Forty-six (46) percent of small businesses have one or more employees working off-site for at least one hour on a typical day. Nineteen (19) percent have every employee working off-site at least one hour on a typical day.
Over 90 percent, almost 19 in 20, small businesses with off-site employees have at least one employee who has a cell phone. Fifty-seven (57) percent of small employers claim that all employees working off-site carry one. The number of employees with cells suggests that the employer can reach virtually everyone working off-site.
The most common means used to reach off-site employees is to call them. Fifty-nine (59) percent primarily do so. Ten (10) percent most commonly text them and 2 percent use e-mail. However, 25 percent mix these methods when trying to reach off-site employees.
The best way for an off-site employee to reach their small employer is typically by telephone. Fifty-five (55) percent identify their cell as the best way. Another 30 percent identify the firm’s land line. Just 8 percent claim the best way is by text message and 5 percent by e-mail.
Small-business owners almost universally now carry a mobile communications device. Ninety-five (95) percent do so. For the most part (65%), that device could be described as a “smart phone”.
Small employers use their cell phone commonly, but not extraordinarily often, during an average business day. There is large disparity in frequency of use. Thirteen (13) percent who carry such a device fundamentally do not use it at all. At the other extreme, another 13 percent claim to use their cell 25 times on an average day or more.
Small-business owners are typically cool to texting, or at least do not find the technology particularly useful in the business setting. Forty-five (45) percent of small employers average no (zero) texts a day. Another 16 percent text just once or twice a day for business purposes. Still, another 15 percent send between 10 and 24 texts per day and 5 percent 25 or more.
There is a substantial discrepancy in use of cell phone calls and texts. Owner age is a primary differentiating factor. For example, 25 percent of owners younger than age 45 send no texts on an average day; 63 percent of those 65 and older do not send one. Similarly, 32 percent of the younger group send 10 or more texts a day compared to 12 percent of the older group. Texts and cell calls appear to directly substitute for one another.
Forty (40) percent of the 91 percent who report personally using a personal computer in their business say that they average four hours a day or more on their machines. Another 38 percent average one to four hours on them. Just 7 percent average less than one-half hour.
Being on the computer is not the same as being on the Internet. A majority (51%) spend less than an hour a day on it. Just 15 percent average more than four hours a day.
Most small-business owners continue to use the Postal Service for business purposes. However, small business is not a growth market for the U.S.P.S. While 52 percent of small employers anticipate that the amount of regular mail they will send in the next three years will approximate current volume, twice as many of the remainder expect volume to decrease as to increase.
Though small employers use a variety of communication means to place and accept orders, telephones remain the most popular. Small-business owners also commonly place orders on a supplier’s Web site, but rarely take orders (as the primary method) on Web sites of their own.