Are Small Businesses Relying Too Much on Mobile Technology?

These days, there is a wide variety of fun and exciting mobile devices available to businesses and consumers alike, all with their own options for how they can best be used to a company's betterment. However, some experts say that there is too much of a good thing when it comes to using these devices.

Many small businesses may be adding new mobile devices to their arsenal at too great a rate, and without much cause to do so, according to a report from Small Business Trends. A recent study by Juniper Networks shows that the average businessperson working with mobile technology uses three devices, and that the average person overall owns five of them between their professional and personal lives. And while there's nothing inherently wrong with that, they may be at least a little redundant, which for small businesses can get rather expensive.

For instance, many workers might have a smartphone, laptop, and Bluetooth headset to make calls, the report said. Therefore, it's important for small business owners to evaluate whether they also need the tablet computers that have grown so popular in recent years, as between their other devices, they're likely to be able to perform many of the tasks that the new does. Therefore, it might not be worth the several hundred dollars such a device typically costs, especially for small business owners who would have to buy more than one of them.

Another problem small businesses and their workers often have when using these mobile technologies is that they often misplace accessories for them, such as charges and wires that connect them to other devices, and replacing them can obviously get expensive in a hurry, the report said. As such, it might be wise to start a policy of keeping these accessories in one place, as a means of giving employees a place to start looking when one they might need turns up missing.

Moreover, it's often also helpful to ensure that workers are getting devices that work in concert with each other so that information from one can be most easily shared to another, the report said. For instance, using an iPhone and iPad might be wiser than an iPhone and Nexus 10 tablet because of the way in which those devices can and cannot work with each other.

Familiarize workers with the cloud
One of the greatest advantages that the use of mobile devices offers for small businesses is the ability to compile and share data on the go, but many may not take advantage of their options for doing so as efficiently as possible, the report said. Because many mobile devices these days can quickly upload data to the cloud while they're out of the office, which can then be downloaded by those back at the headquarters, and analyzed instantly. However, some studies show that most workers and small business owners might not even know what the cloud is, or the benefits it can provide for them in the course of their daily operations. Fortunately, there are now a wide variety of options available to those who might want to at least explore these options, giving greater flexibility in finding what works for them.

Of course, adding these devices and services can affect a small business's bottom line significantly, and as such, owners should carefully evaluate just how necessary they are. This is particularly true given the rising cost of vital small business insurance options, including those for general liability insurance, as well as workers' compensation insurance.