Small Business Briefing

Small business iPad use quadruples

The Globe and Mail

Customer looks at Apple's iPad 2 in a Paris Apple store after its official launch for direct purchase in France in this March 25, 2011 file photo. (CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS)

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'Fastest-growing technology' among small and mid-sized businesses

Small business use of the iPad has nearly quadrupled in the past year, making the iPad the fastest-growing technology among small and medium-sized businesses, according to a new study.

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With the iPad 3 widely expected to be launched tomorrow, the study found that use of the tablet among small and mid-sized businesses has grown from 9 per cent in 2010 to 34 per cent in 2011.

Familiarity with the tablet has soared since its April, 2010, beginnings, with 75 per cent of small and mid-sized companies reporting being "very or somewhat familiar" with the device, according to the survey by The Business Journals of more than 1,400 business owners, presidents and chief executive officers of companies with five to 499 employees.

Godfrey Phillips, vice-president of research at The Business Journals, said in a release that the iPad's growth is part of a new trend among SMBs: "Producitvity and efficiency, which used to be the central benefits of technology, are now declining in importance compared to accessibility," he said. "Now it's crucial that business owners have access to their business information and data, anytime and anywhere,"

He said the iPad, along with smartphones and cloud computing, are answering to that trend and "experiencing significant growth as a result of that need."

The study also found that iPad users among small and medium-sized businesses are tech-savvy and financially successful, with 72 per cent having a college education and an annual average household income of $176,000 (U.S.).





Super Tuesday: How U.S. Republican candidates stack up on small business

With Super Tuesday underway, many may be focused on which candidates are best for small business.

This Entrepreneur.com blog offers some compare and contrast help on how "small-business friendly" the U.S. Republican candidates' tax plans are.

"On the campaign trail so far, each of the Republican presidential candidates has announced ambitious plans to boost small businesses, a.k.a. 'job creators,' by overhauling everything from health care to taxes. Though many of the candidates proposed reforms echo each other, their policies on taxes ring decidedly discordant tones," the piece notes. Check it out for more specifics on where the candidates "stand on small-business taxes."

Elsewhere, the Washington Post offers varying views in support of which candidate is best for small business, including this posting on Mitt Romney, this one on Newt Gingrich, this one on Rick Santorum and this one on Ron Paul.

Think you've got a long commute?

If you think your commute to work is long, consider that of Eva Chen, co-founder and chief executive officer of security software maker Trend Micro, as recounted in Bloomberg Business Week.

The story says she "performs extreme and unnatural acts in the art of showing up for work."

Boy, does she ever. Ms. Chen's week begins on a Sunday night, taking calls from her Los Angeles home with her Asia-based teams. At midnight, she's on a plane to Taipei, then teleconferences, and by evening, she's on a flight to Tokyo, returning to the U.S. at the end of the week. She spends weekends at home, which isn't without Zumba dance, weekend fencing and other activities. But "since I'm around so much on the weekends, my kids' friends all think I'm a stay-at-home mom, and I like that fake identity," she says in the story.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Top 100 women gala and summit

The Women's Executive Network is hosting a summit and gala in Calgary with the Top 100, which recognizes Canada's highest-achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. The events take place in Calgary this Thursday, March 8, coinciding with International Women's Day. Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman magazine, will be keynote speaker at the gala. For more information on the gala and summit, click here.

Apply for Deloitt Technology Fast 50

Applications have opened for Deloitte’s annual Technology Fast 50, a list of Canada’s fastest-growing tech companies. Firms in the hardware, software, telecom or emerging technology sectors are eligible for the award, which recognizes Canadian companies with the highest percentage revenue growth over five years. Applicants can also put their names in the ring for the North American Technology Fast 500 ranking. The awards' application deadline is May 4. For more details, click here.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Co-op finds niche in Canada's evolving fashion scene

In honour of International Women's Day this week, check out our continuing coverage, including this Talking to Entrepreneurs video, where Laura-Jean Bernhardson, the founder of Fresh Collective, explains how a Saskatoon 'girl with a dream' built a sustainable fashion design business out of her living room.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Young entrepreneurs caged by age

While young entrepreneurship is on the rise, and many firms are headed by fresh-faced bosses, their age can sometimes create problems and cause them to meet resistance. Just because of how old they are, or how old they look, some entrepreneurs may face assumptions about their competence from customers or suppliers,have difficulties with employees working for a boss decades their junior, and face financing obstacles, recounted a story last September that told of the tactics of some young entrepreneurs in overcoming age issues.



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