Small businesses are generating as much as nine weeks a year in time savings and an average eight per cent increase in revenue from mobile devices – even though only one in four is using the technology to its full potential, a report into the mobile habits of Australian small businesses has found.
The new Intuit Australian Small Business Mobile Study examined the mobile habits of 501 Australian small businesses and found:
- 90 per cent of those surveyed said using a mobile device had a positive effect on their small business.
- 63 per cent of small business owners using mobile devices said the technology has saved time, an average of 7.5 hours per week - the equivalent of nine working weeks each year.
- 37 per cent of small businesses said access to business data on mobile technology has increased revenue by an average of 8 per cent.
The results showed even greater use and better results for young Gen Y entrepreneurs ’Youngpreneurs’, made up of 18 to 34-year-olds:
- Those reporting an increase in revenue by accessing business information on a mobile device said revenue grew by an average of 10 per cent.
- Gen Y entrepreneurs spend an average of five hours per day using their devices, compared to an average of three hours for other small business owners.
- While 26 per cent of small business owners overall believe they are using mobile devices to their full potential, that number almost doubles, totaling 42 per cent, for ‘Youngpreneurs’.
- Twice as many Gen Y small business owners use their mobile devices for tracking and logging expenses, time tracking and project management than any other age group.
- One in 10 Gen Y’s are saving more than 20 hours a week from mobile access to their business.
Mobile Provides Gains Across the Board
Overall, among the small businesses using mobile devices:
- 70 per cent improved productivity.
- 52 per cent responded faster to customers.
- 47 per cent increased efficiency.
- 41 per cent improved customer service.
- 42 per cent improved flexibility in when and where work gets done.
- 18 per cent saved money.
“Small business MaleEdge owners in Australia are leading the world when it comes to realising significant benefits from mobile usage across all key business areas, whether it be time savings, productivity, efficiency, customer service and revenue,” said Brad Paterson, vice president and managing director of Intuit’s Asia-Pacific region.
“The direct correlation between usage and business returns is no coincidence. Those mobile entrepreneurs are using devices for longer, for more types of tasks and to their full potential. This differentiates them in the marketplace and ultimately helps them serve their customers better. They are the ones generating the biggest returns. Gen Y is proof that the more fully a small business embraces mobile technology, the greater the business impact.”
More Usage in the Future
While overall use of mobile devices by small businesses is growing, only one in four is using the technology to its full potential.
Almost half – 48 per cent – of all small business owners expect to spend more time completing business tasks on their mobile devices in the next year. They expect to see the biggest growth in going mobile to pay suppliers, conduct Web and videoconferences and for invoicing.
Anton Rehrl, partner in commercial photography and filmmaking collaboration ArtOf2 Designs, based in Sydney, said: “Ours is a visual-based industry and first impressions really count. We like to be a bit quirky in our work but the finances have to be very business like. When we’ve finished a shoot, wherever I am, I can use QuickBooks Online to capture all the details on my phone, generate an invoice and email it to the client there and then. The fast, personal response makes a real impact.”
The survey of 501 small business owners was conducted by Galaxy Research in December 2013.
Mobile Nation: How Youngpreneurs are Transforming Small Business is a free eBook that showcases the results of the survey and explores how mobile technology is delivering powerful benefits to local businesses and their financial advisors.
To download your copy, visit http://blog.intuit.com.au/mobileebook/ and to join the conversation, connect with us at www.facebook.com/QuickBooksAU or Twitter via @QuickBooksAU, #mobileSMB #mobileaccounting.