Where Does Your Smartphone Fit in to Your Business Lifestyle?
Smartphones have gone from being a novelty to near ubiquity in the past few years, and their relationship with everyday lifestyle is one that bears consideration, especially on the part of small business owners, where the introduction of this technology has made it so that almost every aspect of their business can be effected, for better or for worse. On the plus side, smartphones mean new markets, new ways to get things done and new ways to stay in touch, largely making small business management
The cons: Less face time, potential security threats. The use of smartphones to organize your life is one thing, but the almost endless amount of functions that can be performed on a smartphone means that they can quickly go from beneficial tools into rabbit holes of distraction. According to a blog post from Experian, the average American already spends 58 minutes a day on their mobile devices, but that number could be much higher for the chronically phone addicted. One problem that this creates is a lack of face time between you and your employees, and a strange, modern feeling of dissonance when one can be in a room with multiple people, none of whom are speaking to each other while staring silently into tiny screens. Use your best judgement to uphold a standard of appropriate smartphone etiquette. While it’s tempting to whip out the screen at every lull in conversation, it can actually make you less connected, not more. Aside from the problems created on a social level, a smartphone represents a juicy block of information for potential data thieves. A smartphone itself is a already a valuable piece of technology. When it is coupled with the value of the information it contains, business owners need to remain awake to the potential security risks posed by their phones and create some safeguards for protecting the data they contain.
The pros: Marketing opportunities, organizational tools, stronger communications. Those 58 minutes that the average American is now spending on their smartphones have not gone unnoticed by marketers, and small business owners can also take advantage of mobile marketing through a variety of ways. In fact, small business owners don’t necessarily even need a mobile optimized site in order to begin taking advantage of some of the benefits that mobile can confer to a business. Aside from the additional venue to market in, business owners will find a slew of apps designed to make their lives more organized and easier to manage, as well as a variety of ways to remain in contact with their employees. As long as they don’t switch from communicating verbally to entirely digitally, business owners will find that using mobile as a supplement to their other communication tools and strategies will greatly expand their efficiency.
Photo Credit to Yuri Samoilov on Flickr