INSIGHT

Going Mobile? Tips & Tech for Small Businesses in 2021

More than ever, small businesses are prioritising a flexible business model that lets them adapt to new changes and challenges with as little disruption as possible. As a result, many are finding that they need more than just business broadband when it comes to working flexibly, whether that’s at home, in the office, or on the go. Investing in mobile technology seems like a fantastic solution, but knowing where to begin, or what solutions will be the best for your business can be another challenge entirely. To help out, we’ve put together a short guide designed to help small businesses taking the first steps towards going mobile:

1. Diversify your connections

Business broadband is great, but when you’re at home or on the go, you’re a long way from that super-fast, always on connection. It’s important therefore for small businesses to have alternative means of connecting to the internet that are both fast and reliable. A mobile broadband solution is an excellent choice if you’re planning to spend significant amounts of time out of the office and need to connect multiple devices. Whether you’re at a cafe, on a train or in a hotel, mobile broadband gives you a secure, fast connection that enables you to get on with work, wherever you are.

In a similar vein, mobile networks are faster and more efficient than ever, particularly as 5G coverage expands across the UK. Recent tests[1] have shown that 5G has average download speeds of 100-200Mbps, faster than some business broadband connections (although not ours!) If your business needs you to travel every day, or work remotely, a connection this fast will make work seem as simple as if you were still sitting at your desk. The growth of technology like mobile broadband and 5G are giving small businesses the freedom to step out of the office and work in a way that suits them - a massive benefit as demand for flexible working continues to skyrocket. 

2. Get more done with future-ready mobile devices

Picking the right mobile devices goes hand in hand with connectivity and mobile networks. If you’re looking to become more flexible as a small business, the technology you choose will play a huge role in this journey. If your team is spread right across the UK, but still working from ancient iPhones and laptops from 2015, not only will their hardware be out of date, it’s likely that they’ll struggle to access the latest versions of cloud based apps like Microsoft 365, Zoom and Google Drive. 

Updating your tech is not only going to have a positive impact on the productivity of your small business, it’s going to open up a whole new world of mobile working for you and your team. The latest mobile handsets means that waiting to download that document or invoice until you’re back in the office is a thing of the past, whilst being able to access Office 365 through an app on your tablet means that everyone can contribute to a project, even if they’re sitting in a cafe on the other side of the country. With the right technology & devices, your mobile working potential goes through the roof!

3. Invest in collaboration tools and apps

Sending an email from your phone? You’ll need an email app. Updating a word document for a client? Open an app. Sending a group chat to your team? App. Mobile working is all about applications, so picking the right ones for your small business is absolutely essential.

Whether it’s productivity or collaboration, the right mobile apps can keep you working together in and out of the office. Tools like Office 365 allow you to take the document you were working on at your desk with you, picking up where you left off on your phone or tablet. Similarly, project management software like Monday, Slack and Asana all have mobile apps that allow you to add tasks, provide updates and communicate instantly with the rest of your team. All of this means that even the most physically separate teams can work in harmony through mobile, without the lengthy email chains and catch up calls that often dampen productivity.

4. Encourage a flexible mindset

Perhaps most importantly, moving towards more mobile working as a small business means a shift in mindset. With the right tools and technology already at your fingertips, a willingness to try a more flexible approach to working can often be the key to success.

The stats back this up too; 87%[2] of people want to work flexibly , believing it will make them happier and more productive. Particularly in small businesses, flexibility can be an invaluable asset to have: A team that feels empowered through technology to be innovative and explore new ideas are far more likely to generate long term success and new opportunities. Adopting mobile working is a great way to enhance a flexible, responsive business model, putting the right tools in the hands of your team and increasing the potential for growth through new technology.

We hope you enjoyed our guide on how small businesses can begin adopting mobile working. For more insights and articles designed to help small businesses unlock their digital potential, you can visit our Insights hub.

Sources

[1] ‘How fast is 5G?’, 5G.co.uk, 19th August 2021. https://5g.co.uk/guides/how-fast-is-5g/.

[2] ‘Flexible Working: The Business Case’, CIPD,
November 2018. https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/flexible-working-business-case_tcm18-52768.pdf

 
 

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