Approximately 80 percent of small business owners use their mobile phone for business at least once a day, nearly a 10 percent increase since 2012, according to Manta’s latest SMB Wellness Index.
The study revealed a quarter of small businesses use their mobile device for business at least every hour, and not just when they’re on the road. Also, 78 percent of small business owners use their mobile device while in front of their computer (a 10n percent increase since 2012) for things like checking personal texts or email (48 percent) and speedier email access (25 percent).
"Mobile technology has in some ways been a double-edged sword for small business owners’ work-life balance, making it easier to get away but harder in some cases to fully disconnect," John Swanciger, CEO of Manta, told eWEEK. "For example, according to our survey, 78 percent of small business owners check work email or other documents while on vacation, although most of them--64 percent--believe mobile access allows them to enjoy their vacations more."
He noted with 80 percent of small business owners using their mobile phone for business at least once a day, it is clear that mobile tech is here to stay.
The survey also indicated small businesses now rely on mobile phones for basic tasks such as appointment scheduling or communicating with customers (56 percent), creating notes or to-do lists (30 percent) and banking (24 percent).
"Mobile tech provides opportunities for efficiency and business growth, but it can also place further demand on business owners to remain more accessible," Swanciger noted. "Having an open line of communication to the public 24/7, and helpful business tools readily available, coaxes business owners to make themselves more available and accountable, even outside business hours. As we’ve seen with the vacation example, this can be a threat to a small business owner’s work-life balance."
The majority of small business owners (71 percent) report that 2015 has been a successful year so far, with business up 3 percent since last summer.
Even more small businesses (82 percent) are optimistic about the remainder of the year, although less than last year are planning to hire new employees. This year’s figure of 30 percent compares to 35 % in 2014."Many small businesses can operate as lean organizations with consolidated resources," Swanciger said. "If they take the profit as is, without expanding their business, small businesses can sustain success without generating additional overhead costs of employing and training others in hopes of bigger gains."