Small-business owners are often overwhelmed with tech purchasing decisions. As a result, they tend to take a conservative approach. According to a survey of small-business owners by Bredin, a Kabbage research partner, only one third view tech adoption as essential to their success. Yet companies who are more aggressive about tech adoption tend to grow faster: Digitally advanced small businesses have twice as much revenue per employee as other small businesses, according to Deloitte. Here are three key statistics about small-business owners and tech adoption. To understand how your business can benefit from technology, check out our tech buying guide.
- Digitally advanced small businesses experience outsized revenue growth and are three times as likely to be creating jobs
The smart use of technology can help businesses scale and operate more efficiently. That was the mindset Greg Mills had when purchased a Phoenix-based metalworks company and renamed it M3 Metals. He soon began the process of updating and automating its processes. That included everything from streamlining the way the company bid on jobs to replacing an antiquated phone system. Now that he’s two years in, Greg says, he’s ready to make even more investments in technology, in large part because he understands what the payoff will be. “I understand the importance of systems and automation,” Greg says. “If we stay at the level we are now, then maybe we don’t need that additional software package. But it’s all about growth.”
- Four out of 10 small-business owners are reluctant to adopt new tech due to the price tag
Small-business owners have a natural instinct to cut costs. But when it comes to technology, sometimes short-term savings lead to with added long-term costs. If Steve Gazda had it to do over again, he wouldn’t have skimped on technology when he first opened his East McKeesport, Pennsylvania-based insurance business. “When I started the business, I was buying used computers, used printers, used monitors, which was nice because I was saving money,” Gazda says. “But now those printers are breaking down and the computers had to be replaced. If I could do it again, I definitely wouldn’t cut corners on anything.”
- Companies that said they were “well under way” to applying technology—including customer-relationship management and analytics software—saw revenues rise by 10% or more from the previous year
Technology can help small-business owners understand the details of their business in ways that are impossible to do manually. As a Chicago-based chef who’s helped open a number of restaurants, Lamar Moore has spent a good deal of time acquainting himself with industry-specific apps like inventory-management software that can help him plan his food orders. What’s surprised him is how many of his colleagues in the restaurant business don’t fully grasp the advantages of such technology. “Being able to pull up my cell phone and tap into security cameras, or break down food costs and place orders in an inventory management system, is so valuable to me,” Lamar says. By spending less time placing orders, Lamar says, he can spend more time in the kitchen training and working with his staff.