The challenges of operating a small business are obvious to the 30+ million owners in the U.S. who run their companies. And the issue of money is on top or near the top of the list.
A new survey from DaySmart Software says it is the number one challenge for small businesses in the U.S. According to the data, making enough money keeps 54% of small business owners up at night. This tops the five challenges facing small businesses in the report.
The Challenges of Running a Small Business
Making enough money is number one followed by controlling costs; finding new customers; marketing to prospective or current customers, and managing time. But increasingly owners are using technology to address these challenges.
The report says small businesses are being forced to evaluate, select and implement software tools because consumers are more digitally inclined. The CEO of DaySmart Jeff Dickerson explained this very point in the release for the report.
Dickerson says, “The digitization of the way we work and live has forced small business owners to rethink their manual methods. He goes on to say, “But that’s not always an easy task.”
Dickerson adds small businesses can grow faster with a holistic software solution for transitioning to automated and digitized operations. And the survey validates this approach.
Benefits of Technology
More than half of the respondents in the survey (51%) say they use management software to manage their daily operations. The adoption of the technology is split almost evenly between cloud (42%) and on-premises (38%) software.
For businesses which adopt the technology, the benefits are clear. While 73% of those who use technology make more than $100,000, it goes down to 60% for those that don’t.
Besides making more money, technology reduces manual processes and paperwork (61%), increases customer satisfaction (49%), and improves work/life balance (48%).
So, what are small businesses investing in when it comes to technology?
Top Areas of Investment
Small businesses are investing across the board to improve their operations. And the key to making this happen in today’s digital ecosystem is marketing.
Fifty-three percent say they plan to invest more in social media, marketing software (36%), new marketing channels (39%), POS systems (35%), and data security (25%). They also plan to hire more people to improve sales in 2019.
The good news is more businesses are willing to invest in technology, but they are encountering barriers. The top five barriers are budget, not having internal expertise, cybersecurity threats, not knowing the right tools, and focusing on hiring instead of software adoption.
The key, according to the report, is to invest in the right digital solutions to automate the mundane and drive better customer experiences. This, of course, will require due diligence to find the right solution. And with that in place, small business owners will have an easier time to run and grow their businesses than ever before.
The 2019 U.S. Small Business Technology Trends Report from DaySmart Software surveyed 1,763 U.S. small business owners in March and April 2019.
The respondents are key decision-makers and full or partial owners. Most of the businesses or 62% are businesses with nine or fewer employees.