10 Ways Mobile Technologies Are Reshaping Small Businesses

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2014-05-23 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Recent surveys suggest a growing, albeit gradual, confidence among small-business owners in the United States, but to stay competitive and be successful, they must tap into mobile technologies. According to a report commissioned by AT&T and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses, using mobile apps, tablets and smartphones in their day-to-day business activities has netted small-business owners a staggering $67.5 billion a year. Not only are mobile technologies saving businesses money, but critically, they are saving them valuable time as well. The survey found smartphones are saving business owners the most time (1.24 billion hours) and money ($32.3 billion) annually, while tablets and mobile applications are also making a substantial impact. While the survey did reveal that small-business owners aren't working any less, they are using the lessons learned from deploying mobile technology and are applying them with renewed vigor back into growing the company—perhaps the most encouraging development of all. eWEEK examines more key takeaways from the study.

 
 
 
  • 10 Ways Mobile Technologies Are Reshaping Small Businesses

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

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