One of the characteristics that has changed the most is the SMB's savviness with technology. Leveraging new technologies is a front-and-center focus for this new generation of SMBs – nearly three-quarters plan to invest in digital capabilities in the coming year1. Unsurprisingly, these SMBs considered "leveraging new technologies" a higher priority challenge to tackle in the next year relative to their predecessors (ranking it #4 priority vs #12, respectively).
This enthusiasm for technology reflects the digital fluency among the new generation of SMBs. We found these new SMBs are twice as digitally savvy as their more traditional SMB predecessors. The digital disparity between older and newer SMBs is particularly apparent in 2020, and we predict this tipping point in technical acuity will persist. And with the proliferation of low-code-no-code solutions, digitally capable SMB leaders will have an even greater technology advantage.
As mentioned, our research shows that this new brand of SMBs is here to stay and will continue to grow in number as more potential founders rethink what they do as well as where and how they do it. And because of their digital savviness, this new SMB segment represents a massive growth opportunity for platforms & enterprises that can uniquely support these founders to turn their passion into a reality. We are all excited to continue to monitor this Next Generation of SMBs, welcome them to the block, and help them pursue their passions – Accenture will continue to keep a close eye on this segment and how to ensure their success.
1 Accenture Proprietary Research. Next Generation SMB Survey, November 2021
Our previous research established a strong link between SMBs' digital savviness, their trust in enterprises, and consequent willingness to spend more on enterprise products and services. So this new generation of SMBs represents an especially promising customer base.