Mobility gives small businesses an edge

Posted by Justin Hesser on August 28, 2013

Small businesses have an advantage over their larger counterparts for one reason — it is far easier to adopt innovative technologies in the former's environment, which gives it much greater operational flexibility.

Consider a large corporation with hundreds, if not thousands of workers. They show up to the office and all follow a fairly standard pattern. Investing in new technologies or implementing new strategies requires countless meetings between executives. One employee could mention a new idea to his or her boss, who in turn mentions it to their superior, who then goes up the ladder to the person in charge of them, and so on and so forth. 

At small companies, there is much more flexibility. Lower level employees have more of a say. The smaller the company, the more this is true. Self proprietors can essentially do what they want as long as their practices stay within the confines of their industry's regulatory measures. Meaning, they can work on the go and use their own personal devices — whether that's a smartphone, tablet, laptop or any other portable machine — to get the job done. They may lack the resources of traditional large companies, but if they utilize their resources to the best of their ability, they will put themselves in position to succeed in their industry. 

According to a study conducted by BIA/Kelsey, mobile payments and social media are two areas in which small businesses can excel. Owners can create personal interactions with customers via social channels on their devices. They can use their smartphones and tablets to process payments in a number of different ways, which will likely be a conducted much faster than at a larger company. 

"Mobile continues to make impressive inroads into the SMB market, as both a marketing vehicle and as an element of the business infrastructure," Steve Marshall, director of research at BIA/Kelsey, said in a statement. "A closer look at the data shows adoption of mobile and social varies across SMB industry sectors. The LCM data reveals professional and home and trade services are embracing mobile in a big way, with service providers essentially becoming walking POS terminals."

While the flexibility to use mobile devices for a number of operations is certainly a benefit for small businesses, they must be able to properly manage all the data they obtain via their mobile activity. Building a custom database software system can help small businesses maintain their flexibility without compromising the integrity of their information.