Published: May 14, 2023
by Small Business Editor
In Small Business News
A recent survey conducted by Homebase, the all-in-one team management app supporting over 100,000 local small businesses, has revealed that small business owners are not only concerned about economic turbulence but also actively planning to combat it. The study, which surveyed more than 550 small business owners, was released in conjunction with National Small Business Week and highlights the resilience of these enterprises amidst challenges like inflation, interest rates, and the possible onset of a recession.
Small businesses are critical contributors to the economy, employing nearly 61.7 million Americans or approximately 46.4% of private sector employees. They also contribute about 40% of the nation’s GDP, making their wellbeing a key barometer of overall economic health. “The optimism of Main Street burns bright,” said John Waldmann, Founder & CEO of Homebase, underlining the determination and resilience of small businesses in the face of adversity.
The survey revealed that almost 60% of small business owners identified rising inflation, interest rates, and a potential recession as their main concerns, a slight increase from 56% in the previous year. Issues related to employee retention and recruitment were also significant, worrying over a third of the respondents.
However, small business owners aren’t simply fretting over these concerns; they’re actively seeking solutions. Almost half of the respondents plan to invest in employee retention (47%) and recruiting and onboarding (45%) in the coming year. Surprisingly, about one in four plan to invest in HR technology or operational efficiency improvements (24%).
An interesting development is the growing interest in artificial intelligence (AI). More than a quarter of the small business owners expressed interest in using AI to assist in their businesses, primarily for content development. Millennials are leading this charge, with one in seven millennial small business owners already using AI in some capacity, compared to one in 28 Gen X business owners.
The study also indicated a shift in the definition of success for small businesses post-pandemic. While revenue growth remains a top indicator, team growth and retention, along with improved operational efficiency, have gained importance. This change is likely linked to the ongoing employee labor shortage, which persists despite economic pressures that could potentially alleviate it.
Despite their concerns, small business owners remain hopeful. The word “optimistic” was the top choice when asked about the economy’s impact on their businesses. In fact, nearly 60% of respondents expect their business to fare better in the coming year than in the previous one.
Homebase’s survey offers a valuable insight into the minds of small business owners as they navigate the current economic landscape. It also underscores the importance of innovative tools and technologies, like Homebase’s all-in-one team management app, in helping small businesses overcome their challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.
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In the wake of economic uncertainty, small businesses are turning to technology to keep their businesses afloat. According to a recent survey conducted by Homebase, an online employee scheduling provider, 84% of small businesses are bracing for economic troubles and 63% are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to minimize overhead costs and maximize customer experience.
The survey, which interviewed small business owners across America, uncovered a need for AI solutions that could provide the same level of efficiencies as a larger business. With the current economic climate, small business’ need for effective solutions increases exponentially.
According to Homebase, AI has the potential to save small business owners time and money. AI technology can automate tasks such as scheduling appointments, handling payroll and customer service, increasing the efficiency of business operations. Furthermore, AI offers an opportunity to increase the level of customer satisfaction, as AI systems can monitor customer data and decide how best to address potential customer complaints or issues.
In addition to AI’s cost-cutting potential, small businesses are also recognizing its ability to increase revenue. System automation will result in more accurate procuring, inventory tracking and sales analysis, making it easier for owners to identify and capitalize on customer needs.
With the current economic decline, small businesses are wise to take advantage of accessible technology to stay in business. AI-solutions provide small business owners a cost-effective way to decrease overhead costs and maximize customers’ satisfaction without compromising their vision. Small businesses need to be innovative to overcome the obstacles they face and they’re happily joining the AI revolution.