Survey Finds Mobile Technologies Saving U.S. Small Businesses More Than $65
Billion a Year(1)
Conducted by AT&T and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Survey Finds
Mobile Apps Save Almost 600 Million Hours Annually, While Smartphones and
Tablets Save Nearly 2 Billion Hours
DALLAS and WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014
DALLAS and WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For businesses of all
sizes, saving time means saving money, but perhaps for none does that ring
more true than for small businesses. In fact, millions of them are tapping
into technology to save time and, ultimately, money as well – to the tune of a
staggering $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 2014 AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology
Poll** found that smartphones are saving business owners the most time (1.24
billion hours) and money ($32.3 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
With the increased time savings resulting from using mobile apps and devices,
business owners indicate that they're not getting any more rest or relaxation.
Instead, they're re-investing the extra time back into their businesses to
grow sales, increase engagement with customers, and research their respective
industries to learn about new trends or competitors.
"Clearly, we are at a point where entrepreneurs now look first to
communications technologies and innovations for solutions to improve
productivity, cut costs and better manage and engage with customers," said SBE
Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan. "That is time and money that can go
back into driving sales and innovating in the marketplace."
Smartphones have become almost ubiquitous among small businesses with 94
percent using them to conduct business, up from 85 percent last year. More
than half of small businesses say they use mobile applications, with the vast
majority of those (91 percent) saying it helps them save time and two-thirds
saying it saves them money. The majority of those businesses estimate they are
saving up to $500 a month – or $6,000 per year – by using mobile apps.
The survey also found that the average number of days small business employees
are using smartphones to conduct business exceeds the average number of days
they are open for business. While small businesses are open an average of 5.7
days per a week, nearly half (49 percent) of small business owners with
smartphones are using them to conduct some business activities 7 days a week.
"In the current economy, mobile technologies are critical to enabling small
businesses to save tremendous amounts of time and money by helping them do
more with less," said Cathy Martine, AT&T President of Enterprise Business
Solutions. "As a result, we're seeing more and more small business owners and
employees turning to mobile technologies to not only keep them connected but
to put them ahead of the curve, as well as their competition."
Additional findings from the 2014 AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology
oExactly 31 percent of small businesses report they save at least five
hours per week as a result of using laptops or notebooks.
oAs businesses become more mobile, owners report an increase in use and
device dependency over the last two years.
oApproximately three-fourths of small businesses report their use of mobile
devices has increased because it allows them to operate remotely.
oSmall businesses also attribute the rise in device use to an improvement
in operational efficiencies, time savings and an increase in employee
oNearly one-third of small businesses have seen their use of mobile data at
least double over the past two years due to such common activities as
downloading and uploading files on their mobile devices.
Mobile Apps Usage
Over the last two years, the use of mobile apps by small businesses has
increased by 65 percent. Of the small businesses that use mobile applications,
the majority (92 percent) are using smartphones to tap into apps.
oAlso, more than three-fourths (77 percent) are consistently relying on
three or more mobile apps. The most commonly used app types were remote
document access, travel planning, and banking/finance management.
oTopping the list of most-used apps for the fourth consecutive year of the
survey were GPS/navigation and mapping apps.
oMore than nine out of 10 respondents (92 percent) who use mobile apps have
them on their smartphone, while slightly more than half use them on their
oOf the small businesses using mobile apps, more than three in four (77
percent) are using three or more apps, with 5 percent using 20 or more
apps... GPS/navigation and mapping apps as the most prominent.
For more information and additional results from the 2014 AT&T-SBE Council
Small Business Technology Poll, please click here.
For free business resources such as webinars, case studies, and best
practices, visit the AT&T Small Business Solutions website. Additionally,
real-time information and updates can be found on the AT&T Small Business
Facebook page and AT&T Small Business Twitter channel.
¹ Time and dollar savings for small business were computed by the Small
Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) using data from the 2014
AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology Poll, U.S. Census Data and the Fall
2013 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor. According to the U.S.
Census Bureau, there were 5,104,014 employer firms with less than 20 workers
in 2011 (latest data). Based on the Fall 2013 American Express OPEN Small
Business Monitor, small business owners work an average of 10.5 hours per day,
and earn an average annual salary $68,300. Assuming 50 workweeks, the per hour
pay for small business owners was $26.02.
oRegarding mobile apps, the 2014 AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology
Poll shows that 51.5 percent of small businesses use mobile apps. Using
the U.S. Census Bureau data, there would be 2,628,567 small businesses
using mobile apps. Of the small firms using mobile apps, the average hours
saved per week for the owner of the business was 5.007 hours. 91.1 percent
of owners using mobile apps reportthat the use of those apps saves
themtime, which equates to an estimated 2,394,625 small businesses with
owners saving time with mobile apps. Over the course of one year, small
business owners save an estimated 599.5 million hours of their time, with
the dollar value of those savings estimated at $15.6 billion annually.
oRegarding tablets, the 2014 AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology
Poll shows that 61.7 percent of small businesses use tablets. Using the
U.S. Census Bureau data, there would be an estimated universe of 3,149,177
small businesses using tablets. Of the small firms using tablets, the
average hours saved per week for the owner of the business was 4.79 hours.
Over the course of one year, small business owners save an estimated 754.2
million hours of their time due to tablet use, with the dollar value of
those savings estimated at $19.6 billion annually.
oRegarding smartphones, the 2014 AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology
Poll shows that 94.3 percent of small businesses use smartphones. Using
the U.S. Census Bureau data, there would be an estimated universe of
4,813,085 small businesses using smartphones. Of the small firms using
smartphones, the average hours saved per week for the owner of the
business was 5.16 hours. Over the course of one year, small business
owners save an estimated 1.24 billion hours of their time, with the dollar
value of those savings estimated at $32.3 billion annually.
* AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and
affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
**Methodology. The 2014 AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology Poll was
conducted with1,042small 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.
*** 4G speeds delivered by LTE in select markets, or HSPA+ with enhanced
backhaul, where available. Deployment ongoing. Compatible device and data plan
required. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. Learn more at att.com/network
About Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) is a 501c(4)
advocacy, research, training and networking organization dedicated to
protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. SBE Council works to
educate elected officials, policymakers, business leaders and the public about
key policies that enable business start-up and growth. Through advocacy,
research, media outreach, training and education, SBE Council members and
staff convey the importance of entrepreneurship to job creation, innovation,
economic growth and U.S. competitiveness. SBE Council is viewed as one of the
most powerful and effective organizations dedicated to protecting small
business, and promoting entrepreneurship.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the
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Contact: Allison Olson, AT&T Corporate Communications, (314) 982-1752,
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