SMBs Use Mobile Technology to Stay Connected After Hours, Reveals Latest Sage Survey

Many small business owners are taking fewer vacations and spending more time working after hours and on weekends than they were five years ago, according to the results of Sage North America's Reinvention of Small Business Study.

The survey, conducted among 258 small businesses in the U.S., looked at how small businesses adapt their business practices during an unpredictable economy and found that many small business owners are increasing their use of mobile technology in efforts to stay connected to the office.

“The latest Sage small business survey indicates that owners have not only had to reinvent their business model during the past five years, but have also made significant personal sacrifices to keep their operations afloat,” says Connie Certusi, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Small Business Accounting Solutions, Sage North America. “Knowing how small businesses have changed their operations during the economic downturn helps Sage develop new and improved solutions that will make their business life easier. We hope to gleam some more insight into what small businesses are planning for the future during the Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week, of which we are a sponsor.”

Highlights from the survey include:

  • 42% of small business owners work more hours per week than they did five years ago
  • 40% of small business owners reported using less vacation time than they did five years ago
  • 78% of small business owners use a mobile device to access work-related information outside the office
  • Small business owners use the following mobile devices: laptops or notebooks (89%), smartphones (84%) and tablets (38%)
  • The top tasks small business owners use mobile devices for: email (96%), contact and schedule management (77%), view or edit documents (69%), text message (64%) and banking services (53%)
  • 84% of small business owners feel that mobile technology has had a positive impact on their business and productivity
  • 66% of businesses with employees have employees that use mobile devices to work remotely
  • 61% of small businesses whose employees use mobile devices to work remotely provide the devices to employees
  • Employees use mobile devices for the following tasks: email (89%), text messaging (63%), contact and schedule management (62%), sales and marketing activities (41%) and file storage (33%)
  • 36% of small business owners made changes to the way their firm does business to help reduce fuel costs
  • 71% of small business owners have participated in social media