Want to grow your small business? Growing your technology savvy is a good place to start, according to a survey of mid-size companies conducted by tech services firm CDW.
The majority of the 152 respondents ran businesses with staffs of 100 to 500 employees, according to a Baseline story about the survey. The 48 percent of respondents who described themselves as "total geeks" said their companies grew from startups to 100-employee businesses in five years or less. Only a third of the respondents who considered themselves less than "total geeks" experienced such rapid growth.
(We wonder if the fact that the survey was administered online might indicate that respondents were more technically inclined than other SMB execs. According to a Forrester Research survey, SMB CEOs tend to have lower expectations than their big business counterparts of IT as a business enabler.)
Other highlights of the CDW survey:
- Companies that viewed technology as a competitive advantage generally grew faster than those who "spent just enough" on tech to enable employees to do their jobs.
- Almost half of the fastest-growing companies (those that experienced annual growth rates of at least 20 percent a year) hired or assigned staffers dedicated to IT before reaching the 100-employee milestone. In contrast, an overall 24 percent of respondents employed dedicated IT staff before reaching the 100-employee level.
- "Managing IT to our advantage" was second to only recruiting and retaining employees -- a growing challenge for businesses of all sizes -- when SMB executives were asked to name the most their most significant challenges in growing their businesses.