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Create A Mobile Office

How to Create a Mobile Office for Your Small Business

Tips for Setting Up an Office You Can Take Anywhere

“Technology is a powerful thing for small business owners, regardless what type of business they run. Using technology can help entrepreneurs do amazing things, including save money, streamline business processes, promote their products and services in new ways, and work more productively.

Technology also gives many small business owners the ability to leave their home or business offices behind and create mobile offices so they can work from anywhere, at any time. This kind of mobility eliminates geographic challenges, and helps small business owners become nimble and more flexible.

If you are ready to take your business on the road, here is some advice for creating an operational mobile office that allows you to work from anywhere.

 

  1. 01

    Choose the Right Mobile Computer

    Business people reviewing financial data on digital tablet
    •••

    If your work requires a computer, you will need a light and movable system that you can pick up and take with you when you leave your main office. That eliminates a desktop computer, but you still have other options to consider.

    Depending on the work you do, you may need a powerhouse laptop, such as a MacBook Pro. If you won’t be doing any heavy lifting from your mobile office, a less expensive and more streamlined netbook, such as an Asus Eee PC, may fit your needs. In some cases, a tablet computer, such as an Apple iPad, may provide enough features to help you bridge the gap between your primary office and your mobile office.

  2. 02

    Get a Reliable and Secure Internet Connection

    internet connection
    •••

    You can’t run a business these days without an Internet connection, but free Wi-Fi hotspots are not going to cut it. First, free access points are typically not reliable enough for business work. And second, Wi-Fi hotspots are not secure. Using one with a business computer can put your data at risk.

    One alternative is a high-speed mobile access card, or a MiFi (a compact wireless router). You can purchase the device and data plan from your mobile phone service provider, or from a company that offers pre-paid or pay-as-you-go wireless access. Whichever option you choose, make sure you protect your data by using an encrypted password.

  3. 03

    Make Your Data Accessible

    business data
    •••

    If you have multiple computers (a desktop in your office and a laptop for mobile working, for example), you will need a way to share files between your computers. You can manually email yourself files, or use a USB drive to move files from one computer to the other. This is tedious, however, and can present version control issues. The best option is using an online backup service that will automatically backup and synchronize your data across multiple devices.

    An online backup service makes it easy to access data from a mobile office. And even if you have just one main computer, this is a great way to ensure consistent backup and accessibility of your data in case of a system crash.

  4. 04

    Consider Going Virtual Across the Board

    virtual business
    •••

    Mobile offices need to be easy to break down, pack up and take anywhere. That means you can’t drag your double file cabinet along with you on the road. That may leave you in a tough spot if you are traveling, though, and find that you need to review a paper document back in your office. If this is a recurring challenge for you, it may be worth transitioning to a paperless (or at least mostly digital) office.

    You can create a paperless office and digital document management system by scanning in hard copy files and creating a virtual file cabinet; managing finances, bookkeeping and budgets on your computer; taking meeting notes on your computer, or transferring them later on; and using electronic agreements. Once you create a digital document management system, you will have all of your paper documents accessible and searchable on your computer. And once those files sync to your online backup service, you can access them from anywhere, making your office truly mobile.

    You can even use virtual phone lines and digital fax lines to create a telephone system you can bring with you wherever you go. This can help you run a professional and seamless business on the road.

  5. 05

    Run System Maintenance Regularly

    software update
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    There is nothing like booting up your computer, only to find that there are a slew of operating system and software updates that need to download and install. This is a major productivity-killer, especially when you’re mobile. Make sure you update your system before traveling to avoid this unnecessary downtime.

    You should also make sure you have reliable anti-virus software installed and updated. And don’t skip those security patches that need to be installed. Keeping your system updated and virus-free is vital for every business, mobile or stationary.

  6. 06

    Don’t Forget Peripherals

    computer accessories
    •••

    Whether it’s a portable printer or scanner, an extra battery, or your favorite mouse, make sure your mobile office is ready to support your work, comfortably and efficiently. You should also bring the power cord for your mobile computer so you can keep it charged and ready to go. And it’s a good idea to travel with a small surge protector to protect your computer in case of an unexpected power surge.

    Setting up a mobile office can be a very individual process. Start by deciding how much access you really need and work backwards to create your mobile office. Once you perfect your mobile workspace, you may even find that you don’t need a stationary central office any longer.”

    Source

    With plenty of city-wide green space and beautiful weather, Austin is a great place to have a mobile office.  Whether you are always on-the-go or want to be less attached to your desk, there are so many ways to achieve a mobile office. Not sure if a mobile office is right for you?  Ask yourself a few questions!

    1. Do you want a more flexibility  schedule?

    2. Do you enjoy being spontaneous?

    3. Would you like a change of scenery?

    4. Are you in a convenient location for your customers?

    If you answered,”Yes!” to any of the above questions, a mobile office may be right for you.  Start small, if it seems intimidating.  Remember, this should be a streamlined version of your current setup – able to go where duty calls.  You’ve got this!

18 Mobile Stats To Consider For Your 2018 Marketing Strategy

“Have you checked your phone today?

If I had to guess, I’d bet you have, probably more than once, considering (on average) we check our phones 47 times a day! (Deloitte, Mobile Consumer Survey 2017)

Mobile users are obsessed with their phones (count me in, I can’t get enough!). We use our phones for any number of mundane tasks. We might argue that it makes those tasks a little more enjoyable or convenient. From booking appointments, creating lists, setting reminders, sending emails, messaging friends, playing games, to shopping, our smartphones have become a permanent fixture in our daily lives.

