According to data released in January from office supply provider Staples, small business owners are in the midst of a new romance – or “phonemance.” The 5th Annual National Staples Small Business Survey revealed that 60 percent of small business owners admitted to spending more time holding their mobile device than their partners’ hands.
Initially, this number may seem shocking and much too high, but when one stops to consider the technology that has driven the increased use of mobile devices, it may in fact seem a little low. In 2010, smartphones experienced rapid adoption, especially among the small business sector. In fact, according to research from Forrester, small business owners have adopted the technology faster than the rest of the United States, with 49 percent of entrepreneurs using smartphones compared to 17 percent of regular Americans.
Photo from ThinkGeek.ie
The technology offers owners the ability to better balance work and personal time by allowing them to stay up-to-date with the business no matter where they are, meaning no more long hours at the office at the expense of seeing your daughter’s softball game.
“Technology and mobile devices, in particular, can actually be good for family relationships, allowing Mom or Dad to stay plugged in with work while simultaneously attending events – ball games, school events – that were historically only possible for the non-working parent to attend,” said Dr. Seth Meyers, a licensed clinical psychologist, relationship expert and author, in a statement for Staples.
With only benefits to be gained, it may be time for you to decide whether an Android phone, iPhone or BlackBerry is right for you. Fortunately, we’ve put together a number of resources to help you find a smartphone and learn what you can do with it.
By Adam Ostrow; published on Mashable.com
For small business owners just beginning to switch their feature phone in for a smartphone or for those who already own a device but are thinking of an upgrade, Ostrow looks at a variety of factors including coverage, applications and compatibility to help owners pick the best phone for their business. He compares the Apple iPhone, Motorola Droid and Blackberry.
By Melissa McKean; published by SurePayRoll.com
One of the most popular features of the smartphone is the ever expanding number of applications that can be downloaded for little or no charge. While apps are available on a number of operating systems, the iPhone may just have the widest variety. In this article, McKean lists 10 iPhone apps that every small business owner should invest in, ranging from an app that allows you to edit Microsoft office documents to one that will scan a business card and automatically add the information to your address book.
By Minda Zetlin; published on Inc. Technology
With the sheer amount of data small business owners are now storing and accessing on their smartphones, it is becoming essential to begin protecting these devices the same way one would a PC. Zetlin gives owners a number of tips from setting up passwords to installing security software on their smartphones and recognizing the signs of smartphone malware.
By Dan O’Shea; published on Entrepreneur magazine
As smartphone adoption rates continue to accelerate among both small business owners and consumers, this technology will become a critical part of any entrepreneur’s tool kit. O’Shea asks three “mobile visionaries” how they believe mobile technology is changing how small businesses conduct business.
Are you a smartphone user? How does it help you do business?
Please let us know in the comments!