DaySmart Software, one of the leading provider of business management software supporting small business growth, today released new research reports on technology trends impacting U.S. small businesses. The national study examined how small business owners are leveraging technology to grow their businesses and the challenges they’re facing along the way.
While the findings indicate that U.S. small businesses are growing – 63 percent of respondents increased their sales from 2017-2018 – many still worry about the challenges to running and growing their operations. According to the report, the top five challenges that U.S. small business owners face are making enough money, controlling costs, finding new customers, marketing to prospective or current customers and managing their time.
Small Businesses Turn to Technology
It’s not surprising that many small business owners are turning to technology to solve these challenges and are succeeding in doing so. More than half (51 percent) have adopted business management software. Benefits associated with deploying business management software include reduced manual effort and paperwork (61 percent), increased customer satisfaction (49 percent) and improved work/life balance (48 percent). Of the respondents who use business management software, 42 percent recognize the benefits of cloud-based products, while 38 percent still prefer on-premise software.
Additionally, respondents who use business management software report making more money than those that don’t. When asked to share their annual revenues, 73 percent of respondents who use business management software reported making more than $100,000, compared to 60 percent of respondents who do not use such software.
The survey also found that technology adoption may be generational. Fifty-one percent of small business owners who use software are 25-44 years old, while only 37 percent of respondents who do not use software fall into that same age bracket. Inversely, the majority of small business owners (63 percent) who do not use software are 45 years or older.
According to the findings, the number one barrier to software adoption for U.S. small businesses is a lack of budget resources, as indicated by 26 percent of respondents. Other barriers include a lack of internal expertise (23 percent), concerns around cybersecurity risks (20 percent) and an unclear understanding of which tools are required to solve business problems (16 percent).
Top Areas of Investment to Drive Sales
As small businesses invest more in technology, their areas of focus speak to the priorities of consumers and the market. The top areas of investment in 2019 for small business owners are marketing software (36 percent), POS systems (35 percent) and data security (25 percent). In addition to technology investments, small business owners are prioritizing marketing efforts to improve sales in 2019. Fifty-three percent indicated that they plan to invest more in social media, while 39 percent said they are experimenting with new marketing channels. On top of investing in marketing, 27 percent of respondents indicated that they are hiring more employees to improve sales in 2019.
“The digitization of the way we work and live has forced small business owners to rethink their manual methods – but that’s not always an easy task,” says Jeff Dickerson, DaySmart CEO. “This survey validates the importance of having a holistic software solution that can make the transition to automated and digitized operations more efficient, and ultimately help small businesses grow faster than ever before.”
DaySmart Software partnered with research firm Researchscape International to survey a total of 1,763 U.S. small business owners in March and April 2019. Respondents are key decision-makers and full or partial owners of businesses with fewer than 100 employees, with the majority of respondents (62 percent) having 0-9 employees.
About DaySmart Software: Makers of the popular and award-winning Salon Iris, Orchid, 123Pet and Inkbook software, DaySmart is one of the leading provider of business management tools designed to make it easier for entrepreneurs to run and grow their businesses. DaySmart desktop and cloud apps are purpose-built for the salon, spa, pet and tattoo industries, and backed by a U.S.-based support team that is dedicated to client success. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, DaySmart has been a small business champion since 1999. The company has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list for eight consecutive years.