Technology helps three in four small businesses to become more efficient

Over the course of the pandemic, more and more businesses have been forced to innovate and adapt - and technology has had a key role to play. Before the pandemic, many smaller companies said their technology maturity held them back but 18 months on, technology is now at the heart of operations and business planning.

Our new research shows three quarters of small businesses across the UK (76%) have used technology in the last year to improve their business operations and become more efficient.

A north-south divide may be opening up when it comes to technology.

  • Small companies operating from the Capital were those most likely to have enhanced their digital capabilities in the last year (86%), followed by enterprises in the South East (80%) and the South West (79%).
  • This compares to just 64% in the North West – with business owners in Wales also lagging behind on technology updates (68%).

A nationally representative sample of 1,232 small business decision makers how if, at all, new technology had impacted their business in the last year.

10 ways new technology has helped small businesses through 2020-2021

  1. Investing in new technology has helped more than two fifths of small businesses (43%) to introduce efficient home-working for staff,
  2. 38% said that they were now able to provide faster and better customer service,
  3. Improved tech capabilities also helped 37% of business owners to cut down travel time to-and-from meetings,
  4. Nearly a third (32%) achieved greater productivity,
  5. 27% of respondents had used technology tools to reduce overheads,
  6. Almost a quarter used new tech to provide a smarter and safer way to store and manage sensitive information (24%),
  7. 23% of small businesses said that new tech had made the company more environmentally friendly,
  8. Whereas one fifth of decision makers believed tech had reduced the amount of time spent in meetings (20%)
  9. 19% had saved money on the cost of new business,
  10. And 17% had been able to reduce staff costs.