Small businesses that use mobile apps to help manage their operations are saving more than 370 million of their own hours and over 725 million employee hours annually, according to a study by the Small Business and Entrepreneur Council.
The study showed that 31 percent of small firms with 20 or fewer employees were using mobile apps. Of those using apps for their business, owners estimated that they saved an average of 5.6 hours a week. In conjunction with the total number of small firms in the U.S., the study estimates that 1.28 million small-business owners are saving time with mobile app usage.
"Hours of paper-pushing, administrative work, customer research, extra driving trips and unproductive downtime add up very quickly," SBE Council President and CEO Karen Kerrigan said in a statement. "Mobile apps are allowing small-business owners and their employees to get more time from their day and to focus on higher value work."
Based on the amount of employee hours saved and the average pay for small-business employees, the study estimates that small firms are saving $275 per week, adding up to an average of over $14,000 per year.
The use of mobile apps, which can spare firms time spent on monotonous tasks like bookkeeping, document sharing and travel can save small-business owners an average of $377 per month, adding up to over $4,000 per year. The study emphasizes that such estimates are conservative, since only firms with 20 or less employers were surveyed.
As a result of app usage, 49 percent of the owners surveyed said their firm was able to spend more time on increasing sales and creating new revenue streams, while 36 percent said app usage allowed them to cut overhead costs. Perhaps most significant, 51 percent of small-firm owners said app usage allowed their business to become more competitive and better able to maneuver through an uncertain economy.