From cloud storage to email marketing, small business owners are relying on technology more than ever to become efficient and profitable.
Overall, 78 percent of small business owners are changing the way they do business to account for a more technology-based marketplace — up from 70 percent a year ago, according to a new study from SurePayroll.
Small business owners are using technology in many ways, such as to store and organize information in the cloud, build a following through social media, create and manage email marketing campaigns and keep their customer data orderly.
The research revealed that 58 percent of small businesses recently started using social media — up from 46 percent a year ago. Additionally, 50 percent of the small businesses surveyed are using technology to streamline their business, compared to 44 percent in 2014.
So, which technology tools are small businesses using? The business owners surveyed pointed to Dropbox for cloud storage, Facebook for social networking, Hootsuite for social media management, Salesforce for customer relationship management, Constant Contact for email marketing and Google Drive for organization apps as their favorite tech tools. [7 Ways Your Work Technology Is Betraying Your Privacy ]
There are two aspects of technology that small business owners care about most, said Andy Roe, general manager at SurePayroll. "One is updating their internal systems — websites, software, older products," Roe said in a statement. "The other part of it is maximizing their productivity with some of the great tools that are out there."
Here is SurePayroll's complete list of small business owners' favorite technology tools in each category:
- Cloud storage
- Google Drive
- Apple iCloud
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Google Plus
Social media management
- Sprout Social
- Hearsay Social
Customer relationship management
- Contact Plus
- Constant Contact
- Google Drive
"Our favorite tech tools list is really a reflection of how small business owners are becoming more efficient while using less resources and spending less cash," Roe said. "Technology has enabled that capability."
The research was based on surveys from SurePayroll's Scorecard, which compiles data from small- and micro-business owners, primarily those with one 1 to 10 employees. The businesses surveyed had an average of six employees.