Most small businesses rely on technology in their everyday work, no matter whether the firm is connected to the technology sector or not. But how much do small business owners invest in electronic devices, software, online platforms and services? A new research gave the answer to that question.
According to Federation of Small Businesses’ “The Digital Imperative” survey, small-size companies have invested only $5,300 on the average over the last one year. Moreover, the smallest of them have spent just $4,300 on technology in the past twelve months. In comparison, bigger small businesses often invested around $15,000 in technological solutions.
The study also found that men who own a small business tended to invest more on technology than women. According to the research, men spent nearly $1,700 more than women.
The technology in which small-sized businesses invest the most is business software (46%). Surprisingly, not many are purchasing tablets. Instead, the majority of them continue to rely on laptops (44%) and desktop PCs (40%). Also, a lot of business owners spend on the company’s website (42%), as well as on printers (41%).
Not many are those who choose to invest in servers (13%), online sales (14%) electronic invoicing (15%) and cloud services (26%). However, the least popular technology investment for small business is other types of software that are not directly connected to the business’ essence.
The research warns that small business owners should not expect to see immediate returns when investing in technology. Only 53% of the participants in the survey stated that they have registered a short-terms increase in their profits. Despite that, however, companies’ efficiency was seen to rise in 58% of the cases.
A great number of businesses today rely mainly on technology to improve their consumer targeting. Nevertheless, the study discovered that for the majority of small-size firms (62%) that did not happen.
In addition, some businesses sectors relied on technology to make them more innovative on the market. Expectedly, the leader here is the IT sector, followed by education and real estate activities. Creative, business and personal service are also among the first. Those which failed to increase their innovation were leisure, sports and entertainment businesses, as well as those working in the transport, construction and retail sectors.
All in all, investing in technology was found to be best in improving communication with the existing customers of a small business.