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29 Jul 2014 14:20
Phillip du Plessis has made his iPad a vital part of his business
His phone had
become so crucial to his ability work that it suffered significantly until he
was able to get the phone repaired.
his company around mobile technology a few years ago, du Plessis literally
carries his office with him wherever he goes in the form of his phone and
For many people,
mobile has become the mother of business reinvention, introducing new ways to
hammer down costs, raise productivity and work from wherever they happen to be.
owner of a paint contracting company in Somerset West, says the advent of smartphones
and tablets, together with reasonable mobile data speeds and sophisticated
cloud services, meant he could redraw his business model and modus operandi,
paving the way to better revenues and big time savings on admin.
always spent much of the day driving to clients, checking on jobs and doing
quotes,” says du Plessis.
“A laptop computer
is too big to lug around so in the old days I had to laboriously write job
specs down on site, cart them back to the office, check prices and draw up
quotes on the PC before printing them out and faxing them to the client.
tablets came out, I finally had a tech solution to this problem because I was able
to work more efficiently while on the move. With cloud services and 4G data
speeds, I can now perform most business functions on the spot using my iPad and
Weighing the benefits
there’s much debate about the pros and cons of offices and face-to-face collaboration
between colleagues, this only applies to larger firms with teams of people.
entrepreneurs work alone or independently and mobile tech lets them take work
tools – as good as you find in any office – with them on the road.
says: “Using my tablet and my phone, I can shoot pictures of the building that
needs to be painted, draw up a quote using cloud-based software and deliver
everything to the client by email. And I can do all this in a few minutes back
in the car, getting everything wrapped up before I move on to my next
Legions of entrepreneurs
and small business owners use their smartphones for voice calls and basic
messaging, but a growing number are starting to employ high-speed data
connections and cloud software that runs on these devices to incorporate more
of their admin duties such as quoting, ordering and invoicing.
also using smartphones as the platform for their new mobile payment services that
completes the entire mobile transactional loop for small businesses.
I can get more done faster because I’m not hamstrung by my location,” says du
Plessis. “Mobile tools are convenient for me and for my clients because they not
only speed up quoting, but the entire cycle of business.”
people still find it a bit of a novelty that someone in a traditionally
low-tech business carries and uses the latest mobile tools at meetings and work
sites in this way, but that the extra efficiencies are appreciated.
cellphones turned heads when they were introduced two decades ago, but are now
mainstream, he predicts that soon most clients will expect the kind of instant
service from contractors that mobile and cloud services have made possible.
device manufacturers already have sub-$100 smartphones available for developing
economies – and prices are dropping still further without compromising
meaningfully on capability.
that you will only be able to buy smartphones of varying degrees of
sophistication soon, rather than the old basic so-called “feature” phones.
everyone will reinvent and streamline their businesses, as Du Plessis was able
to do, mobile devices are starting to provide the kinds of tools and services
that can make any enterprise more efficient and productive from the get-go.
course, they are required to do so from the bottom of a swimming pool.
This article is part of a series sponsored by MTN Business. While the theme for the series has been agreed to by MTN Business, the articles have been independently sourced by the M&G’s supplement’s editorial team and MTN Business has not seen this article prior to publication. The other articles in the series can be found here.
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