Small and mid-sized business (SMB) owners in the U.S. are accelerating the shift away from desktops and laptops, and moving toward the latest technology and gadgets such as smartphones and tablets, according to Portfolio.com.
SMB owners are significantly increasing their usage and reliance on technology, especially the Internet as a critical business tool.
Thirty-seven percent of SMB owners responded that they have used a smartphone or a PDA in the past year, an increase of 10 percent over 2010. When asked about iPads and apps, nine percent responded that they have used an iPad, and 31 percent responded that they used apps for business. Desktops, notebooks/netbooks and laptop usage among SMB owners have all decreased compared to last year.
The Internet has become more of a stalwart business tool for SMB owners with 74 percent considering the Internet as one of their most valuable business tools, up from 65 percent the previous year.
The majority of SMB owners are online to be connected to their businesses for 8 or more hours a day, according to the Portfolio.com study.
70 percent of SMB owners said technology has greatly increased their company’s productivity and is helping their lives stay more organized.
71 percent said they research products for purchase online, while 58 percent look for business news online, versus 55 percent and 52 percent in 2010, respectively.
With the increase in Internet usage among SMB owners, the study found that owners are now embracing social networks as a personal and business resource. 70 percent of SMB owners currently use social networks, while 49 percent have social networks as part of their marketing initiatives.
Facebook is the most used social platform with 59 percent on the service for either personal or business use, while 31 percent are using LinkedIn but 91 percent of users are using it for their business.15 percent are on Twitter, which is ranked second behind LinkedIn as a business tool, while 73 percent have used YouTube.
We are seeing SMBs rapidly embracing social media as a key component of their business and marketing plans,” said Godfrey Phillips, vice president for Research at The Business Journals. SMB owners see Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the dominate platforms with the largest shares of business use. With access to the Internet more readily available, especially through mobile devices and tablets, it makes sense that social media is becoming a key platform and resource to SMB owners.”
The study was conducted from November 2010 to January 2011, and interviewed more than 2,000 SMB owners with 1-499 employees. The purpose of this study was to survey these SMB owners on their attitudes, expenditures, profiling, brand ratings and the economy.
By TelecomLead.com Team