As National Small Business Week comes to a close, I’d like to pause to say it’s been pretty incredible to be a part of the events celebrating small business, the drivers of our economy. My team and I have had ample opportunity to talk with small businesses owners, and what stands out to me the most is their ongoing struggle to manage it all — simultaneously building customer relationships, managing business operations and producing a product or delivering a service.
It’s the time small business owners spend purchasing supplies, planning travel, reporting expenses, bookkeeping and shipping that interests me most. I wasn’t surprised when we tallied the results of a quick pulse survey to learn that half of those we spoke with say they spend too much time on back-office tasks. Of those who were frustrated with the business of doing business, half said they would spend more time generating new business opportunities if they could find a way to get that time back.
Small business owners don’t branch out on their own because they love managing expense reports, running to Costco and booking their next trip. They hang up a shingle because they are passionate about their industry and their customers. eVoice recently released data finding that one out of every four small business owners would pay more than $500 for one more productive hour in their day. Most of the small business owners we’ve spoken with say they spend about an hour each day managing business operations. Is there a way to gain that hour back? (Without the hefty $500 spend?)
It is not uncommon for us to hear that tech-savvy small businesses use up to three productivity applications (time management, expense management and accounting) — then are straddled with the time needed to manage and integrate those tools. In Bank of America’s inaugural Small Business Owner Report, data found managing the ongoing success of a small business creates more stress for business owners than any other aspect of their lives — spouse, children and personal finances included. Two-thirds say they wish they took better advantage of technology innovations to run their business (and cut down on that stress).
I take great pride in being part of an organization that supports small-business owners, helping them gain time while saving money. I hope you’ve managed to take the time to make the most of National Small Business Week, as I have. Let’s celebrate small businesses and support their success every day.
Randy Reynolds is a small business champion and Vice President, Product Management at Rearden Commerce.