By Paul Lawton, Head of Small Business at O2

Since its launch, 4G has seen a considerable uptake amongst UK’s large enterprises, offering superfast connectivity and increased workforce collaboration. However whilst larger firms are quick to adopt and reap the benefits, the question is, are small businesses making the most of the opportunities that faster mobile broadband can bring?

One of the main concerns for small businesses who are running on a limited budget, is the perceived cost associated with 4G, and if it will offer a significant return on their investment. For small business owners who are contemplating this, it’s worth considering the following benefits that a faster mobile internet service can bring to your bottom line:

Working flexibly: If you are just starting your business, office space may still be a long term goal, with many of your team working remotely whilst out meeting clients or pitching for new business. 4G allows you to make use of cloud and collaboration tools like Microsoft Office 365, Evernote or Box so you can access you files and edit documents when you’re on the move
Video conferencing: Whilst face to face meetings are always preferable, there isn’t always time to meet your customers in person. However, advancements in mobile technology now allow you to make high definition video calls from your phone using 4G, meaning you can recreate that ‘in person’ experience without having to invest in expensive video conferencing tools
Real time customer service: It’s well known that many consumers are abandoning the customer service line and taking to Twitter or Facebook when they want to voice their opinions on a brand. 4G allows you to access your social media channels at a much quicker rate, meaning you can provide a better service by keeping on top of customers enquiries and responding to any issues efficiently
Being prepared: We’ve all been in that position where we’ve left an important document on our laptop or desktop at home However if you’re using a cloud based system, 4G allows you to access vital documents on the go, meaning you’ll never be left unprepared again.

For small businesses looking to invest in 4G, there are a few things to consider. First, it’s important to check if the service is available in your area. You also need to ensure both you and your team have 4G compatible devices. In addition, if you have a cloud based service that is accessible through mobile, it’s vital to ensure you’ve taken the appropriate security precautions to protect your data.

One of the key advantages small businesses have is size, as it allows you to react quickly and remain flexible in a crowded market. Early adoption of services like super-fast mobile internet can play a role in helping small businesses be more agile, whether is making remote working simpler, engaging with customers in new ways or providing new ways to collaborate with business partners. So, don’t let the big businesses steam ahead and make sure your business is keeping up and staying competitive.

Where can I find out more?