Small Biz See Mobile Opportunities, But Want Safeguards, Automation
Despite 93% of respondents reporting they have never experienced information or data theft as a result of using mobile technology, 56% say that concerns about information security have somewhat prevented them from implementing it more fully, according to a recent study.
The Bank of the West study, "Going Mobile: Small Business Owner Attitudes About Mobile Technology," found that while a third of U.S. small business owners have made no investment in mobile technology, more than half who have see a positive return.
The study found that U.S. small businesses -- defined as having two or more employees and less than $10 million in annual revenue -- typically invest 5% of their operating income, and forecasts 5% growth during the next two years. When asked about the financial ROI, 12% said 100% or greater; 45%, moderate; 32%, break even; and 11%, lost money.
Some 68% of the mobile users agree the technology has increased efficiency for their businesses, and 61% admit it increases efficiency in business functions over other means.
About 76% of the companies use mobile technology today to communicate with customers, with the remainder saying it has potential for the future. Small business owners use mobile technologies most often for communication, but they see the most significant potential for mobile technologies in customer relationship management databases, marketing and making and receiving payments.
Mobile technology could hold the key to efficiencies and automation for small businesses. U.S. business owners want mobile technology to manage daily tasks. Some 33% of business owners want mobile solutions that can help address time-consuming duties, like accepting payments from customers; 24%, monitor financial accounts; 19%, expense reports; and 12%, make payments to suppliers.
When asked about the biggest barriers for adoption, 33% of small business owners find few relevant uses for their business; 25%, cost; 14%, making time to learn the technology right for them; 11%, lack of technical expertise; 7%, security concerns; 4% lack of time to install and implement; and 7%, other.