I often get asked how small businesses should approach technology. My advice is always the same. To safeguard your business and improve operating efficiency, stay up to date. Small businesses have always been nimble – it’s our greatest strength. Constantly evolving tech is letting us to be more nimble and competitive than ever.

2015_AUG_AU_TECHNOLOGY - Can you run your business on your mobile?

How we know business is changing

Nowhere is that more evident than in our mobility. It’s so easy for small business owners to work on the go, and still get things done quickly and efficiently. You could probably run a lot of businesses from your phone alone. The need for a regular office is diminishing and the mobile workforce is on the rise.

For the record, my family business uses a combination of desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles. It allow us to collaborate across different rooms, states and countries. So it might not be time to throw out the desktops and laptops from my business just yet. But some businesses can operate without a lot of the traditional hardware we’re used to. It just depends on the type of operation you run and how your business functions on the tech front.

Hanging up the fixed-line for good

All you need to start or run a business these days is a phone, email and internet connection. That can all be done from the one device – a smartphone.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), there’s a group of Australians (12 percent and growing) who are exclusively mobile. That is, they don’t have a fixed-line telephone or fixed internet in their homes.

It’s these consumers who expect mobile conveniences. They want mobile-friendly websites, mobile payments and the ability to resolve issues over email or social media. For a business to communicate on these customers’ terms, all they need is a mobile connection.

This is particularly true if your business is predominantly on the go. Like if you’re always out seeing clients, travelling or doing deliveries. Especially if you don’t need advanced tools like design software or stock management systems.

Working on the go from your mobile

Times have changed. Basic tasks like phone calls, emails and invoicing can all be done from a smartphone. Accounts can be kept in the cloud so bookkeepers can work remotely. Huge point of sale terminals have been replaced with mobile payment systems. A great tablet can do just as much as a laptop these days.

It’s probably within reach for a lot of small businesses to do away with clunky desktops for good.

No matter what technology you use, it might pay to review the essential software and functionality you need. You may find that everything you need is already on your mobile device.

Embracing the right mobile technology could just lift some of the burden, save a bit of money, and make your small business that touch more efficient.

David Koch is the owner of Pinstripe Media. He also hosts Kochie’s Business Builders, co-hosts Sunrise, and chairs the Port Adelaide Football Club. Connect with him on Twitter @kochie_online.

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