“I learned to take advantage of the mobility that digital provides.”
For small businesses flexibility is the key to achieving success; and this flexibility won’t come if you are tied to your desk. Communication is happening more and more online, through email, forums and social media.
So how do you run your business whilst out and about?
It’s not quite as simple as buying a smart phone. Sure, this is a necessity – you need to be able to access the internet whilst out of the office, and you need to make and receive phone calls. But too few people see their smart phone as a mini computer. By this we mean that whilst you may have adequate backup procedures, anti-virus programs and general levels of security set up on your computer, how about your phone? We use Bullguard which not only gives you anti-virus, it also enables you to track your phone should it be lost or stolen, and the facility to disable access to your phone remotely, keeping all you data out of prying hands.
In addition, it’s all very well being able to send and receive emails whilst out and about, but if you don’t have your phone synched properly with your computer, you could end up giving yourself twice the amount of work as you have to resend, or re-file and delete correspondence “dealt” with on the road.
If there’s more than one of you in your company you also need some sort of access to shared calendars, documents, and your client database. We have LiveDrive briefcase on our systems – where ever any of us are, we can find out what the others have booked in, and can access any documents or files whilst out and about.
And finally, if you have an office number as well as a mobile, you need to ensure that you either have an adequate call answering service, or a seamless diversion provision. If you’re out atÂ meetings regularly and your clients keep getting an answer machine, or worse, no answer at all, they will quickly lose patience.
There is a lot of discussion in the “techie” world about tablets (such as the iPad) taking over fully from PCs – they are fast and portable and quite a lot of fun. Whether this happens or not, a tablet can be a very useful business tool, especially if you are out meeting current or prospective clients, networking, or need easy reliable access to the internet whilst away from your desk.
As with all new innovations, the cost of tablets will continue to drop as more alternatives come on to the market, and of course this means that your clients could well be using them too. A recent survey into the online habits of tablet users makes for some very interesting reading – from their use to researching companies and products, through to 48% of tablet users making an online transactions, the mobile market cannot be ignored.
You need to ensure that as well as being able to operate your company whilst being mobile, your business needs to be accessed by others when mobile. For example, how does you website appear when viewed on a smart phone or a tablet?
The old premise of Monday to Friday, 9 – 5, in one location is becoming less relevant to today’s market, and you need to keep your business model flexible. Our company operates from where ever we are, whether out on site, meeting clients, networking etc, and if you would like any more advice on how your company can adapt to the mobile market then please do get in touch.
We wish you, as always, continued happy and safe computing.