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Survey: 33% of small biz owners use smart phones

If you use a smart phone for business (as well as pleasure), count yourself among a growing number of small business owners. According to a recent survey from Discover, a third of America’s small business owners are using smart phones these days, and most of them are putting the devices to work for business needs beyond e-mail and phone calls.

And while they may not be using smart phones themselves in great numbers, 19% of small business owners have taken or are currently taking actions to make it easier for mobile users to access their businesses.

“Small business owners are clearly paying attention to mobile-driven consumer trends, and are looking for ways to adapt,” said Ryan Scully, director of Discover’s business credit card, who has been commissioning monthly surveys of American small business owners for over four years. “Being flexible and adaptable to a changing economy has helped small business owners succeed through the years, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see new entrepreneurs push the limits when it comes to mobility.”

Thirty-four percent of small business owners indicated they use a smart phone device, compared to 26% of 3,000 consumers questioned in the survey. Among the business owners who use their smart phones for more than e-mail and phone calls, 33% of them said they use the devices “very much,” 41% said they use it “somewhat,” 21% said “not much,” and only 3% said “not at all.”

Forty-four percent of smart phone users said they wished there were better mobile applications available to small business owners, while 20% weren’t sure and 35% expressed no desire for more applications.

The survey indicated that younger small business owners are much more likely to use their devices for conducting business: 100% of small business owners ages 18 to 29 use their devices “somewhat” or “very much” for business, beyond phone calls and e-mail.

When it comes to holiday gift-giving, only 3% of small business owners said they planned to buy or expect to receive a smart phone this season.

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