Survey Says: Are Cell Phones Destroying Our Society?
Not quite. But a new survey shows that mobile technology etiquette (you know, that guy yapping on his phone next to you) has become worse than ever.
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Appropriate to the month of March, Americans are feeling enraged (like lions), happy (like lambs) or walking around with their heads (or maybe just their apps) in the clouds. Which one are you? Here's a closer look at some of the latest small-business surveys.
As a small-business owner, you undoubtedly use mobile technology to keep in touch. So it's likely you've been guilty of a tech etiquette faux pas (or two or more) according to a recent poll by Intel. About 91 percent of the U.S. adults surveyed have witnessed people misusing mobile technology (an average of five offenses per day), and 75 percent say mobile manners have gotten worse in the past year.
While poor mobile etiquette enrages 65 percent of those surveyed, 20 percent cop to being guilty of bad mobile manners themselves. Rated most annoying? Using mobile devices while driving, loud public cellphone conversations and walking into the street while texting or talking on the phone. It amazed me that nearly 25 percent say they've seen people using laptops while driving, but I'm more shocked that every day I see dozens of people driving while holding their cell phones. Not only is it against the law in California, but it's just stupid. Headphones are dirt cheap, people -- buy a pair.
Show Them the Money
Small-business owners' finances are finally looking up, according to the 5th Small Business Success Index survey, recently released by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business.
Sales increased for 38 percent of small businesses in 2010 as compared to 2009, and only 15 percent experienced a decline. This is a happy contrast to 2009, when more businesses saw sales dip than grow. Last year, only 16 percent of small businesses lost money, compared to 26 percent that did in 2009.
It's not all about the money for business owners, however. Regardless of the state of the economy, 61 percent of business owners say they are "highly satisfied" with being an entrepreneur (although, as my Aunt Sarah used to say, a little financial reward wouldn't hurt).
A Walk in the Clouds
Cloud computing seems to be ready for lift-off. In a recent survey of small and midsize businesses commissioned by cloud file server company Egnyte, a majority (74 percent) say they plan to increase their spending on cloud software, and more than half (52 percent) plan to spend more on collaboration software.
What kinds of companies are most comfortable soaring to the cloud? The top three industries buying cloud services are professional services (79 percent), financial services (60 percent) and health care (42 percent).
Don't think you're too small to use the cloud. While my three-person company hasn't fully migrated to the cloud, we're increasingly turning to the cloud for many of our needs.