Before mobile phones, waiting a few hours for an important answer was acceptable. Now, if your clients have to wait more than an hour for you to get back to them, it is annoying and unacceptable. Here are a few other changes that the mobile technology is making to the way we do business today.
The Work/Home/Friends Line is Disappearing
The line between work, friends and family is becoming blurred if not non-existent. Managers and colleagues will see your Facebook photos. Your clients will find and follow your social media streams. So you have two choices: be politically correct and professional at all times, or find a career where you can always be yourself.
You Have to Manage Client Expectations Much Differently
You simply can’t be unreachable or sluggish with responses now. Your clients need to have the association that whenever they needed to reach you, you’ve responded quickly. Predictably, professionals who respond to client messages within an hour are more likely to win loyalty and be referred, so being highly mobile and responsive definitely has its rewards.
Vacation Means Nothing (Sorry.)
Our VP of Training and Consulting, Mark, became a father again a few days ago and he’s on paternity leave. (Congrats, Mark!) But we still copied Mark on many internal email threads. Luckily for us and our users, he’ll often respond quickly to the important stuff from his mobile phone. So Mark has interruptions, but he can also stay home longer with his wife and his baby. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword: your vacation doesn’t quite come with the untethered freedom it used to, but it may be more likely to be granted now.
Can I Bring My iPad to the Manager’s Meeting? (BYOD)
Soon (if not already) you’ll be bringing in your own devices like your iPad and laptop that you’re more comfortable with to work and your company will have to rework their network policies, protocols and security to accommodate everyone’s individual devices. Here at BQE, it’s par for the course to see everybody on their own laptops and tablets at a meeting.
The Cloud Over Mobile Technology
The Cloud centralizes information, stores massive amounts of data and makes it quickly accessible to all appropriate staff members–anywhere, anytime, any device. The demand for your business to move business data (and applications) to cloud servers has increased exponentially because of the increase in the usage of mobile devices by your team.
Tracking Time and Expenses is Easier
There is no excuse for mismanaged projects and untimely billing when mobile devices have made it so ridiculously easy to stay on top of everything. For example, BillQuick Mobile lets you enter time and expenses from your smart phone or device, attach photos of receipts, take memos, and run multiple timers to capture maximum billable hours while you’re away from your desk. This result is faster billing, improved cash flow and efficient project management. Similarly, you can access programs like Web Suite and ArchiOffice over the browser on your laptop with full functionality.
Locate Your Team
Technology like “Google Latitude” and “Find My Friends” can help you easily locate your workforce. If you want someone to pick up the check from your client’s office, you can locate who’s closest to that client and send that person instead of having to choose someone at random who may actually be really far away.
What do you think—what’s the coolest mobile business benefit you’ve discovered?
About the Author: Shafat Qazi, Founder and CEO of BQE Software, is an engineer-turned-entrepreneur who created the most awarded time billing software ever, BillQuick, while still in college. He set out to make time tracking, billing and project management easier for engineers as well as all service professionals, and continues to perfect BQE Software products hands-on today.