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Small Business Owners Say Mobile Devices Are Vital to Their Business



tablet useSmall business owners are like moms, they have to be all things to all people and like moms, they depend on mobile devices to get it all done. AT&T says that 63% of the small business owners  could not survive or it would be a major challenge to go on without wireless technology.

Tablet usage, in particular, is on the rise. 69% of businesses with under 50 employees use them. When you move up to the larger companies (51 to 99 employees) usage pops up to 90%.

The survey also found that tablets were extremely popular with new business owners. 80% of companies under two years old use them, compared to 69% of companies that have been around more than two years.

Smartphone usage has doubled in the past five years, rising to 85%.

If you’re in the business to business business, take note of the chart on the right. 75% of small business owners use a tablet to check email and 61% use it to surf the web.

When was the last time you looked at one of your own marketing emails on a tablet? How about your website? If a busy owner opens your email and it’s a jumbled mess, they’re going to delete it without looking back. Don’t guess. Make sure your messages come across properly in all kinds of mobile formats.

Tip: Need access to a variety of mobile phones and tablets? Put an ad on Craigslist or on Fivver with a list of the devices you need tested. Pay $5 per unit and ask the tester to send you a screengrab as proof of how your emails and websites look.

App Usage

30% of small businesses surveyed use mobile apps for business, with key reasons being to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs. 50% said working without apps would be devastating or extremely difficult. 80% of business folks use GPS and navigation apps, they also use location-based service apps and social media apps.

Again, if you’re in the B2B biz, give some serious consideration to building an app to go with your product or service. If you can help small business owners do something faster or easier, they’ll gladly buy your app and whatever goes with it. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just make it run smoother.

For example, today I learned about the Rev.com voice recorder for the iPhone. There are dozens of voice recorders out there, but this one was developed by a company that’s in the transcription business. When I use their app, I can send my digital file directly to the company and have it transcribed without any additional steps. That’s brilliant. You place the order right on your phone and you get updates on the progress of your job.

Note: this isn’t a personal recommendation of the company. I’ve never used their services. But I have worked with a transcription service and there were numerous steps involved in getting from point A to point T. Rev’s app cuts out the 18 steps in the middle and that’s one less hurdle I have to jump in a day.

Is mobile a priority in your business? If you’re working with small business owners, it should be.

  • tomreg484
  • http://www.facebook.com/pawelellerik Paweł Ellerik

    There are many great, free applications for small business owners. Polish app http://www.starpin.com for example let them share photos and videos with people around their shops/restaurants. Great free way to let people now about promotions, special offers etc.

  • http://twitter.com/DerrickWheeler Derrick Wheeler

    Not only do they need these devices to run their businesses, they need to market to their potential customers that use these devices.