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3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Nov. 16

Stocks in this article: TRV AXP

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Six ways to prepare for Small Business Saturday. Are you prepared to take advantage of this year's Small Business Saturday, set for Nov. 24? An article in BusinessNewsDaily offers insurance-themed suggestions from Travelers (TRV) on how to best ensure small businesses get the most out of the day. Here are a few:

Ensure that proper inventory hits your shelves and anticipate potential problems to supply chains or business interruption.

The holiday season means increased sales and seasonal workers. Make sure all workers are adequately covered in case of liability issues such as if they're driving company-owned vehicles or handle sensitive materials, the article says.

Protect your merchandise. "It's critical that business owners know their inventory levels throughout the year, but especially so during the holidays, when it's likely that more stock is needed in order to meet sales demands. Savvy business owners recognize that they need to insure their inventory based on peak levels, not on a standard or average," the article says.

2. More small businesses are planning to award employee bonuses this holiday season. According to the 2012 American Express (AXP) OPEN Small Business Holiday Monitor, 35% (up from 29% last year) will be giving staff end-of-year bonuses, with a quarter of those respondents giving larger bonuses compared to last year.

On average, employees can expect to receive a 9% bonus this year, the survey found.

Among other findings, about 40% say they will be throwing a holiday party, up from 35% last year, while 57% say they will be donating to charity this holiday season.

Despite the current economic climate, 51% of small-business owners will be giving their clients/customers gifts this holiday season, up from 43% last year, with the average budget for these holiday gifts up 16% to $958, the survey says.

The survey was conducted via phone from Oct. 11-25 to a random sample of 501 small-business owners or managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees.

3. Keep your employees happy and promote "intrapreneurship." How can a Gen Y founder keep his or her Gen Y and Gen X talent happy and trust that they won't leave to work at a bigger company? Under30CEO cites 14 suggestions from the Young Entrepreneur Council, a nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs, such as allowing for flexible schedules all the time so long as deadlines are met.

Some companies are allowing for a culture of "sidepreneurship," where employees are allowed to have ventures they run on the side. Others are emphasizing innovation within the company.

There are other ways to keep young employees satisfied too, such as keeping the line of communication open about how they're doing both personally and professionally.

"I want to make the partnership work long-term, so I'm comfortable with expanding or contracting their hours to make everything fit," says Elizabeth Saunders of Real Life E.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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