NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Running a small business through a tablet or smartphone is quickly becoming the norm for savvy business owners. While some may have originally bought the gadgets simply for the "cool factor," users say the productivity and efficiency from the many apps available has been a welcome surprise. For small-business owners reluctant to use tablets and smartphones for tasks simple and complex, now -- with the imminent release of the Apple ( AAPL) iPad 3 -- may be the time to get aboard. (Apple is expected to announce the new version Wednesday.)
Small-business owners reluctant to use tablets and smartphones and their accompanying apps may find that now may be the time to get aboard.
It's clear the iPad and exploding app marketplace are useful small-business tools, says Mike Pugh, vice president of marketing at j2 Global ( JCOM). The company provides cloud-based services and tools, including mobile apps, so businesses can work more efficiently whether in an office or mobile. We spoke with Pugh about best practices for the adoption of mobile technology as full-time business instruments: Why should business owners embrace mobile technology? Pugh: To be able to do more business. With instruments such as the iPad they have the flexibility to do business on their own terms. You can do product demos and take it out onto the retail floor or meet in a conference room and have a very well-designed reference of product data. You can show images, show videos, drill down to find information in real time. It gives the customer confidence that the questions can be answered well and on the spot. One of the benefits is the battery life. Many of us use computers and have been stuck in meetings where our batteries drop off. The iPad was the first nonphone to keep with them all day long knowing it would not drop off on them. And if you're going to rely upon a business tool it has to be there when you need it in order to be truly mobile. Being able to do what you want to do anywhere, anytime has value you can't envision until you do it.