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Smartphones Ring in the Change

Friday, July 01, 2011   By Mike Reddy


By now it would be virtually impossible not to have had a close up and personal encounter with the mobile giant: the smartphone.

A smartphone offers computing and connectivity abilities that are more advanced than standard feature phones. iPhones and Blackberries being the current favorites, smartphones are more akin to handheld computers than cell phones. Running complete operating system software such as Google’s Android platform, smartphones combine all the functionality of a phone, organizer, task manager and even a personal assistant.

With all of these capabilities just a simple touch or click away, business has entered the mobile age. Getting emails on the go is no longer a luxury afforded to high level executives – it’s an industry standard at all levels.

With the complex and innovative use of applications and programs available, organization and task management are all centred in the palm of your hand.  And when your team members are connected via smartphone, your services become more reliable; creating a higher level of satisfaction for your clients.

With smartphones offering greater functionality and more fluid communication, you can send and receive larger files - a function not possible with more dated feature phones.  Give your marketing a boost and incorporate multimedia messaging services: create images, graphs, charts, and animations and send them through the phone. Loading information on the go means a seamless communicative flow - never lose time when you’re out of the office and improve team member and client satisfaction through increased attention and flexibility.

With all these gleaming advantages, are there any downsides to the increased use of the smartphone? Some might say that an email ‘sent on the fly’ has a less professional manner and may appear impersonal. Emails, instant messages and text messages may be fast approaching the status of ‘the norm’ but they also fall short of the polished and serious manner in which we regard face-to-face communication. Plus with small keyboards and text limits, these forms of communication are susceptible to errors and mistakes as well as misunderstanding of tone and implication.

With the rapidly increasing popularity (and reliance) on the interactive features of the smartphone, coupled with the increasing popularity of mobile applications, the world of business communication is heading in one direction: full steam ahead. Adherence to the trend will soon be regarded as a requirement, one that will in fact cause those who refuse to adapt to fall behind. Eventually the smartphone and its tides of change will sweep feature phones under the rug. Becoming mobile-savvy is the key to not becoming obsolete.

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.