DaySmart recently conducted market research to better understand the role of technology in small to medium sized businesses (SMB). In March and April 2019, DaySmart Software partnered with the market research firm Researchscape International to survey a total of 1,763 U.S. SMB owners.
Respondents are key decision-makers:
full or partial owners of small – to medium sized businesses
to qualify, they had to have fewer than 100 employees
with the majority of respondents (62%) having 0-9 employees
Why Did We Conduct This Survey?
We undertook this survey in an effort to better understand what’s going on in small businesses around this country. It seems that everybody thinks they know their customers – after all, you knew enough to sell to them in the first place, right? We believe that it is always good to double check your assumptions – you don’t know what you don’t know.
So in an effort to check our compass heading and to be sure that we were taking the time to ask the right questions, we partnered with experts in this field and began a six week outreach process.
A big part of the survey is all about how business people view technology in relation to their small business. Large companies have whole departments devoted to technology, but small businesses can realize just as many benefits from software and process automation as a big business, but they’ve got to be able to do it simply.
Specifically, we sought to measure how small business owners are leveraging technology to manage and grow their businesses and how and why small business owners are evaluating, selecting and implementing software tools that not only enable them to remain competitive, but that also empower their growth.
What Did We Learn?
Sixty-three percent of our survey respondents indicated that their sales increased from 2017 to 2018.
The headline here is good news: small businesses in the United States are growing. Sixty-three percent of our survey respondents indicated that their sales increased from 2017 to 2018.
Despite this sales growth – which is always good – small businesses still face several REAL challenges. More than half of small business owners indicated that making enough money keeps them up at night.
Fifty-one percent of respondents depend upon business management software to manage their daily operations.
Many small business owners do see technology as a way to improve their business (and avoid some sleepless nights). In fact, fifty-one percent of respondents depend upon business management software to manage their daily operations.
Of the respondents that use business management software, sixty-nine percent have it connected to their point of sale terminal. Similarly, 63% currently implement software with integrated credit card processing. Integrating these systems is important for a lot of reasons, but primarily it makes for much easier tax and payroll reporting, as well as a number of customer satisfaction and revenue oriented benefits (like securing deposits, speeding the checkout process and selling recurring memberships).
Follow the Money
According to our recent research, the top areas of technology investment in 2019 for small business owners are:
- Marketing Software
(finding more customers; making more from the customers you have)
- Point of Sale
(front desk cash register, credit card terminal, bar code scanner)
- Data Security
(backup services as well as network & server safeguards)
Obviously, here at DaySmart, we sell business management software, and as we review the survey results, we saw plenty of reasons to be encouraged:
- U.S. small businesses that use business management software are making more money than those that do not use this software.
- Top benefits of business management software: reduced manual effort and paperwork (61%), increased customer satisfaction (49%) and improved work-life balance (48%).
- The number one feature small business owners look for in software is scheduling.
Small business owners are forced to compete with big brands (and other local shops) while wearing several hats within their business—from manager and accountant, to customer service and marketing representative… However, it is possible for small business owners to not only manage these challenges, but to do so in a way that drives a thriving operation, finding a way to differentiate and excel where others can’t.
By investing in the right digital solutions that can help automate the mundane and drive better customer experiences, small business owners will find it easier to run and grow their businesses.
To download and review the survey in its entirety, please visit: https://www.daysmart.com/small-business-survey-results-2019/