Digital tools play a significant role in growing a small business, new research finds.
The study, by Google and Deloitte, revealed that by using websites, analytics, online marketing, cloud-based communication and other digital channels, small businesses can reach new customers, tap into new markets, grow faster and create more jobs.
Although businesses already use a wide variety of digital tools, the study discovered that 80 percent of small businesses in the United States are not taking full advantage of the online resources and growth opportunities available to them. [Market your business online with a solid marketing plan.]
The study surveyed more than 2,000 small business owners and found various levels of sophistication in using online channels to grow their businesses. However, those who adopted more advanced tools benefited significantly more than businesses that only had basic engagement with digital channels, the study found.
For instance, businesses that have advanced engagement with digital tools are three times as likely to see a boost in customer interest and sales inquiries across the sales funnel. This includes more customer calls, sales leads, foot traffic and orders.
They also had a more diverse and global customer base, reaching new markets with more innovative products, higher exports, and increased national and international clientele.
The study also researched the impact of digital tools in revenue growth and the economy. It found that digital small businesses are growing faster, experiencing nearly four times the revenue from the previous year. To keep up with their growth, digital small businesses are almost three times as likely to have created jobs over the previous year. They also earn twice as much revenue per employee, the study found.
To learn more about growing your business by turning it into digital powerhouse, visit Google's Get Your Business Online program. There you'll find resources to build your website, connect with customers, find and attend workshops, share your expertise, and list your business on Google for free.