO) advice.
Even though the majority of small business owners do not intend to hire seasonal employees, that does not mean they do not want them. The fifth most popular wish list item for small businesses was an introduction to new employees – meaning, they want someone to vouch for potential new employees.