Technology can be an SMBs biggest ally in a competitive marketplace

Guest post by Ferdinand Siquioco, SMB Segment Marketing Manager, HP Canada

As a small business owner, you face new challenges every day – but how do your challenges compare to those of your competitors?  Is the Canadian population behind your efforts?  Earlier this year, HP Canada teamed up with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and Intel to find the answers to these questions, and more.  In a two-part Angus Reid Forum survey, we questioned more than 2,000 Canadians about small business in Canada, as well as more than 1,000 Canadian small businesses about the challenges they face.

Canadians have big love for small businesses

The good news: small businesses earn high respect in our country.  Ninety-eight per cent of Canadians surveyed say small business is important to Canada’s future, and 95 per cent say they value the products, services and personal attention they get from a small business. Further, 94 per cent of respondents admire entrepreneurs and 92 per cent indicate they would approve of their child or immediate family member starting their own business.

But being a successful SMB takes work

Small businesses clearly have the support of Canadians, but to be successful, business owners have to overcome many challenges.  According to the survey, small businesses from across the country identified competition as their number one challenge (tied with regulation and paper burden).

While competition has always been a challenge, the past several years have given rise to a business community that’s online and connected 24/7, thereby changing the face of competition. Today, SMBs are not only competing for market share with the shop around the corner, but also with online-based businesses around the world.

SMBs look to technology for a competitive edge

Technologies such as desktop and notebook PCs, the Internet, smartphones and new types of software have given a clear edge to those who have harnessed it to connect with employees and customers alike.  But are small businesses across Canada embracing technology to get ahead?  Here’s what we found out:

  • Nearly half (43 per cent) indicated that increased investment in technology would help their business achieve its overall goals.

  • Of those respondents, 58 per cent said technology would help them remain competitive. Other benefits of an increased investment in technology included saving time and money, improving access to information, and promoting innovation – which are all vital to top-line growth.

  • 76 per cent of Canadian small businesses believe they are utilizing technology either at the same level, or to a greater extent, than their competitors.

Small businesses clearly see the value in technology, but the fact that most respondents say they utilize technology at the same level as their competition means that there’s an opportunity for early adopters to gain a competitive edge with the right investment.  From better managing inventory, to connecting with customers, to maintaining a professional image, technology isn’t a just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have for small businesses looking to compete, and win, in today’s competitive business environment.

What technologies has your organization invested in to get ahead?

To view the full report from this study, please visit:

Guest post by Ferdinand Siquioco, SMB Segment Marketing Manager, HP Canada

By Adam

October 26, 2011