AT&T-SBE Council poll shows mobile apps key for local small businesses

The 2014 AT&T and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council Small Business Technology Poll has found that about 56 percent of Nashville small businesses use mobile applications, with nearly three in five (59 percent) of those reporting that they save at least three hours of time per week by using mobile apps.

Other findings from the poll (which surveyed 16 U.S. cities) related to Nashville include the following:

* 55 percent of Nashville small businesses reported their use of smartphones increased significantly in the past two years, which is 9 percent above that of the national average.

* Nashville businesses are the most likely to use tablets (69 percent), compared to an average of 58 percent across all markets.

* Small businesses in Nashville are the most likely or among the most likely to report that their increased use of tablets, laptops and smartphones is to save time.

* Small businesses in Nashville are also the most optimistic or among the most optimistic that these devices are providing a competitive advantage.

* Nashville small businesses registered the largest increase among the 16 markets for mobile data use, with 42 percent claiming that compared to two years ago, their use of mobile data at least doubled from downloading and uploading on mobile devices.

Other survey highlights (in general) include the following:

* Smartphones save small businesses 1.24 billion hours and $32.5 billion each year. In comparison, tablets save 754.2 million hours and $19.6 billion annually, and mobile apps save 599.5 million hours and $15.6 billion each year.

*  Smartphones are nearly ubiquitous among small businesses, with 94 percent using them as part of their operations, up from 85 percent last year.

* Most small businesses are open an average of 5.7 days a week, and nearly half say they are using smartphones to conduct business seven days a week.

*  Nearly one-third of small businesses have doubled their use of data on mobile devices in the past two years.