SMB owners make many of the decisions about technology hardware and business software purchases, but they seek advice from others, too.
96% of SMB owners make technology hardware and purchasing decisions.
About six out of 10 technology decision-makers look for advice from other people and sources before coming to a final decision.
73% of SMB owners (at companies with 100 to 499 employees) completely/mostly view new technology as exciting for their businesses. Percentages drop slightly to 71% at companies with 20 to 99 employees and to 61% at companies with 5 to 19 employees.
The technology buying cycle ranges from six to 13 months, depending on company size and product type (tech hardware or business software).
The primary reason SMBs buy new technology is the need to improve performance or optimize a business process (65%), followed by supporting a growth opportunity for the company (63%), current solution is not working or is broken (58%), new security risks (56%) and changes in their customers’ tech use (56%).
SMBs like to do business with companies they respect, according to 83% of SMB owners at companies with 100 to 499 employees, 80% at companies with 20 to 99 employees and 82% at companies with 5 to 19 employees.
At least half of SMBs have used top brands, including Google, Microsoft, Adobe and HP. The brands used by slightly less than half are Dell, Yahoo, and Apple.
SMB owners use different sources for tech advice based on company size. Businesses with 5 to 99 employees typically turn to colleagues and peers for tech hardware (42%) and business software advice (42%), while businesses with 100 to 499 employees seek advice from in-house experts/department heads for tech hardware (57%) and business software (59%).
The majority of SMBs ask the manufacturer or service provider for help to make their technology purchasing decisions. For example, 86% and 76% of respondents, respectively, at businesses with 100 to 499 employees, turn to manufacturers or providers for help in selecting business software and tech hardware.
A majority of SMBs use the Internet as a source for researching options: 56%, 50% and 56% completely/mostly agreed, respectively, at companies with 100 to 499 employees, 20 to 99 employees and 5 to 19 employees.
Brand preferences are primarily influenced by company size. Companies with 100-plus employees look for companies that are growing in popularity and easy to do business with while companies with 5 to 19 employees look for leadership.
59% of SMBs rated proven track record and strong customer service/support as an extremely important criteria for deciding which brands/vendors to select. Other criteria included the following: provides a special offer/good pricing (46%), well known and respected (41%) and recommended by peers in the industry (39%).