Today’s smartphones offer users an unprecedented level of on-the-go functionality, allowing for quick and easy access to most online services and networks.
With just a few taps, smartphone users can connect with their friends, shop online, and book vacations all from the palm of their hand. In essence, the smartphone has liberated us from being attached to our home computers or laptops – with mobile tech, the online world goes with us, wherever we might be.
In 2018, it seems like pretty much anything can be done via an internet-connected smartphone.
And sure, some of the simplest tasks are easily handled in seconds via one’s mobile phone. It’s easier than ever to contact friends, view banking records, and file paperwork online.
But what about running a business from one’s phone? Is it possible – and if so, how?
Thirty years ago, the idea of operating a business outside of the office was nothing more than an idealized fantasy. Today, business has increasingly gone digital – making mobile business management not only possible but practical.
In fact, many of the world’s big-name executives have been partially running their businesses from their mobile devices for some time now. Google co-founder Larry Page has continually emphasized the instrumental role of mobile tech in running his multi-billion-dollar corporation – and if he can do it, chances are you can, too!
With the right apps loaded onto your iOS or Android device, you’ll have a veritable mobile business management arsenal on your hands. And from there, all that’s left is to pull the trigger.
Covering all aspects of business – from accounting to marketing and more – here’s how to run your business from your mobile phone!
Communicate And Collaborate Wherever You Are
Historically, phones have been the premier technology for long-distance voice communication. Today, this is still the case – although the contemporary scope of digital communication is much broader.
Many businesses still swear by video conferencing software like Skype, but the landscape of software has evolved drastically since Skype’s introduction in 2003.
For instance, many employees are now utilizing text messaging services like Slack to communicate with coworkers and collaborate on projects. The service has taken off rapidly since its release in 2013 and now sees widespread use across businesses of all kinds.
Slack’s emphasis on text-messaging also makes it ideal for mobile devices, and the company has since released companion apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone platforms. This makes Slack one of the best ways to stay in touch with your coworkers and collaborate on-the-go.
For those looking for a broader feature-set, RingCentral comes heavily recommended by many businesses. It offers all-in-one phone, messaging, and video conferencing and even lets you send and receive faxed documents, all via your mobile device!
One of the greatest advantages of smartphones is that they can open and edit a wide variety of document files. While many people might not consider a smartphone interface ideal for document creation, having the ability to view and sign documents while out-and-about is undoubtedly beneficial.
That’s why many document-dealing businesses swear by cloud-based file editing platforms like Google Docs. Google’s document creation and storage platform is totally free and allows you to group-edit word documents, spreadsheets, and more in a cross-platform fashion.
Once your documents have been created, Google Drive allows you to store them safely and securely online, where you can share them with co-workers and organize them to your heart’s content. Google allows free accounts a generous 15GB of storage space, so you’ll have plenty of room to get comfortable!
Accounting & Payments On-The-Go
Loved by some and despised by others, accounting is nevertheless a crucial cornerstone of business, and as such, it’s essential to get it right – whether you’re mobile or not.
Historically, viewing spreadsheets and number-heavy documents on mobile devices was cumbersome and inefficient. Thankfully, this has since changed, and there are now plenty of services out there that make number-crunching via your smartphone not only possible but also enjoyable.
Who would have thought, right?
For all your mobile accounting needs, Intuit’s QuickBooks Mobile is a no-brainer. With QuickBooks mobile, you can create and access estimates, invoices, and receipts from anywhere within seconds – no paperwork required.
Also particularly notable is QuickBooks’ mobile receipt capture feature, which lets you capture & store a snapshot of any receipt for easy online reference later. This feature is surely a huge boon to any digitally-inclined businessperson and will allow you to trash all those pesky paper receipts for good.
Best of all, QuickBooks Mobile is included as a free bonus with any QuickBooks Online subscription, which starts at a mere $10 monthly.
For service-based or sales-driven businesses that need to take payments on-the-go, Square comes heavily recommended by many for its remarkable ease-of-use and simplicity.
With Square’s app and Square Reader, your compatible device becomes a mobile point-of-sale. Just set up your account, download the app, and you can start accepting Credit Card and Apple/Google Pay payments in seconds.
Square does take a flat percentage-based fee for every transaction, but these fees hardly devalue the level of mobile convenience that the service offers. In other words – it’s a small price to pay!
Mobile Content Creation
Running your business as-is from a mobile device is one thing. But what if you’re looking to build your business to be better, all while on-the-go?
Thankfully, it’s definitely possible. The internet’s propagation into all aspects of business – namely contracting and freelancing – has made it easier than ever to grow your business with the help of the experts across the globe.
If you’re looking to hire additional talent to help improve nearly any aspect of your business, Upwork is a great place to start. As one of the leading freelance recruitment directories, Upwork allows you to browse, discover, and get connected with contractors around the world.
Of course, all of this functionality also works great via mobile devices, too – which is why we heavily recommend Upwork. The service’s mobile app lets you text message and share files with freelancers, just like you’d be able to on desktop – ensuring that the job gets done to your exact specifications.
