Micro-businesses are struggling to keep pace in the technology race
3 min read
28 November 2013
Half of the UK’s microbusinesses and sole traders believe that they now work harder than ever, and that new technology is partly to blame.
In fact, 47 per cent of microbusinesses and sole traders feel unable to ever completely switch off from work due to an increased reliance on technology to operate and grow their businesses, with 41 per cent working longer hours to keep up as a result, according to Lloyds Bank Insurance‘s latest Small Business report.
This pressure is further driven by the importance of the digital shop front, with 70 per cent of businesses fearing that neglecting their online presence puts them at risk of being left behind.
Almost nine in ten believe a quick response to customer enquiries is critical for securing new business, with 30 per cent admitting they feel under pressure to stay constantly connected to avoid missing out on leads.
Despite the reliance on modern technology to keep businesses connected, a quarter admit that their technology devices are uninsured. Worryingly, a further 40 per cent have failed to take out any insurance on other business tools in the company’s toolkit.
Yet one of the main concerns for 46 per cent of business respondents is knowing how to most effectively use the latest communication channels, while for over a quarter simply keeping up with the latest technology devices is a worry.
The report shows that there is now a real dependence on technology devices to keep small businesses afloat. The majority of micro-businesses use technology to respond to customer needs and ensure they are always contactable for new business leads, as well as customers and suppliers.
Yet 26 per cent worry about losing data while 13 per cent would not be confident about retrieving data if it did go missing. A third of businesses polled say they would be unable to operate at full capacity for less than a week if their business tools were lost or damaged.
Lloyds Bank Insurance has the following tips for micro-businesses:
- Take stock of all of the tools you require for your business, and make sure that this list, along with relevant insurance details, is updated regularly;
- Additional business insurance for items such as computer equipment, stock and tools will help provide further safeguards;
- Ensure that data is backed up regularly to different sources, ideally to hardware and cloud storage, so that it can be restored if required; and
- Seek professional advice on safeguarding your business – make sure you have the appropriate professional indemnity and public liability insurance.