The key to a small business’s success may fit into the palm of your hand. According to Manta’s SMB Wellness Index, approximately 80 percent of small business owners use their mobile phone for business at least once a day, nearly a ten percent increase since 2012. In fact, 25 percent of small businesses use their mobile device for business at least every hour, and not just when they’re on the road; 78 percent of small business owners use their mobile device while in front of their computer (a ten percent increase since 2012) for reasons ranging from checking personal texts or email (48 percent) to speedier email access (25 percent).
Small businesses now rely on mobile phones for once-traditional pen-and-paper tasks such as appointment scheduling or communicating with customers (56 percent), creating notes or to-do lists (30 percent) and banking (24 percent).
Politics and Tech – Big Impact on Small Business?
Mobile technology isn’t the only thing rocking the small business world this summer. With a flurry of high-profile Supreme Court decisions in the news and deadlines for new payment technology adoption looming, Manta asked small business owners for their take on a few of the biggest issues dominating today’s headlines.
- Marriage for All = Business as Usual – Nearly 90 percent of small business owners expect it will be business as usual after the legalization of same-sex marriage; of this number 13 percent believe they will get a business boost from the ruling. Only 11 percent of those polled feel same-sex marriage will have a negative impact on their business.
- A Healthy Lift in Benefits – Following the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Affordable Care Act, of those small business owners with eligible employees, 13 percent of respondents plan to start offering health benefits to their employees, joining the 55 percent who already offer health care benefits to employees and plan to continue to do so. Thirty-eight percent do not plan to offer health care benefits.
- Surprising Reasons Small Business Will Say No to EMV Adoption – Faced with a looming credit card fraud liability shift on October 1, lack of information may be a major hurdle for small business owners. Of those who hesitate to adopt EMV technology, 28 percent don’t know what EMV technology is or how it impacts their business, while 16 percent don’t see enough EMV chip-enabled cards in their business to make the transition worthwhile. Twelve percent disagree with the liability shift itself, while the remaining small business owners (two percent) believe the new card readers are too expensive.
Time-Strapped but Optimistic for the Months to Come
Despite the impact of these changing regulations, the majority of small business owners (71 percent) report that 2015 has been a successful year so far, up three percent since last summer. Even more small businesses (82 percent) are optimistic about the remainder of the year, although fewer (30 percent) are planning to hire new employees than the 35 percent with hiring plans during the same time period in 2014.
“Mobile technology is clearly changing the nature of small business ownership,” said John Swanciger, CEO of Manta. “It’s encouraging to see that small business owners are adapting and taking these seismic shifts in stride. At Manta, we’re constantly evolving to support our community, developing mobile-optimized tools to help them succeed and offering resources to demystify the latest trends and technology to insure small businesses keep their competitive edge.”
To view the full 2015 Wellness Index data, please visit Manta’s small business research center.