More than half of small business owners say they would prefer to invest in their businesses this year, rather than stockpiling cash, an 18-percent swing in preference since 2010.
That’s according to the sixth annual “Brother Small Business Survey,” conducted by business technology developer Brother International Corporation. Other survey results shed light on how small business owners feel about the economic climate. This year, 42 percent of the survey respondents report a high level of stress because of the economy, a figure that is flat with last year (42 percent) and down 16 percent from a 58-percent high-water mark recorded by the survey in 2013.
Forty-one percent of respondents say they would like to spend money on tech purchases or upgrades if they increase their revenues by five percent or more this year.
“Our survey shows that a majority of small businesses see a light at the end of the tunnel and are willing to invest in technology solutions to increase productivity and capitalize on new technology trends,” said John Wandishin, Brother Vice President of Marketing. “Brother has been at the side of the small business customer for decades, and we sell all-in-ones, printers, and scanners that are part of broader solutions that solve major business IT challenges, including those involving the cloud and mobility.”
Small Business Owners Open to Tech Change; See Benefits from Cloud Computing
Roughly two thirds (67 percent) of survey respondents are looking to invest in making a tech change this year, and the results would indicate they should aim to invest more in cloud computing. Among the 62 percent of respondents who use the cloud, 95 percent found the cloud beneficial to their company, with 69 percent citing the benefit of easier access, storage and analysis of data. Additionally, 34 percent of respondents believe the cloud has helped them save money.
A third of respondents would like to deploy technology to take better advantage of the “Internet of Things,” a term meant to describe the increasing number of consumer devices that can be connected to—and managed through—the Internet. Thirty percent of respondents would like to start accepting mobile payments from customers.
Small Business Owners Consider Professional and Company “Makeovers”
Small business owners have varied thoughts regarding changes they would like to make to their work and computing environments, given the current state of their businesses and the overall business climate. Among respondents, 35 percent would like to reduce or eliminate taking on so many roles and responsibilities, 26 percent would like to take more time off, and 20 percent want to work on their work/life balance.
If given the opportunity to perform a tech “makeover,” 38 percent of survey respondents would replace their current laptops, 20 percent their mobile devices and 13 percent their desk phones.