Utilization of telecommunications technologies in small businesses
Jacobson, Calvin S.
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Telecommunications technologies means the science of communication at a distance by electronic transmission. The types of telecommunications technologies being used in commerce by small businesses in Montana were analyzed by the creation of a sample questionairre. All businesses registered with the Montana Department of Commerce for listing in the Montana Manufacturers and Product Directory was the population of interest. A representative sample of nearly 25% of the population returned usable questionnaires. The majority of business people state they have computers for their business needs. The average user time spent daily on a computer is between one and four hours. Continuing education course availability is within driving distance for business owners and managers in most geographic areas. The most readily available courses are Accounting, Computer Technology, Management and Marketing. More than half the respondents state they have taken continuing business education courses since formally attending school. For businesses, the most sought after continuing education courses were in the areas of: * Marketing * Management * Accounting * Computer Technology * Salesmanship * Customer Services Communications Technologies, Legal & Compliance Issues, Business & Office Equipment and International Business were ranked as a lower priority. The largest sector (31%) of businesses report annual gross sales income of less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.). The second largest sector (23%) reported annual gross sales income greater than one million ($1,000,000.). Two to five (2-5) employees is the predominant number of employees in fifty percent (50%) of the Montana businesses and over seventy-two percent (72%) of the respondents had some college experience or a college degree in place. The majority of respondents (48%) were self-employed for longer than ten (10) years. The majority of respondents (55%) had been with their company longer than ten (10) years. The majority of people in business had come from a business-related education background. Seventy-one percent (71 %) of the respondents were over forty years old. Sixty-six percent (66%) of the respondents were male. The preferred way to experience continuing course work was in person. When asked about actual use of telecommunications technologies, distance computing was picked most frequently. Almost half of the respondents stated that they were not sure if they would choose to use technology to further their education. The identified groups were owners and managers having taken continuing business education courses and those that had not, time spent daily on computers and company annual gross sales. There were no significant relationships found.