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Small businesses warming up to technology and apps

With the continued proliferation of mobile devices and business applications, America’s small businesses continue to leverage emerging technologies to help run their day-to-day operations more effectively and efficiently. According to a recent EMPLOYERS Small Business Opinion Poll, more than one-third (38 percent) of small business decision-makers use smartphones or tablets to help manage their businesses each day. The larger the small business, the more likely the small business decision-maker is to use smart devices to help run operations: 28 percent among those with one to four employees; 36 percent for those with five to 19 employees; and 63 percent for those with 20-plus employees.

When it comes to mobile business applications, 41 percent say they are interested in using apps such as mobile banking, customer relationship management (CRM), risk management, payroll management and insurance policy management. Those in the transportation/communication and financial services industries are the most likely to be interested in using mobile apps to help run their businesses–47 percent.

Small Business Poll Snapshot: Most Common Apps Among Smartphone and Tablet Users

— 93 percent: Mobile e-mail

— 64 percent: Location-based navigation services

— 41 percent: Mobile apps for Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter

— 41 percent: Mobile banking apps

Although the use of smartphones and tablets increases among small businesses with more employees, the younger companies (in business 10 years or less) are more likely (52 percent) to use social media services like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for marketing. That’s compared to 28 percent of those in business 11 to 19 years, and 28 percent of those in business 30-plus years. Additionally, among companies using mobile applications, those with the fewest employees (one to four employees) are the most likely to use social media apps–54 percent compared with 46 percent among those with 5 to 19 employees and 24 percent among those with 20-plus employees.

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