holidaycrowdsWe are in full flow for the holiday season now and retailers are hoping that consumers are going to be cracking open their wallets and pocketbooks. We just finished the biggest shopping weekend of the year and reports are mixed. It was clearly a huge success for online retailers with more sales than ever before. For example, here at Yahoo! Small Business we say an overall 8% increase in dollar sales volume from last year. But traditional retailers are reporting mixed results. Analysts suggest that we need the rest of the holiday shopping season to remain strong. With that in mind, here are four tips for upselling and cross-selling that hopefully will be helpful over the next month. We continue to hear that business credit is a serious issue for small businesses of all kinds (not just retail) and that access to credit is still very tough. So it's a good idea to maximize your opportunities by building good business credit. Finally - as a great example to us all, here's an interview withRead More »from Holiday sales, business credit, Hooters and Trader Joe’s: Small Business Reading
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Fri, Nov 30, 2012 7:18 PM EST
- Adrienne Burke | Profit Minded – Thu, Nov 29, 2012 6:01 PM EST
Despite all the good publicity around Small Business Saturday, sales have been shrinking for the smallest retailers while their larger competitors are seeing strong growth this year.
According to data from Sageworks, which provides financial analysis services to private companies, 2012 will be the worst sales year for privately held retailers with annual sales of below $1 million since 2009.
Those small retailers have posted a nearly 3 percent drop in sales year to date. Meanwhile, privately held retailers overall are seeing a nearly 6 percent increase in sales volume this year, and privately held retailers with annual sales of more than $10 million have seen a roughly 11 percent increase since last year. Sageworks data does not cover publicly traded companies such as Walmart, Kohl's or Target, but spans retailers from small Mom & Pops to privately-held chain stores.
Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman says the firm's data shows that the smallest retailers are seeing a setback after twoRead More »from Small retailers need a holiday boost, analyst says
- Adrienne Burke | Profit Minded – Tue, Nov 27, 2012 8:37 PM EST
Consumers spent $59.1 billion over the Black Friday weekend. Less than 10 percent of that went to the small businesses that represent more than 95 percent of all retailers, according to the National Retail Federation.
Nevertheless, the National Federation of Independent Businesses reports that the holiday shopping season is off to an auspicious start for small business. A survey released today by NFIB and American Express reports that consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped to 67 percent from 34 percent just two weeks ago, contributing to $5.5 billion in spending with independent merchants on November 24. The figure is $100,000 more than predicted by pre-holiday surveys.
This weekend's was the third annual Small Business Saturday. According to NFIB's national survey of 1,000 men and women conducted on Saturday and Sunday, nearly half of those aware of the event shopped on Saturday.
NFIB CEO Dan Danner said in a statement that support of small firms, retailers, restaurants,Read More »from Holiday shopping season starts with $5.5 billion small biz spree
As we enter into the busiest shopping season of the year, I thought it might help merchants to think about the upselling and cross selling techniques their sales associates use.
I think we have all become accustomed to upselling, and I understand the benefits and why it is so important - if done right. I've been in stores where I have spent a lot of time searching for a product, and understand the frustration that comes with not being able to find what you are looking for. Sales associates are there to help the customer find what they are looking for and make them aware of products that they may not know are available. If done right, this can improve and expedite the customer shopping experience. If done poorly, it can run a good customer out the door, never to return.
According to business dictionary, upselling is "a sales strategy where the seller will provide opportunities to purchase related products or services, often for the sole purpose of making a larger sale".
For example, IRead More »from 4 Tips for Sales Upselling and Cross Selling
As your entrepreneurial spirit shines through and you embark on your new venture, it is important to separate your business and personal credit. A mistake many new business owners make is using their personal credit to open lines of credit for their startup. Using your personal credit history can be problematic for several reasons. Not only will it increase the number of inquiries made to your personal credit profile, but it will also prevent your business from building its own credit.
Establish an Identity for Your Business
You need to register your business with state and local governments in order to begin building credit for the entity. A sole proprietorship can register in the form of a DBA (Doing Business As). However it may be more prudent to register as a Corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company), which decreases the liability of the owner and adds more separation between business and personal finances.
