Three quarters of business owners rely on mobile or web applications

Some 71 per cent of UK small business owners rely on mobile or web-based applications to run their operations, eliminate administrative tasks and grow their business.

This compares to 59 per cent in the US, 68 per cent in Canada and and 74 per cent in Australia who use apps, according to the study by Intuit QuickBooks.

With controlling costs and expenses revealed as the number one pain point for small businesses in the UK (44 per cent), the most popular applications being taken up are banking/finance (59 per cent), payments (49 per cent) and payroll management (37 per cent).

Other top challenges facing small companies include dealing with the competition (31 per cent) and retaining current customers (30 per cent).

Dominic Allon, Europe VP and managing director of Intuit Quickbooks says that more small firms than ever are putting technology at the heart of their business and using it to solve everyday problems.

‘British entrepreneurs are ahead of a trend that is happening on a global scale,’ he adds. ‘Small firms are well known for their creativity in how they grow their business; using digital tools to tackle their challenges head-on is key to their success.’

Making good app decisions

The study also shows that small business owners are choosing apps which will impact the bottom line. In the UK, 48 per cent of those using apps judge the apps’ success on whether it will increase their revenue, and two thirds (66 per cent) also realise the value in connecting data from different apps.

Beyond the business impact, ease of use (57 per cent) and security (55 per cent) are the top considerations in choosing an app, while privacy and security (38 per cent) and cost (27 per cent) are most important to building trust.

While tech-savvy businesses are integrating apps in record numbers, they are also running into persistent barriers. Two in five (40 per cent) UK small business owners using apps believe there are too many apps to choose from and are unsure of which are best suited for their business. Thirty-eight percent are concerned with costs to integrate and train on apps, and complexity is an issue for 22 per cent.

Allen adds, ‘Applications are transforming the way small businesses operate in the UK, but choosing the right technologies for their needs is crucial. Business owners must start with identifying their biggest challenges, whether that’s controlling costs or finding good employees, and look for apps that seamlessly integrate to get the most value from their investments.’

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