What has changed in the past five years for small business owners? Pretty much everything, according to new research from Sage North America.
Sage, a global supplier of business management software, summarized its Reinvention of Small Business survey in a one-page infographic that looks at how business owners are doing more, often with less.
Among its findings: small business owners are working 42 percent more hours per week than five years ago. On top of longer hours, 40 percent said they are taking less vacation time than they did five years ago. And 72 percent of business owners are working longer days and more weekends.
What’s behind the change? While the economic downturn probably has something to do with it — many businesses have been reluctant to hirewhile economic conditions have been so uncertain— mobile technology has made doing business anytime, anywhere, easier. And, for better or worse, extended the work day.
According to the survey, 78 percent of business owners said they use a mobile device to access work-related information while away from the office. Among the respondents, 84 percent of business owners are using smartphones, and 38 percent are using tablets.
So, while 84 percent of the 258 small business owners who responded to the survey said that mobile technology has positively affected their company’s productivity, no one asked the obvious follow-up question: Is it worth putting in longer hours for all that increased productivity?
Maybe no one was able to put down their smartphone long enough to think about it.