No Tech, No Accountant: How Will Small Businesses Grow?

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A vast majority of small business owners are optimistic they will grow in 2015, but how they plan to do that is not clear. Few will hire, nor will they invest in technology.  

That’s according to data released today by online accounting software firm Xero. A survey of 500 US small businesses conducted online in December by Zogby Analytics on behalf of Xero polled small businesses across the U.S. to uncover attitudes and opinions around business priorities, overall challenges, the use of technology to support the business, and concerns over next year’s political outcomes.

According to Xero, business owners’ optimism combined with overall U.S. job growth indicates that 2015 will be a year of continued economic recovery.

And yet 80 percent of survey respondents say they have little need for new staff this year. In addition, only 33 percent intend to invest in technology, and fewer than half work with a professional accountant. Underscoring their lack of affinity for technology, respondents chose Ben & Jerry’s over Apple, Microsoft, or Google when asked which businesses they see as a role model.

Xero says its research indicates that “a gap exists between entrepreneurs’ aspirations and their execution plans – a discrepancy that could impact the macro economy.”

Jamie Sutherland, Xero U.S. President said the discrepancy “points to an absence of business performance insights, which decreases confidence when it comes to hiring and making investment decisions. This, coupled with the fact that over 53 percent of respondents say they don’t work with an accountant at all, is creating a double-whammy for entrepreneurs.”