5 tips for running a business from your phone
by Laura Gayle
It goes without saying that smartphones have transformed the business landscape. In fact, depending on your industry, you may be able to run your company entirely from your smartphone, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines.
Choose a field that makes sense for your mobile use
When considering a smartphone-based business, you need to choose a career path that makes sense. For example, becoming a marketing writer could be very challenging on a smartphone, as you’ll struggle to type fast enough to create content in a timely manner. However, a multitude of other career paths go well with this choice, including:
- Social media marketers who come up with posts on the fly
- Event planners who stay in contact while running from venue to venue
- Commerce sellers who work with a variety of product suppliers
- Consultants who are always working to meet up with new clients
- Vacation property owners or hosts who rent or manage multiple rental properties
These careers can also provide an excellent work and life balance that keeps you busy but also lets you relax when you’re done working. Though you’ll be consistently busy with any of these jobs, the instant connectivity of a mobile-based business model can help keep you from falling behind.
Install useful apps to track finances and logistics
Businesses run from a smartphone model need to utilize at least a handful of high-quality apps and online platforms to keep track of your success. For example, applications such as ProfitStory can help you properly manage sales and track profit margins. This and many similar apps provide easy ways to track multiple transactions in a manner that doesn’t cost you excessive money.
Also, Google offers a GSuite of functions that can connect you with collaborators and also synchronize info across the various devices you might use. App simplicity is the key here because often you’ll be juggling information from a variety of sources at different times. Try to focus on just a handful of platforms to ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed by tracking too much information.
For example, features like online tax calculators can streamline financial information in a way that makes it easier to track and plan. Use this kind of detailed data to better understand the direction your company is going and what you need to do to avoid issues.
Downsize your office needs
Although you plan on mostly working nimbly from a smartphone, you might want to have an office that you can treat as home base when necessary. This can be a place where you store paperwork, prototypes, resources, or equipment, and where you can go if more intensive work requires desktop-and-keyboard time. However, your office likely doesn’t need to be too expansive. You could even work out of your home, in many cases.
In an office space, you’ll probably need a desk and a comfortable chair for yourself, plus the same for each worker, if you have any. You’ll likely also need designated file storage, possibly both paper- and digital-based, to ensure access to all the information you need. Excessive amenities, though — such as places to relax or brainstorm — may be unnecessary if you plan on a mobile-based business model. Make sure to strip back to the bare essentials whenever you can.
Once you’ve successfully downsized your office to be smaller and more compact, it’s time for your business to get out there! Start regularly attending trade shows to ensure that your business becomes and remains relevant in your industry. Working via smartphone can increase productivity, which can help you carve out the time to visit conferences and conventions, spread your name to more potential clients, and put yourself in a better position to succeed.
Create consistent communication guidelines
If you and your business partners plan on using a smartphone-based business model, you need to set consistent guidelines that ensure your accessibility to each other as well as any contractors, vendors — and, of course, potential clients.
Voice technology, for example, can help to prevent communication errors and create a very connected workplace. Programs such as SIRI or other types of voice assistance are particularly critical here. Beyond these applications, you should also consider setting up strict and consistent meeting times with your co-workers. These can be done via your phone or in an office environment, as needed.
It will be important to link all your digital communication tools, such as various chat applications, social media, workflow trackers, and business email, directly to your phone. In this way, everyone can stay abreast of business developments, and you can avoid miscommunication.
Minimize multitasking when possible
Running a smartphone-based business may put you in a position where you feel like multitasking is essential or unavoidable. However, the adage remains true even with this type of company: Multitasking gets less done than focused working. Smartphone dependency has been associated with increased distractions and ineffective multitasking, so there are a few reasons why you should work to minimize them, even in a business where you’re always on the go.
First of all, multitaskers sometimes can’t focus as much as they should on the jobs that they perform. As a result, they are more likely to make mistakes or do an incomplete job on every task. Even the best multitasking typically leads to work that is good enough but not quite excellent. Focusing on one task at a time, however, ensures that your attention is focused only on your work, helping you avoid serious problems with work quality.
To address this issue, you may want to rent a small place where you can work that is free of distractions or discomfort. A shared workplace can be a good choice, but there are times you may find a small, solitary space is a better option for concentration. This step can help keep you as focused as possible on the job at hand rather than spreading your attention too thin and getting too scattered to be effective.
It’s stunning to think of all the tracking, computing, and communication power that’s contained in a smartphone, and exciting to consider the prospect of harnessing that power to create success for yourself and your business ideas. All it takes is careful consideration on the front end to choose the right functionalities, set smart guidelines for communication, and keep yourself and your workers focused and productive.
Image credit: Photo courtesy of Oleg Magni.