A new survey of small-business owners indicates they're moving away from Black Friday and trying to get a head start on the competition by launching their holiday drives on Thanksgiving Day or even earlier.
A study released Thursday by Ink from Chase shows that 34 percent of small businesses are planning to fire up their holiday promotions even earlier than last year.
About half, 47 percent, are increasing inventory or ratcheting up marketing efforts, while just under a quarter, 22 percent, plan to enhance their social media presence, according to a news release.
The nationwide survey commissioned by Ink from Chase, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., reached out to 507 small businesses that sell consumer goods and have fewer than 100 employees.
Small-businesses owners are optimistic about business performance this holiday season.
One-third believe their business will do better this season than last. Half of business owners under the age of 44 believe it, that is, but only 29 percent of older owners do.
Small-business owners attribute success to better marketing, expanded products and services, and increased consumer demand.
Younger owners are especially likely to increase inventory, marketing and social media presence, but small businesses in general are adapting to online shopping and customers who want to pay with mobile devices.
Small businesses anticipate that about 30 percent of their holiday sales will be made online, and 32 percent said they expect to see an uptick in such sales this season.
Confidence begets kindness
Feeling confident that business is looking up, small-business owners are ushering in good cheer and showing Scrooge out the door.
More than half are planning to spend extra money on employee gifts or celebrations this year, with nearly three-quarters of younger owners planning to make with the parties and presents.
The owners themselves are more interested in getting away with the family than in getting material goods, however.
"The holidays can be very stressful for small-businesses owners, who typically work longer hours and sacrifice time with family to end the year on a high note," Brent Reinhard, general manager of Ink from Chase, said in the release.
The phone survey was fielded by Braun Research from Oct. 28-Nov. 4, 2013. The survey reached 507 small business owners with two to 99 employees in businesses that sell consumer goods. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.4 percent.
Business Wire contributed.
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