On today’s show, we’re joined by Tirena Dingeldein, senior analyst and content manager at Capterra, a free resource to help you find the right software for your business. They discuss a recent study by Capterra titled, Tech for Small Businesses: What Your Peers are Using. The study helps businesses find out what tools they should be using in order to keep up best with their competition.
To find out more, read ASBN’s continued coverage on this topic: Capterra Study Reveals Top Tech Tools Small Business Owners are Using
JIM: Welcome to the Atlanta Small Business Show. I’m Jim Fitzpatrick. On today’s show we’re joined by Tirena Dingeldein, senior analyst and content manager at Capterra. To discuss the study they released entitled, Tech for Small Businesses: What Your Peers are Using. They surveyed almost 700 individuals across 14 different industries to answer a series of business technology related questions, to find out what you should be focusing on in order to keep up with the competition. Tirena, welcome to the Atlanta Small Business Show.
TIRENA: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
JIM: Sure. Explain to us why it is so important to know what technology your peers are using.
TIRENA: I think that that’s basic human nature, is that small business owners and medium sized business owners want to know what their peers are doing, so that they can keep up with the times, but also perhaps innovate at a faster rate than their peers, and make a little bit more money a little bit faster.
JIM: Sure, and Capterra, for those people that are watching right now that aren’t familiar with your company, tell us a little bit about it.
TIRENA: Capterra is the leading online resource for small business software buyers. We were founded in 1999. We are currently owed by Gartner. But we are an online repository of vetted software reviews, and all different kinds of software from yoga management software all the way up to your normal software like finance software, CRM software. So we have everything that a business owner could need to find the software they need for their business.
JIM: One Stop shopping for small business owners. That sounds great, right?
TIRENA: Yeah, it’s very useful.
JIM: So, your survey says that data and information security is being used by 68% of those surveyed. Why do you believe this is the leading category?
TIRENA: Well, recently GDPR has just come out in May. So, you’re seeing more of a spotlight on it in the news as of the last couple of months. But this really has been a trend over probably the last 10 to 15 years. If you think about how much money a small business or medium sized business could lose from losing just one record, I believe that there was a [inaudible 00:02:10] Institute study released in 2017 saying that each record is worth $141. So if you’re a small business and you have only 10 records, that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the research actually concluded that you’re losing over $3 million if you are hacked. So, it is in your best interest as a small business owner to get on the data and information security bus as soon as possible, if you haven’t already gotten on that bus.
JIM: Yeah, for sure. I mean, that’s a huge number for a small business. And one that maybe they can even overcome if they’re hacked, right?
TIRENA: Definitely. That is a business ending amount of money.
JIM: Yeah, for sure.
TIRENA: Just because of something that you can avoid.
JIM: Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like it. A large portion of those you surveyed said that they will be using different mobile or website enhancing technologies, as well as technologies to include customer relationships and experiences. How do you think these results speak to what businesses are putting emphasis on today?
TIRENA: I think that you see a lot of people with a website presence. I mean, if you don’t have an online presence right now, you’re probably not speaking to a majority of customers. A lot of businesses are deciding on whether or not they want to have a app for their business. And I think that that’s … My prediction is that you should go into that with a grain of salt. You should take that information with a grain of salt. Because if you want to create an app for your business, the average user can only handle seven to nine on a daily basis is what they use. And what are they using? Email, Facebook, perhaps some apps from a larger organization, they might not use your app every single day.
TIRENA: So is it really worth the investment? But, we are seeing more and more businesses go that route because if you don’t have a mobile presence, you’re not getting as many customers because people are living their lives on their cell phones now.
JIM: Yeah, that’s for sure. Especially if you don’t have an e-commerce type business. Is an app as important to those businesses?
TIRENA: I think it depends. Software is extremely subjective for small businesses, so it really, really comes down to the individual use case.
JIM: Yeah. How do you think that investing in these types of technologies now would help businesses in the long run?
TIRENA: Oh, for the long run, I think that probably some of the more buzzwordy type technologies are going to … You’re going to see more of them in the future, but you’re not going to see the heavy hitters go away. So you’re always going to see finance offer, you’re always going to see CRM. A majority of our respondents actually said that they already have CRM. So if you’re a small business and you don’t have a CRM already, it’s probably a good idea to start looking at something like that to manage your customer base. But for these really, really new technologies like drones and Blockchain, you’re probably gonna see an uptick in them, dependent on the industry over the next five to 10 years. But I wouldn’t go ahead and spend all my money on that right now if I were a small business owner.
JIM: Sure. And if you’re a small business owner watching this today, or you’re thinking about opening up a small business, perhaps you’re a entrepreneur that’s ready to kick off, probably the best thing to do would be to go online and research these different tools that are available. Is that a good idea?
TIRENA: That is the first step in every small business. If you’re looking at buying software, the first thing you should do is go online, find out what your options are, look at the user reviews. Try a free trial before you spend a lot of money on it. Make sure you’re talking to people, read as much as you can, because it’s a significant investment. And if it doesn’t work out for you, you’ve lost all that money. But there are a lot of really, really good free trials out there. There are a lot of companies that are willing to work with their new customers and teach them how to best leverage the software for them. So, definitely communication, learning as much as possible.
JIM: And if they want to learn more about your company, how can they find you?
JIM: That’s pretty easy.
TIRENA: Yep. C-a-p-t-e-r-r-a.com.
JIM: Awesome. Well, Tirena Dingeldein, senior analyst and content manager for Capterra. Thank you so much for joining us on the Atlanta Small Business Show. We very much appreciate it.
TIRENA: Thank you so much for having me.
JIM: Great, thanks.