Nearly half of UK SMEs have closed a deal while on the move and four fifths claim technology has made starting a business cheaper and easier, research has revealed.
The research, conducted by Research In Motion (RIM) and Ipsos MORI, quizzed 150 SME owners on the benefits to their business of having access to mobile communications. A total of 71 per cent indicated they were out of the office two or more times each week and 69 per cent claimed the ability to react quickly to customer queries was key to building successful relationships.
In addition, 65 per cent revealed keeping in touch with stakeholders was important to them and 48 per cent indicated they had won business through staying in touch while on the move. Results also revealed that 79 per cent of SME owners use email as a way of keeping in touch with stakeholders, while 58 use telephone calls, a third use letters and a fifth use text and instant messaging.
Chris Whittam, managing director of employment law and health and safety specialists Ellis Whittam, said: "I am no longer afraid to leave the office in case I miss an important email or call. In fact I was on the train to London the other day when I received a pricing enquiry. I was able to email back the answer, allowing the deal to be closed by the time I had arrived at my destination.”
Three quarters of SME owners set up shop at home, rather than in rented or purchased offices and 79 per cent claimed technology had made setting up a business easier and cheaper. A further 15 per cent of SME owners claimed splashing out on corporate stationery was the most wasteful expense for SMEs with excess stock a close second on 12 per cent.
Charmaine Eggberry, EMEA managing director of RIM, said: "It is clear that SMEs are only prepared to make reasonable and flexible investments when starting up which will scale up in line with how their business grows. The research shows that mobile solutions are key to the success of SMEs in the UK and across Europe, so adopting the right tools and procedures from the beginning are key to long-term success.”
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