By Graeme Davidson - Market Development Manager for projectors, Epson UK

Small businesses continue to face challenges in turbulent economic times, and with concern over the future financial situation, a cautious approach to expenditure is generally being exercised. But are small businesses failing to weigh up the benefits of certain investments against initial outlay and ongoing costs, and are they losing out as a result?

Research revealed by leading printer, projector and scanner manufacturer Epson, shows that nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of IT decision makers in small businesses are missing out on the benefits of interactive equipment by not investing in innovative projection technology. Instead, many are choosing to use outdated methods to share information following a meeting - with over six in 10 typing up and emailing notes and nearly a quarter (24 per cent) making and distributing photocopies — activities that can be very time consuming and often costly.

The research highlights that, while 75 per cent of small businesses agree that ease of use and simple set up of projectors is essential, the majority are not making the move to invest in interactive projection technology, which could make their working lives so much easier.

Using interactive technology to overcome business challenges

The challenges facing small businesses across Europe today are many and varied — they need to be able to react quickly to enquiries; communicate efficiently across the business and make investments in technology and training in order to rise above their competition and get ahead.

Adoption of new innovative technologies can help overcome these challenges and, through placing cutting-edge technologies at the heart of their organisation, businesses can work faster, smarter and more efficiently and most importantly, can reduce costs.

The innovative nature of interactive projectors provides businesses with a flexible and cost-effective way to easily integrate interactive capabilities in any meeting room, no matter what shape or size, and it eliminates the need to purchase and install interactive whiteboards — An interactive projector can cost less than half the price of installing a separate projector and interactive whiteboard and equipping workers with the technology and tools they need to be able to do their job more effectively and efficiently enables businesses to improve productivity; cut costs and most importantly increase revenue generation.

For example, the Epson ultra-short-throw EB-450Wi is an intelligent, interactive projector that allows businesses to turn any standard whiteboard or smooth surface, such as a wall, into an interactive presentation area because the interactive capabilities are built into the projector rather than the surface.

Analysing long-term benefits of investing in technology

Worries about the current financial situation and concern about the economic future is a major challenge for many small business owners and can result in a reluctance to make any initial expenditure on new technology and equipment due to associated costs.

Graeme Davidson, market development manager, Epson UK comments “At Epson we strive to create innovative products that are reliable and cost-effective. One of the key drawbacks voiced by small businesses about adopting technology in the office is both the cost and the complexity of some equipment - we have identified the need to keep it simple, easy to use and maintain, whilst ensuring it is cost effective to purchase and run.

“Through constant innovation and working closely with businesses to develop products that are suitable for the way they need to work, we can ensure that Epson technologies fit perfectly into the business environment and incorporate the most cost-effective solutions to help overcome the many challenges that small business owners are facing today.”