Sage Survey: How Small Businesses Deal With an Unpredictable Economy

By AccountingWEB Staff
Sage North America announced the results of its Reinvention of Small Business Study, a survey focused on how small businesses are changing the way they conduct business in an unpredictable economy. 
"The latest Sage small business survey indicates that owners have not only had to reinvent their business model during the past five years, but they have also made significant personal sacrifices to keep their operations afloat," says Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager, small business accounting solutions, Sage North America. "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.” 

Survey Findings
Extended Work Week and Less Vacation
  • 42 percent of small business owners work more hours per week than they did five years ago.
  • 72 percent of these owners work both longer days and more weekends. 
  • 40 percent say they take significantly less or somewhat less vacation time compared to five years ago.

Growing Dependence of Mobile Technology

  • 78 percent of survey participants use a mobile device to access work-related information while away from the office or their computer: 89 percent use laptops or notebooks, 84 percent use smartphones, and 38 percent use tablets. 
  • 84 percent of those who use mobile technology feel that it has positively affected their company's productivity.
  • 66 percent of businesses with employees said their employees use mobile devices to work remotely; 61 percent of these businesses supply the devices. 
  • 89 percent of employees use mobile devices for work-related e-mail; 63 percent for text messaging, 62 percent for maintaining contacts and schedules, 41 percent for sales and marketing, and 33 percent for accessing file storage. 
Additional Findings of Note:
  • 36 percent say they have made changes to their business in response to higher fuel costs.
  • 71 percent of have participated in social media.
  • 70 percent say they actively promote a unique customer experience; however, 85 percent do not offer a formal customer loyalty program.
To celebrate the close ties Sage has to the small business community, Sage served as a cosponsor of National Small Business Week in Washington, DC, May 20-22. Sage sponsored the National Awards Luncheon honoring State Small Business Person of the Year winners on May 21. The top small business from each of the fifty states as well as the US territories was announced at the luncheon. 
The survey was conducted in April/May 2012 among 258 of Sage’s customers who are small business owners in the United States. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 6 percent, with a confidence level of 95 percent.
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