What do a home-based crafter, car mechanic and food truck owner have in common?
They represent a thriving economic segment in Canada called “micro-businesses”—companies with up to five employees.
With fewer resources and little man-power, micro-businesses rely on basic technology, but according to a new research report released today by Rogers Communications and conducted by Environics, there is a gap between the technology these businesses know will improve their operations, and what they’re actually using today.
“Accessing the right mix of technology including cloud services, e-commerce sites, mobile apps and mobile payments solutions can help new and existing micro-businesses start-up and scale to thousands of customers overnight,” explains Tracy Markwood, Vice-President of Enterprise Marketing at Rogers. “Our research shows that small businesses understand the benefits of these technologies but most are hesitant to adopt them.”
Today, the micro-business sector makes up more than 55 per cent of small businesses in Canada and has grown by 40 per cent in the last decade. The study revealed that while most of these business owners (82%) use mobile devices and applications to support their operations, very few have embraced cloud-based software (20%), social media (16%) or mobile payments (4%).
These newer technologies present businesses with numerous opportunities to improve efficiencies, reach target markets, and successfully grow. In fact, small businesses that adopt this technology are six times more likely to have overseas customers and 24 times more likely to expand within five years.
Over half (52%), agree that using mobile technology alleviates stress from their work week. The majority of respondents (70%) said they would have challenges operating or even starting their business without access to wireless technology. And 90% of micro-businesses say mobile technology allows them to balance responsibilities at work.