Fifth Annual Brother Small Business Survey Reveals New Technology is a Better Return on Investment than New Employees

Brother Partners with SCORE for 2014 Survey; Benchmark Indicates Small Business Stress Levels Significantly Lower

Mar 19, 2014, 08:00 ET from Brother International Corporation

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Brother International Corporation, in partnership with SCORE,  mentors to America's small business  today released results from the fifth annual "Brother Small Business Survey," which notably revealed a surprising 72 percent of small business owners indicate new technologies will offer a bigger return on their investment than new employees (28 percent) in 2014.

While the results show small business owners believe the use of computing and digital technologies will help with increased efficiency and keeping business running smoothly, they are still having difficulty keeping up with every tech innovation. In fact, 63 percent of respondents (a mere 3 percent less than last year) frequently feel overwhelmed with the number of technologies available to run their business.

Small business owners are split 50/50 regarding where they see greater risk – investing in technology too quickly and not receiving a sufficient return on investment, or not investing in technology and giving competitors an advantage.  Yet, technology-tool related investments (49 percent) still top the priorities of small business owners in 2014.

Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets top the list (41 percent) of the technologies small business owners find necessary to run their business. Respondents also named Customer Relationship Management tools (32 percent), social technologies (21 percent) and cloud services (15 percent) as necessary to their business.

"Our survey shows that while small business owners understand the value of new technologies, they are still a bit overwhelmed and struggle with choosing the right time to adopt them to have the greatest impact on their business," said John Wandishin, Brother Vice President of Marketing. "This is one of the reasons Brother is committed to developing printers, all-in-ones, and scanners that seamlessly integrate with leading mobile technologies and cloud-based services. And we stand behind that commitment to innovation with free phone support for the life of Brother machines."

Do Small Business Owners Feel They Have Enough Support? 
Fifty-nine percent of respondents state that there are insufficient resources, or no resources at all, available in their community for small business and fewer than one in five (17 percent) have worked with a small business mentor before.  Only 14 percent listed small business organizations such as SCORE as a source for support.

"Organizations like SCORE help support the small business community, providing advice, coaching, mentoring, education and more for any small business owner or those looking to start," said Ken Yancey, CEO of SCORE. "We want to work with small business owners to help them take advantage of the opportunities available to them."

Brother is proud to partner with SCORE to help small businesses find the support they need, especially in helping to increase productivity and understanding technology.

How Are Small Business Owners Feeling Versus Last Year?
While the state of the economy is still top of mind for many Americans, the economy isn't creating as much stress for small business owners. For the first time in five years, stress levels are much lower. Just 42 percent of small business owners report a high level of stress about the current economic climate, down significantly from the 58 percent who felt high levels of stress in 2013. Previous years' surveys showed a majority feeling high stress levels in 2012 (52 percent), 2011 (52 percent) and 2010 (51 percent).

Survey Methodology 
The Brother Small Business Survey 2014 was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 500 U.S. small business owners of companies with less than 100 employees, between January 17th and January 31st, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About Brother 
Brother International Corporation is one of the premier providers of products for the home, home office and office. The U.S. corporate office in Bridgewater, N. J., was established on April 21, 1954 and currently markets many industrial products, home appliances and business products manufactured by its parent company, Brother Industries, Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan.

These products include an award-winning line of Multi-Function Center® machines and printers. Brother also provides the number-one line of facsimile machines in the U.S. and is the leader in electronic labeling, with its full line of P-touch® Electronic Labeling Systems. For more information you can visit the website at

NOTE: All trademarks and registered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective companies.

About SCORE 
Since 1964, SCORE "Mentors to America's Small Business" has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through mentoring and business workshops. More than 11,000 volunteer business mentors in more than 320 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE at

All decimals are rounded to the nearest percentage point. This may result in certain numerical totals adding up to slightly more or slightly less than 100%.

SOURCE Brother International Corporation