A new survey conducted by Manta reveals that even though mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets help small business owners stay connected, they also make a work-free vacation hard to come by.
"As a small business owner, I don't have the luxury to ever really shut off from my business," said Terry Benton, a Louisiana-based small business owner. "It can sometimes be a double-edged sword because my mobile device allows me to stay connected so I can enjoy time away from the office."
The quarterly Wellness Index, which surveyed more than 1,200 small business owners, found that almost 60 percent of entrepreneurs say they are working more this year than they did last year. This increase workload is resulting in nearly half admitting that a vacation is simply not in the cards for them this summer.
While summer vacation isn't a reality for many, those that can get away say they will still be working, thanks to their mobile device. Seven in 10 small business owners will be checking email and work documents from their mobile device while on vacation. Additionally, 60 percent say they can enjoy their vacation more because of their mobile device and business applications.
"Mobile technology is enabling small business owners to stay connected no matter where they are," said Manta CEO Pamela Springer.
The Wellness Index also found that mobile devices are useful when entrepreneurs are in the office as well. One in four small business owners say they access apps on their mobile device for business purposes two to three times every day, regardless of where they are. Nearly 70 percent say they use their mobile device while they're at work in front of their computer for various reasons such as checking personal emails and text messages (54 percent). Seventeen percent say email comes in faster on their device and more than 10 percent admit they are simply addicted to checking their phone.
While mobile devices help entrepreneurs deal with various small business challenges in ways they were unable to previously, the survey also revealed that they have not replaced more traditional ways of communicating with clients.
More than half of small business owners (57 percent) say they most often communicate with customers via phone or in-person, and 53 percent use those methods to connect with vendors and partners.