I recently had the chance to sit down with Ron Gilbuena, Small Business Specialist at Teleco Supply (Rogers dealer). Ron shared with me the top questions and challenges that his small business customers have been coming to him with over the past few months.Here’s the highlights of our conversation:
Q: How do you help small businesses evaluate the best mobile device for their business?
Ron: The first question is often what is the best device out there right now? My advice is that you can’t pinpoint it down to one without understanding the type of business, its operations and the work styles of the team. I help them to further narrow down the right device for their business by asking questions about their business including the work they do, their industry and how much time is spent on the road vs. in the office.
Q: What should small businesses be looking for when considering a smartphone or tablet:
Ron: Aside from the basics, a few things we chat about include:
- The camera: If they are looking to capture pictures in the field, check out the camera on the device and ask about megapixels.
- Warranties: Ask the dealer or vendor you are working with about warranties on the device and also inquire if they will top up the warranty in addition to whatever the manufacturer is offering.
- Business Apps: Ask about business apps – for example, PDF scanner apps that allow you to scan documents and send them immediately back to the office.
Q: What apps are most popular with your small business customers?
Ron: I find that small businesses are constantly looking for unique apps for their business. However, the popular common apps that customers ask for and my recommendations include BlackBerry Messenger, What’s App, Live Profile and Kik. Also, apps that allow you to read PDF’s on-the-go are handy tools for mobile small businesses.
Q: Are small businesses asking about tablets?
Ron: Yes, more and more small businesses are asking me about the benefits of tablets. They want to know if they should get one and how they can use it to better their business. My recommendation is that if you have a lot of supporting documents to review on the road or if you want to showcase presentations and/or websites, a tablet is a great business tool.
With tablets, we also talk about plans and using data versus WiFi. Although most tablets allow you to use WiFi networks, I always recommend considering a data plan because it is far more secure.
Q: Do you get questions about LTE and how faster network speeds make a difference for small business?
Ron: Yes, small businesses are asking about LTE more and more – they want to know what it is and the business benefits. In a nutshell, here’s some of the advice I share about the benefits of LTE to business:
- Upload speeds: they are very fast, which is essential if you are sharing files and collaborating on the road
- Storing information on the web – with LTE, it’s a painless experience to store information and documents on a server somewhere on the web where you can pull it back down quickly when you need it – it means that you are no longer wasting storage on your personal devices or computers
Q: Any other insights?
Ron:I think that there are a number of small businesses out there today wasting hours of their timetrying to figure out office and mobile technology.
If it’s not something they are already doing, I really recommend small businesses try to find a local specialist who can help them directly on technology needs and issues rather than having to go through multiple points of contact and locations to manage their technology.
The time they save will make a difference to their business operations.
For more information on how to pick the best mobile technology for your business, check out our mobility toolkit here.
Allison is a regular contributor to RedBoard Biz