How to Run a Business From Your Smartphone
Forty-six percent of Americans say they can’t live without their smartphones, and many business owners agree, saying they would rather give up coffee than be without their mobile devices. Neither of these findings are particularly groundbreaking in a world where businesses thrive on digital technology. But with the growing availability of business apps and updated smartphone technology, businesses can run their entire operations right from the palm of their hand. Here are some ideas to get started.
Add your existing business number to your smartphone
Business owners on the go can add their existing business phone number to their smartphone with a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The process is relatively simple with a third-party system like Nextiva to add your number. VoIP is also ideal if you still want to use your business number when working at the office, and not just on your smartphone. Once Nextiva is set up, you can seamlessly go from phone to phone without missing calls or important messages. You can also place a business call from any device and it will show your office number. And like Skype, Nextiva offers one-on-one HD video calls, instant messaging and chat rooms.
Get a second line
If you’re just getting your business up and running, adding on a free, second line is also an option. Sign-up for a service like Google Voice that assigns a unique phone number that can ring to your smartphone. The system gives you more control over separating out your personal and business calls, despite them both ringing to the same phone. Pre-record a business greeting to your Google Voice account to help brand your business line. After a voicemail is left, the message is translated into text and emailed to your inbox. The downside is you don’t have much control over choosing a number, and can’t integrate your existing business line like you can with VoIP.
In the past, businesses needed a separate credit card processing machine to send their clients an invoice after closing a deal. Today’s modern, mobile business can use Square to take payments with the help of a magstripe or EMV chip-enabled reader. Once you close the sale, pull out your smartphone and Square’s pocket-sized credit card processor and accept payment right away. And for businesses that still need to send an invoice, Square can handle that, too.
Offer customer support
The customer relationship management tool Salesforce offers an out-of-the-box help desk with Desk. Simplify the customer service process with a customizable interface to configure the features you need. Instead of playing phone tag and losing emails with your customers, give them the option to open up a ticket instead. Once a ticket is open, you can follow along with their entire customer service history and help resolve any issues.
Run your financials
Keep tabs on the health of your business by checking on invoices and accessing customer information with QuickBooks’ mobile app. Ideal for business owners who are never in the office, you can capture receipts and attach them to a transaction to make expense reporting easy. Sync up QuickBooks to your bank to automatically download, categorize and reconcile bank and card transactions. And if you’re using Square or PayPal, you can also sync up to your payment processing apps for more detailed and up-to-date information.