Out of the Office but Open for Small Business
Media Release, 19 March 2013
New research reveals Aussie small businesses are spending half the working week on the road
Many Australian small businesses don’t have the technology required to support work away from the office.
Out of Office Nation – a Telstra report based on a survey of more than 1,000 Australian small business owners – found that many work 20 hours per week away from company premises but are limited due to poor access to technology.
The research highlighted that of those surveyed:
- Seventy-six per cent of small businesses are unable to access business critical files and data while travelling;
- Thirty-six per cent believe they could run their business more efficiently if they had access to better technology; and
- More than 40 per cent say their businesses’ ability to expand is hampered as there is no person to replace them while they are away from the office.
John Boniciolli, Telstra’s Executive Director for Small Business said that small businesses continue to look for ways to maximise productivity and improve customer service, and that the right technology to work remotely was now an essential tool of the trade: “Our research found that 37 per cent of small business owners are so focussed on the day-to-day running of their business that at times they can feel frustrated by the amount of time they spend in the office.
“Mobility is no longer a preference for any business,” he said. “It is a key requirement to remain competitive and our goal is to provide the tools and technology to enable this.”
To highlight the importance of mobility for small business, Telstra commissioned the Overland Office – a challenge for an Australian small business to run its business using only a Telstra Mobile Wi-Fi device for connectivity whilst travelling on the road from Melbourne to Darwin via Adelaide.
Blue Wheelers, a successful franchise of dog grooming businesses were selected to complete the challenge which included meeting other small business throughout Australia also using the device. The Blue Wheelers travelled more than 4,000km for the ultimate out of office experiment.
“Small businesses need to take the time to talk to their technology provider about the range of options now available to them that will ensure they can operate effectively while on road. As the Blue Wheelers have demonstrated mobile broadband can provide access to business critical applications such as CRM systems which allow customer bookings to be managed on-the-road” Mr Boniciolli said.
To follow the journey of the Blue Wheelers and the video case-studies of the businesses they met on the route visit: www.Telstra.com/overlandoffice
Key Findings State by State:
- 47 per cent of small businesses in the ACT wish they were equipped with the right technology to grow their business.
- 93 per cent of ACT small business owners agree that technology helps them run their companies more effectively
- 85 per cent of small businesses in NSW believe that technology helps them to run their organisation more effectively.
- 46 per cent of NSW small business owners claim that majority of their customers are located more than 20kms from their place of business
- 57 per cent of respondents in NSW believe that in order to grow their business, they need to expand their customer base.
- 47 per cent of business owners in South Australia believe that they spend too much time on the day-to-day operations of their business, rather than on developing their business.
- 78 per cent of respondents in South Australia are unable to access all corporate information when they are on the road.
- 43 per cent in South Australia wish they were equipped with the right technology to grow their business.
- 46 per cent of small business owners in Victoria are travelling more than 20kms to visit majority of their customers
- 80 per cent of Victorian respondents acknowledge that technology is already playing an important role in helping them to run their businesses more effectively.
- 79 per cent of respondents in Queensland do not have access to all of their business files and folders remotely
- More than a third of Queensland small businesses believe that they need to be in two places at once to grow their business
- Majority of small businesses said technology helps them run their companies more effectively, in fact this was true for 100 per cent of small business owners in the Northern Territory,
- 67 per cent of business owners on the Northern Territory agree that in order to grow their business, they need to look beyond their existing customer base.
- 62 per cent of small businesses in Tasmania claim they are required to travel more than 20kms to visit the majority of their customers.
- 86 per cent of small businesses in Tasmania are unable to access all of their business information from outside of their office.
- 52 per cent of small business owners in Tasmania believe that they spend too much time on the day-to-day operations of their business, rather than on the future strategy to grow their business.
- 78 percent of business owners in Western Australia state that they are unable to access all corporate information while travelling
- More than one third of WA small business owners feel that being equipped with better technology would help improve how they are running their business