A small business owners survey that we reported on last week found that fewer than 30 percent plan to hire seasonal help this year. Another survey released this week found that even fewer–just 23 percent–will hire for the holidays, but that’s actually a 5 percent jump over last year and represents a 5-year high.
According to Manta, provider of an online small business directory, winter is the busiest season for 65 percent of small businesses. Manta’s Small Business Holiday Survey reached 1,811 small business owners via an on-site poll between October 1 and October 5, 2015.
Increased demand for their services at the very end of the year and beginning of the next one leads to sales spikes of 30 percent or more for food and beverage, consumer products, and technology and communications businesses, Manta reports. But those who specialize in business services, health care, and industrial services expect business to slump 35 percent or more.
In a follow-up email survey of 709 small business owners, Manta also found that they consider severe winter weather followed by poor planning to be the biggest threat to success this season. Only 3 percent of owners cited not meeting the EMV deadline as a top concern.
A separate Manta survey of 3,058 consumers also conducted earlier this month found that 37 percent plan to turn to small businesses–mainly retailers–for their 2015 holiday needs. (35 percent didn’t know if they would.)
As for those business owners who expect a slowdown in the coming season, they say they’ll fill the free time by catching up with family and friends, getting rest and relaxation, planning their marketing strategy, and updating their websites and social media channels. Only 4 percent plan to take a vacation.