Personal life is high on the business agenda
A new Telstra survey of more than 1000 Australian small business owners shows they want to work smarter not harder, investing time savings into an improved lifestyle, not into growing their business. In fact, 70 per cent of respondents actually started their business because they thought it was the best way to manage a good work life balance.
When asked what they would do with a hypothetical extra hour in the day 43 per cent said would choose to spend the time with their family, with only 14 per cent opting to put all the time back into their business. To find this elusive extra hour, 35 per cent of the small business owners surveyed are planning to invest in better technology solutions over the next 12 months.
The survey showed that most small businesses understand the power of mobile technologies to save time, with 80 per cent using laptops, 75 per cent using smartphones and 40 per cent using a tablet. However, the average small business still spends almost half (47 per cent) of their time on administration tasks, including creating paper based invoices.
“Finishing jobs sooner or getting more done each hour is imperative in any business and the easiest way to do that is by reducing time spent on administrative tasks,” said Will Irving, Group Managing Director, Telstra Business.
“Small business owners are half way there. The survey shows they are using a smartphone or tablet for 8.5 hours during the working week, but they are not taking full advantage of these devices, as only 46 per cent are using mobile business applications and only 25 per cent are using cloud computing to be able to efficiently share critical business information amongst their team.
“Mobile business apps like Canvas, for example, produces invoices on the spot from your smartphone or tablet and makes carbon copy books and re-typing orders into a computer later, a thing of the past. It’s these smart features on mobile devices that have the potential to give businesses back at least an hour in their work day,” added Mr Irving.
The survey also shows that 70 per cent of respondents started their business because it was the best way to manage work/life balance.
“With Christmas just around the corner, getting some extra time to spend with the family is especially important. Cloud computing software such as Microsoft Office365 combined with mobile tablets or laptops lets you get out of the office but keep on top of urgent emails and documents from wherever you are on holiday,” Mr Irving said.
“Mobile solutions can unlock the extra hour for small businesses to invest back into their lifestyle, which was one of the reasons they chose to set up their own business in the first place.”
Will Irving’s top time saving tips to beat the clock
- Own your technology, don’t let it own you: Make sure that the technology tools you choose are set up specifically for you and your business. Get expert advice on making the most of each device using apps and functions that can save you time and money.
- Don’t tie yourself to the desk: Cloud computing and mobile devices such as tablets now let you run the business or be on call with the ability to quickly do real work if needed, whether at the office, at home or while travelling.
- There is a business app for that: Business apps can make doing business easier when out of the office. Telstra’s Mobile Business Apps including ARISapp, Canvas and GeoOP, take business processes mobile, even replacing pen and paper forms – so you can work during traditional ‘down time’ as well as save time on admin.
- Take the time to be flexible: The old notion that a full-time working week is nine to five, 40 hours a week, tied to one location, is fading fast, as customers expect 24/7 service with both employees and employers are seeing the benefits of harnessing a more flexible culture – which in turn improves work/life balance.
- Beat the traffic: Face-to-face time is crucial in building relationships in business, but travel time is often lost time. Making the most of mobile apps while travelling, or even better, using high quality video conferencing to avoid business travel will save not only travel costs, but also get you home earlier at the end of the day.
- Get savvy with Christmas gifts: Personally I will be test driving the brand new Telstra Mobile Wi-Fi 4G Advanced mobile broadband device that lets you connect up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices – perfect for travelling on summer holidays. Then there’s the new wave of integrated tablets and laptops such as the Toshiba Portégé Z10T which is a fully featured Windows 8 notebook with keyboard when you need it.
Telstra’s mobility solutions product suite offers Australian small businesses reliability and peace of mind, providing 24/7 support, as well as allowing businesses to bundle their technology and mobility needs into one easy to use solution on Australia’s largest mobile network.