Small business retailers are anticipating a happy holiday with ringing cash registers, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by FedEx Office®. Four in 10 small business owners (43 percent) expect to see higher revenues this holiday compared to last, while 66 percent say they are hopeful about the upcoming holiday shopping season. Despite the overall optimism, small businesses are still concerned about the economy (63 percent), as well as attracting new customers (58 percent) and competing against big retailers (45 percent). Small business retailers plan to highlight discounts and promote themselves with quality signage and marketing to help address these concerns. In fact, 45 percent of small business retailers agree that their marketing and promotional activities increase during the holiday season. Along with the seasonal increase in customer traffic comes a spike in pressure on small businesses, with one-third of those surveyed saying they feel stressed about the upcoming holiday season. Small business retailers say that running a business during the holiday season carried the same or more stress as: finding the perfect gift for your partner (68 percent), going to the mall during the holiday months (65 percent) or getting every gift wrapped (60 percent). One surprising finding: one-quarter (23 percent) of small business retailers report that running their business during the holidays is less stressful than spending a week with the in-laws! “FedEx Office is committed to offering stress-free solutions to help small businesses succeed during this critical sales period,” said Brian Philips, president and CEO of FedEx Office. “With products and services including cloud printing, direct mail, flyers, brochures, posters and banners, small businesses can create sales and marketing materials professionally and easily.” FedEx Office serves as that trusted partner for countless small businesses during the holidays and all year round. The company offers a wide variety of signage and marketing materials to give small businesses exactly what they need this season—eye-catching signage to bring in customers looking for just the right holiday item. In a survey of general consumers conducted earlier this year for FedEx Office, shoppers reported that almost eight in 10 (76 percent) had entered a store they have never visited before based on its signs, and nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) had actually purchased a product or service because a sign caught their eye. With the world’s largest digitally-connected network of wide-format print equipment, FedEx Office can print a range of marketing materials from indoor/outdoor banners to posters to corrugated/PVC plastic and metal signs. FedEx Office team members are experts when it comes to these materials and small business owners can speak directly with them to determine the best signage solution for their business.
To further support the needs of small business owners, FedEx Office is once again collaborating with small business experts Anita Campbell ( @smallbiztrends) and Melinda Emerson ( @smallbizlady) for a tweet chat series offering advice for the small business community. Kicking off on November 14 at 8 p.m. ET, the first chat will cover what businesses can do right now to prepare for the holidays. Follow @FedExOffice throughout the year for upcoming dates and topics.Survey Methodology FedEx Office, in conjunction with Ketchum Global Research & Analytics, worked with Braun Research to conduct a telephone omnibus survey of 500 small business owners who employ 5 to 99 employees, generate over $100,000 in annual revenue, and whose primary industry is retail (stores/outlets).The margin of error is +/- 4.4%, and results are reported at the 95 percent confidence level. About FedEx Office FedEx Office, an operating company of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), has more than 1,800 stores and locations primarily in the U.S. and Canada, providing convenient access to printing and shipping expertise with reliable service. The company’s network features retail stores, centralized production centers, corporate on-site print centers, and on-site business centers at hotels, convention centers and universities. Services include copying and digital printing, professional finishing, document creation, direct mail, signs and graphics, computer rental, free Wi-Fi and corporate print solutions. In addition, the company offers FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipping, Hold at FedEx Location, and packing services backed by the FedEx ® Packing Pledge. InformationWeek 500 recognized FedEx Office ® Print Online and FedEx Office ® Print & Go solutions with the 2011 Most Innovative Products award. Products, services and hours vary by location. For more information, please visit www.fedex.com/office.