The Tech Effect: Adoption Linked to Stronger Confidence
Only one in four small business owners (25%) reports being ahead of the pack when comparing their technology use to other businesses in their sector. For the small businesses that report being in good health, technological adoption appears to be linked to stronger outcomes and increased confidence. Small businesses that report being in good health are more likely to say they are ahead of the curve (32%).
At the same time, businesses that feel they are behind the pack, technology-wise, are less comfortable with cash flow (62%, compared to 87% who say they are ahead of the pack) and less positive about their overall business health (39%, compared to 78% of those ahead of the pack). Businesses that report being ahead of the pack when it comes to technology are more likely to report increasing staff in the past year (26%) and are also more likely to say they are going to hire (41%) compared to just 21% who report being at the back of the pack.
Specifically, businesses that have adopted various tools or technologies like video conference services, smartphone apps, big data, cloud computing, computer accounting and CRM systems tend to feel significantly better about the health of their business than those that have not.
A majority (61%) of small business owners report being in line with other companies’ technology use, but 12% report feeling behind when it comes to adapting to new technology.
Some technological use is widespread among small business owners. Nearly all businesses surveyed (93%) use at least one form of technology. The majority of small businesses report using cloud-based services (53%), and 51% use smartphone apps for productivity and/or scheduling. Video conferencing (34%) and customer relationship management systems (31%) are used by one in three small businesses.
Notably lagging behind in technological adoption are Baby Boomer small business owners who are less likely to feel like they are ahead of the pack (22%) compared to Millennial and Gen X-owned businesses (30%).