Regardless of how you register your business, it is important toRead More »from Building Business Credit
- Adrienne Burke | SmallBiz Vote – Wed, Nov 21, 2012 5:28 PM ESTinfographic: National Federation of Independent Businesses
Most small business owners will be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow unsure of whether or not to be grateful for what's in store for them in the coming year. That's because few have any clear idea how the two biggest issues on the table in Washington today--the approaching fiscal cliff and the Affordable Care Act--will impact their small business next year. That's a recipe for indigestion.
Government agencies and small business organizations are rising to the occasion to help you understand what might be in store for you if, indeed, the nation goes over the so-called cliff, and when the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect. Here are some resources they offer.
The Affordable Care Act and your business
The Department of Health and Human Services posted information to its website this summer to help entrepreneurs understand the implications of the Affordable Care Act specifically for small business. Now, the National Small Business Association is helping owners keep upRead More »from Still wondering what a fiscal cliff and healthcare proposals mean to you?
- Ramit Sethi | Profit Minded – Wed, Nov 21, 2012 2:01 PM EST
If you've nailed the job application and are preparing for the interview, there are some simple steps you can take to maximize your chances of getting the job offer -- and leapfrog over people who have many years more experience than you do.
I learned how interviews worked while I was interviewing for college scholarships. I secured interview after interview, but I kept losing -- until I finally videotaped myself and realized I never smiled! I was speaking in a monotone, and finally saw how I may have been qualified, but my body language was making me look like a boring, unfriendly candidate.
Once I cracked the code, I changed my presentation and starting closing interview after interview, netting me enough scholarship money to pay my way through my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stanford.
I refined my techniques to land job offers at Google, Intuit, and a multi-billion-dollar financial firm, then I tested them with thousands of students to help them find a job they loved.
HereRead More »from Master your job interview with these preparation secrets
- Adrienne Burke | Profit Minded – Wed, Nov 21, 2012 12:58 PM EST
Groupon has taken some heat this year from small businesses who felt they lost money offering Groupon discounts to customers. A new program offering entrepreneurs free online education in marketing, customer acquisition, and customer retention might enhance the daily deals company's image.
Groupon announced that it has teamed up with SCORE, the nonprofit volunteer corps of small business mentors that is funded by the Small Business Administration.
The organizations have introduced a "pragmatic toolkit" for small businesses in any industry, with extra resources for two sectors that are big Groupon users: bars and restaurants and healthy and beauty businesses. The Groupon Customer Acquisition & Retention Toolkit, available on SCORE's website offers tips on attracting customers, employing online marketing, taking advantage of new marketing tactics, making the best of daily deals, using social media to win customers, and building better customer relationships. SCORE and Groupon will alsoRead More »from Groupon and SCORE partner to offer small biz marketing tools
Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Marie Johns reminds shoppers in an op-ed for the Washington Post today not to spend all their holiday gift dollars at the big box stores on Black Friday or online shopping on Cyber Monday. In between them is the American Express-inspired Small Business Saturday, November 24. Is your business doing what it can to take advantage of the opportunity to get new customers in the door this weekend?
With free tools and materials available for download, it's not too late. Here are some ways you can still get in on the event:
- If your business accepts American Express, you qualify to download free customized in-store signage, online banners, and templates for social media or email from American Express Shop Small.
- Even if you don't accept American Express, a Shop Small poster and other free marketing materials are available for download here.
- Waste no time writing your own Tweets or Facebook posts to promote Small Business Saturday to your
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Tue, Nov 20, 2012 6:53 PM EST
turkeysGiven the short work week - for anyone NOT involved in retail - and the LONG work week for anyone who IS involved in retail, we are running a shortened version of our weekly roundup. First up is a reiteration of the importance and value of Small Business Saturday - for both retailers and shoppers. It's also worth pointing back to a couple of articles you may have missed last Friday: one about the fiscal cliff and the startling lack of agreement about how it will affect small businesses and the other taking a look at the new crowdfunding rules for small business.
Outside the confines of Yahoo! Small Business there were a couple of interesting pieces of news. First of all, Twitter has decided to offer the first 10,000 qualified small business to apply a $100 in free advertising on Twitter. So apply now... The second is a neat sales webinar taking place December 13th at 11AM with six experts talking about the best sales tools for 2013.
If you haven't taken the plunge yet, hopefully someRead More »from Small Business Today: Small Business Saturday, Free Twitter Ads and a Sales Webinar
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