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Economic Forecast & Trends 2017: Trends Show how Time-Strapped Small Businesses Leverage New Technology

A recent survey issued by Endurance International Group has identified tools that small business owners want to employ to make the most of their limited time. The survey found that a majority of the small business owners surveyed work from home, and while it often gets a bad reputation, many respondents said they get their work done faster and don’t regularly multi-task on conference calls when working remotely.

“For many small business owners, working from home is part of their normal routine,” said Endurance CEO and Founder, Hari Ravichandran. “Whether this means a barking dog in the background during their conference call or a work-life balance that’s literally separated by one room, it’s clear that small businesses are using technology to adapt to the increasing demands on their time.”


The majority of small business owners surveyed (89 percent) said they work from home. While 67 percent reported that they love being able to work from home, the many benefits of a flexible workplace don’t always come without distractions. As the internet saw recently in a viral video of a BBC journalist’s on-air interview disrupted by his children, time management and interruptions are some of the top challenges when working from home. When asked to name the biggest distraction when working remotely, respondents included:

• 21% – Kids

• 17% – Household chores

• 12% – TV

• 10% – Pets


On the opposite side of the spectrum, many respondents indicated that they feel more productive when working from home, and 54 percent responded that they don’t regularly multi-task while participating in conference calls. Those that did admit to multitasking responded that they are doing other work (33 percent) and even fewer are doing household chores like washing dishes, laundry and cooking (6 percent).


Despite the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things, 41 percent of small businesses surveyed indicated that social media tools have the most potential for growing their businesses. Another 20 percent said that mobile payment apps such as mobile wallets, Square and PayPal had the most potential to help them grow.

Other responses included:

• 11% – Big data and analytics reporting tools

• 7% – Internet of Things (i.e., wearables, smart homes, connected cars)

• 6% – Artificial Intelligence (i.e., chat bots, personal assistants)

• 4% – On demand delivery services (i.e., Postmates, UberRUSH, delivery drones)

• 4% – Cybersecurity solutions

• 3% – Augmented or virtual reality

• 1% – Blockchain technology


Navigating the social media world can be challenging for small businesses. When asked to select the social media channels that are or will be most relevant to their businesses, a majority of those surveyed (75 percent) selected Facebook, followed by LinkedIn (41 percent), Instagram (36 percent), Twitter (34 percent), Yelp (10 percent) and Snapchat (7 percent).


Managing social media accounts is one of the many things on small business owners’ to-do lists. According to survey respondents, if they had an AI robot that they could delegate any task to, 46 percent selected management of their business social media accounts as the task they would delegate. The second most selected task (45 percent) was updating their website.

Other selected responses included:

• 41% – Handle marketing/advertising needs

• 34% – Screen my calls and emails

• 32% – Data entry

• 31% – Generate invoices

• 27% – Manage customer orders

• 25% – Manage my calendar

• 17% – Reorder supplies

The online survey was conducted from March 27, 2017 to April 4, 2017 and surveyed 5,970 small business owners, all of whom use Endurance’s web presence solutions.

Endurance International Group (NASDAQ: EIGI) (em)Powers millions of small businesses worldwide with products and technology to vitalize their online web presence, email marketing, mobile business solutions, and more. For more information, visit: www.endurance.com.  


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