Nowadays, lots of us have a mobile for business use. Smart phones are no longer just for sending texts and making voice calls, but they are more like mini computers that allow us to complete a vast range of everyday tasks.
Being tied down to an office can feel restrictive. Quite often you think you need to work in an office setting every week to get on top of sending out invoices, paying bills, replying to emails and all of the collective administration duties that go with your job.
But if you own a smartphone, do you really need an office?
Whether you are an employee or self-employed, you can effectively manage your business from anywhere in the world using a mobile phone, without the need for anything else.
I do love using my laptop when I have articles to write, but I also love the freedom of being able to complete a variety of tasks such as emails and job applications from my smartphone only. It gives me the choice to complete daily work tasks from any setting - even on a lounger by the outdoor pool at the gym!
How to use a smartphone to run your business
Below are some ideas on how you can make use of your smartphone to effectively run your business.
Communication is smoother
Using email or instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, your customers can reach you instantly. Often customers are happy to take an informal approach to communicate with businesses as it simplifies things for them too. Both email and social media networks can easily be accessed via mobile phones.
A paperless office
In the past, everything was on paper. But do we need hard copies of documents to be kept on file?
Set yourself up an account with a cloud-based storage app such as Dropbox and keeping invoices and other essential reports organised can be much easier.
Organise your email account so you have folders for invoices by tax year instead of printing every one out. Only print them out if you really need to.
Many customers don't like paper either, as it is more clutter for them. We’re all more conscious of waste and most people would rather avoid using unnecessary paper.
There is an app for everything
Nowadays, there are apps for literally everything.
You can effortlessly keep up on top of your bookkeeping by tracking income, issuing invoices, scanning expenses receipts using your phone's camera and basically keeping on track of everything using an app so you’re ready to submit your tax returns.
One of my favourites is the Google Sheets app so I can even update my spreadsheets on the go using my smartphone!
I also have social media apps, the LinkedIn app, email apps, bank account apps, PayPal business app and more. These all allow me to run my business on the go using my smartphone.
Access information across all devices
By using apps such as Google Docs, you can pick up where you left off, wherever you are. If you need access from any other computer ever, then your files are there instantly.
Gathering information is easy
If you need to gather information for an upcoming job, you can do this easily. If you're in a technical trade, get customers to send you photos of whatever requires your attention so you can assess the potential work and give an immediate quotation.
Once you’ve given a quote you can then use your smartphone’s calendar to book the work in and save all the customer’s details to your phone book which you can link to the appointment on the calendar!
If you go out and about to customers a lot, use the maps app on your phone to plan in your day's route with multiple stops. Your phone can let you know the best time to leave and how heavy the traffic is. You can set an alert or alarm when you need to leave and use the built in satnav on your phone to find your customer’s house.
Enable voice functions
If you want your emails to be read out to while you're working, you can do that. If you want to find out some information, ask a question out loud, and Google or Siri can answer you back with their answer.
If you hate typing, a voice-activated keyboard can save you lots of time by turning your speech to text. Read out blog posts or articles and let Siri or Alexa type them for you!
Your bank will probably have an app that will make paying your suppliers or transferring money much more straightforward. Often, transactions can be processed instantly, meaning you will rarely need to visit your branch.
If you use PayPal Business then they have an app so you can even send invoices from your smartphone.
With a lot of potentially sensitive information now being accessed on your phone, there has never been a more critical time to review your security. Download an antivirus app and ensure you keep it up-to-date at all times.
Ensure your phone has a password to access it from the lock screen to make sure all your business information is safe.
There are so many ways smartphones can be used nowadays to run a business. If you mainly work online or on a laptop then it gives you the freedom to work on-the-go or from wherever you desire. You usually just need an internet connection and a charger!
This is a collaborative post and images are from Canva.
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