It’s time to utilize the power of mobile as was done in the past, for once new, but now traditional media channels (radio, television, direct mail). It’s time to make mobile part of our marketing strategy. Not in the exact, same way as we did with traditional channels, but in a way that aligns with the shifting consumer journey. Never before have we been able to reach consumers on such an intimate level. The best part, consumers are opting in to engage with brands!

Here are 18 mobile marketing statistics that explore why mobile is a crucial component of any marketing strategy.

1. There are 4.92 billion mobile users globally. That is equal to 66% of the total population and is a 5% increase from 2016. From 2016 to 2017 mobile has grown by more than half of the previous year’s growth. We went from 81 million new mobile users in 2016 to 222 million new users in 2017 (We Are Social). If it wasn’t already, I think it’s safe to say mobile is here to stay.

2. On average, mobile users spend 87 hours/month on their device. That’s 1,044 hours / year. That means users are spending 12% of their time browsing on mobile. (Smart Insights)

3. 9 out of 10 consumers would like to use messaging to talk to businesses. Messaging has become the consumer-preferred channel for communication. It can be an excellent tool for customer service. (Twilio) For a list of ways to engage consumers using mobile, check out 25 Ways to Use SMS.

4. It is predicted that by 2020, 48.7 million consumers will opt-in to receive business SMS. At the end of 2016, that number had reached 37.2 million. “These numbers make SMS the fastest growing marketing channel.” (textlocal)

5. 32% of senior mobile experts surveyed see “creating personalized customer experiences,” as their greatest long-term growth potential for mobile products. (Incite Group) There is an incredible opportunity to build customer databases that will help segment your mobile users for more effective marketing messages.

6. SMS has a higher response rate than mobile advertising. For example, 8% of mobile users who received an SMS message has gone in-store to make a purchase compared to only 4% of mobile users who saw a mobile ad. In the image below SMS rates higher in every category compared to Mobile Advertising. (textlocal)

7. Google owns 96% of mobile search traffic. If you’re looking for a location to improve your mobile search traffic Google is where you want to be (Net Market Share). Mobile has created a search obsessed culture in Canada, allowing for “quick, useful advice across a wide range of topics.” This means as marketers it’s possible to re-imagine your role in helping consumers make decision. (Think With Google)

8. Response rates from SMS are 209% higher than from phone calls, Facebook, or email. Not every text will result in a sale, however, 29% of targeted customers will respond to text messages and 47% of those responders go on to make a purchase. Using SMS as a marketing tactic can help expand your reach and generate another touch point. (Emarsys)

9. 47% of consumers prefer using native SMS as their messaging app of choice. Facebook Messenger follows this at 21%. (Twilio)

10. Mobile users are 5X more likely to abandon a site if it is not optimized for mobile. With that, 52% of user said a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company. If you want consumers to share their experience with friends you want it to be a positive experience. Optimizing your site for mobile is an important step towards a seamless user experience. (Experience Dynamics 2015)

11. The most popular screen size for mobile devices is 5 inches to less than 5.5 inches. When creating content it’s necessary to understand how the consumer is viewing your content. (Tech Crunch)

12. The average load time for a mobile landing page is 22 seconds. However, 53% of visits are abandoned if it takes longer than 3 seconds. Meaning load times longer than 3 seconds are an issue. Mobile users want a “fast and frictionless mobile experience and basics like load time can make or break you.” (Think With Google)

13. 71% of teens say they spend an average of 3+ hours per day watching videos online. If you haven’t already, looks like it might be time to ramp up your video content. (Think With Google)

14. Mobile adblock usage grew by 108 million to reach 380 million devices. AdBlock usage has become mainstream across all generations. (PageFair) This is why #8 can be very useful; SMS is a powerful tool when it comes to reaching and engaging your consumers.

15. 24% of marketers plan to add messaging apps to their content strategy in the next year. (HubSpot, State of Inbound)

16. 57% of users say the main reason for not downloading apps is that they don’t see a need for them. This is followed by 25% saying they don’t have space on their phone. (Deloitte, Global Mobile Consumer Report) While apps can be useful in some cases, they are also expensive to create. For 2018 consider alternative engagement tactics that don’t require apps such as mobile contests, coupons, or gift-with-purchase.

17. 53% of all teens are likely to make a purchase on their mobile device. Compared to 30% of those ages 18-24 and 43% of those ages 24-34. (Think With Google)

18. The results show that 92% of US mobile phone users use their phone while out shopping. 81% use it while at a restaurant and 89% use their mobile device while watching TV. (Deloitte, Global Mobile Consumer Report)
There you have it, 18 mobile statistics to help you plan for your 2018 marketing strategy. Let’s break them down into three key insights to take with you into the new year:
SMS is an effective method for consumer engagement. With higher response rates than traditional media channels and more consumers opting in to communicate with businesses, SMS will be an important channel for marketing communication and customer service in 2018.
Optimizing your website for mobile is no longer an option, it’s an absolute necessity. Not only do consumers expect a smooth user experience, mobile commerce is growing and more consumers are shopping on mobile.
Mobile is not specific to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X or Baby Boomers, it has managed to infiltrate all generations. And while some uses may differ, consumers from all generations can be reached on mobile.” Source: MobileXCo.

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