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Mobile Apps Benefiting Small Businesses in More Ways Than Imaginable
Published on Jun 2, 2011
Read 'Mobile Apps Benefiting Small Businesses in More Ways Than Imaginable' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
While investment in business equipment appears to have waned in May, according to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, there is one technology that small businesses are increasingly coming to rely upon: mobile devices.
Smartphones are only a few years old and tablet computers have barely been around a year, but new research from the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council shows that these innovations are changing the ways companies operate.
The study, which culled data from a small business survey of conducted by research firm Technometrica, found small businesses are using apps to help save time and money, increase productivity, improve bottom lines, boost revenue and even assist entrepreneurs forming a corporation.
Specifically, it found nearly half of small businesses are currently using smartphones, compared to about 20 percent of the general population. However, smartphone adoption is projected to surpass fifty percent this year. Businesses are also coming to rely more so on mobile devices, including tablet computers, than desktop or laptop computers.
But perhaps most surprising is the rapid adoption of mobile applications among small firms. According to Business News Daily, more than three-quarters of respondents - 78 percent - claimed mobile apps save them time each week, reflecting an average of 5.6 hours per week.
In total, the survey concluded that the entire small business community is saving some 725.3 million hours per year, which equates to an astounding estimate of $17.6 billion annually.
"The spread of mobile apps among small businesses, and the commensurate savings in terms of time and money is another wonderful example of how innovation and investment in the private market create opportunities and savings for entrepreneurs, their employees, and, ultimately, for consumers," Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for the SBE Council, told Business News Daily.
"Technology continues to level the playing field so that the little guys can now more ably compete with the big guys in the business world," Keating added.
A separate survey conducted last fall by the International Data Corporation found total mobile app downloads will grow from 10.9 billion last year to 76.9 billion in 2014, while market revenues will exceed $35 billion by the same time.
Scott Ellison, vice president of IDC's Mobile and Wireless research, pointed out, "The extension of mobile apps to every aspect of our personal and business lives will be one of the hallmarks of the new decade with enormous opportunities for virtually every business sector."