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Should Small Businesses Automate More?

A reporter from a niche IT publication recently asked me for my insight on whether automation makes sense for most small businesses.

So in case you’re wondering the same thing, here’s the deal:

Just to put this into context, according to the latest research from the Office of Advocacy in the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):

  • A small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees (most would take this as far too broad a definition, and the mid-to-upper range would be considered mid-market by most B2B technology go-to-market professionals)
  • There are 32,540,953 million small businesses in the U.S.
  • Of those, 81% have zero employees (19% have employees)
  • 99.9% of all companies in the U.S. are considered small businesses
  • 43.% of gross domestic product (GDP)
  • 39.7% of private-sector payroll
  • 62% of net new jobs created by small businesses (since 1995)
  • 67.6% of new employer small businesses survive at least two years (1994-2019)
  • 48.9% survive five years
  • 33.6% survive ten years
  • The average startup has 3.3 employees vs. 15.3 employees for small businesses as a whole

 

And with all this in mind, should the typical small business be automating more?

Through my lens as a digital strategist for small business CEOs -- with 20+ years of experience helping entrepreneurs and startups build better systems for scaling growth: it’s not even a question worth debating.

Yes!

Small businesses need to invest in automation to improve the customer experience (CX) and remain competitive. 

The way people research and make purchase decisions has changed quite dramatically in recent months and years.

In a digitally-transformed marketplace with intense globalization, many people want the fastest and easiest experience possible. 

Either your company provides this superb experience centered around immediate gratification, or your competition will. 

Automation is the only cost-effective way for most small businesses to provide a consistent, world-class customer experience 24/7/365.

 

Do you own a small business that’s grappling with automation? What have you automated so far? Let me know in the comments.

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