Mobile technology has made tremendous strides in recent years. Today, the little gadgets in our pockets can do anything, from global communication to running sophisticated software. Unsurprisingly, the gap between small businesses and large established firms has been steadily decreasing, and technologies and resources that were only reserved for the upper echelon in the business world can now fit in the palm of every business owner’s hand.

That said, not all small businesses are making full use of mobile technology. Some don’t understand the advantages, while others just can’t keep up with the pace.

A look at the numbers

Since mobile devices first hit the market, costs have plummeted, and adoption of the technology among businesses has increased exponentially. A recent poll conducted by AT&T reveals that collectively, mobile saves businesses around two billion working hours and $65 billion annually. When asked about how they use mobile, participants cited social media and email marketing as the primary uses, followed by mobile websites, advertising, mobile-based POS systems and managing operations.

What the figures mean for your business

Every business sector is feeling the effects of mobile in one way or the other. Regardless of your type of operation, therefore, you simply can’t afford to ignore the technology. These are some notable ways your business stands to benefit from mobile tech.

1. Communication

From apps to websites, instant messaging and social media, mobile devices are enhancing communication a great deal. Through smartphones and tablets, mobile technology offers developers a great platform to create powerful communication apps that keep small business owners in touch with their employees and customers at all times. In addition to seamless collaboration among workers, mobile apps provide effective ways to reach prospective buyers and uphold high levels of customer satisfaction.

2. Productivity on the go

Thanks to mobile technology, you no longer need to be in your business premises to get some work done. With mobile cloud computing, you can take all your important files with you and work from anywhere. Therefore, your operation can keep going even when you’re at home or on vacation.

3. Mobile credit card processing

Mobile POS (point-of-sale) systems and card readers are immensely benefiting merchants without permanent retail premises. If you sell goods or services at trade shows and other mobile events, you can process credit card payments straight from your smartphone or tablet.

4. GPS

GPS technology, which is built into most mobile devices, enables companies to plan routes and track shipments in a way that saves time and resources. Small businesses in the shipping and logistics industries have particularly found GPS technology extensively useful.

5. Knowledge

Mobile presents a limitless source of information about the latest industry and customer trends. Analytics software will tell you who your target customers are, how best to reach them, and what they expect from you. These specialized programs can also give you useful demographic information, which will help you to improve your business by tailoring your goods and services to suit your customers.

The best is yet to come

Mobile tech has overwhelmingly changed the way business is conducted in the world, but if history can tell us anything about the future, it’s that we have only touched the surface.

The coming years will unveil new technologies that will alter the small business scene even further.