Smartphones are no longer an option for business owners; they’re essential. According to research, approximately 81 percent of Americans own some kind of smartphone in 2019. This is drastic leap from 2011, when only 35 percent used smartphones. Today, the ubiquity of smartphones has led to mobile commerce, a distinct branch of digital commerce specific to business done on mobile devices. M-commerce sales accounted for 23 percent of all digital transactions in 2018.
Smartphones are popular and essential for a reason. They combine the connectivity of a cellphone with the technology of a computer. Each smartphone is only a few limitations away from being as useful as a desktop computer.
Many business owners are relying on their smartphones to organize their enterprises. You may already be using your smartphone to handle business transactions and communications. It could be vital in your remote working set-up. But a little advice could still go a long way.
Here are some clever tips you can improve the way you use your smartphone for your business.
1. Get a Business Device
When you’re running a small company, perhaps an online store based in your home, it may seem simpler to just conduct your business from your personal phone. This is a mistake and it could slow down your business response time. Your personal phone can be bombarded by notifications from social media, messages from family, and cluttered with non-business app.
Not to mention you could make the appalling error of sending a personal message to a customer or business contact. Get a second smartphone dedicated for business transactions and communications as soon as you can to prevent such errors. A business phone also helps consolidate your communications, providing customers with a single phone number or email address that you can access easily.
2. Download Apps
There are millions upon millions of apps you can download and some of them can be very useful for your business. Aside from the usual email and social media apps, which you can use to keep track of your business’s online presence, there are lots of secure messaging apps. These programs help you connect with other employees and conduct your business even when you’re far apart.
There are also specialized apps you can use, depending on your industry. If you run a small real estate company, there are apps for selling houses to make your job easier. There are apps for accounting and even apps for bakers. Remember to be selective in what apps you download, you don’t want to clutter your phone with unnecessary software.
3. Use it for Storage
Businesses need a lot of documentation, whether you’re storing tax returns, employee evaluations, or customer orders. You should organize the physical copies of these files, but your smartphone offers a great way to digitalize them. Most smartphones have impressive storage capacities and you can download the softcopies of these files for easy perusal and retrieval. Your phone’s camera could also let you take high-resolution photographs of printed documents. This way, you have a copy of the file on hand in case the physical copies are compromised.
4. Secure It
Your business smartphone will contain a lot of sensitive and important information, like customer details or your business’s financial transactions. You need to protect it from damage or intentional attacks. Despite what you may think, smartphones can get viruses just like computers. Exercise caution and common sense when downloading apps and clicking on links, especially if the link is embedded in a suspicious email. If hackers gain access to your phone and digital storage, there’s no telling what damage they can do to your business.
Don’t forget to physically protect your phone from damage or theft. Get tracking apps so you can locate it easily should you ever lose it. Buy a shock-proof case to increase the likelihood it can survive short drops. And never bring it with you near a significant quantity of water, like a pool or fountain, unless you absolutely have to.
5. Learn When to Put it Down
Learning when you should put down your business phone is just as important as learning how to use it effectively. As a business owner, you are your own boss. Set reasonable business hours and stick by them. This will prevent you from getting too stressed and burning out. For example, put your business smartphone on silent mode during lunch hours and don’t bring it with you when you’re on personal excursions like dinner dates or family gatherings. You deserve a break from work.
Business owners need to find every advantage they can get. More importantly, you need to use these advantages well. Turn your business around by making the most of your smartphone.