Dollar SignU.S. small businesses (SMBs) with more than 10 employees on average spend $3,000 a year on tech support, according to a new report from Parks Associates. Only 28 percent subscribe to a tech support service, however, according to Parks’, “Selling Support Services to Consumers and Small Businesses” report.

Parks expects SMB tech support spending “will increase over the next several years as they adopt more devices and cloud services and deal with an increasingly virtual workforce.”

Elaborating, Parks research analyst Patrice Samuels commented, “Small businesses are traditionally conservative with their tech support spending, but new technology products and services are increasingly complex and promise increased functional capabilities.

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“This year, SMBs will spend nearly $400 million for computer and network setup and installation services. Their need for support will continue to increase as new devices enter the workplace and as use of telecommuting and cloud-based services continues to grow.”

Samuels noted that SMBs incur high costs in trying to expand their businesses. “Companies with more than 10 employees spend more than five times as much on support services than do businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Every new person increases the technological complexity of operating a business.”

Other key takeaways in Parks’ report include:

  • U.S. businesses with 10 or fewer employees spend less than $1,000 per year on a combination of subscription and one-time support services;
  • Fewer than 15% of U.S. SMBs are willing to purchase monthly subscriptions, even at low price points such as $9.99;
  • Among SMBs, 37% are highly interested in support services that automatically fix problems before they occur; 31% are highly interested in services that routinely tune up their devices and make sure these devices are working optimally.

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