New York (PRESS RELEASE – July 16, 2011) – Seventy-one percent of small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) are “mobile businesses” adopting wireless technology to allow their employees to work effectively outside of the office, according to a new study published by Portfolio.com, the national business news site for SMB executives and entrepreneurs. The findings of the proprietary study, conducted by The Business Journals, reveals the business habits of the rising number of SMB mobile professionals – those who work outside of the office more than 30 percent of the time.
According to the study, the average mobile professional works outside of the office more than half the time, averaging 56 hours per week, and has an average net worth of $1.5 million, compared to total SMB owners at $1.2M in average net worth. Geographically, mobile professionals are most prominent in the South (39 percent).
These mobile SMBs are adopting and using the latest technology to stay connected and drive revenue growth in their businesses. Fifty-nine percent of the survey respondents believe staying connected through wireless services and applications is critical to the success of their business. And higher sales figures for the well-connected validate this approach: average sales at most mobile companies were $10.8 million in 2010, compared with $5.7 million for those companies that haven’t embraced mobility.
“It’s no surprise that advancements in technology are moving at a fast clip. What is a surprise is how much more successful those business owners are who can be rightly called mobile professionals,” said J. Jennings Moss, Portfolio.com’s editor. “This tech-savvy group is spending more time doing business outside of a traditional office by staying connected via smartphones or tablets, and are already looking ahead to the next step – cloud computing.”
The study also reveals that 88 percent of mobile professionals use social networks, with 60 percent of them leveraging social media platforms to market their businesses. Many mobile professionals, 80 percent of them, feel it is critical to have access to information while outside of the office. Devices and services that help them stay connected while away from their desk include Wi-Fi, text messages, smartphones, apps, notebook/netbook, iPad, and cloud computing.
Additional findings include:
- 43 percent of mobile professionals polled in the study are familiar with cloud computing, with 14 percent having used cloud computing in the past year
- 64 percent of SMB owners who are considered mobile professionals spend more than eight hours connected to their businesses via computer, smartphone, or iPad; 38 percent spend 11 hours and more on their devices
When it comes to travel, the study found that 45 percent of SMB mobile professionals make business trips at least once a month and average almost 15 trips a year for their companies – more than any other SMB group. However, mobile professionals are spending fewer dollars on business trips. Average expenses for flights fell to $2,642 in 2011 from $5,039 in 2007 per firm while hotel expenses dropped from $5,380 to $2,796 per firm over the past five years. As a result, these SMB mobile professionals are staying more connected to their local communities and sourcing a majority of their sales locally (71 percent).
“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 encourages mobile professionals to nurture a connection with their local communities. In fact, 74 percent of SMB owners believe that it’s crucial to be actively involved,” said Godfrey Phillips, Vice President for Research at The Business Journals. “In addition, they’re adopting emerging technology and incorporating social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter into their marketing plans and business models to help them stay connected.”
The study was conducted by The Business Journals from November 2010 to January 2011 and more than 2,223 SMB executives with 1-499 employees were interviewed. Portfolio.com most recently published findings from SMB Insights: International Business, revealing that international sales are a vital and growing part of the SMB market. Earlier this year, The Business Journals released its SMB Insights 2011 study, which provided an overview of the make-up, attitudes and economic landscape of the SMB market, and Portfolio.com will be releasing new findings for specific categories through the end of the year.
Portfolio.com is the national business news site for small and mid-sized business executives and entrepreneurs. Comprising original, in-depth reporting, thought-provoking insights, colorful features, exclusive analysis of custom research, and an intelligent business-news filtering tool, Portfolio.com is the first national business media outlet dedicated solely to delivering actionable news and information to this coveted audience. Portfolio.com relaunched in December 2009 as the information destination for business executives, insiders and strategists within the growing and profitable American City Business Journals.
About The Business Journals
The Business Journals is the premier media solutions platform for companies strategically targeting business decision makers. We deliver a total business audience of more than 10 million people via our 42 websites, 64 publications and more than 700 annual industry leading events.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., The Business Journals has sales offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. It is a subsidiary of American City Business Journals, a unit of Advance Publishing, Inc., whose properties include Conde Nast Publications and the Fairchild and Golf Digest Companies.