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Sage Survey Finds That a Significant Number of Small Business Owners Are Working Longer Hours to Keep Up in an Unpredictable Economy

Mobile Technology Enhances SMB Owners' and Employees' Ability to Manage Their Business and Tasks (May 21, 2012)

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwire) -- 05/21/12 -- Sage North America announced today 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 study found that many small business owners are putting in more hours, extending their work week, and taking less vacation compared to five years ago. In order to stay more connected after hours and weekends, many small business owners indicated that they are utilizing more mobile solutions and tools. Sage, a leading provider of business management software and services to more than 6 million small and midsized businesses worldwide, conducted the study among 258 small businesses in the U.S.

"The latest Sage small business survey indicates that owners have not only had to reinvent their business model during the past five years, but 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. We hope to gleam some more insight into what small businesses are planning for the future during the Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week, of which we are a sponsor."

Extended Work Week and Less Vacation
The survey found that 42 percent of small business owners are working more hours per week than they were five years ago. Seventy-two percent of these owners are now working both longer days and more weekends. In addition, many small business owners are now taking less vacation time with 40 percent saying that they are taking significantly or somewhat less compared to five years ago.

Growing Dependence of Mobile Technology
Small business owners are relying on mobile technology to assist in managing their business more than ever with 78 percent stating that they use a mobile device to access work-related information while away from the office or their computer. The main devices that these small business owners are using are laptops or notebooks (89%), smartphones (84%), and tablets (38%). Small business owners are mostly looking to mobile technology to let them keep in contact via email (96%), maintain their contacts and schedules (77%), view or edit documents (69%), text message (64%), and conduct banking (53%).


The overwhelming majority of small business owners who use mobile technology feel that it has positively affected their company's productivity (84%).

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 66% of businesses with employees said their employees use mobile devices to work remotely. 61% of these businesses supply the devices themselves.
    • The top five work-related activities that employees are utilizing mobile devices for are: email (89%), text messaging (63%), maintaining contacts and schedules (62%), sales and marketing (41%), and accessing file storage (33%).
  • 36% of small business owners indicated that they have made changes to their business in response to higher fuel costs.
  • 71% of small business owners have participated in social media.
  • Customer experience is important to small businesses with 70% of small business owners saying they actively promote a unique customer experience. However, 85% do not offer a formal customer loyalty program.

National Small Business Week
To celebrate the close ties Sage has to the small business community, Sage will serve as a co-sponsor of National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C. from May 20-22. Sage is sponsoring the National Awards Luncheon honoring State Small Business Person of the Year winners on Monday, May 21. The top small Business from each of the 50 states, as well as U.S. territories, will attend, and the National State Small Business Person of the year will be announced at the luncheon.

The survey was conducted in April/May 2012 among Sage customers who are business owners and has a margin of error of +/- 6% with a confidence level of 95 percent.

About Sage
Sage is a leading global supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs more than 12,600 people and supports more than 6 million customers worldwide. For more information about Sage in North America, please visit the company website at: na.sage.com. Follow on Facebook, Facebook.com/SageNorthAmerica, and Twitter, Twitter.com/SageNAmerica.

© 2012 Sage Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Sage, the Sage logos, and the Sage product and service names mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sage Software, Inc. or its affiliated entities. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Press Contacts:
Yvonne Yuen
Sage North America
604-207-3563
Yvonne.Yuen@sage.com

Amanda DeFuria
Sage North America
678-280-5469
Amanda.DeFuria@sage.com


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