With the Christmas shopping season kicking off with Black Friday, it’s been a busy week for small businesses. Here are the top small business news stories we’ve covered this week:
On Monday, we revealed that more than half of the money spent on Christmas shopping this year will be spent online. Research from Rackspace highlighted the importance of ensuring a good quality eCommerce website, with almost half of shoppers abandoning slow or complicated transactions.
Next, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) warned of the pitfalls of Christmas party season for small businesses. Advice includes setting clear guidelines for coming into work the next day, avoiding too much alcohol and risqué behaviour, and setting a good example to your employees by acting appropriately.
On Wednesday, we heard that this coming Saturday (30th November) is set to be the biggest day for Christmas shopping, and retailers fear most competition from their online rivals. Businesses are stepping up their game to offer discounts and delivery incentives, as well as ensuring customers can buy using their smartphones.
Yesterday, new research was released that found businesses are increasingly avoiding borrowing. In the past year, 78% of businesses have consciously avoided applying for a loan or overdraft. Just 15% of small and medium sized enterprises borrowed money in 2013, compared to 25% in 2012.
And today, we told you small business owners are working harder than ever thanks to the availability of technology. Almost half (47%) say they can’t switch off from work, and nine out of ten say they feel the need to respond to customer queries quickly. A further 70% say they fear neglecting their company’s digital presence.