While vacations are still skipped by some small business owners, those who do get away for a few days or weeks are — no surprise — relying on technology to stay connected.
A recent ADT Getaway Survey showed that 45% of business owners find it difficult to completely check out. Instead, 55 percent check in on their phones to ensure things are running smoothly in their absence. ADT provides electronic security and monitoring for small businesses and residences. The online survey conducted between July 7 and 11 targeted owners or managers of businesses with fewer than 100 employees and less than $5 million in annual revenue.
What Could Go Wrong?
While some business owners simply have trouble letting go when they’re away, others — 25% of them — worry that something more serious might happen to their businesses. That “something” could range from break-ins and vandalism to equipment failing, causing food to spoil, said Luis Orbegoso, President of ADT Small Business, in an email interview.
A January survey by the company of 712 small retail business owners found similar results. Orbegoso explains:
“Both survey findings demonstrated a need for solutions that directly confront feelings of worry and provide small business owners with peace of mind and greater relaxation on vacation knowing that they can ensure protection and control for their business from almost anywhere.”
What Small Businesses Can Do
While nearly half of the business owners surveyed call, email, or text to stay in the loop daily, others use mobile apps which allow video surveillance, remote access, and intrusion detection.
Orbegoso says there are now effective solutions that make it easy to check in on a business with remote access or receive activity-triggered alerts with information on daily business activity. He also says that for companies concerned about employee theft or just slacking on the job, having a video surveillance system is one option. It allows you to delegate critical business responsibilities to employees and remotely check in on their progress. You can also check daily interactions with customers, via secure, real-time online video or event-triggered video clips.
Even something as small as being able to see if you left the air conditioning blasting when you left for vacation could provide peace of mind enough to let you unwind a bit on your getaway. And if you did leave it on, being able to use your phone to control it is pretty neat. These kinds of features are also available, Orbegoso said.
For those worried about break-ins, having video surveillance allows business owners to feel on top of possible security threats. And it can stop any shrinkage caused by untrustworthy employees.
Phone photo via Shutterstock
I know I’ve been guilty. Turning off the phone is tough.
I can understand why it’s so hard for some to switch off when they go on holiday. I mean, a lot of us are so umbilically attached to our phones and other technology, it’s hard to wean yourself off it for a couple of days or a week or two. Plus, it’s your business, it’s your baby, which makes it twice as hard to disconnect/switch off the phone.
Is it really just with small business owners? What I notice is that most people cannot put down their phones anywhere. They are glued to it regardless of where they are and this is true for everyone, not just small business owners.
It’s something that’s unique to, well, humans!
It’s one of the reasons I’m glad I don’t have a smartphone. I think I’d be hooked. I spend enough time as it is on my desktop.