Mobiles help SMEs win more business

Nearly half of all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are winning more business thanks to mobile technology, according to a poll conducted by Ipsos MORI and Research in Motion (RIM).

The survey reveals that of the 150 UK SME owners asked, 48 per cent are winning new business thanks to the use of mobile technology - including RIM's BlackBerry. A further 69 per cent said that they were responding to clients quicker, even if they weren't in the office, making their businesses more effective.

The increased use of mobile technology has meant that SMEs can communicate with their stakeholders and access key information relating to their business whenever and wherever they are.

The Ipsos MORI and Research in Motion poll backs a survey conducted by Yougov a year ago that spotted that SMEs were increasingly turning to mobile technology.

Marketing director of large enterprise and SME Segments EMEA at RIM, Sarah Probert said that the shift in SMEs turning to mobile technology is in part a sign of their increased competition with larger enterprises.

"Outside of our research we know that almost 59 per cent of people employed in the UK are employed in small businesses. A lot of SMEs feel that they don't have enough time. There is a need for simplicity to all problems and solutions," she said.

"With this research we wanted to understand how SMEs are using technology in their businesses today. What we've found is that there is a trend towards the adoption if mobile technology. They [SMEs] feel the need to be more responsive than larger enterprises."

Managing director of Chester-based SME Ellis Whittam said that mobile technology has revolutionised the way that he works.

"I'm no longer afraid to leave the office in case I miss an important email or call. My BlackBerry smartphone enables me to be responsive to the 100-plus emails I receive every day, no matter where I am," Whittam said.

"I was on the train to London the other day when I received a pricing enquiry. I was able to email back the answer via my BlackBerry, allowing the deal to be closed by the time I'd arrived at my destination," Whittam said.

Probert added: "BlackBerries aren't just used for email. They're also fundamental in cultivating customer relationships by using the various management tools. The average BlackBerry user converts 60 minutes a day of downtime back into production time. That's really important to a small business that is trying to squeeze productivity out of every minute of the day."