Many now combine smartphones, tablets and laptops with mobile internet, making the truly mobile office a reality. So how can mobile working benefit your business? Here are five top tips for building mobility into your business.
1. Get closer to your customers
The advancement of mobile technology is transforming the way businesses work, enabling them to continuously tailor their services to their needs. Take Anthony Sinclair for example, the tailoring company that made suits for Sean Connery as James Bond. David Mason, the entrepreneur behind the brand, used to take a small selection of fabric samples to meetings, anticipating the styles his client would be interested in. Invariably, this would lead to a second appointment or occasionally loss of a sales opportunity. Now, by uploading high definition images of all his fabric samples to a cloud storage service, Mason can carry his entire catalogue with him and download images of samples to his tablet as required.
2. Ensure your company data is protected
When equipping your employees to work on the move, it’s important to keep sensitive business information safe. Make sure all company mobile devices are password protected. This can be managed centrally using mobile device management software, so you don’t have to rely on employees to activate the password lock. Mobile device management software can also be used to remotely wipe all company data from mobile devices, should they be lost or stolen.
3. Set up a new business operation instantly in any location
Getting to market quickly is crucial for any small business, yet many are obliged to wait a month or more for a fixed line data connection to be installed before they can begin trading properly. Given how much small businesses now rely on the internet, this delay can be disastrous. Ministry of Startups, an East London company, has made a business out of helping other businesses set up operations instantly using a 4G mobile Wi-Fi device or wireless router. The company provides affordable office space on 30-day terms and an instant internet connection entrepreneurs, freelancers and new businesses.
Similarly, Europe’s first liquid nitrogen ice-cream parlour, Chin Chin Labs, is using mobile technology to expand its Camden-based business to a variety of temporary pop-up shops across London. Mobile payment technology, combined with a superfast data connection, enables the company to trade in temporary locations, as well as place stock orders with suppliers and process sales and accounting information.
4. Take creativity to another level by working in different locations
Supercharge business ideas by organising brainstorms in unusual and inspiring locations. With summer approaching, creative workshops can be held outside in parks, museums, historic buildings or even on riverboats. Using mobile devices, the team can access online research and background information to help them develop ideas. At the end of each session, they can upload ideas and supporting documents to the cloud for use back at the office.
Mike Tomlinson is small business director at EE.
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