With growth in the popularity of smartphones and tablets, the importance of mobility to small businesses can’t be overstated. And that’s not just due to the fact that your customers are more likely to be shopping, searching for a local business or browsing your website from one of these devices either. No, mobile also impacts the way you interact with your team, employees and customers and even the way you run your business.
Now, more than ever, that can be done on the go. So how has the mobile revolution changed the way you get business done? Participants in “The Power of Mobility for SMBs: Obstacles and Opportunities” Twitter Chat answered that question and talked about the implications.
The chat was hosted by Hewlett Packard and presided over by the HP small business team — @HP_SmallBiz, Ramon Ray, technology evangelist and publisher of SmallBizTechnology.com — @RamonRay and Anita Campbell, founder and publisher at Small Business Trends — @smallbiztrends. You can follow the chat in it’s entirety at #HPGoinMobile.
But we’ve also collected some of the high points below. First, how has mobile really changed the way small businesses operate?
@HP_SmallBiz Q1 customer satisfaction is higher. We are able to interact more and be more available #hpgoinmobile — Candycrunches (@candycrunches) July 16, 2014
A1 #Mobility has changed everything! Working solely from your PC is a thing of the past – you can now work anywhere! #HPGoinMobile — Thomas Jensen (@ThomasJensen_) July 16, 2014
A1 Mobile tech and the cloud mean if my computer’s down, I’m not out, can swap to tablet or smart phone if have to #hpgoinmobile — Cathy Larkin PR (@CathyWebSavvyPR) July 16, 2014
Then on to more specifics, what challenges do small businesses face as employees start bringing mobile devices to work?
@HP_SmallBiz Q2: #1 is security. Most of these devices are not managed (manage-able, even). #HPGoinMobile — Apprized (@apprized) July 16, 2014
A2 Mobile Challenge: keeping info organized among your tech items. Using cloud for EZ access. if cloud’s down, you can be 2 #hpgoinmobile — Cathy Larkin PR (@CathyWebSavvyPR) July 16, 2014
A2: Choice of biz apps can be a problem. Look for apps that work regardless of operating system or platform #HPGoinMobile — Anita Campbell (@smallbiztrends) July 16, 2014
A2 I know for me, working from home sometimes I put my phone in a totally separate room to avoid the temptation & stay on task #HPGoinMobile
— Ti Roberts (@tiroberts) July 16, 2014
Beyond just operations, the chat also looked at how mobility was entering into customer relationships.
A4: By providing mobile customer support, mobile self-service & more processes tailored for mobile lifestyles. @HP_SmallBiz #HPGoinMobile — Brent Leary (@BrentLeary) July 16, 2014
Q4, Customers expect fast & high level service, mobile devices can help when on the go or at customers meetings@HP_SmallBiz #HPGoinMobile — Benvel – VA (@BenvelVA) July 16, 2014
Q4 I think mobile tech helps #smb because it makes it more personal for some customers #hpgoinmobile — Candycrunches (@candycrunches) July 16, 2014
And finally, we got down to specifics, like what mobile apps and tools were small businesses finding the most useful in streamlining their process?
@HP_SmallBiz Use Office on Windows @windowsphone, Docs to Go & Remember on @BlackBerry #HPGoinMobile — Lynn Greiner (@lynngr) July 16, 2014
@HP_SmallBiz @Expensify is great for expense reporting on the go #HPGoinMobile — Joanie Wang (@joanatello) July 16, 2014
A6: @PayPal “Here”, @Dropbox, @toggl , and Clef to name a few! #HPGoinMobile
— Josh Springer (@jspringer14) July 16, 2014
#HPGoinMobile A6 SMBs are mostly using cloud storage and SaaS services so they just need a browser and BYOD can be additional savings — Avik Munshi (@avik_munshi) July 16, 2014
We hope you’ll find the entire “Power of Mobility” chat both illuminating and helpful when examining the challenges and possibilities your business faces with the mobile revolution. We also hope you’ll revisit the original event and share links to both the chat and this roundup with a friend.
Please note that Ramon Ray and Anita Campbell were compensated by HP to “speak” on this Twitter chat and share business expertise.
Mobile Photo via Shutterstock
Shawn: Thanks for write-up summary of the chat. I participated in the chat and enjoyed it very much! I look forward to the next Twitter chat! 🙂