New technologies will be one of the biggest factors impacting future growth for small businesses, according to a Forbes Insights and Cox Business survey [download page] of 300 small business decision-makers. While technology has empowered small businesses through improved efficiencies, cost savings and better marketing, it has also presented some challenges.
Indeed, for tech marketers targeting small business owners, the following list of biggest technology challenges faced by small business owners as they ramped up operations is worth keeping in mind:
- Understanding changing technology needs and what products and services to use (31% citing as top challenge);
- Finding reliable, ongoing IT support for expanding technology resources (17%);
- Providing connectivity to all employees (15%);
- Making sure they’re compatible with their customers (12%);
- Dealing with a variety of IT products used by different employees (11%); and
- Making sure they’re compatible with their partners and vendors (9%).
As such, it seems that tech marketers need to first focus on presenting the big picture and providing ongoing support, while also helping their small business customers make sure they can integrate their new solutions.
Tech marketers should also be aware of the most important aspects of tech solutions for small businesses. For the executives surveyed, improved marketing and external communications (53%) emerged as the most commonly cited “important” or “critical” aspect of current technologies to their business. Indeed, this was considered the most important aspect across all business stakeholders, ranging from employees to customers and suppliers/partners.
Other important aspects of technology cited by the executives surveyed included the ability to collect and store data (45%), the impact on day-to-day operations (44%), product design/development (43%), improved internal communications (43%) and e-commerce (41%).
About the Data: The study described its methodology as follows:
“Partnering with Cox Business, Forbes Insights conducted a survey of 300 small business decision makers in the United States. Titles of respondents participating in this June 2016 research include: business owner/partner (44%), COO/head of operations (13%), other C-suite (13%), director (10%), SVP/VP (7%). The study included numerous industries representing the American small business landscape, all employing between one and 15 employees.”