The study, “The American Dream: What Really Motivates Small Business Owners,” conducted by Infusionsoft, maker of sales and marketing software for small businesses, included 1200 small businesses around the globe. Responses revealed that buyers fall into the following categories: Strivers, Customizers, Maximizers and Supporters. Here’s how they differ:
Strivers: Eager to use new technology to support the growth of their business, but often lack time and resources to use it, which causes them some dissatisfaction with it.
Customizers: Want technology to automate existing sales processes and scale their business as long as it doesn’t compromise their ability to offer customers personalized services.
Maximizers: Believe technology is essential to growth and gives them a competitive advantage. They are continually looking for new solutions that can give them a competitive advantage.
Supporters: Are proud of their small business identity and actively support small business interests in their community. They prefer to purchase technology specifically designed for small business because they believe their needs are different from larger companies.
Their use of social media, not surprisingly, correlates to their use of technology in most cases:
- Strivers have the smallest social media presence and lack a clear social media strategy.
- Customizers use Facebook and Twitter to market to customers and leverage LinkedIn for networking.
- Maximizers have the most diverse social media platform reach, with 49 percent using Facebook, 36 percent using Twitter and 31 percent using YouTube.
- Supporters tend to favor Facebook for social media marketing at 59 percent, with Twitter coming in second at 31 percent.
SBA offers technology e-learning series
Whatever group you are in, if you want to learn more about how to use technology to take your business to the next level, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has partnered with Microsoft to offer The Business Technology Simplified online course series. The free course series is self-paced and offers practical guidance on how to apply technology to help your business grow. Each course offers quick access and features audio guided lessons that are indexed by topic.
Some of the topics covered in the series include:
- Desktop Technology Benefits
- Saving Time Using Technology
- Using Web-Based Services
- Reaching More Customers by Extending Your Business Online, and
- Managing Your Sales Pipeline
The course is available at: http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/series/business-technology-simplified.
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