In today's business world, it's commonplace to conduct business on the go – in the car, at a trade show, at the airport, from a client's office, even in a foreign country. With the right technology and equipment, you can be wired for business anywhere, anytime. By taking your business mobile, you can:
- Reduce downtime.
- Increase productivity.
- Improve customer service.
- Increase sales.
Invest in a vehicle
Depending on your business, you may need a van or truck to transport your gear or to serve as your workspace. Specialty vehicles are made for field use for industries such as food service, health care and repair services. Consider a GPS navigational device to help you find your way.
Get the right computer
If you need to make presentations in sales meetings or at trade shows, or if you need to access your database software on the road, you'll need a laptop, notebook or tablet PC that can travel with you. Make sure it has all the software programs you need and that you can work on it without having to plug it in to a power outlet.
Find the right laptop at CNET.com. The SAP Design Guild has a mobile business glossary to help you wade through the terminology.
Get a phone, PDA or smartphone
A cell phone is a must-have for going mobile. If you want a phone that also lets you access your email, view your calendar and log on to the Internet, you should consider a smartphone that's a combination PDA and cell phone.
Take payments on the road
Increase your ability to make sales on the road with equipment and services that let you accept credit cards and debit cards. Options include wireless processing using your cell phone and processing using an Internet connection. Use your existing equipment or set up for wireless point-of-sale (POS). Bring change and a secure cashbox if you anticipate making cash sales.
Keep a supply of marketing materials
Always carry a supply of all your appropriate marketing materials, including business cards and brochures. If necessary, carry copies of documentation showing that your business is legal and compliant with local regulations.
- Prepare for problems at outdoor events: inadequate supply of water or electricity, weather-caused problems, shortage of materials or products, understaffing, etc.
- You'll need a way to connect your laptop to the Internet, which could include a Wi-Fi or WiMax card, a wired modem or a cell-phone modem.