David Lerner Asociates: Small Business Saturday
The first frenzy of holiday shopping is usually on what is called Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. This is the day stores promote deals and discounts, so there is a rush to buy gifts and save money. Since 2005, the Monday after Thanksgiving has been known as Cyber Monday – a huge day for shopping online. To help local small businesses participate in this holiday weekend shopping bonanza, American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010. The idea is to encourage holiday shoppers to support small businesses on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend.
The program has been very successful – last year 88 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday - one out of every four Americans. Consumers spent a whopping $14.3 billion on that day, making it the biggest shopping day of the year for small businesses.
While it is important to prepare for Small Business Saturday, there is also the rest of the year to consider. The top five concerns that keep entrepreneurs awake at night are:
- Growing revenue: Small Business Saturday may be the biggest shopping day of the year, but you need to attract customers on the other 364 days too. This is the number
one challenge for business with 11 – 100 employees.
- Hiring the right employees: This is the number one challenge for companies with
more than 100 employees. Finding and keeping the top talent can be the competitive
- Increasing profit: Companies with fewer than 50 employees struggle more than larger companies with profit and cash flow. Increasing profit on an annual basis is an issue for SMBs of all sizes.
- Employee benefits: One way to keep good employees is to offer excellent healthcare and retirement plans for employees. Retirement plans are typically either IRA-based (like SEPs and SIMPLE IRAs) or "qualified" (like 401(k)s, profit-sharing plans, and defined benefit plans). With IRA-based plans, your employees own (i.e., "vest" in) your contributions immediately. With qualified plans, you can typically require that your employees work a certain numbers of years before they vest. 
- Regulations: Regulatory compliance can be a major problem for companies with more than 50 employees. As a business grows, this takes up more and more of the management’s time and attention.
Between now and Thanksgiving prepare for the rush of shoppers on Small Business Saturday. Once it’s over, take the time to address all these concerns, and prepare your SMB for a bumper 2016.
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