Mobile Technology Helping Small Businesses Boost Efficiency
Mobile technologies can increase productivity, but many small business owners are concerned about the lack of specific applications that can help them efficiently run their companies.Mobile technologies, such as laptops, smartphones and now tablets, are helping to increase productivity among workers, but small-business owners are frustrated about the lack of relevant applications that can help them effectively run their companies, according to a new report. The report, conducted by Harris Interactive and Bank of the West, found nine out of 10 (88 percent) of small-business owners surveyed use mobile technology, including the applications and programs that run on mobile phones, smartphones and tablets. Communications applications, such as calls, texting, instant messaging and email, were the main uses of mobile technology among small-business owners, cited by just over three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents, followed by calendars and scheduling (48 percent) and GPS and navigation (42 percent). The survey indicated small-businesses owners find the greatest potential for using mobile technology in marketing, in which mentions increased 94 percent; making and receiving payments, which increased by 82 percent; and customer relationship database, with an increase of 63 percent. Two-thirds of those surveyed (65 percent) said mobile technology is important to the current success of their business and nearly three-quarters (74 percent) said they think it will be important to the future success of their businesses. Sixty-eight percent said that it has increased efficiency for their businesses, and three out of five (61 percent) said it serves functions in their businesses that cannot be completed as efficiently through other means.
However, the No. 1 barrier to taking advantage of mobile technology was a lack of business uses, cited by 33 percent of respondents, followed by cost, at 25 percent.