While various studies and surveys of late have demonstrated the profound impact that mobile can have on business success, the majority of small businesses out there have done little if anything to incorporate mobile technologies into their business strategy. In fact, according to a March 2015 poll by web-hosting firm Endurance International Group, a whopping 78 percent of small businesses in the United States said their business did not have a mobile solution or app in place. This is despite the fact that 71 percent of the same respondents felt that having one would positively impact their business results.
There are several barriers that seem to be preventing the shift to mobile for many small business owners, according to this survey. Among those respondents who were without a mobile solution or app, half reported that they didn’t know how to go about building one and around a quarter said they were too busy with daily business operations to pursue and maintain the technology. A similar percentage reported that creating a mobile app simply cost too much money, while 37 percent cited their biggest challenge as being time and resources.
According to the Endurance survey, most small businesses expect to overcome these challenges and barriers and make the shift to mobile in the near future. In fact, around 50 percent reported that they planned to invest in mobile technology sometime in 2015. In addition, 22 percent said they planned to pursue mobile solutions in one to two years and 14 percent in at least two years (with half of this group reporting it would be three years plus). Only 16 percent of those surveyed said they would never invest.
Other recent research has supported the finding that small businesses are behind the curve in the realm of mobile. A survey by Xero and Zogby Analytics in December 2014 found that of those small business owners surveyed, only 20.9 percent used smartphone business apps in the management of their companies. Another December 2014 study by Rocket Lawyer found similar results: with 7 out of 10 respondents reporting not using apps to help with business operations. Research by vCita conducted in 2014 found that North American small businesses were most likely to manage 10 percent or less of their business via mobile technologies (at 42.6 percent), with only around 25 percent managing between 11 and 30 percent of their business via mobile. Less than 15 percent of respondents reported handling between 31 and 50 percent through mobile technologies.
eMarketer. “How Much Longer Until Small Businesses Join the Mobile World? Nearly Eight in 10 Small Businesses Don’t Have a Mobile Solution or App.” 3/19/15.