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Going mobile: Simple steps for small business owners

Oct 03, 2013 Dave King

The small business landscape continues to be molded and shaped by the rapid proliferation of both consumer and corporate technologies, with the mobile device representing one of the most transformative groups of tools available to entrepreneurs today. Between telecommuting, employee morale and equipment expenditures, mobile can save small businesses a lot of money while simultaneously boosting productivity.

Now, more small businesses are also beginning to set up accounts to accept mobile payments from consumers, as the modern marketplace is filled with opportunities to complete transaction with greater ease than ever before. Entrepreneurs must remember that the rules and regulations of payment card information also apply to mobile transactions, and as such need to protect any and all data collected and transferred from customer accounts.

Not so fast
The Small Business Authority recently released a statement regarding trends in mobile payment adoption among entrepreneurs in the United States, asserting that the entirety of the sector has been relatively slow to use the associated tools. While mobile payments are not as popular, the use of smartphones and tablets is already widespread among larger companies, which might mean that the jump to electronic transactions is fast approaching.

According to the organization, roughly 70 percent of the 3,100 respondents to the survey stated that they do not yet run business applications on smartphones or tablets, which is a far higher number than would be the case for larger enterprises. What's more, 86 percent of the respondents stated that they do not intend on replacing personal computers with mobile devices in the future.

"It is important to note that most of our independent business owners still have not embraced tablets, smartphones or other mobile forms of receiving and sending business data," Barry Sloane, CEO of the Small Business Authority, explained. "We see this as a great business opportunity for us and our clients to improve their productivity and business efficiencies in upcoming quarters and years."

It is important to note that the use of mobile devices is expected to skyrocket in the coming years, and that small business owners would do well do hop aboard before competitors get the jump on them by adopting earlier.

Structured, targeted approach to mobile
Entrepreneurs should consider sculpting mobile work and payments programs in such a way that aligns with corporate goals. For example, small businesses will often benefit from starting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program, especially as it saves money that would have been spent on IT equipment purchases, though leaders will need to ensure security and productivity once personal smartphones and tablets enter the office.

Small business owners can build BYOD policies that are informed by employee preferences and security needs, then use advanced mobile device management tools to execute oversight protocols and security enforcement.

Once BYOD has been successfully implemented, entrepreneurs will already have a big jump on the structures needed to adopt mobile payment processing capabilities. By taking a comprehensive approach to mobility, companies will be better positioned to enjoy the long-term and widespread benefits of smartphones and tablets.