Small and medium businesses (SMBs) have a reputation for being capable and dedicated, two sentiments my team and I have definitely found to be true. But we had some questions about a few of the other descriptors we’ve heard — and thanks to data from the latest Small and Medium Business Trends Report by Salesforce Research, we can officially clear up some of those rumors. Here are three common misconceptions about small businesses, along with the data-backed truth.
MYTH: Small businesses don’t have the budget for best-in-class technology
REALITY: Small businesses are willing to spend the money if the software delivers value. Sure, small businesses and startups have to keep an eagle eye on their budgets, but they also understand that an investment in quality technology can deliver significant time savings.
Research shows that growing SMBs are especially focused on plans for business-scaling technology like CRM and financial software — and that price is actually less important to them than finding software that’s easy to use and from a reliable vendor.
MYTH: The main reason small business owners started a company is to make money
REALITY: While money can be a factor, of course, data show that most small business founders (55%) actually started their businesses because they wanted to be their own boss and/or have a more flexible work schedule. As a group, founders and entrepreneurs tend to be idealists with motivations that go beyond making a profit — leaving money as the icing, not the cake.
This breaks further between generations: Data shows that the younger millennials are more likely to pursue passions above all else.
MYTH: Small businesses aren’t ready for advanced technology
REALITY: Not true! More and more small businesses are realizing the benefits of advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI) — and many savvy small businesses are already using things like chatbots, automation, and predictive forecasting to connect with customers and grow.
While data shows only 8% of all small businesses currently use AI, a whopping 46% of small business leaders believe their businesses are ready for AI — and 32% already have plans to implement. Advanced technology? Bring it on.
Ready to debunk more myths about small businesses? Check out Salesforce Research’s full Small and Medium Business Trends Report to get the latest data.
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