More and more of us are now owning a smartphone. Whilst these devices have their personal uses, they’re also more commonly being used for business. Internet access, apps and basic telephone communication make these multipurpose items the equivalent of a portable office. In fact, you can pretty much run a business nowadays from your smartphone.
Few of us use these devices to their full potential, when in fact they can make a massive impact to businesses helping to speed up processes, offering the ability to work on the go and introducing new business capabilities never thought up before. If you’re a business owner with a smartphone, here are some ways to get the best out of your device and revolutionize the way you do business.
Take out a business contract
More and more business owners are now having multiple phones – one for personal use and one for business. Doing this allows you to more easily calculate expenses as you can more easily take away all the costs of your business phone from your taxes. There are now also special business contracts for phones. These are often cheaper than your average phone contracts and can be tailored to various types of work – for example, if you’re in sales and are constantly making calls, a special contract might be available to save you the money.
Similarly, if you travel regularly and make overseas calls, a phone provider may be able to offer you with a specialized deal that pairs you with the best network for international data roaming.
Integrate with your computer
Having multiple gadgets can sometimes get confusing, as different information can be shared on each device. A way to get around this is by integrating your devices. Cloud technology has now allowed information to be stored remotely, so that even if all your devices are from different brands, you can still share information. This way, you can make sure that your smartphone, computer, laptop and tablet all have the same important details on and work from any location. Download the right apps and you can even do tasks like accounting and rota building on the go.
Do away with calendars and paperwork
You no longer need to carry a briefcase everywhere. Important items such as calendars and diaries can now be digitally stored on your phone. In fact, modern apps such as MyOffice have even made it possible to share diaries with staff. As a result, you can now work your business scheduling around the diaries of fellow co-workers, employees, business partners and clients.
Meanwhile, important documents can also be stored on your phone. This includes contracts, which thanks to digital signature apps like Docusign can now be signed electronically. Cutting down on paper will allow you to save money spent on printing as well as saving trees and doing your bit for the planet.
Find your way to meetings
Phones give you constant access to GPS, with most smartphones offering them as an in-built function. By properly utilizing this you needn’t ever get lost to a meeting again. Not only can you use this capability in the car when driving to meet clients in far off places, you can also use it when traveling by foot. This makes traveling around the capital much easier. Other GPS uses include finding services in your area and helping to guide clients to your location.
Do last minute research before meetings
You can also use your phone to do last minute research before a meeting. Whereas in previous ages you may have had to do research the night before for a meeting with someone the next morning, you can now give them a quick Google search on the train ride there.
Alternatively, cut out meetings altogether
Do you really need to travel to London to meet that client? Or could you do it from the comfort of your smartphone? Many in-person meetings can now be replaced with video calling, which gives you the ability to see the face of the person you’re talking to without actually having to travel to meet them. This cuts out a lot of time and money spent traveling, allowing you to get on with other jobs.
Video calling can be used to replace all kinds of meetings including conferences and even job interviews. For the former, there are now many types of video calling software that allow you to add multiple people at once. For the latter, video calling can prevent interviewees having to spend money traveling to meet you.
Catch up on emails during commutes
Commuting by train or bus can be pretty boring – why not make use of this time by getting a head start at work? Many of us arrive in the office to a flooded inbox, which can take an hour to plough through before any actual work gets done.
Most of us have email on our phones, so it makes sense to use this commute time getting through some of the emails before getting to the office. Emails happen to be just one task you could do during your commute, but given you have the information on your phone you can practically get on with any task.
Update social media at events in real time
When it comes to events, keeping on top of social media is key. If you have a stall at a business fair, you can let your followers know then and there where your stall is, as well as sending regular updates throughout the day. You can take pictures of the event and post them straight up to Facebook and Twitter.
You can even make the most of Facebook’s live stream feature and record a talk that you might be doing or snippet of an event that you might be currently at. For business owners who do most of their work outside the office, this may be very important, allowing you to keep on top of trends when they matter the most.