small business holiday mobileThanks to a new survey from Ink from Chase, we’ve gotten an interesting look into the plans of small business owners for the holidays and the coming year. The findings show where small businesses plan to focus their efforts, and also show what strategies are expected to become more popular in the coming year. Here are a few of the more interesting facts:

Not everyone starts holiday promotions early.

Only a third of small businesses are running holiday promotions that start on or before Thanksgiving. Apparently, the desire to boost revenue is still outweighed by the desire to keep the holiday season extending beyond Thanksgiving (keep fighting the good fight, people!).

Preparing for the holidays.

Almost half of small businesses increase inventory in preparation for the holidays, an obvious and necessary strategy. Interestingly, however, about a fifth will increase their social media activity as well. Online strategies are an extraordinarily cost-effective way to reach people, and when winter weather drives people inside, online activity can only increase, right?

Are things looking up this year?

Only 34% of small business owners think that this holiday season will be better than the one before. The optimists from this group think that expanded marketing efforts and offerings will drive the increase, as well as new consumer demand.

Fortunately, we don’t need to wait for next year to find out whether these folks are right or not. As we’ve recently reported in other posts, the optimists are correct, at least as mobile commerce is concerned. Sales through smartphone-enabled websites are up a mind-blowing 258%, as compared to last year! If the respondents of the survey want this holiday season to be merrier than the last, a little mobile website or app in their business’s stocking just might be the answer.

As a last note, small business owners are feeling quite generous this year, with 71% planning to spend extra on employee gifts and celebrations. All we can say is, we wish all small businesses a prosperous new year, so that next time around, the number is closer to 100%!