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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.

Let's Talk Business: Technology is Enhancing Small Business Success

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A recent report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce indicated that 93% of small businesses surveyed use at least one technology platform in their operations. But the report also found the more, small businesses have integrated technology into their operations, the more they have been able to grow over the last few years.

In their recent report The Impact of Technology on Small Business the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center partnered with Teneo to survey businesses throughout the U.S. on their use of varies technology platforms and how those businesses have performed. Technology platforms is a wide range of products and services that includes, accounting or booking, marketing and social media, point-of-sales, productivity, CRM, and even third-party delivery programs. While the report offers different data points and findings, a few may give local businesses a push to embrace new tools.

The first data point of interest is that the more businesses have integrated technology platforms into their operations the greater growth they have seen in the last two years in sales, profits, and employment. Of special note is that veteran owned businesses that are high adopters of technology platforms outpace the overall growth of sales compared to small business nationwide.

The second interesting benefit to technology adoption by small business is the increase impact on the local economy it has. According to the study, businesses with a higher adoption of technology tools increase their overall economic contribution both directly through increase sales of good and service, indirectly through increased investment in goods and services as well as the induced impact that comes from increased expenditures on labor that then recirculates in the local economy.

One final area of note is the fact that high adopters (Incorporate 4-5 technology platforms into their business) and Power Users (utilize six or more tools), have more optimism in the future of their business and the local economy they are a part of than their counterparts that utilize less tools. Building confidence, growing your business, and impacting the local economy is just a start to the value that integrating technology into your small business model can have.

Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.