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AT&T Small Business Technology Poll 2014

Conducted by AT&T and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, survey finds mobile apps save business owners almost 600 million hours annually, while smartphones and tablets save them nearly 2 billion hours, while smartphones and tablets save nearly 2 billion hours.

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  • Small Businesses Leaning on Smartphones, Tablets and Mobile Apps to Save Time and Money

  • Additional Information

    • About the 2014 Survey

      Millions of small businesses are tapping into technology to save time and money – to the tune of $67.5 billion a year – by using mobile apps, tablets, and smartphones in their day-to-day business activities.¹

      The savings were calculated based on results of a just-released survey commissioned by AT&T* and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), a nonprofit advocacy, research, training and networking organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship.

      Among mobile technologies, the AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology Poll ** found that smartphones are saving business owners the most time (1.24 billion hours) and money ($32.5 billion) annually. Tablets (saving 754.2 million hours and $19.6 billion a year) and mobile apps (saving 599.5 million hours and $15.6 billion a year)¹ are also providing small businesses with more time.

      ¹***Read the full release here for more details

      Study Methodology – The 2014 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll was conducted with 1,042 small businesses from 48 states and the District of Columbia from March 26-31, 2014. The survey was conducted using the ResearchNow online business panel with small business owners or employees, who are the key decision-maker for computer purchases and maintenance, Internet service and telephones (e.g., information technology). Small businesses were defined as having between one and 20 employees, both part-time and full- time.

    • Survey Summary

      •Several questions on mobile devices and apps dealt specifically with the benefit or outcome of small businesses, owners and employees saving time.

      •In total, 10 questions addressed saving time, with most of those questions focusing on mobile apps and time saving.

      •It is clear small businesses, owners and employees believe that the use of mobile devices and apps does save them time on the job.

      •Saving time is not the biggest benefit of using these mobile devices or apps, but it is an important beneficial outcome.

    • Key Findings

      Devices

      •Company use of devices to conduct business has fallen since last year. For five of the six devices1,

      1. Traditional cellphone
      2. Landline telephone
      3. Smartphone
      4. Desktop computer
      5. Laptop/notebook
      6. Tablet

      usage by small businesses has decreased from 2013. The only device that increased in usage is smartphones, used by 94% of small businesses today, versus 85% of small businesses in 2013. used.

      •Though the number of companies using certain devices has decreased, the amount of time that companies are using those devices, particularly mobile devices, has increased. This indicates  that businesses are relying more on mobile devices while foregoing non-portable devices.

      •Most respondents believe that mobile devices, particularly smartphones, are providing their business a competitive advantage.

      •Though the number of companies using certain devices has decreased, the amount of time that companies are using those devices, particularly the mobile devices, has increased. This seems to indicate that businesses are relying more on mobile devices while foregoing non-portable devices that do not provide as much of an advantage.

      •Most respondents believe that mobile devices, particularly smartphones, are providing their business a competitive advantage.

      •The average number of days employees are using smartphones to take care of business exceeds the average number of days companies are open.

      Mobile Apps

      •Use of mobile apps by small businesses has increased 65% in the past two years. Currently, over half of the small businesses surveyed use mobile apps.

      •Business owners and co-owners are primary users of mobile apps, though almost half of non-owner managers use them for business as well.[F1] 

      •More than nine out of 10 respondents who use mobile apps have them on their smartphone, while slightly more than half use them on a tablet.

      •Respondents feel the biggest benefit of using mobile apps is saving time on administrative functions, followed by increased employee productivity.

      •91% of owners/co-owners believe they personally save time on the job because of the use of apps. A majority of those owners report they are saving, on average, at least three hours per week.

      •Two-thirds of small businesses that use mobile apps feel they save money because of the apps. A majority of those businesses estimate they are saving less than $500 per month.

    • Additional Resources

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