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Smart Phones Bring Balance and Create Competitive Advantage

Smart Phones Bring Balance and Create Competitive Advantage

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

<p>Did you know small business owners spend more time holding their smart phones than the hand of their spouse or significant other?&nbsp; That&rsquo;s according to a recent survey from Staples.&nbsp; The survey also revealed 43 percent of small business owners work during hours spent with family.&nbsp; Sixty-eight percent said they rely on just one mobile device for both personal and business use making it difficult to &ldquo;switch off&rdquo; during family time.<br /> <br /> Sounds intrusive doesn&rsquo;t it?&nbsp; We&rsquo;re already working crazy hours running our businesses and now this new technology makes it nearly impossible to break away.&nbsp; However, there are two sides to this story.<br /> <br /> <strong>Smart phones offer the flexibility of a mobile office</strong><br /> Smart phones are actually mini-computers.&nbsp; They can easily become your virtual office allowing you more freedom to spend time away from your office environment.&nbsp; Furthermore, smart phones provide a platform for small business applications which can enhance productivity and profitability. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong>Do more for your business with mobile apps</strong><br /> There are thousands of mobile applications available for small businesses and more being introduced daily.&nbsp; These applications include bookkeeping, time management, sales management, inventory control, fleet management, marketing resources and seamless connectivity with your office. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> Personally, my smart phone has made me significantly more efficient in the way I manage my business.&nbsp; One of the first applications I added was an expense tracking program.&nbsp; I&rsquo;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.&nbsp; 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. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> Dallas, Texas entrepreneur, Lisa Bauman, has had a similar experience.&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; &ldquo;Now I can scan my business receipts immediately when they are handed to me.&nbsp; I used to have my assistant scan all of my receipts at the end of each quarter.&nbsp; This took her at least one full day each quarter.&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; I am saving approximately $1,000 per year in payments that would have been made to an assistant and a tax accountant,&rdquo; Bauman explains.<br /> <br /> <strong>Manage social media on your time</strong><br /> Social media applications are also on the top of my favorites list.&nbsp; So many business owners ask me how I have time to manage all my social media activity by myself.&nbsp; The answer: Smart phone applications. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My smart phone (iPhone) has been a godsend to do all the little things that take just a few minutes.&nbsp; It is especially valuable as I try to establish myself in the realm of social media.&nbsp; I can Tweet while in line at the grocery store,&rdquo; says Kara Richardson Whitely, owner of Fat Woman on the Mountain Enterprises.&nbsp; Whitely&rsquo;s company offers information and inspiration to help others on the path to wellness. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong>The game changer for women business owners</strong><br /> Women are great multi-taskers.&nbsp; Smart phones make it easier to juggle all aspects of our lives.&nbsp; And by taking time to identify appropriate business management applications, they can create a competitive advantage for our businesses.&nbsp; As one business owner said, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a game changer.&rdquo;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><br /> &nbsp;</p>

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.