Going Mobile Makes Dollars and Sense for Small Businesses
Small and emerging businesses are increasingly embracing mobile devices to help give them a leg up on the competition, a new study shows. The move makes perfect dollars and sense: Firms who have learned to conduct business on the go bring in double the revenue of mobile laggards.
Nearly three-quarters of small- and medium-size companies said that they have adopted wireless technologies to allow employees to work outside of the office, according to a study conducted by The Business Journals of 2,223 business owners, CEOs and presidents of companies with fewer than 500 employees.
On average, firms that have welcomed mobility with open arms earn $10.8 million annually, compared with $5.7 million for mobile laggards, according to the survey conducted in early 2011. That wealth trickles up. Small business owners who are mobile have an average net worth of $1.5 million compared to the total aggregate of small business owners, worth $1.2 million.
But they work for their money. The average mobile worker does business outside of the office more than half the time, averaging 56 hours per week per business, according to the study.
Going mobile, the survey showed, also slashes travel costs. While more mobile professionals spend time out of the office courting and developing local partners and vendors, air travel expenditures fell to an average of $2,642 per firm in 2011 from $5,039 per firm in 2007. Hotel expenses fell from $5,380 per firm to $2,796 per firm over the past five years.
Almost all of these mobile professionals, 88 percent, use social networks, with 60 percent of them using social media to market their business, the report found.
"As our study indicates that more SMB mobile professionals are connected via their smartphones and tablets, this enables them to work outside of the office more seamlessly, and it encourages mobile professionals to nurture a connection with their local communities," said Godfrey Phillips, vice president for research at The Business Journals. "In fact, 74 percent of SMB owners believe that it’s crucial to be actively involved."