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New Incfile Survey Looks at the State of Small Business This Holiday Season

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87% of small business owners say they are supported by and connected to their local community, with Small Business Saturday just around the corner

Incfile, a leader in online business formation and startup services, today released new data showing the state of small business activity this holiday season. As we approach the busiest season of the year, we asked small business owners from cities, suburbs, and rural areas to give us the details on how they’re getting prepared and looked closely at how holiday planning, preparation, and stress differ amongst small business owners across the United States.

Small Business Owners’ Biggest Holiday Season Challenges

Business owners across the board said boosting sales is their top concern this holiday season, with 39% saying it’s their main priority and cause of stress. Difficulty with hiring was second at 24%, followed closely by supply chain issues at 22%.

Ecommerce Is Big This Season — Thanks to COVID-19

As one of the positives of COVID-19, ecommerce is booming. Our survey showed that one in four small business owners set up an online shop for the first time this year. Online stores and ecommerce sites were most common among the younger age groups, from 18-44 (90%). Among those with both a brick-and-mortar and an ecommerce business, over half (57%) said that the majority of sales come through their website.

Nearly 70% of Small Businesses Are Running Holiday Promotions

The holiday season means sales and deals, especially for retail businesses. The top three in the U.S. are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday. Close to 70% of all our respondents said they would be running a promotion for Black Friday or Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday.

Competition is Fierce this Holiday Season

37% of all business owners said they’re introducing new products this year to earn more sales, and over half (55%) cited this as the number one way they’re planning to beat their competitors. Increased marketing/ad dollars (54%) and special sales (54%) came close behind, but loyalty programs trailed at just 20%.

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The Season of Giving Inspires Giving Back

More than three-quarters of small business owners will make charitable donations this season. This is significant because after so many businesses struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can now see their resilience and generosity in full force. 80% of employers are also giving back to their employees, offering time off to spend with their families this holiday season.

“The holiday season is one of the busiest and most exciting times of year for small business owners,” said Dustin Ray, Chief Growth Officer & Co-CEO, Incfile. “It’s encouraging to hear, as the holiday season gets underway, that 87% of small business owners feel supported by their community. It’s been a difficult couple of years, and to have a strong sense of community is a key pillar for small business owners to realize success.”

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Tips from Incfile’s Small Business Community
We asked Incfile’s small business community to share tips on how they navigate the busy holiday season; here’s what they had to say:

  • Find balance – it’s such a busy time, but you need to recharge your batteries and spend time with your families to operate at your best for the entire holiday season
  • Plan early and get organized, so you have plenty of time to execute – there are a lot of tasks you can complete before the holiday season even starts
  • Pick one thing to focus on that’s a priority for your business – this will help ensure you don’t get distracted by competition or things you can’t control

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