Although most larger businesses and an increasing number of consumers are taking advantage of the enormous strides being made in the world of technology, for the most part, small business owners have been reticent to utilize emerging technology. In fact, most small businesses are opting to stick with their tried and true manual systems for just about all of their business processes.
Online marketer, Yodle, found that, based on its recent study of small businesses, more than half use technology for their accounting, but that’s about as far as technology is utilized, for the most part, in today’s small business world. Very few small businesses use any type of automated technology for their other, non-accounting, business operations. For example, less than 40 percent of the small businesses surveyed said that they use technology for appointment and scheduling tasks.
Just 34 percent of the small businesses surveyed use technology for customer relationship management purposes and only 14 percent use technology for acquisition marketing, which is used to manage customer prospects and inquiries that are generated by marketing techniques. Acquisition marketing is an important tool used to also target customers and track the efficacy of customer-focused promotions, tasks that seem to naturally lend themselves technology.
Also according to Yodle, just 25 percent of the small businesses they surveyed use technology for point-of-sales, which is surprising given that point-of-sales technology is meant to assist businesses with tracking customers, inventory management, and sales, to name a few. The technology which is used to complete a customer sale also offers features that can be used for marketing, planning, and tracking.
Surprisingly, less than half of the small businesses studied maintain a website; of those, nearly all—90 percent—do not have a site that can accommodate any type of mobile technology. Only about half of the businesses track how their marketing programs are working.
Yet, despite the lag in technology, respondents appear to be happy with the way in which they are running their businesses and 90 percent say they are happy to be small business owners; 60 percent say they do not intend on selling their business any time in the next five years.
The Yodle study involved a survey of more than 300 small business owners across the country and spanning a broad range of service industries.
Brooks, Chad. “What Computer? Why Small Business Shuns Technology“; Fox Small Business. 8/23/2013.
Yodle, “Survey: SMB Owners are “Happy” Despite Concerns about Healthcare, Retirement & Customer Acquisition“; August 22, 2013.