SBS shares five ways to bolster holiday business
by Chase Collum
Dec 17, 2014 | 3484 views | 0 0 comments | 130 130 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To help promote local businesses, Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer hosted a holiday roundtable discussion last week at Gratitude Café in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

Holiday business accounts for roughly 20 to 30 percent of annual sales for most retailers, according to SBS data. To help businesses accommodate the holiday rush and get the most out of the season, Torres-Springer recommended five courses of action.

“Holiday shopping presents big opportunities for small businesses across New York City, which is why we have introduced five SBS Holiday Tips to highlight the free City services available to help small businesses succeed,” she explained.

First, she said, small businesses should “spread the holiday cheer online.” For entrepreneurs who don’t consider themselves tech savvy, SBS offers tips, including best practices for social media use, how to approach customers on mobile, and when to use email marketing.

The next tip she offered was for business owners to keep abreast of local laws to help them avoid regulatory entanglements, saying that the holiday season in New York City presents unique challenges for business owners.

Hiring extra help was Torres-Springer’s next bit of advice. By creating new positions and adding staff, businesses can be more equipped to deal with an influx of shoppers.

To help owners keep on top of their books, which can get extra tricky as transaction frequency increases, SBS offers free accounting and financial business courses on topics like Quickbooks, pricing and financial planning, and Torres-Springer recommended small businesses take advantage of those tools.

Finally, she said businesses should take advantage of community happenings in their area. Getting involved in holiday programming is a great way to reach new customers, and Torres-Springer said businesses would do well to help organize local campaigns to increase foot traffic.

"The SBS Brooklyn Media Roundtable was very productive,” said Jackson Rockingster, president & CEO of the HABNET Chamber of Commerce. ”Especially during this holiday season, it's important for us to shop at our local businesses for the gifts and services that we want.”

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