This summer, mobile technology is rocking the small business world. According to Manta’s SMB Wellness Index, released today, July 21, mobile phones are taking center stage for small business owners and entrepreneurs as a business tool.
Having a computer in their pocket has made mobile phones a must for small business owners. According to the survey, approximately 80 percent of small business owners and entrepreneurs are using their mobile phones for business at least once a day, and 78 percent are using their mobile devices and smartphones while sitting in front of their computers. The reasons for smartphone use range from checking personal texts and email (48 percent) to faster email access (25 percent).
Smartphones are also the tool of choice have replaced pen and paper for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Appointment scheduling or communicating with customers (56 percent), taking notes or making to-do lists (30 percent) and banking (24 percent) are key uses.
But all that smartphone use comes with a downside for small business owners and entrepreneurs. They’re mixing work and play regularly, with 78 percent answering that they check their email or conduct other business with their mobile phones while on vacation. And while 64 percent believe their mobile access to work helps them enjoy their vacations more, 36 percent say that smartphones are making it harder to enjoy their breaks.
For 57 percent of small business owners and entrepreneurs, this doesn’t matter, as only 43 percent responded to the survey affirming vacation time. For various reasons, small business owners and entrepreneurs can’t take vacations: 29 percent have no one to cover for them, 24 percent can’t afford a vacation, and 21 percent can’t afford losing income from taking time off. Trusting someone else to run the business is also an issue, as 12 percent of respondents don’t want anyone else running the show while they’re gone.
“Mobile technology is clearly changing the nature of small business ownership,” said John Swanciger, CEO of Manta, in a press release emailed to the Houston Entrepreneurship Examiner. “It’s encouraging to see that small business owners are adapting and taking these seismic shifts in stride.”