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Smart Phones Bring Balance and Create Competitive Advantage

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Smart Phones Bring Balance and Create Competitive Advantage

By Solovic
Published: May 12, 2011 Updated: May 13, 2011

Did you know small business owners spend more time holding their smart phones than the hand of their spouse or significant other?  That’s according to a recent survey from Staples.  The survey also revealed 43 percent of small business owners work during hours spent with family.  Sixty-eight percent said they rely on just one mobile device for both personal and business use making it difficult to “switch off” during family time.

Sounds intrusive doesn’t it?  We’re already working crazy hours running our businesses and now this new technology makes it nearly impossible to break away.  However, there are two sides to this story.

Smart phones offer the flexibility of a mobile office
Smart phones are actually mini-computers.  They can easily become your virtual office allowing you more freedom to spend time away from your office environment.  Furthermore, smart phones provide a platform for small business applications which can enhance productivity and profitability.  

Do more for your business with mobile apps
There are thousands of mobile applications available for small businesses and more being introduced daily.  These applications include bookkeeping, time management, sales management, inventory control, fleet management, marketing resources and seamless connectivity with your office.  

Personally, my smart phone has made me significantly more efficient in the way I manage my business.  One of the first applications I added was an expense tracking program.  I’m the quintessential road warrior and I was bad about holding onto receipts, keeping track of my cash expenditures and filing expense reports in a timely fashion.  The expense tracking application allows me to keep a record of everything on my phone and email an itemized expense report to our accounting department at the end of each trip.  

Dallas, Texas entrepreneur, Lisa Bauman, has had a similar experience.  As the owner of JennerSolve, a marketing, copywriting and consulting firm, she says she has been using an app that will scan documents onto her smart phone since July 2010.  “Now I can scan my business receipts immediately when they are handed to me.  I used to have my assistant scan all of my receipts at the end of each quarter.  This took her at least one full day each quarter.  And at tax time, created headaches when the file names did not include the proper tax expense line item which increased my accounting fees as well.  I am saving approximately $1,000 per year in payments that would have been made to an assistant and a tax accountant,” Bauman explains.

Manage social media on your time
Social media applications are also on the top of my favorites list.  So many business owners ask me how I have time to manage all my social media activity by myself.  The answer: Smart phone applications.  

“My smart phone (iPhone) has been a godsend to do all the little things that take just a few minutes.  It is especially valuable as I try to establish myself in the realm of social media.  I can Tweet while in line at the grocery store,” says Kara Richardson Whitely, owner of Fat Woman on the Mountain Enterprises.  Whitely’s company offers information and inspiration to help others on the path to wellness.  

The game changer for women business owners
Women are great multi-taskers.  Smart phones make it easier to juggle all aspects of our lives.  And by taking time to identify appropriate business management applications, they can create a competitive advantage for our businesses.  As one business owner said, “It’s a game changer.”   


 

About the Author:

Susan Solovic
Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, multi-media personality and a small business contributor to ABC News and other media outlets, public speaker and attorney. In addition to sitting on several executive boards of small business organizations, Solovic is the CEO and co-founder of ItsYourBiz.com – a company she led from a concept to a multi-million dollar enterprise.(formerly SBTV.com) She is also a featured blogger on numerous sites including Huffington Post, AllBusiness.com, Constant Contact, WSJ.com and Fast Company. Her forthcoming book, It’s Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss, is scheduled for release in October 2011.

Comments:

Reminders are important tool to keep abreast of things thanks
Would you furthermore discuss points on how mobile are influencing organization particularly advertising?
I handle keep my work life and personal life separate by using a google phone number for my business, which I set up with google to automatically go to voice mail after a certain time of day and on the weekend. That saves me from a lot of calls. Plus google blocks a lot of phone spammers (telemarketers).
Since smartphones don't use cookies, I heard google is trying to come up with a way to track hardware independent of that. Its interesting to see the new strategies that businesses come up with in response to innovation.
I don't know what I would do without my iPhone. People can reach me wherever I am, and I have access to all the information I need. Great calendars, alerts, and reminders are important tool that keep me on top of things.
Smartphones are changing the landscape of how we conduct our day to day business operations. As with any new technology, many pros and cons exist. It is great that we can accomplish so much so quickly, however, we are now more connected to our jobs (business) than at any other time in history.
Smart phones truly offers a lot of advantages and one of them is flexibility in managing and bringing transaction within your hands. Many business owners have taken the advantage of using it and in line with the business it is useful most especially it features various apps that can be applicable in different business type. Rea estate in the Philippines
Hi Susan, Great article. Those are some crazy statistics! Its crazy to think of how much time and attention we spend on our smart phones and how it has become such a normal routine. We've come a long way since the pager..haha Business apps are the next big wave. Soon almost every established business will have one. Like Chipotle for example has their own app. with complete menu. You can place your order and pay via the app then go pick up your order. This is going to become a regular thing. Thanks for the info and article. Best Craig
Mobile marketing (i.e mass texts to opted-in clients and offering coupons via text) has been having an impact for advertizsing. Especially in following up with curent customers.
Could you also discuss things on how mobile are impacting business especially advertising?Thanks

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