The Future of Small Business is on Your Phone: 6 Ways It’s Already Happening

small business

Small business owners are different. By definition, they tend to be people who prefer independence over a corporate environment. They don’t want to be tied to a desk—they’d rather have the solo freedom of being on-the-go!

While there’s some pushback to the idea of doing too much on your phone, don’t forget there was once pushback to using fax machines. Some argue that it isn’t practical to handle tasks on a mobile device, and yes, that may be true of a few specific, complex projects. However, in many cases, mobile adoption and new mobile applications are helping small business owners get more done—no desk time required.

A few years back, AT&T published a study showing that 66% of small businesses could not survive—or it would be a major challenge to survive—without wireless technologies. We believe this percentage will only continue to increase as more small business-centric mobile applications are developed.

Every day, small business owners are already using phones and tablets to move their businesses forward. Here are a few examples:

1. Email

This one goes without saying. Checking your emails while away from your desk improves your productivity—and at the very least, you can triage emails into delete/forward/quick reply/save for later. Try using Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or Taskbox Boxer are three email apps to check out.

2. Scheduling

A lot of apps making scheduling easy, such as Homebase, 7Shifts, and HotSchedules.

3. SMS/Messaging

For better or worse, we respond to text messages much more promptly than we do email. When there is a fire to put out, you can expect a call first, quickly followed by a text. Apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Slack are also popular for timely responses and flash collaboration

4. Travel/Entertainment

You can easily book travel in just a few taps. Buying flights? Kayak is your friend. Accommodations? Expedia, Hotel Tonight, and AirBnB have your back. Need a ride? Lyft and Uber are there for you. Booking a table? You can use OpenTable. Organizing it all? TripIt!

5. Expenses/Financials

Even more complex tasks that used to be desktop-only are now going mobile. Expensify can help you with your expense reports and InDinero can help you keeps your books and payroll straight.

6. Hiring

Mobile hiring is on the rise. Indeed just released a new mobile app where you can post your job and manage the hiring process. Proven also has a mobile hiring platform that allows for posting and distribution to 20 job boards with a mobile applicant tracking system to boot.

Ten years ago nobody thought this would happen, but now small business owners are completing these tasks and more on mobile every day! As younger generations continue to mature and foray into business ownership, the percentage of people who rely on mobile devices like smartphone, tablets, and even smartwatches to operate their businesses is sure to increase.

What business functions do you think are the next to go mobile for small business owners?

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Tags: Technology