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Small Business Owners View Mobility As Critical, Says AT&T

Mobile device usage is soaring amongst small business owners who need to be connected virtually from wherever they are, according to a recent study commissioned by U.S-based telecommunications giant AT&T and conducted by market research firm Compass Intelligence.

The survey of small business owners asked them about what makes small business successful, and mobility played a key role. Here are some highlights of the study:

– The average small business owner carries three mobile devices.

– Tablet usage among small businesses is poised to grow dramatically in the near future with 60 percent of small business owners planning to purchase tablets within the next year, either for themselves or their employees.

– 75 percent of survey respondents ranked ease of use as a top priority when selecting an app to install, followed by cost effectiveness, and functionality.

Here’s a video of the survey results:

While email, instant messaging and other basic Internet services have been the staple for entrepreneurs and their employees, more sophisticated mobile solutions – smartphones, laptops, netbooks and tablet devices – have emerged as key productivity tools. These type of bandwidth requirements typically require business T1 solutions.

And thanks to the growth of the mobile Internet, small business demand for mobility solutions – including apps targeted at small business – will continue to grow at an astounding pace. In fact, according to AMI-Partners, a market research firm, U.S. small business (1 to 99 employees) for smart phone device and data services will more than double from $2.5 billion in 2009 to more than $5 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of about 19%. And AMI adds that nearly half of small businesses now report having workers that travel at least 4 or 5 days per month for business.

And this is good news for consumer and enterprise mobile app developers.

If you’re a small business, do also check out AT&T‘s app recommender tool.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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