NEW YORK, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Small and mid-sized business (SMB) owners are accelerating the shift away from desktops and laptops, and moving toward the latest technology and gadgets such as smartphones and tablets, according to new findings published today by Portfolio.com, the national business news site for SMB executives and entrepreneurs.
The findings, part of a proprietary study conducted by The Business Journals that examines the make-up, attitudes and economic landscape of the SMB market, also shows how SMB owners are significantly increasing their usage and reliance on technology, especially the Internet as a critical business tool.
"It shouldn't be a shock to anyone that technology has dramatically changed the way entrepreneurs and company owners do business," said J. Jennings Moss, Portfolio.com's editor. "What is a surprise is how quickly some tools we thought were indispensible, like laptops, are being cast aside for mobile devices and tablets."
Thirty-seven percent of SMB owners responded that they have used a smartphone or a PDA in the past year, an increase of 10 percent over 2010. When asked about iPads and apps, nine percent responded that they have used an iPad, and 31 percent responded that they used apps for business. Desktops, notebooks/netbooks and laptop usage among SMB owners have all decreased compared to last year.
Additional key findings published today by Portfolio.com include:
- The Internet has become more of a stalwart business tool for SMB owners with 74 percent considering the Internet as one of their most valuable business tools, up from 65 percent the previous year.
- The majority of SMB owners (55 percent) are online to be connected to their businesses for 8 or more hours a day.
- 70 percent of SMB owners responded that technology has greatly increased their company's productivity and is helping their lives stay more organized.
- 71 percent said they research products for purchase online, while 58 percent look for business news online, versus 55 percent and 52 percent in 2010, respectively.
With the increase in Internet usage among SMB owners, the study found that owners are now embracing social networks as a personal and business resource:
- 70 percent of SMB owners currently use social networks, while 49 percent have social networks as part of their marketing initiatives.
- Facebook is the most used social platform with 59 percent on the service for either personal or business use.
- 31 percent are using LinkedIn but 91 percent of users are using it for their business.
- 15 percent are on Twitter, which is ranked second behind LinkedIn as a business tool.
- 73 percent have used YouTube.
"We are seeing SMBs rapidly embracing social media as a key component of their business and marketing plans," said Godfrey Phillips, Vice President for Research at The Business Journals. "SMB owners see Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the dominate platforms with the largest shares of business use. With access to the Internet more readily available, especially through mobile devices and tablets, it makes sense that social media is becoming a key platform and resource to SMB owners."
Portfolio.com published the first part of the findings from the national "SMB Insights 2011" market study earlier this week, revealing that SMB owners are seeing a new economic reality unfold with a majority believing the U.S. economy will not regain its former economic position. However, they are staying more optimistic about their business prospects than during any other point in the last two years.
The study was conducted from November 2010 to January 2011, and interviewed more than 2,000 SMB owners with 1-499 employees. The purpose of this study was to survey these SMB owners on their attitudes, expenditures, profiling, brand ratings and the economy.
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. Follow Portfolio.com on twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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.