Mobile solutions are becoming popular in small business operations due to the advantages they provide. There has been the proliferation of technology solutions that allow businesses and their employees to keep functioning even while away from the office and workstation. The increasingly competitive nature of the economy means that the business can no longer afford to go offline or be unavailable for even a short while. Furthermore, with better internet connectivity and the advent of social media, businesses now find that consumers are always interacting with them.
Mobile solutions available for small businesses
1. Mobile Websites
The consumers must be reached within their own medium space, implying that the business must develop solutions for use in its operations that are targeted at consumers. The business must have a mobile presence. This means investing in the optimization of the business's website to be better accessible on mobile devices.
Mobile optimization is done in two ways. One, the business can build a mobile version of its desktop version. This gives better optimization in terms of graphics, user experience, and functionality. However, this comes at the cost of increased resource expenditure, and intensive time input into the development process.
Two, for businesses that are a bit more time and resource conscious, they can opt to optimize their current website for access from mobile devices through responsive webpages. This is usually done by recoding the website to make it adaptable for viewing on the small screens on mobile devices. This may cost much less, but some of the functionality of the desktop version has to be done away with.
2. Mobile Apps
Mobile apps, on the other hand, are software applications that will be installed on the user's device allowing access to certain tools of service. Retail businesses are profiting from these because the increased functionality of mobile apps allows their users to buy directly from their phones.
Mobile apps access the system resources of the device they are installed on. In most cases, this information is transmitted back to the app developers and provides the business with additional information for analysis and research. Information transmitted may be geolocation, browsing habits, and demographic data of the user.
Mobile apps are boosting business performance by enabling constant interaction between the business and its customers. This is because once the user installs the app, a direct line of communication is established.
What services are offered by the mobile solutions?
1. Cloud storage, collaboration, and convenient access to resources
Small businesses may be unable to install their own servers and provide their employees with constant access to data and other resources. However, mobile solutions in the form of cloud storage facilities, have changed this. They enable employees to store their data in the cloud for remote access. Over 50% of small businesses are now adopting cloud storage for the convenient access it offers, according to market experts.
Secondly, collaboration on projects has, very recently, required people to be in the same physical location. This limits the ability of small businesses to choose partners for collaboration while also increasing costs. Cloud solutions allow small businesses to give partners access to valuable data for collaborating. Now businesses can even work on the same document from across the world.
2. Mobile payment
Mobile solutions are enabling businesses to accept credit, debit, and bank transfer payments from their mobile devices. This means business can be conducted while on the move. The mobile apps are installed into the business owner's smart phone. They then authenticate the device allowing them to link into his accounts.
From there, the owner can have funds transferred to him and payment done through his phone.
3. Mobile Security
The increased reliance of businesses to mobile devices has created a security concern. Lost or stolen smart-phones, tablets, and other devices pose an enormous security threat to an ongoing business. This is because such devices have authenticated access to accounts on payment solutions, mobile banking system, business cloud solutions, and more.
However, the software market has responded to this need adequately. This has been done through the production of mobile protection software for such devices. Small businesses can subscribe to these services at a monthly fee to cover all the devices authenticated for use within their operations.
These security solutions equip the mobile devices with encryption tools for information they contain. They can also be used to remotely wipe data off of the device in case it is misplaced or stolen.
4. Business analytics
This refers to the analysis of information generated to provide the business with useful insight into markets and consumers. It enables businesses to create effective strategies for the performance of their business operations.
Mobile solutions are helping business analytics in two ways; one, mobile apps installed by the consumers generate useful information on demographics, preferences, and habits. This enables the business to understand its target marketing audience. Two, there are mobile apps developed to provide dashboards for small businesses to monitor activity. They enable the business owner to monitor sales versus internet traffic, social media activity concerned with their business, and more. These apps can also heat-map a site to show where visitors are clicking and what they are ignoring.
Analytics is the basis of business strategy, the more equipped a business is with useful info, the better it can respond to the market's needs. It also allows the business to see where their competitors are most effective.
5. Communication tools
Mobile solutions provide a powerful communication tool for businesses. The advent of the smart-phone saw an increase in executive communication done on the go. Now users of these solutions can undertake a wide range of communication such as sending emails, drafting documents, and even teleconferencing. Teleconferencing is noteworthy because now businesses can use mobile data streaming for live conferencing without needing to make elaborate plans.
As small businesses seek to be more effective in a more competitive market, adoption of mobile solutions will increase. It is better for the small business to get on board now rather than play catch up later.
A post published on behalf of Mr. Sandy Pardal. An avid blogger, Sandy Pardal leads the team of creative people at WebStartToday, which is a website builder that helps small businesses to create free websites. Web design and Online marketing come to him as a deep passion. He likes to experiment with websites, track their performances and share his insights with readers.