What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum

Slack Survey: Many Owners Think This Is a Make or Break Year for Their Business

Slack Survey: Many Owners Think This Is a Make or Break Year for Their Business

Small business Owner make or break

Salesforce-owned Slack recently released the results from a survey of 2,000 small business owners, finding that 40 percent of them believe this will be a "make or break" year for their businesses.

"Small businesses, which generate roughly 44% of GDP, serve as the foundation of the U.S. economy," the company said in a blog post. "And yet, they are constantly under pressure to navigate a changing landscape of both growth opportunities and challenges."

On a somewhat brighter note, 49 percent of the owners polled said their business performed somewhat or much better than anticipated in 2023. Only 21 percent said they performed worse than anticipated.

Forty-seven percent of the small business owners who responded to the poll said they generated new customers by the end of 2023, while 30 percent said they made a profit. Twenty-six percent said they implemented new technologies. Of those, 50 percent said they have implemented artificial intelligence, 41 percent said they added new productivity or collaboration tech, and 36 percent added communication technologies. Seventy-five percent said they believe the changes and improvements they made will pay off in 2024.

Business owners are worried about a variety of concerns this year, with inflation and economic conditions raising the most worry. Others are concerned about having to raise prices, an increase in competition, not having the budget to increase needed technology, and feeling like the tech they do use is becoming outdated.

Small Business Owners worried 2024

Remaining concerns among small businesses about inflation and the economy reflect reports from other organizations, such as the National Federation of Independent Business, which also found inflation to be among the top concerns. In February, the NFIB reported that 20 percent of owners indicated that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business.

The Slack survey indicates that this year is set to be one of increased investment in productivity and collaboration tools.

“The state of small businesses in 2024 reflects a clear desire to maximize efficiency with limited resources,” commented Jaime DeLanghe, Vice President, Product Management at Slack. “Regardless of what sector the business is in, productivity and collaboration tools can be a key driver of businesses’ growth and productivity.”

Forty-three percent are exploring new technologies to increase productivity and efficiency. Thirty-five percent are "excited to implement new tech or update tech for their business" in 2024. Of those, 49 percent are planning to implement new productivity and collaboration tools, as well as other software tools (53 percent). Slack says this reflects a "clear inclination toward maximizing efficiency with limited resources."

Fifty-one percent said they are expanding marketing efforts to bring in new customers, and 45 percent are setting aside money for emergency use.

As concerns about the economy and changing technologies continue, it’s understandable that so many feel that this can be a make or break year. Those making the right investments will be able to come out ahead as the year goes on.



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