According to a new survey of 300 small business owners commissioned by Salesforce and conducted by Harris Poll, 35 percent of those surveyed said not having enough time was the problem keeping them up at night. Yet a surprisingly high number of those surveyed are not using business productivity tools and services that could save them time. Here are more findings published in the 2016 Connected Small Business Report based on surveys conducted Nov. 17–28, 2016.


According to the report, most small business owners still rely on manual, outdated processes, such as email and spreadsheets, to store and track their customer information.


What percent of a small business’ annual budget goes toward technology?

| 63% | Owners who say 1–24 percent of total annual budget
| 10% | 25–49 percent
| 3% | 50–74 percent
| 2% | 75–100 percent
| 21% | Not sure

Average (Mean) | 15 percent

Where does the technology budget of a small business go?

| 46% | Hardware (e.g., services, laptops, etc.)
| 33% | Financial software (e.g., accounting / bookkeeping, bill payment)
| 26% | Productivity software (e.g., Microsoft Office, etc.)
| 22% | Internet hosting / ISP
| 21% | Security systems (e.g., firewall, intrusion detection)
| 20% | Point of sale / point of purchase software
| 16% | Mobility / mobile solutions
| 15% | Telecommunications / VoIP
| 10% | Customer relationship management (CRM) software
| 9% | Technology services
| 3% | Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software
| 10% | Customer relationship management (CRM) software

How many business apps or technology systems (e.g., QuickBooks, Slack, Microsoft Office, CRM) does a small business use?

| 20% | 1 app or tech system
| 21% | 2
| 18% | 3
| 7% | 4
| 16% | 5 or more
| 18% | None

How small businesses track their relationship with customers

| 44% | Email tools (e.g., Outlook, Apple, Gmail contacts)
| 41% | Spreadsheets (e.g., Excel, Google Sheets)
| 34% | Written customer ledger
| 20% | Customer relationship management (CRM) app or system (on your computer)
| 29% | Basic database (e.g., Access, Quickbase)
| 15% | Other paper based system
| 12% | Customer relationship management (CRM) app or system (cloud-based)
| 5% | Other

How small businesses are marketing to their customers

| 51% | Social media marketing (e.g., Facebook ads, YouTube ads)
| 37% | Email marketing
| 34% | Print advertising
| 23% | Direct mail advertising
| 21% | Digital advertising
| 20% | Search engine optimization (e.g., Google Adwords, Bing)
| 15% | 1-to-1 marketing journeys
| 9% | Customer relationship management (CRM) app or system (cloud-based)
| 8% | Customer relationship management (CRM) app or system (on your computer)
| 7% | Marketing automation
| 11% | Other
| 5% | I do not market to my customers.
| 10% | I do not market to my customers using technology.

What business-related issues are keeping small business owners up at night?

| 35% | Not having enough time in the day
| 34% | The impact of the economy
| 31% | Having limited resources available
| 31% | Having to pay taxes
| 24% | Getting funding
| 19% | Finding the right talent
| 13% | Managing people
| 10% | Implementing the right technology systems
| 6% | Other
| 17% | Nothing keeps me up at night


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