Billions of people around the world use mobile devices every day; and more and more, they’re using them to interact with businesses — whether it be reading reviews, purchasing products, or simply browsing a restaurant’s menu. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t understand the benefits of mobile technology and are missing out on the opportunity to generate new sales.
Benefits of Mobile Technology
Twenty years ago, anytime you got in a car or on the subway, you were disconnected. Thanks to mobile technology, today you can be ‘in the office’ whenever and wherever you choose. If you’re traveling, snowed in, or just don’t want to get out of your pajamas, mobile devices allow you to conduct business as usual. The advancements in cloud computing help to support mobile devices in creating flexible working practices by providing a number of services over the internet.
This greater flexibility in working also pertains to your employees. Many employees depend on mobile technology to perform everyday job functions, like checking their email, text messaging, managing contacts, organizing their calendar, and creating and editing documents. Enabling employees to work from home or while traveling can have a substantial impact on your company’s productivity and efficiency.
Software that used to set business owners back hundreds of dollars can now be found in the form of reasonably priced (or free) apps. Small businesses are using mobile apps for a multitude of management activities, such as scheduling, accounting, invoicing, service dispatch software, and customer communications.
And then there are your customers. Mobile technology has the potential to vastly improve the service you offer your customers. With mobile access to your customer relationship management system, you have the freedom to update customer details while on the move. You can provide means for customers to pay for goods or services without having to go to the till. Furthermore, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp make it easy to both connect with your customers and market your business without paying a cent.
The principal player in mobile technology is, of course, the ubiquitous smartphone. 64% of Americans own a smartphone, meaning nearly two thirds of the U.S population has access to capabilities that were once limited to desktop computers. Within reason, smartphones allow you to complete the same tasks as a basic laptop, PC, or Mac. What does this mean from a business point of view? It means you can manage cashflow, run accounts, update social media, chat with both employees and customers, and create documents — all while on the move.
42% of Americans own tablets, making them an up and comer in the world of mobile tech. Their large touch-screen interfaces makes them ideal for taking notes, providing sales support, and giving presentations. Some businesses have even employed tablets as a replacement for cash registers, instead using the combination of a mobile card reader and app to take customer payments.
Laptops aren’t as sexy as their mobile tech competitors; many business owners are leaving theirs behind in favor of other devices. However, newcomers like the 2-in-1 Yoga series laptops from Lenovo do their best to blur the line between laptop and tablet in an effort to win professionals back.
Overall, mobile technology makes it easier to conduct business. Added flexibility, improved customer service, and increased productivity make it an absolute must have tool. It will be interesting to see how it will continue to revolutionize the way business is done in the future.