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NEW YORK (
MainStreet) -- January is typically when customers tie their purse strings to pay off the damage they did during the holidays. So how do businesses get through the slow month?
Consumer spending trends were strong during the holiday season, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise troubling economy. The National Retail Federation revised its holiday spending estimates upward by a percentage point and, as of Dec. 15 (the latest figures available), the trade association expected to see that holiday sales rose 3.8% to a record $469.1 billion.
January is typically when customers tie their purse strings to pay off the holidays. You can change that.
But does that mean January, a typically slow month for many retailers and restaurants, will be even slower this year? The jury is out on spending during the six weeks before Valentine's Day -- traditionally the next big holiday, along with the Super Bowl (a goldmine for electronics retailers).
Yet not all small businesses feel a down cycle in January, and even some that do have ways to deal with the post-holiday hangover. From a gourmet sandwich shop that uses January to introduce menu items to a card store cleaning out old inventory with sales, the month is far from slow for all businesses.
1. Launch products. January is typically a good month to introduce product lines, whether to experiment or launch a full rollout of new merchandise, according to some small-business owners.
In the food industry, for instance, the month is typically associated with healthy eating as many consumers look to take part in new year's resolutions to lose weight. That leaves open an opportunity to introduce fresh, unique products catering to this consumer.