Procurement · 29 September 2016

UK entrepreneurs embrace the potential of digital apps

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Digital apps are crucial for the daily operations of 71 per cent of the UK’s small businesses

Britain’s entrepreneurs are leading the way in using digital applications to grow their business, new research has shown.

According to a global study from accounting software company Intuit QuickBooks, 71 per cent of small business owners in the UK were found to rely on mobile or web-based applications for the day-to-day operations of their business, compared to 59 per cent of their US counterparts.

The study was based on a representative sample of 500 small firms from each of the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.

Commenting on the study, Dominic Allon, Europe vice president and managing director of Intuit QuickBooks, acknowledged that “British entrepreneurs are ahead” in harnessing the benefit of apps, “putting technology at the heart of their business”.

“Small firms are well known for their creativity in how they grow their business; using digital tools to tackle their challenges head-on is key to their success,” Allon said.

With regards to choosing which apps to use, ease of use was a dominant factor for 57 per cent of business owners.

However, saturation of the app market remained a barrier for many entrepreneurs, as 40 per cent felt that choice was too wide, causing them to be unsure of the most suitable apps for their business.

“Applications are transforming the way small businesses operate in the UK, but choosing the right technologies for their needs is crucial,” Allon advised.

Research from payment processing company Worldpay last year found that the average UK small business owner spent 48 days a year on admin tasks, while 70 per cent believed that they did not have the necessary work-life balance to take a holiday.

Dave Hobday, UK managing director for Worldpay, advised entrepreneurs to invest time in finding online tools to take back time spent on admin.

“Business owners need to find ways to take back control of their information to become more efficient, make smarter decisions and get that well-earned break,” he said.

The data from Intuit QuickBooks suggests that entrepreneurs that invest time in finding the best apps for their business are able to bypass many administrative tasks, creating more time to focus on the aspects of their business that drive growth.

Recent research from online bookkeeping platform Geniac highlighted the tendency of small UK business owners in adopting a “DIY” approach to administrative tasks, such as account handling and basic HR. Of those surveyed, 61 per cent admitted to conducting all admin tasks themselves.

Read what essential advice our email marketing expert gave to entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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