The line drawn between computing and telecoms has blurred irrevocably in the last five years. Phones are computers and computers are phones, making it easier than ever to run your business single-handed even when you're not in the office. Here's how:
The great thing about modern mobile internet-based handsets is that they help you work anywhere. Only a few years ago, if you were out of the office you might as well be on holiday. It means you can react quickly and always be on-hand to make decisions.
Being able to physically do business - in other words communicate with others via phone calls and email - is the platform from which you can make sales, keep in contact with clients, direct employees, and chat to your PA.
But what about the structural stuff? Accounts, marketing, operations and the like? The fact is mobile devices are moving ever closer to an in-office experience for business people on the move. A few of the things handset will let you do include:
· Fill in, sign and return forms and contracts
· Create and edit documents including spread sheets and presentations
· Track deliveries to customers, clients or partners
· Load and display images at off-site meetings
· View and email designs for brochures
· Film and take pictures at events
Any serious company offering accounting software now offers mobile accounting applications too. As you'd expect, these allow you to update incomings and outgoings directly into your mobile or tablet computer as long as you're somewhere with reception (ie not underground).
If you're in the market for a mobile accounting package, look out for one that is strong at the basics and lays everything out in a way that's easy to read on a small-ish smartphone screen. Many apps are free when you sign up to the main software bundle - so shop around.
This is the real sweet spot for business on the go. Not only can you negotiate advertising rates with suppliers on the move, but communicating directly with customers through social media is a breeze.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Youtube (to name a few) have invested big in their mobile sites and are obsessive about giving customers the easiest uploading experience possible. Using mobile social media you can survey loyal customers, alert them to new deals or simple chew the fat.
Most website-building software allows you to tweak your site via mobiles, while Google analytics lets you keep track of customers passing through your website.
Check out our case study of how BlackBerry can help you promote your business to the masses
Organising your diary, managing customer feedback, buying stationary, tracking deliveries, flirting with your PA - it's all achievable on your mobile through various apps and other software, websites and, of course, your phone's basic email and phone calling features.
#MWW offer: share minutes with your colleagues
As part of Mobile Working Week, BlackBerry and O2 have teamed up to offer Smarta readers an exclusive offer. To find out how you can share your minutes for free, click here.
For more information about how BlackBerry can help your business go to www.blackberry.co.uk/sme
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