Profit Minded

You know you’re a business owner when you work on vacation

Of business owners who take vacation this summer, most will work while away.

Nearly half of small business owners say they don't have time to take a vacation this summer. And a large majority of those who do, will work while they're away.

According to a national survey of more than 1,200 small business owners conducted in June and released today by the online small business community Manta, 7 in 10 small business owners will be checking work email and documents on their mobile devices from vacation spots this summer. A majority say they're working more this year than they did last year, and most also say that having a mobile device along will actually help them enjoy their summer break.

But that might be because they'd go through the pains of withdrawal without it. In the office, small business owners say they use their mobile devices frequently. Online communications--email, IM, Skype, and social media--are the most common method by which small business people communicate with customers, vendors, and partners. Just 26 percent interact with customers in person, and vendors and partners get even less facetime: only 13 percent of small business owners communicate in person with them.

On the job, 35 percent of respondents say they check their device at least 10 times daily, and 25 percent access apps for business on their mobile devices two or three times every day. Nearly 7 in 10 say they use the device while simultaneously working at their computer. (Interestingly, only 13 percent admit to being addicted to their mobile devices.)

Manta's survey also revealed that 70 percent of small business owners say they are not planning to hire any new employees during the summer months. The company says that's a significant drop since its 2011 poll, when 57 percent of small business owners were planning to hire. "We attribute that to this time of extreme uncertainty," says Manta's VP of Marketing and Communication, Greg Garrick. "Business owners are waiting to see what comes out of the election before they hire."

Manta's data also indicates that new business activity fell 22 percent in the second quarter of 2012, compared to the same time last year, and is down 26 percent year-to-date compared to the first half of 2011. The company's "SMB Wellness Index" looks at multiple business resources nationwide and takes the pulse of small business owners on hot topics on a quarterly basis.

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