Riding The Technology Wave

Growing numbers of small business owners–particularly minority business owners–are optimistic about the future of their enterprises as they ride the technology wave, according to a recent survey by Dun & Bradstreet.

In a random poll of nearly 400 small businesses, 86% of minority owners said that technology had a positive impact on their overall business, compared with 81% of all small business owners and 66% of women owners. Technologies having the biggest impact on small business today are computers (62%) and fax machines (41%), while the use of computer online services grew considerably from 1995 to 1996 (36% vs. 22%). Ninety-two percent of minority business owners said that technology has had a positive impact on their ability to provide high-quality customer service, as opposed to 78% of all small business owners and only 61% of women business owners.

Small minority firms are more likely than other small businesses to use computers

 

Total

Desktops/personal computers

60%

52%

69%

Portables/laptops/power books

10

4

20

Computers with modems

46

38

52

Local area networks (LANS)

9

4

19

       

Nearly half (47%) of minority businesses subscribe to an online service, the most popular being America Online

 

Total

Women-
Owned

Minority-
Owned

America Online

36%

29%

31%

Prodigy

5

––

14

CompuServe

14

5

14

Other*

27

33

23

* Industry-specific online services
 

Technology—particularly computers and fax machines — is having a big impact on small businesses

Greatest Impact

Total

Women-
Owned

Minority-
Owned

Computers

62%

48%

56%

Fax machines

41

42

56

Cellular phones

19

17

22

Telephone services

16

21

13

Source: 1996 Survey of Small Business, Dun & Bradstreet, Murray Hill, New Jersey
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