Mobile technology is becoming more ubiquitous all the time, and has become so indispensable to small businesses in particular that the vast majority of those recently polled rely on it in their everyday operations.
Today, 98 percent of all small businesses use wireless technology of some kind as part of their normal operations, and close to two-thirds say that if they did not have this option, they would either not be able to survive or would have significant difficulties doing so, according to the latest Small Business Technology Poll from AT&T. That use is not restricted to just cellphones either, as close to seven in 10 businesses polled said they now use tablet computers, up from slightly less than two-thirds last year.
In all, 85 percent of those polled said they were using smartphones as part of their operations, more than double the 42 percent observed just five years ago, the report said. Moreover, 80 percent of companies that are less than two years old say they use tablets, with 90 percent of those with between 51 and 99 employees using them, indicating that newer and larger businesses have a greater tendency to lean on this type of device.
Moreover, a larger and growing number of companies are now relying on the fastest cellular connections available, as 56 percent say they now use mobile devices enabled with 4G speed, the report said. That’s up from just one-third of respondents who responded similarly last year, and 90 percent of those using it say they are satisfied with the speed it offers them.
However, it’s not just mobile technology that small businesses are now concentrating on, as about two-thirds say they will spend as much or more time with online marketing as they did last year, the report said. This will largely come through inexpensive means such as social media and word of mouth, but more than four in 10 say they’ll email customers directly to market to them, up 25 percent from last year. Another two-thirds say their websites will be used in this way.
Small businesses looking to expand into this area may want to be cautious of the potential data protection problems increased reliance on mobile devices sometimes brings, and investing in tech insurance may help to reduce these potential risks by lessening the cost when missteps happen.