Flexible communications key to SME success

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The majority of small business decision makers spend a minimum of five hours a week out of the office which can affect the company's ability to make fast decisions when needed..

Research conducted for T-Mobile looked at the range of challenges faced by SMEs when trying to strike a balance between their employees' need for mobile communications and the soaring cost of its provision.

As well as spending the equivalent of 32.5 working days out and about, small business directors and managers are potentially out of contact for over two months each year, when combined with the average holiday entitlement of 25 days.

Nearly three quarters of respondents said that mobile communications are critical for directors, management and team workers to stay in contact with employees and customers while on the move.

However, despite the popularity of mobile communications, 42 percent of SME directors surveyed believe they pay too much for their mobile communications plan.

"SMEs are either paying too much or do not have policies in place to control the cost of mobile communications," said Oliver Chivers, head of business marketing at T-Mobile UK.

Another concern is that 65 percent of respondents have no mechanism in place to control the cost of international calls from employees' mobiles, thereby opening themselves up to excessive bills.

Chivers explained that nearly a quarter of small businesses have not reviewed their mobile communications plan or contracts in over a year, and 17 percent are completely unaware of when it was last checked.

"Mobile communications has moved on from bundles of minutes and texts. Now it is about mobile internet, email and data sharing," he said.
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