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Investing Time and Money Pays Off, Small Business Owners Find

More small business owners are seeing the value of investing in their businesses now rather than stockpiling cash reserves, a new survey shows. Owners also understand that they need to invest time as well as money, the results find.

Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents to the second annual survey of small business owners conducted by Brother International, a provider of office technology products, said they prefer to invest in their business now to gain a competitive advantage . That’s up 11 percentage points from 2010.

The survey results indicate that owners are taking a more strategic approaching to staying a step ahead of the competition.  In last year’s survey, the majority of owners preferred stockpiling cash reserves as a way to help them survive the economic downturn .

Small business owners are also acknowledging that money isn’t a substitute for the quality time they need to invest to grow their business, the survey reported. Nearly one-third (30 percent) of small business owners said they would rather have more time on their calendar than cash in their pockets.

Time management was also a common theme; three-quarters (79 percent) said they plan to use their time more efficiently this year.

One of the biggest thieves of time, the study reported, was “tech downtime .” Over three-quarters (77 percent) of owners said they have seen productivity suffer as least occasionally in the last year due to office technology not working properly.

“When running a small business, time is the ultimate commodity,” said John Wandishin, a Brother vice president of marketing. “Small business owners are looking for reliable equipment and services that help them save time running their businesses so they have more time for their customers.”