When it comes to the ways they make their businesses successful, it seems many independent owners are now relying more and more heavily on technology all the time. That trend has certainly brought the kinds of tools these people use to help drive their businesses forward to the forefront, and many entrepreneurs are now getting more savvy about the options they use.
For instance, 47 percent of small business owners say they use email most often to run their companies, making that the most popular type of software utilized by these firms, according to a new survey from the office supply chain Staples. Coming in at a distant second was financial management programs, which were most heavily used by 29 percent of owners. However, more than 7 in 10 owners likewise said that their computers are the most important pieces of equipment they own.
“More than ever, small businesses rely on technology to make more happen every day,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online for Staples.
Reaching potential customers
And when it comes to getting ready for the holiday season and making sure people know about the various types of deals they’re going to have on offer, businesses have similar plans, the report said. Today, 26 percent say they’re going to let people know through promotional marketing to drive profits, while 21 percent say they’ll do so with social media. In addition, 28 percent say they’re going to focus their companies on marketing and advertising in the fall, compared with 26 percent who say they’re going to boost social media use during that time.
Interestingly, though, 31 percent say they’re going to put more money into online marketing specifically in the fall, the report said. This is true despite the fact that double that number – 62 percent – say they see this period as being the real start to the holiday shopping period, which may show some disconnect between how they view the season and how they plan to reach consumers.
Owners who want to invest more in technology and marketing might want to consider the ways in which they might be able to improve their flexibility to meet these goals, and that could include cutting costs. When examining small business insurance costs (such as those for general liability insurance) entrepreneurs might find that shopping around could end up saving them thousands of dollars per year.