10 Ways Mobile Technologies Are Reshaping Small Businesses

1 - 10 Ways Mobile Technologies Are Reshaping Small Businesses
2 - Smartphone Use Is Boosting Employee Productivity
3 - Use of Smartphones Is Widespread Among SMBs
4 - Businesses Are Using More Apps Than Ever Before
5 - Popular Apps Include Document Access, Travel Planning
6 - Notebooks Are Used to Save Time
7 - Mobile Apps Can Make a Big Difference
8 - Smartphone Data Rates Grow With Increased Use
9 - Tablets, Apps and Smartphones Work Together
10 - Small Business Mobile Banking on the Rise
11 - Making the Most of Advanced Mobile Banking
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10 Ways Mobile Technologies Are Reshaping Small Businesses

by Nathan Eddy

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Smartphone Use Is Boosting Employee Productivity

The survey found that small businesses are open for an average of 5.7 days per a week. However, the average number of days their employees are using smartphones to conduct business exceeds that number—nearly half (49 percent) of small-business owners with smartphones are using them to conduct some business activities 7 days a week.

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Use of Smartphones Is Widespread Among SMBs

The vast majority—a whopping 94 percent of SMBs surveyed—said they are using smartphones to conduct business, up from an already-impressive 85 percent last year. However, other surveys suggest more advanced applications like mobile payments and push notifications are relatively rarely used.

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Businesses Are Using More Apps Than Ever Before

Despite the dearth of businesses offering mobile payments, the survey revealed that of small businesses using mobile apps, more than three in four (77 percent) are using three or more apps, with GPS, navigation and mapping apps the most prominent. According to the survey, 5 percent are using 20 or more applications to run their business.

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Popular Apps Include Document Access, Travel Planning

While GPS/navigation and mapping apps consistently top the list of most-used applications (four years running, in fact), other most commonly used app types are remote document access, travel planning, and banking and finance management. Of the small businesses that use mobile applications, the vast majority (92 percent) are using smartphones to tap into apps.

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Notebooks Are Used to Save Time

As businesses become more mobile, owners report an increase in use and device dependency over the last two years. While smartphones are still the most popular, 31 percent of small businesses reported they save at least 5 hours per week as a result of using notebooks.

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Mobile Apps Can Make a Big Difference

To wit, approximately three-fourths of small businesses reported their use of mobile devices has increased because it allows them to operate remotely. The majority of those businesses estimate they are saving up to $500 a month, or $6,000 per year, by using mobile apps.

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Smartphone Data Rates Grow With Increased Use

The report found that nearly a third of midmarket companies have seen their use of mobile data at least double over the past two years due to such common activities as downloading and uploading files on their mobile devices. Improvements in operational efficiencies, time savings and an increase in employee productivity were also cited by small businesses as reasons for the rise in mobile technology usage.

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Tablets, Apps and Smartphones Work Together

While smartphones are the most helpful in saving small-business owners time and money, the survey indicated tablets are saving small businesses 754.2 million hours and $19.6 billion a year, and mobile apps are saving them 599.5 million hours and $15.6 billion a year.

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Small Business Mobile Banking on the Rise

RateWatch, a banking data and analytics service owned by TheStreet, and marketing consultant firm Simon-Kucher & Partners found 34 percent of small businesses surveyed use mobile banking on a weekly basis, and just 18 percent said they don't feel the need to use mobile banking at all.

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Making the Most of Advanced Mobile Banking

The three most important advanced interactive mobile banking services are receiving transaction verification and advanced warning, capturing and storing receipts, and requesting payment flexibility for loans, mortgages or credit cards. The survey also revealed most small businesses would prefer to pay a monthly fee for unlimited transactions for informational services, transactional services and advanced interactive services.

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