If social media is a huge part of your business, look no further than Buffer – a service that allows you to create and schedule posts across social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more.
Why? Well, sure, social media platforms are already pretty mobile-friendly, and always have been.
The beauty of Buffer, though, lies in the ability to get ahead of your social media game by creating and scheduling content wherever you are.
Let’s say you happen to have a few spare moments at lunch or between meetings. You could browse around the web or perhaps read some hot news articles.
Or, you could strategically create and plan content for the future – and that’s precisely where Buffer mobile shines. Social networks like Twitter already allow you to draft up posts whenever you like, but with Buffer, you can create and organize a whole stream of content and have the service automatically publish the content on your behalf.
In the sphere of social media content creation, Buffer is a game-changer – and it’s available for free on both iOS and Android devices. Don’t miss it!
Pocket-Based Time Management
As the old adage goes – time is money! And with mobile technology, it’s easier than ever to save, spend, and optimize your time for success.
Most people already use their mobile devices to record and stay on top of everyday tasks. Pretty much every smartphone features a barebones “notes” application of some kind, which works well enough.
For businesses, though – there are much better options out there!
Trello is an easy candidate for free web-based project management with no strings attached. With it, you can create and organize lists, populate them with tasks, and add notes, comments, and even attach supplementary files.
Best of all, Trello works seamlessly across web, mobile, and desktop devices, so you can manage your projects on-the-go and have your Trello boards update automatically.
You might, for instance, use Trello to create a series of tasks for your employees to tackle. Once you step away from the office, you can check-in with your Trello board via mobile and add comments to in-progress tasks while checking-off others.
All-in-all, Trello is remarkably flexible and can be used to manage nearly any kind of task or project. If organization excites you – definitely check it out it!
For general time management, apps like TimeLogger and Google Calendar are fantastic for staying in-tune with your schedule – past and present.
TimeLogger (iOS) lets you start and stop timers for just about anything so that you can time your work hours, lunch breaks, or meetings. Later, the app’s in-depth graphical reporting will reveal exactly where your time is going – allowing you to make the necessary adjustments.
And, for general scheduling and planning on a broader level rather than minute-to-minute, Google’s Calendar app is a business planner’s best friend. With it, you can schedule tasks, meetings, and more – all within an easy-to-use interface that syncs across your Google account and to nearly any device.
Offer Exceptional Customer Service While Out And About
Running a successful business usually involves tending to the needs of your clients – especially when they need help!
Thankfully, customer service software solutions like ZenDesk make it easy to connect with customers and quickly resolve any outstanding issues. Impressively, ZenDesk is trusted by more than 200,000 businesses worldwide – but it’s ZenDesk’s mobile app that really seals the deal here.
The problem with traditional online helpdesks is that they often require you or your support staff to do just that – remain sitting at a desk in order to aid your customers.
With ZenDesk Mobile, however, you can service your customers from nearly anywhere – all from the palm of your hand. Your open support tickets and performance analytics are all just a few taps and swipes away, and you can even check-in with your staff at any time.
And don’t worry, your support agents can get access to their tickets and queue with the app, too – allowing them to step away from the desk without stepping away from your customers.
For service-based businesses, Yocale’s Provider App allows you and your staff to sync up with upcoming appointments and interact with clients on-the-go. There’s no paper planner or timesheet required – it’s as simple as downloading the app and accessing your schedule from wherever you are!
Better yet, your clients can download a version of the app for themselves, too – allowing them to book appointments, browse local businesses, and even revisit their payment history.
For collecting payments easily, JotForm Mobile Forms might be a great choice with its user-friendly mobile interface and features like offline data collection, kiosk mode, customizable push notifications, and form collaboration options.
Marketing is one facet of business that might seem incongruous with mobile devices. After all, when you think of marketing, you might imagine elaborate team meetings taking place in front of enormous whiteboards.
Often, we see marketing as a heavily experimental area of business that frequently involves risk and rewards creative strategy.
And yet – that doesn’t have to be the case! While innovative new marketing techniques are often worth exploring, it’s important to streamline your existing marketing framework, too.
HubSpot comes heavily recommended in the marketing/CRM world – and upon investigating the software giant, it’s not difficult to see why.
HubSpot provides a full suite of tools for any business, from an intuitive built-in CRM to a fully-functioning marketing hub. There are a lot of features to cover here – but for this article, we’d like to focus solely on the company’s mobile app.
Although it’s only available for iOS devices, HubSpot mobile provides an all-in-one sales and marketing destination for you and your staff. The app allows you to quickly track email marketing performance, manage deals on-the-go, and browse through your contact interaction history.
With HubSpot Mobile, you and your employees can quickly sync-up with your marketing history, re-evaluate strategies, and then get back in the game!
In 2018, running your business from your mobile phone isn’t just possible – it’s also relatively pragmatic. For business owners who are always on-the-move or those who just desire a convenient way to check-in with their operations, know that today’s smartphones can get the job done!
Thanks for reading!
For more business strategy – online and off – keep up with us here at the Yocale blog, five days a week.