Business as usual for SME owners these holidays

SIOBHAN LEATHLEY
Last updated 12:51 20/12/2013
Brett Seabrook
Vodafone/Supplied.

BRETT SEABROOK: Plans to continue working remotely from his campervan these holidays.

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Small-business owners wanting to keep their business going and stay ahead of the competition will keep their smartphones on during the holidays, a survey shows.

Vodafone surveyed a cross-section of its business customers to determine how they would use technology to ensure business continuity during the summer holidays.

It found more than 60 per cent of owners would remain constantly contactable for customers, and 90 per cent intend to check work emails at least once every day.

Central Auckland Maintenance owner Brett Seabrook said doing so was a necessity for many business-owners.

"This is generally the way things are done in order for businesses to survive," he said.

His property maintenance company will remain open while he spends his two-week holiday roaming the North Island's best camping grounds.

He planned to continue working remotely and would remain contactable to clients and contractors.

"I'll be able to sit in my campervan while emailing clients," he said.

The nature of Seabrook's business meant customers expected him to respond immediately and "around the clock".

His attitude is not unusual.

Global consulting firm SYPartners found about 78 per cent of all business goes to the first company to pick up the phone.

Vodafone's head of Small Business Andrew Fairgray said: "This research shows a shift in the mindset of business owners - using mobility to run the business remotely and ensuring they hit the ground running in the new year."

Seabrook said: "You can still have a holiday, but with a smartphone and the technology available business can continue as usual."

A total 650 small-business owners across the country took part in the survey at the beginning of December.

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- Fairfax Media

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