Mobile technologies really are changing the ways small businesses operate and compete on a global scale. Recent surveys have shown that, in order to stay competitive and remain successful, small business owners must tap into mobile technologies.
According to a report produced by AT&T and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) council, using mobile technologies in their daily business activities has netted small business owners $67.5 billion a year. This includes tablets, mobile apps and smartphones. The study also found that using smartphones saves small business owners around $32.3 billion annually.
Technologies that were once reserved for the elites of the Fortune 500 can now fit easily in the palm of almost anyone’s hand. And, mobile technology will only continue to revolutionize the way business is done.
Make business better
Small businesses are using mobile technologies not just because it’s the cool thing to do, but because it works. Small business owners now have the opportunity to accomplish things they couldn’t have done previously.
The apps available to them are either free or cost very little relative to much more expensive software and technology. In fact, a MarketingProfs study found out how small businesses use mobile technology:
- 73 percent use it for social media marketing
- 71 percent use it for email marketing
- 44 percent use it for advertising
- 34 percent use it for mobile websites
- 18 percent use it to manage operations
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a software application, small businesses can spend maybe a few dollars for an app that gets the job done quickly and easily.
Improve business capabilities
Smartphones enable the small business owner to conduct business on the go. It is the staple of mobile technology. Just use an app, voice command, navigation and sophisticated search functions to give your business an edge that may have been unheard of 10 years ago.
Then, there are tablets, which give small business owners something they never thought they needed. For typing up reports or viewing company slides and videos, there isn’t anything better than a tablet. It is the computer that is truly mobile.
Cloud technology is another mobile tool that has yet to achieve its full potential. Whether it is data backup, mobile computing, file sharing and more, many small businesses depend on the cloud for day-to-day operations. If you use Google Docs or DropBox, you are already utilizing the cloud.
Download apps, apps and more apps
Small business owners no longer need to operate out of a traditional brick-and-mortar building to be successful. Everything can be built online, and reach a global market. In fact, here are four businesses you can start from home. Need to hire employees, you can hire remote contractors via a freelancing app.
Want to keep track of your sales funnel? There are apps for that too. Want to share new ideas via a virtual meeting? No problem. Need help managing calls? Of course you can. In this article from Zintel Australia, small businesses have every opportunity to manage calls just as well as enterprise businesses. You don’t even need an office to do so.
Mobile technologies are making it possible to do what was once thought of as impossible. All an entrepreneur has to do is focus on the overall objective. To illustrate, if you want to increase your sale by 10 percent this year, what technologies will you need to use to get there?
You will probably need a CRM application, the cloud, a mobile app/site for your business, a social media app for online advertising, a communication app to keep in touch with your employees and perhaps a time management app.
These seem pretty straightforward and simple, but at the heart of it all is your desire and action. Apps can’t work alone, you must put them to work. But, boy do they work.
Another way small businesses are attracting new clients is through video marketing and live video. The rise of video marketing is due to demand. Outside of reading text, video catches people’s attention. The good news is you don’t need expensive equipment to get started.
You can create marketing videos with your smartphone camera. Make sure the tone and message resonate with your brand and audience. Here are a few ideas:
- Behind the scenes
- How we make your favorite products
- Customer testimonials
- Real clients using your products and services
You don’t need to have a degree in photography or video editing to produce something people will watch. If you would like to add a few more bells and whistles to your videos, there are many apps available with editing services. You might add items such as:
- Varying backgrounds
- Color schemes
- Voice overs
When it comes to mobile technologies, your options are endless. As a small business owner, all the tools you need are out there—and many of them are free.
It’s really a matter of deciding which apps you feel most comfortable using, and which ones most specifically fit your company’s needs. After that, it takes your initiative to put your apps to work for you. Who needs a personal assistant?
Author: Katrina Manning is a content marketing specialist with BuildNicheLinks who has penned thousands of articles on business, tech, lifestyle and digital marketing for a wide variety of global B2B clients. Connect with Katrina on Twitter.