It’s no secret that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are challenged every day to balance the need to innovate with the reality that their workforce is already being stretched to its limits. The shift to remote work has only multiplied these challenges and added a new layer of complexity to the equation. To deliver an exceptional customer experience, small teams must figure out how to accomplish big things but in a short amount of time and with limited resources.

For SMBs facing these struggles, there is an end in sight. The world is steadily getting back to business and resuming normal customer interactions, and mobile devices are essential to this return to normalcy. Remote work and distributed workforces aren’t going anywhere; instead, we’ll likely see a deeper integration between physical and remote work, and taking a mobile-first approach will be a real game-changer in terms of optimizing overall business operations moving forward.

From arming the entire workforce with the information they need to get the job done to acting as a critical force multiplier when free hands are few, mobile devices and apps can dramatically transform workforce productivity. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to deploy mobile if you want to maximize capabilities and minimize cost as the business scales and adapts to the new normal. That’s why we’ve developed this quick playbook to outline four key considerations for your business.

1. Adopt a mobile-first approach

The way we think about work has drastically evolved over the past decade. Today, getting the job done means being able to take video calls, collaborate on documents in real-time, collect data and access critical applications — and all of this needs to work equally well in remote settings. Entrepreneurs simply need tools that support a flexible workstyle and can’t be tethered to one desk if they want the business to scale as it thrives or keeps up with the demands of a remote-first future.

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Smartphones are indispensable for SMBs. Leveraged effectively, they can drive significant lifts in workforce productivity and job satisfaction. However, many smaller companies have not harnessed the potential of mobile, choosing instead to adopt a fragmented Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach that makes it difficult to manage devices or deploy apps consistently across their teams. By taking a mobile-first approach to technology deployment, businesses can not only make their core mobile communications and collaboration capabilities more effective and integrated, but they can also introduce entirely new capabilities that drive greater workforce productivity.

2. Remember that apps are king

Identifying, deploying or developing the right mobile applications that enable your teams to communicate, collaborate and track performance should be a major focus of your mobile-first strategy. Today, virtually all of the core desktop productivity applications have powerful mobile versions — from Microsoft Office 365 to Google Workspace and line-of-business applications, like Salesforce. Make sure your team has full access.

Messaging, collaboration and file-sharing applications are also hugely beneficial. It’s highly likely your team is already using one or more on an “unofficial” basis. Getting everyone on the same platform (and ensuring it’s secure) will help break down barriers and boost knowledge sharing. Canvasing the team to find out what they currently use and what capabilities they need is a great starting point.

Lastly, find opportunities to innovate. Take a look at the existing tasks and workflows that are slowing your team down. It’s very likely that mobile can help. In fact, there’s probably already an app for it.

3. Select a device that lets you do more

When you consider just how much you and your team rely on your smartphones, it’s important to make sure you have a device that doesn’t slow you down. In today’s competitive market, 24/7 availability is a must — a single missed opportunity could make or break the business. For this reason, it makes economic sense to invest in mobile tech that maximizes your productivity.

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Screen size matters, too. With extra screen real estate, you can master multitasking, allowing you to hold a call, search for information and then grab and send screenshots, all while still on the line. A powerful smartphone can actually replace the PC for many mobile workers, eliminating the need to purchase and manage laptops or desktops that rarely get used. When you do need a desktop, you can connect your Galaxy smartphone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse through Samsung DeX.

Have a team of frontline workers who need devices that can stand up to tough, real-world environments? Check out Samsung’s lineup of rugged phones and tablets.

4. Shore up security to protect your data assets as you grow

While large enterprise hacks often grab the headlines, SMBs are increasingly becoming a target for sophisticated hackers, and mobile attacks are at the heart of this growing problem. Exactly half of respondents to Verizon’s latest “Mobile Security Index” report agreed that mobile device threats are growing more quickly than other threats, and it’s highly likely that the disruption caused by COVID-19 gave hackers new opportunities to sneak in without being noticed.

Achieving an enterprise-grade security posture doesn’t have to be overly complicated or come with an enterprise price tag anymore. Defense-grade mobile security platforms, like Samsung Knox, take the guesswork out of protecting employee phones for resource-constrained businesses where the CEO, sales or human resources person may also be IT.

Investing in mobile device management (MDM) pays off. A robust MDM solution can ease management and deployment with frictionless out-of-the-box setup, preconfigured apps tuned to the needs of the business and security settings that protect company data and IP. All of the leading MDM tools integrate closely with Samsung smartphones, and we also offer an affordable cloud-based enterprise mobility management solution of our own called Knox Manage.

While the benefits of mobility are clear, without an overarching strategy, costly missteps can derail the business. By building a plan with key productivity, availability and security needs at the forefront, SMBs can work anywhere to ensure they can move quickly on opportunities that will fuel growth. With the help of Samsung Business Financing, you can also remain lean when cashflow is tight, enabling you to enjoy the benefits of mobile innovation without having to worry about hidden fees or large upfront investments.

Discover how Samsung DeX can support productivity when you’re working from home without a laptop. Then explore Samsung’s SMB solutions designed to help your business grow.

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Samsung for Business

A global leader in enterprise mobility and information technology, Samsung offers a diverse portfolio of business technologies from smartphones, wearables, tablets and PCs, to digital displays and storage solutions. We are committed to putting the business customer at the core of everything we do, serving diverse industries including education, finance, government, healthcare, hospitality, public safety, retail and transportation. Follow Samsung for Business on Twitter: @SamsungBizUSA

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