Go mobile, or go home! [SME Advisor Middle East]
(SME Advisor Middle East Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) If you haven't already noticed the large du billboards across Dubai screaming 'tomorrow is about mobile', let me reiterate it here: mobility is the future of all businesses. And, before I make my case for why your small business needs to jump on the mobility bandwagon, let me pause for a minute to explain what it actually means. There are several comprehensive ways to describe mobility, but here's how I like to define it: restructuring your business processes using advanced technology. For instance: a customer making a purchase through a smartphone app is now able 'virtually' enjoy the same shopping experience as a customer visiting the actual store.
Now, back to a burning question – Why is everyone talking about mobility? The UAE has the highest smartphone penetration in the world; it means if your business isn’t tapping into this market, you're making a grave mistake. According to a Gartner research, tablets are expected to outsell PCs by 2015. That's not all. Mobility also empowers employees to work more efficiently; they have the option to work remotely and bring their personal devices to work.
For most tech-savvy entrepreneurs and small business owners, this shift to mobile is easy and fairly intuitive. However, for those that consider technology as their Achilles heel, here are a few quick basic steps to get ahead of the curve:
Compatibility: It's important to ensure that your company's website is compatible with all mobile devices and platforms. Not only does this enable quick and easy access, but it offers your customer an enjoyable viewing experience. When I say compatibility, it doesn’t just mean that your website is available on different mobile devices, it means that your website is completely optimised to work on a mobile device. This includes design changes; does it fit on a mobile screen? and interface changes; making information accessible in a click or two versus a comprehensive options menu. Mobile apps: Assuming that your business has sufficient resources, you can take customer experience to the next level by creating a mobile application for your company (this applies to both smartphones and tablets). This process has become increasingly simple and cost-effective with several online tools that allow you to build a customised app in a few easy steps. On the surface level, this may seem like a simple tweak but there's definitely more than meets the eye. Through this change, your firm is undergoing a complete rebuilding of its processes such as, access to real-time information. Let's take this example: if you are a courier services company, your customers can get an hourly update of where exactly their order is in the delivery process using the mobile application. So, the shift to mobile forces your business to put further emphasis on the immediacy, relevance and location of information. Video content: An interesting statistic from Ericsson's Mobility Report revealed: "Video traffic in mobile networks is expected to grow by around 60 per cent annually through 2018." This highlights the significant role that content plays in the mobility process. Just having a mobile app doesn’t suffice. Integrating rich content like videos and other interactive features to engage customers is of paramount importance. Tablets: A survey commissioned by AT&T reported: "Tablet usage among small businesses is poised to grow dramatically in the near future with 60 per cent of small business owners planning to purchase tablets within the next year, either for themselves or their employees." The tablet market is seeing rapid growth and is something that will change the way small businesses operate. Mobility within your workplace: Finally, apart from implementing customer-focused mobility strategies, it's equally important that your employees are on the right track as well. A CDW Mobility at Work Report offers five great tips to manage mobility issues at your workplace: planning, enabling, protecting, supporting and empowering. Find out more here: www.cdwnewsroom.com/cdw-mobility-at-work-report/.
It's crucial to add that these steps are simply the tip of the mobility iceberg, but remember that the real power lies in the way your firm leverages these factors to reinvent its business processes and boost success. And of course, while you're busy making your way to the top of the technological ladder, I'll be sitting here chanting my new favourite slogan, Go mobile, or go home!
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