Seventy-one percent of small to medium-size businesses are "mobile businesses" adopting wireless technology to allow their employees to work effectively outside of the office, according to a study conducted by The Business Journals, which also revealed the business habits of the rising number of SMB mobile professionals -- those who work outside of the office more than 30 percent of the time.
According to the study, the average mobile professional works outside of the office more than half the time, averaging 56 hours per week, and has an average net worth of $1.5 million, compared with total SMB owners at $1.2 million in average net worth. Geographically, mobile professionals are most prominent in the South (39 percent).
Fifty-nine percent of the survey respondents believe staying connected through wireless services and applications is critical to the success of their business. And higher sales figures for the well-connected validate this approach: Average sales at most mobile companies were $10.8 million in 2010, compared with $5.7 million for those companies that haven't embraced mobility.
The study also reveals that 88 percent of mobile professionals use social networks, with 60 percent of them leveraging social media platforms to market their businesses. Many mobile professionals, 80 percent of them, feel it is critical to have access to information while outside of the office. Devices and services that help them stay connected while away from their desk include WiFi, text messages, smartphones, apps, notebook/netbook, iPad and cloud computing.
In addition, 43 percent of mobile professionals polled in the study are familiar with cloud computing, with 14 percent having used cloud computing in the past year, while 64 percent of SMB owners who are considered mobile professionals spend more than 8 hours connected to their businesses via computer, smartphone or iPad; 38 percent spend 11 hours and more on their devices.