A new survey conducted by Sage North America, a business management software supplier, looked at how small businesses are changing during an unpredictable market and how that affects the small business owners.
The results for the Reinvention of Small Business Study, which was compiled from 258 small companies throughout the U.S., showed small business owners are putting in more hours, extending their work week and taking less vacation compared to five years ago because of the unpredictability of the economy. In addition, these entrepreneurs are utilizing certain devices to ensure they can be contacted during off hours and on the weekends.
"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," said Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager of small business accounting solutions at Sage. "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."
The survey showed that 42 percent of small business owners work more hours per week than five years ago, whereas 72 percent now work both longer days and more weekends. Also, nearly 40 percent reported they are taking significantly or somewhat less vacation time compared with half a decade prior.
Mobile use is growing among small business owners as well, with 78 percent of entrepreneurs reporting they rely on their cell phone in order to keep up with business management while away from their office or computer. Around 89 percent of small business owners are using laptops or notebooks, whereas 84 percent use smartphones and 38 percent have tablets. Furthermore, 96 percent use these devices to keep them in contact through email, 77 percent use them to maintain their contacts and schedules, while 69 percent consult their mobile device to view or edit documents, 64 percent text message and 53 percent use mobile banking.
Not only do small business owners use mobile technology more now than ever, but 84 percent believe it has positively effect their company's productivity overall.