Despite the fact that 86% of small business owners believing that keeping up with technology trends is important to their business, numbers show that they are far behind the competition when it comes to taking advantage of new software, programs and products on the market and designed to increase the effectiveness of how they do business.
Everyone from home contractors to boutique stores, real estate agents, insurance brokers and Internet-based businesses need modern technology to enhance their business offerings, market their brand, and improve overall efficiency. Technology allows you to complete locally and globally, but a lack of technology can also hurt your ability to keep up with competitors.
Small Businesses Are Not Taking Advantage of Technology
A recent study found that modern technology is lacking in most small businesses. The study suggests that:
- • 52% of small businesses do not have a website, and 90% do not have a mobile optimized website
- • 23% of small business owners reported they didn’t spend any money on marketing
- • 51% use technology for accounting and bookkeeping
- • 39% for scheduling
- • 25% for point of sale
- • 14% for acquisition marketing
The biggest concerns for small business owners?
- • Finding new customers (42%)
- • Keeping current customers (33%)
- • Paying business expenses (33%)
All of these concerns can be address using modern technology.
Which Technology Is Most Important?
According to a poll of small business owners by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Microsoft:
- • 66% rely on a laptop, and 55% of owners use smartphones for business
- • 66% of small business owners manage their company’s tech support themselves
- • Email is the most popular application (84%)
- • 29% use calendar software
- • 27% use some form of online storage – 36% manually collect and store content
- • 30% use cloud computing
- • 21% use web development tools for their website
The Benefits of Investing in Technology
Investing in technology offers small businesses many benefits. Considering that many business owners are slow to adopt technology to grow their business, there is an opportunity for proactive small business owners to get ahead of the crowd. Integrating technology-based solutions into your business can help you:
- • Better respond to your customers (70% of small business owners agree)
- • Increase your revenue (60% agree)
- • Decrease operational costs (54% agree)
- • Improve productivity (52% agree)
The Challenges of Modern Technology
So, why aren’t small business owners using technology? The biggest challenge they face is cost – the cost to maintain, upgrade, and get support for new technologies. Other key issues include technical acumen, security and training.
While these challenges are valid, it’s a mistake to not see that your business will need technology to evolve, grow, compete and better serve the needs of your customers, all of which lead to an increase in ROI.
How to Get Started
Okay, so you’re convinced that using modern technology might benefit your business after all. Now what? If you’re a small business owner, here are some useful steps to get you started:
- • Doing some initial research is a great place to start
- • Take a look at how your competitors are using technology
- • Talk with your employees about areas within your business where technology can improve efficiency
- • Consider hiring a technology consultant to assess your business needs
- • Start small and add new technology solutions over time as your budget permits
Protect your investment in new business technology by making sure it is covered by your business insurance policy. Get the coverage you need by getting a business insurance quote.