Small Biz Says Technology Is Better than People


The majority of small-business owners expect to see a bigger return on investment from technology than from new employees this year, according to a new survey.

In its fifth annual Brother Small Business Survey, business products manufacturer Brother International discovered that 72 percent of owners feel that technology will pay off more than hiring in 2014.

While 49 percent of respondents felt that investing in technology is still a top priority this year, 63 percent frequently feel overwhelmed with the number of business technologies on the market. They are also split 50/50 as to whether it’s riskier to adopt new technologies quickly and not receive sufficient ROI, or to hold off and possibly hand their competitors an advantage.

Of the technologies that are out there, smartphones and tablets top the list of those that small-business owners need to run their businesses, at 41 percent. Customer relationship management tools followed at 32 percent, social media tools at 21 percent, and cloud services at 15 percent.

“Our survey shows that while small business owners understand the value of new technologies, they are still a bit overwhelmed and struggle with choosing the right time to adopt them to have the greatest impact on their business,” said Brother’s vice president of marketing, John Wandishin.

The survey contacted 500 U.S.-based owners of small businesses with less than 100 employees in January. The survey results were presented in partnership with SCORE, which provides mentoring and workshops to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Comments (1)
While the headline is a first a bit shocking, it really is no surprise.

Technology is now having a massive impact and for the small business this is really important.

Figures from the last US business census show that companies employing less than 100 staff, and 10-50 in particular suffer from poor productivity (as measured by sales receipts against wage costs). If these 10-50 employee companies could match the productivity of other companies, this would be worth around $900k per year each in additional sales. See

Adding staff will not usually increase productivity, yet the technology available for this sector is improving daily. Historically this sector was very difficult to automate because it would not give the vendors and sufficient return and the small businesses did not have the bandwith or skills to take on technology implementation projects.

Cloud technologies and applications that are much easier to use are changing all of this.
Posted by hughjohnson | Friday, March 21 2014 at 10:19AM ET
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