Many small-businesses owners are planning to skip their summer vacations this year, and are working more than ever, thanks to the rise of mobile devices and the productivity that can come with them, according to the findings of a study conducted by Manta, an online community focused on small business.
The study, based on a survey of more than 1,200 small-business owners, shows that nearly half say they won't have time to take a vacation this summer and almost 60 percent say they're working more this year than they did last year.
"The current economic conditions are putting a strain on all businesses, particularly SMBs [small and midsize businesses], that oftentimes need to do more with less," Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta, said in a press statement. "While mobile technology is enabling small-business owners to stay connected no matter where they are, SMBs set themselves apart by adding that personal touch to their relationships with customers and partners.
While seven in 10 small-business owners said they would be checking email and work documents from their mobile devices while on vacation, 60 percent say they can enjoy their vacation more because of their mobile device and business applications.
"As a small-business owner, I don't have the luxury to ever really shut off from my business," Terry Benton, owner of Louisiana-based Terry's Fabric Cottage said in prepared remarks. "While it can sometimes be a double-edged sword, my mobile device allows me to stay connected so I can enjoy time away from the office.
Mobile devices tie small-business owners to their companies, whether in the sun or in the office, survey results suggested, with one in four small-business owners saying they access apps on their mobile devices for business two to three times every day, and nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) say they use their mobile device while they're at work in front of their computers. More than one in 10 admitted it is because they are simply addicted to checking their phones, while 17 percent say it's because their email comes in faster on their device than on their desktop or notebook.
On the hiring front, 70 percent of small-business owners said they are not planning to hire any new employees during the summera significant drop since Manta's 2011 poll, which revealed 57 percent of small-business owners were planning to hire. The bad news was evenly spread around, as survey data revealed new business activity fell 22 percent in the second quarter of 2012, compared with the same time last year, and is down 26 percent year-to-date, compared with the first half of 2011.