Roseland, New Jersey (PRESS RELEASE – October 27, 2010) – Despite concern about ongoing economic challenges, a new survey indicates that small business owners are optimistic about business prospects in the year ahead, but closely link anticipated growth with the implementation of new operational efficiencies. Specifically, respondents suggest a desire to acquire new tools and resources designed to help them run their businesses more efficiently, and from more locations.
The survey, commissioned by ADP, a leading provider of HR, payroll and benefits administration services, looks at a broad cross-section of the small business sector and assesses the views of small business owners on a variety of topics related to the economy, business outlook and opportunities for growth. The survey is the first in a series of research topics to be published by the ADP Research Institute, a specialized group within ADP that conducts studies on topics of current interest to HR and payroll professionals.
“In today’s economy, small business owners are watching cash flow more closely than ever. That reality, combined with ever-growing time pressures, means small business owners are looking to spend more time growing their businesses and less time on the administrative burdens of running them,” said Regina Lee, President of ADP’s Small Business Services and Major Account Services. “To best serve the needs of today’s business owner, companies serving the small business sector need to adapt with them, leveraging new technologies like Smartphones and faster networks to bring trusted resources to clients wherever they choose to work.”
While a majority of small business owners (80%) indicate that they have been negatively impacted by the economy, more than 50% expect their businesses to expand in the coming year. In the survey, respondents identified several key areas where improving operational efficiency can help grow their business:
Small business owners spend a significant amount of time on administrative tasks (e.g., payroll, HR and benefits administration)—time they believe would be better spent on tasks related to running and/or growing their businesses; they are also embracing technology as a means of reducing administrative burdens.
- A majority of small business owners say they would dedicate time saved on administrative functions to running their businesses (50%) or growing them (42%).
- More than one-third believe that redeploying time spent on payroll to other activities would lead to an increase in company revenue.
- More than half indicate that they’d be interested in using their mobile devices to aid with administrative tasks (e.g., payroll).
The definition of “the office” is changing and small business executives are spending a significant amount of time outside of the office.
- Nearly all respondents (90%) say that they spent at least some time outside of the office, with an average of 9 hours per week—23% of a 40-hour work week.
- Thirty percent (30%) of those respondents indicate that the amount of time spent outside of the office is increasing.
Smartphones are currently a frequent companion to small business owners nationwide due to their ease of use and functionality.
- Six out of 10 executives surveyed own a Smartphone and 80% of Smartphone users use them for business.
- Respondents using mobile devices for business do so primarily to aid with customer relations (77%) and time management (53%).
To meet the changing needs of its small business clients, ADP is investing heavily in solutions that help business owners do more with less, quickly and from wherever their business—or their lifestyle—takes them. The most recent example is the launch of RUN Powered by ADP mobile payroll, the first mobile version of its popular payroll platform, which allows small businesses to manage their payroll remotely from an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
A representative sample of small U.S. businesses with 1-49 employees was targeted for the recent online survey sponsored by ADP and was conducted using the online panel of eRewards. Qualified respondents were the final purchase decision-maker in the company for systems/services in payroll, HR, and benefits. Respondents included Presidents/CEOs/Owners/Partners, CFOs/Controllers, EVPs/SVPs/VPs/General Managers and Directors/Managers. Quotas were set by employee size groups to ensure that the sample reflected the profile of all small businesses in the United States, as reflected in ADP’s in-house database, which combines Dun & Bradstreet and the Yellow Pages. Once the data came in, the industry profile of the study sample was compared to ADP’s database to ensure that no industry group was over- (or under-) represented.
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADP), with nearly $9 billion in revenues and about 550,000 clients, is one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing solutions. Leveraging over 60 years of experience, ADP offers a wide range of HR, payroll, tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source. ADP’s easy-to-use solutions for employers provide superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine and recreational vehicle dealers throughout the world.