There was a time, not too long ago, when a business was a place – an office, a manufacturing plant, a restaurant, a clothing store – where customers came to you to conduct business. However, the days of passively waiting for business to walk through the door are long gone.

Since the advent of the Internet and cellular telephones, business isn’t always a place. It’s the activity conducted by small business owners, department heads, the company sales force – today, business activity takes place online and on the road.

We’re no longer tethered to a desktop computer. We don’t have to use our land line to dial up the Internet. The tools of the trade have changed and business is no longer passive. Today, business goes where the money is. Sitting in an office making cold calls seems so dated when today, your business team is mobile, providing products and services where customers and clients need them.

The Benefits of a Mobile Office

Going mobile provides numerous business benefits. Mobile tech can streamline your company’s operations, lowering the cost of doing business, and expanding margins without raising prices – something your client base will appreciate.

Going mobile is a great way to build a customer base and market your products and services. You can send information about your company to customers who have asked for information using their mobile phones – customers who want the services your company offers.

Small business owners can capture payments from the field at the time services are delivered, increasing the rate of cash flow through the company.

Productivity increases using smartphone technology. Access the Internet on your cell while miles from your company’s home base. Move money from one business account to another using mobile banking. Access business records and other critical information from anywhere. Set up automatic bill pay to help you avoid late fees.

So, what do you need to set up your business to work from here, there, and everywhere in between? Even the technology makes a mobile office simple to set up, simple to maintain, and secure with highly-encrypted messaging between smartphone and your business – and it’s nobody’s business but your own.

First, get the right mobile gear. Mobile is on the go, so you need tech that moves with you to keep you connected and informed, even if you’re hundreds of miles away from company HQ.

Start with your computing and data storage needs. In many cases, a tablet or smart phone is all you need to maintain contact with your home base. If your sales team needs more computing power to display animated marketing materials during sales calls, a lightweight laptop with a fast video card will give you the power to display your wares.

Decide how mobile tech will be used by your people before spending money on equipment that is more expensive (and powerful) than you need. If your remote site employees can capture a payment for deposit into the company account using a smart phone application (app), you lower the costs of billing and payment collections. No more paper bills. No more postage. Payments are automatically deposited into a company account by those who have access to those accounts.

Purchase mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops that can “talk” to each other to simplify accounting, and to access account information from the road, or from around the world.

Next, backup company data in a central location. We’ve all heard of cloud computing. It’s simply off-site storage of company data (stored in the “cloud”) that can be accessed as needed. You can also set permissions for different employees so they can only access certain business accounts or conduct approved business activities.

Simplify access to business data using an online backup service. Companies like Carbonite®, IDrive® and Boxnet provide data sharing features that you can control and monitor. Using a Flash drive to move files from one computer or network device to another is cumbersome when compared to online backup services with multiple layers of security and simplicity of use.

There are other tools available to facilitate a mobile office. Productivity apps like Evernote® and Stormboard® are excellent tools for online collaborations and data storage when you’re on the go.

Your mobile business may need Wi-Fi access points to connect to a client or to home base. Wi-Fi is available in coffee shops and most companies, but you can also use your smart phone as a modem. You may not be in a Wi-Fi hotspot, but by plugging in your smartphone, you can still access the Internet wherever you have mobile phone coverage. Your smartphone is, in fact, your modem in this case.

Update your operating system and install security patches as they become available. To use mobile tech securely, you need a secure, encrypted connection. Keep your software up-to-date, and pump up your security software to prevent mobile leakage – data that can be intercepted by hackers.

Finally, choose a business bank that provides mobile services – remote payment capture, online access to account balances, the ability to move business capital from one account to another. Your business bank should provide all the benefits of mobile accessibility and security.

Today, if your crew is chained to desktop computers instead of on the move, you’re losing ground to the competition that employs mobility to build its customer base. So, get going. It’s time to mobilize your business for faster growth and increased productivity.

 


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.