How Small Businesses Really Make Technology Buying Decisions

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    A recent survey of 1,200 small businesses in the first quarter of 2013 by Infusionsoft identified four types of technology buyers. The survey was targeted toward vendors attempting to sell to SMBs. Infusionsoft says that, according to the data collected:

    New research suggests that the technology buying process for small businesses is influenced more by intrinsic attitudes and beliefs than by demographic factors like industry, revenue and years in business.

    The four prominent technology buyers for small businesses are:

    • Strivers (24 percent of those surveyed) who look for technology to help overcome obstacles in sales or marketing, shore up the company’s current efficiencies, and provide for the business to further expand.
    • Customizers (29 percent of surveyed buyers) who want to automate processes and find efficiencies to help grow the business without affecting the company’s own personal brand of customer service.
    • Maximizers (23 percent of surveyed participants) who seek to gain a competitive edge while providing dependable, effective service and resources.
    • Supporters (24 percent of those surveyed) who are dignified members of the community of small businesses and are looking for technology to help them boost their company toward success.

    Unique identifiers of each group were also discussed in the report, such as how Strivers have a weak presence in social media categories while Maximizers have the highest social media platform usage.

    Also, 78 percent of Strivers admit to needing assistance to build systems that help automate marketing and sales, but Customizers believe their company is “too customized for automation” technologies. Maximizers, on the other hand, want systems to help their business grow and be successful and usually are interested in technology and automation.

    Supporters will usually appreciate technology that has a favorable ROI or helps lower costs, but usually have almost no budget for sales or marketing agendas. This category is proud of their small business identity and feels comfortable with technology vendors that understand the needs of small businesses.

    The report really shed light on what beliefs and values motivate the spending within small businesses. Many smaller business owners think differently than even midsized business owners. The owner of a mom-and-pop shop “simply wants to know that their investment will be valuable to their small business.” And that’s just it—they see technology purchases as an investment. They don’t think ahead much to the next upgrade or what’s coming out next year. They know their business inside and out and don’t want technology to change the values or attitudes upon which it was based.

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