Technology has been a complete game changer for small businesses everywhere. It’s been able to significantly lower costs of entry in many industries, allowed smaller companies to have the same exposure as many large corporations, and we hear all the time about start-ups that get bought by corporations for billions. We wanted to take a look at what the numbers really looked like though – is everyone using technology? And are small businesses taking advantage of consumer and business trends in the workplace? Check out our astonishing statistics for small business and how they utilize technology.
Technology has allowed small businesses to compete more closely with larger corporations through various tools that have lowered the cost of entry, increased profit margins, and the ability to increase exposure through their web presence. However, if you don’t have any IT support, it’s hard to take full advantage of the tools that are available to you today. Major concerns could include: data security, server maintenance, workstation maintenance, web presence, Email, and so much more.
It is notable that the largest support solution for Small businesses falls into “External (Third-Party) IT Contractors /Consultants” at 39%. For organizations that fall into the SMB size category, these services tend to cost significantly less than hiring a full time IT person, and give a larger breadth of expertise compared to a one man IT department.
2.) Only 53% of Small businesses have websites
An astounding amount of small businesses, almost half, do not have websites and consequently, a very limited web presence. To me this is quite shocking. I, like most people, go straight to Google when I want to find a local company, a place to eat, a service, or any information really to gather information. One of the biggest disincentives to do business with someone is when I search them online after I’ve already heard about their company, and I can’t find a single thing on the net about them. We’re all so accustomed to finding reviews or any relative information online before we ever call someone up – perhaps because we are looking to avoid the “sales” pitch or from mere conditioning, but nonetheless a company without a website shows me multiple red flags that have me question whether to move forward with them. Does your business have a website?
3.) 87% of Smartphone / Tablet owners use their devices to shop (Nielsen – Internet Figures)
As of early 2014, 87% of mobile device owners surveyed say they use their mobile device more than their PC, and that includes shopping. There are many creative ways that SMBs are using technology that allow them to compete with mid to large sized corporations, and this is a huge key! The numbers speak for themselves, how much of this mobile shopping traffic is your organization capturing?
4.) 91% of Small Business Websites Not Optimized for Mobile Devices
According to a survey from BaseKit, 91% of small businesses are not setup to handle mobile visitors. There is a HUGE opportunity for any Small Business that sells a product, or is even just trying to reach more people for exposure. We just noted that 87% of consumers use their mobile device to shop, and even more users just to browse the internet – how much of your target audience are you missing out on?
With multiple platforms that make creating websites easier to manage today (perhaps most notably WordPress or even Joomla) this is an opportunity to have a cost effective mobile version of your website created. How much growth could you generate in this untapped arena? Are your competitors already a step ahead of you in the mobile world?
5.) Small Businesses Use Mobile Technology Primarily for Social Media and Email Marketing
How about the Small businesses that do leverage mobile technology – how are they using it? According to a survey by Constant Contact, an email marketing tool, the focus lies in Social Media and Email Marketing. 73% of SMBs reported that they market with Social Media platforms to catch the attention of mobile users, and 71% say they use email marketing to reach these users. Do you have a social media presence or a newsletter that you send out to potential customers, clients, or a target market?
6.) 92% of SMBs use some form of Cloud Computing
Still having a hard time wrapping your mind around the term “Cloud Computing”? Quite simply, we can refer it as an application or desktop hosted on the internet – the best part being that there is no maintenance on local computers, as the entire thing is hosted on someone’s server. Over the past couple of years, small businesses have capitalized on moving typical IT infrastructure offsite to cut costs. Cloud Computing allows SMBs to side step large upfront hits to their cash flow when upgrading or purchasing software and server hardware. Just another way technology allows for a more level playing field in the market place.
7.) 8 out of 10 SMBs still use manual integration –excel or custom code
Working at Fuse is a life saver – especially for my time efficiency. Thankfully, our programmers have designed custom tools for us so we can avoid the complicated Excel documents, hours of manual entry per week, human errors, and most of all it allows us to have truly meaningful metrics for every portion of our business.
Maybe you’re thinking “Wow, good for you… we don’t have it that easy” but in actuality, you could. We create custom applications for our clients all the time, and the best part is that they are extremely cost effective. The money that you save on time and meaningful metrics pays for this so fast that you’ll wonder why you didn’t consider it earlier.
8.) Small businesses future investments:
- Business Management Software – 50%
- Data Analytics – 43%
- Mobile Devices – 37%
- Social Media – 36%
- Cloud Computing– 34%
Small businesses continue to increase their budgets year over year towards their IT infrastructure to continue to leverage all the tools available to aid their growth. According to EnTech, the top 5 categories that will receive future investments are above. Where do you fall into these categories? Have you planned on investing more into any of these categories?
Let us know which ones you are looking to invest in – we always love to hear where your priorities are at and the rational for your investments!
9.) 725 Million Hours saved each year by employees at small businesses using mobile apps
According to EnTech mobile apps save SMBs 725 Million hours each year. Are you capturing any of this efficiency? Find out what the return on investment looks like for your organization to begin using mobile technology to make your processes and procedures more lean.
10.) SMBs will increase their technology spending 50% by 2015
According to Microsoft, in a survey completed in 2012, SMBs were due to heavily increase their spending on IT infrastructure. As this date comes closer, and the competition between small businesses increases, what plans do you have to leverage technology and to stay on pace with your competitors as the market place continues to evolve?