The Fifth Annual Brother Small Business Survey provided some truly surprising insight into the trends of small companies in the U.S. Of the 500 small businesses surveyed, 72 percent revealed that they felt “new technologies will offer a bigger return on their investment than new employees in 2014.”
While this news may not bode well for job seekers, it does show that small businesses see the important role that technology plays in growing business in today’s high-tech market. As I discussed in a previous blog post, an IBM study showed that small to midsize businesses should focus on creating a digital strategy. It would seem that at least the smaller businesses are taking this to heart.
However, a lack of dedicated IT staff in many small businesses has left 63 percent of respondents feeling “overwhelmed with the number of technologies available to run their business.” Fifty percent of those surveyed felt that rushing into a technology investment and then subsequently not obtaining a decent ROI was a great risk. The other half felt that not immediately investing in the latest technologies would give competitors the upper hand, and that was the greatest risk.
John Wandishin, vice president of marketing for Brother, said of the study:
“Our survey shows that while small business owners understand the value of new technologies, they are still a bit overwhelmed and struggle with choosing the right time to adopt them to have the greatest impact on their business.”
As identified by the small businesses surveyed, the top four technologies to invest in to help better run business were:
- Mobile devices (41 percent)
- Customer relationship management tools (32 percent)
- Social technologies (21 percent)
- Cloud services (15 percent)
Other good news from the survey was that for the first time in about five years, small business owners’ concerns about the economy were lower than previous years. Only 42 percent felt a lot of stress due to the current economy, which was down from 58 percent the previous year.