Going mobile with your small business

Smartphones, such as BlackBerry® devices, have evolved into pocket-sized computers that enable a new generation of mobile workers to do business in a new way and from a new type of office – the mobile office.

March 13, 2012

Smartphones, such as BlackBerry® devices, have evolved into pocket-sized computers that enable a new generation of mobile workers to do business in a new way and from a new type of office – the mobile office.

These devices are today used for much more than phone calls and text messaging – small and large businesses alike rely upon them every day for everything from email and browsing the Web, organising calendars and scheduling appointments, to editing documents and tracking orders and customer activity, says Robyn Milham, the Head of Sales for Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry® solution.

The mobile office is about all severing the links that tied employees to desks in physical office space and giving them access to all the apps and tools they need to do their jobs wherever they are, she adds. Many small businesses are now embracing the mobile office as a way to slash their telephone, computer and office space costs.

Moving towards a mobile office might sound daunting, but Milham offers a few tips that can make it an affordable reality.

Embrace tablet computers

Tablet computers like the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet are sleek, powerful, affordable, and portable, and they’re the perfect mobile computing device to slip into your briefcase or handbag before a day of meetings or a trip abroad. They enable access to a range of rich Web and media applications, and they’re also great for giving presentations without lugging a notebook around. Simply hook your BlackBerry PlayBook to a projector or large display and present in high-definition quality to your audience.

Save money with free instant messaging

Instant messaging apps like BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger) can be used to exchange not only to brief messages, but share photos, videos, documents, games, and even your location. It will also notify you when your message has been delivered or read by your client or employee. It’s a reliable and affordable way to stay in touch with your colleagues wherever they are.

Mobilise your apps

There’s a mobile app for just about everything these days – some of them are free and most of them are affordable for the benefits they offer. Your BlackBerry® smartphone or BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will probably arrive with some great travel, productivity and communications apps preinstalled.

Then, you can find some more cool business apps by browsing BlackBerry App World™ (download it at www.blackberry.com/appworld if you don’t have it as yet). Your options include CRM solutions like Salesforce Mobile, financial calculators and trackers like HandyLogs Money, business travel utilities like BlackBerry® Travel™, contact management tools like Gwabbit, and so much more.

Secure and back-up your devices

Smartphones need to be managed and secured, just like desktops and laptops predecessors. They’re small enough to fit in a pocket and people carry them everywhere, making them more prone to loss or theft.

Free online services like the new BlackBerry® Management Center for small businesses help locate, automatically back up, restore, remotely lock or erase contents from a lost or stolen smartphone to protect company and customer information, and help mobile workers get back to business quickly.