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Canada's Next Generation of Small Businesses Want High Tech And High Touch

September 29, 2010

News Releases

Majority of young entrepreneurs highlight dedicated support and remote connectivity “must-haves” when running a small business, benchmark study concludes

TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ – Results from a benchmark study conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on behalf of Rogers Communications, released in time for Small Business Month, have found that while an overwhelming 93 per cent of 18-34-year-old small business owners are leveraging advanced wireless solutions to keep them future forward, close to 90 per cent say they prefer to go back to basics as customers, wanting direct service and support from the companies they purchase from.

Additional survey findings reveal that young entrepreneurs ranked personal service (68 per cent) and access to dedicated customer support when making purchases (55 per cent) among the top three most important deciding factors when choosing vendors, suppliers and providers. 

“In business, every second counts. Our customers have told us they need the solutions that enable them to take advantage of even those small blocks of time and the support that lets them get back to their business,” says Gordon Stein, Vice President, Business Segment, Rogers Communications. “At Rogers, we understand that seamless, reliable and fast connectivity, combined with the best devices and personal, dedicated support is imperative for all small businesses to stay competitive, productive and ultimately help them succeed.”

Building on the commitment to providing small business customers with the support and resources they need, Rogers today unveiled RedBoard™ Biz (redboardbiz.rogers.com), a new corporate blog designed to provide business customers with business news, industry trends and key product and service information and the opportunity to comment and share ideas. 

Earlier this year, Rogers introduced Live Agent™, a dedicated support program specifically for business customers designed to ensure immediate, real-time assistance with specially-trained service representatives. Live Agent™ is currently available to all business customers. Details can be found at www.rogers.com/liveagent.

Upwardly Mobile

The study also found that while the majority of all small business owners (56 per cent) maintain a combination of wired and wireless connectivity, those between the ages of 18-34 (20 per cent) have cut the cord completely, operating wireless workplaces through devices including Rocket™ sticks, wireless hubs, smartphones, laptops and Wi-Fi networks. Another 11 per cent report they plan to cut the cord completely in the next six to twelve months.

“The next generation of Canadian small businesses is leveraging the latest advancements in wireless technologies to drive the shift from traditional work environments to anywhere, anytime connectivity,” says Stein. “Rogers is proud to support small businesses with our reliable networks, devices and support solutions.”

Additional Key Survey Findings:

  • Embracing mobile technologies and enabling a mobile workforce each come with tangible benefits. Small business owners surveyed cited increased employee productivity (61 per cent), higher employee satisfaction (50 per cent), and cost savings (50 per cent) among the top three advantages to mobilizing their businesses and having staff work remotely. 
  • Fifty-seven per cent of owners currently invest in mobile technology and another eight per cent say they plan to invest. Business owners in Ontario are more likely to invest in mobile technology for all employees (32 per cent). Those owners in British Columbia and Alberta report the highest incidences (63 per cent) of enabling employees to work remotely.
  • Canadian small businesses are going global. Eighteen per cent of survey respondents said they operate in the U.S. and 17 per cent combined operate internationally in Europe, Asia, South and Central America and the Caribbean. Six per cent of owners said they travel internationally for business quarterly; while nine per cent say they travel to the U.S. on a quarterly basis.
  • Small businesses connect virtually anywhere. Eleven per cent of owners said they have worked at the gym and 40 per cent have worked in parks and public spaces.
  • Value (84 per cent) and reliability (83 per cent) trump cost among the top ratings when purchasing technology. While value is sky high in Quebec (91 per cent) and among French speakers (94 per cent), Quebecers are the most influenced by brand name.
  • On a national basis, Atlantic Canadian small business owners are the most likely to operate totally wirelessly (17 per cent).
  • The top three most important technologies for managing the small business are laptops (55 per cent), backups (42 per cent) and smartphones (37 per cent). Young adults aged 18-34 are the leading business adopters of smartphones (50 per cent), mobile internet (25 per cent), laptops (70 per cent), tablets (23 per cent) and fleet GPS devices (20 per cent).
  • While voice remains the number one cellphone application in terms of importance (79 per cent), nearly half of small business owners are turning to their mobiles for data (48 per cent), followed by texting (31 per cent) and browsing the web (28 per cent).

According to Statistics Canada, as of December 2009, there were more than 2.4 million business establishments in Canada and small businesses of 100 employees or less comprise 98 percent of all the businesses in Canada.1

About the Survey

From September 1 to September 2, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 503 randomly selected Canadian small business owners who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Rogers Communication Inc.

Rogers Communications is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are Canada’s largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada’s leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services. Through Rogers Media we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, televised shopping, magazines and trade publications, and sports entertainment. We are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). For further information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit www.rogers.com

1 Source: Statistics Canada, Business Register, December 2009.