Is running a business from a phone the logical next step in entrepreneurship, or a hinderance of business progress? The question is not whether your smartphone is advanced enough to handle the needs of modern-day entrepreneurs, because it is. What we want to discuss if entrepreneurs should consider this an option. Should the modern business rely on a phone for more than 50% of business administration?
Welcome to the 21st century and the questions that our grandparents wouldn’t have even considered.
There’s no question that it’s cheaper to run most of your business administration from your smartphone. Less overhead, less reliance on physical space. It’s a great way to cut costs.
Timing: Customer Communication & Calendars
Consistent and timely communication remains one of the most important factors influencing customer experience/satisfaction and overall success. Put simply, customers want answers, and they want them now. We can thank Google and the internet for our customer’s lack of patience.
Running a tight ship from your phone means you are always communicating in some form. Emails, texts, calls – you can respond as fast as you like.
Additionally, your phone is, in the very simplest of terms, a digital assistant. With the right apps you can run your business and your professional life quite well. The best of these apps is the calendar app. It syncs with your email and ensures you are always aware of where you need to be. You still must get there though!
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of running a business from a phone is the central management. Unified communications, also known as enterprise management, is taking the business and telecommunications industry by storm. All your apps, all your processes, everything you do, all in one centralized place. These enterprise management tools are integrated, powerful apps that can help you manage employees and provide a bird’s eye view of all project management activities.
Social Media Management
Social media caters to owners who are involved. Platforms reward owners who share more, who are live, who are involved in the communities, areas, and industries they serve. Direct access to all your business social media accounts from your phone at all times is essential for real organic growth.
In fact, you should remove your personal social media from your phone and replace it with your business profiles. You’ll be surprised how fast you’ll take interest and begin growing your accounts. Get on it.
Cell phones are not secure from cyber attacks or petty thieves. Relying solely on a single device that you keep in your pocket is a little reckless and damn near silly. There have been major strides to protect phones in recent years and cyber security companies like Bit Defender even offer anti-virus software for you phone.
It’s a decent investment but we warn you that it will slow your phone down. We still have not found a single protection software that does not bog down your cellular device, which is not something you want when running a business from a phone.
Timing: Accuracy & Distraction
Activities on phones tend to be fast, spur of the moment, and are inherently rushed. Think about it, you are typing on a touch pad, sending important emails and billing clients, all from a small handheld screen. Now factor in your environment. Are you at lunch, or talking to another client while answering an email? Accuracy is going to decrease. Typos, incorrect billing, and other major mistakes – No Bueno.
You are also constantly dealing with incoming calls, texts, and emails. That level of distraction can hinder real progress in any task. Quality of work will be diminished.
Work / Life Balance
Work life balance? I’m an entrepreneur, what does that even mean, man? Most entrepreneurs say goodbye to a large portion of their home life in favor of their pursuits. If you are truly passionate about your business, then that line tends to fade away quite quickly after starting your business.
But we recommend setting a boundary. Bringing work with you in your pocket at all times will severely affect your personal relationships.
It’s up to each of us to decide if the benefits of running a business from a phone outweigh the downsides. There is likely a middle ground that we should all consider and it’s somewhere between what’s necessary and what is best for the wellbeing of your business.
Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Work Week and guru of the new age entrepreneur, provides lots of tips that may help business owners who run their lives from their phones. Here are some of our favorites:
- Put your phone on airplane mode when you need to concentrate.
- Set only a few hours a day to answering emails.
- Do not answer emails first thing in the morning.
- “Take at least one day off of digital leashes per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner.”
Do what you will with this information. Find your own zen!