|Chris Crum has been a featured writer with the WebProNews.com team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Chris writes for Small Business Resources about social media, search, and what’s new for small business. Hundreds of publications link to Chris’ articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.|
Mobile Devices Save Small Businesses $67.5 Billion a Year
U.S. Small businesses are saving $67.5 billion a year by using mobile apps, tablets, and smartphones. That is according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
The main theme is that these devices and the applications that make them useful are saving businesses of all sizes, but especially small businesses, a lot of time and money.
Among the different mobile technologies, smartphones are saving business owners the most time at 1.24 billion hours annually, according to the results. They’re also saving them the most money at $32.3 billion annually.
Tablets, on the other hand, are saving them 754.2 million hours and $19.6 billion a year. Mobile apps are saving 599.5 million hours and $15.6 billion a year.
Business owners aren’t using all this saved time on themselves. For the most part, they’re using it on their businesses, so they’re ultimately getting more accomplished.
“Clearly, we are at a point where entrepreneurs now look first to communications technologies and innovations for solutions to improve productivity, cut costs and better manage and engage with customers," said SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan. “That is time and money that can go back into driving sales and innovating in the marketplace.”
95% of small businesses are using smartphones to conduct business, which is up from 85% last year. Over half of them use mobile apps for business, and 91% said it helps them save time. Two-thirds of them said apps save them money. Most of these businesses indicate they’re saving up to $500 a month - or $6,000 a year - by using apps.
The average number of days small business employees are using smartphones to conduct business exceeds the average number of days the businesses are actually open. About half of small business owners are using smartphones for business seven days a week.
The council computed time and dollar savings using data from the 2014 AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology Poll, U.S. Census Data and other sources.
The Census Bureau found that there were 5,104,014 employer firms with less than 20 workers in 2011, which was the latest data on hand. Small business owners work an average of 10.5 hours per day, and earn an average annual salary of $68,300, according to other data they pulled from. This is assuming 50 workweeks, it said the per hour pay for small business owners was $26.02.
Earlier this year, Gartner released a report finding that smartphone sales topped those of feature phones for the first time ever. It estimated that 968 million smartphones were sold during 2013, accounting for nearly 54% of all mobile phone sales during the year.
Technology is obviously a game changer for business, and over the past few years, smartphones, and even more recently tablets have had a huge impact on businesses’ ability to get things done from wherever they are. While looked at separately in the aforementioned report, apps play a huge role in this across devices, and more of them are launched and improved upon every day. At this rate, businesses are going to be insanely productive years down the road.