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Small business owners are mobile, passionate, and sales driven

Small business trends

According to a recent Intuit Small Business Survey, small business owners are motivated by passion, are mobile and spend a great deal of time focused on sales. Working in a corporation or as part of a large team is a far different machine than a small business owner who frequently is not only the CEO but the sales person, business development manager, public relations specialist and accountant.

Why own a business?

The Intuit survey reveals that small business owners are mostly in the business because of passion (67 percent) with 21 percent noting it is a means to pay their bills, 8 percent are in between jobs, and 1 percent say it is because of the recession. Small businesses are often enthusiastic, passionate entrepreneurs that stand up to the odds against them and forge ahead with the notion they can change the world, and the Intuit survey reiterates that most business owners are still in this frame of mind despite a terrible economy.

How time is spent running a business

The top most time consuming task of small businesses is universally the conducting of business, averaging 14 hours out of every week, so a book store owner spends the most time tending to the store and a Realtor spends the largest portion of their time tending to transactions. Second, small business owners spend 6 hours each week on sales, both attracting and retaining clients. To be frank, many industries spend more time on this than anything in the current economic climate.

The average time spent on communications (phone, email, text) is 5 hours, while 3 hours are spent on accounting, 3 hours on web marketing, 2 hours on invoicing and getting paid, 2 hours on contact management, 2 on employee management, and 2 on other marketing activities. In total, sales, contact management, web marketing and other marketing add up to 13 hours, nearly the same time spent as actual operations.

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Where businesses operate

Intuit reports that the average small business owner spends 21 hours managing their business on site and 12 hours on the go and 46 percent say they get their work done at the office or place of business with another 46 percent get their work done at their home office. Clients’ locations account for 3 percent while the car plays office for another 3 percent of business owners.

Fascinatingly, 1 percent say they are most likely to manage their business at an event, which likely accounts for traveling business owners and conference frequenters. The final 1 percent indicated none of these were their primary location for operating.

How technology is being used

It is no surprise that small business owners use their mobile device an average of 21 times every day to operate their business and nearly half indicate that it is “very important” to run their business via mobile device.

One in three rely on a laptop as their device of choice while 19 percent indicate their most used mobile device is an iPhone, 14 percent said an Android device, 10 percent said BlackBerry, and 11 percent said other. Interestingly, only 3 percent most use their tablet as a mobile tool for operating their business, and even more interesting is that 12 percent said they do not rely on a mobile device.

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Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.



  1. Chris Lengquist

    February 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

    It's probably easier to say that a passionate small business owner has a hard time defining his professional life from his personal life. Even when I go home I carry a camera. When selling real estate I carry a camera. When vacationing I carry a camera.

    I know tech guys that write apps for phones. Same thing. We sit watching basketball games having a beer and yet still coming up with app ideas.

    It's not work if it's fun. 🙂

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