Considering that over two-thirds of the world’s population use mobile devices, effective use of mobile technology by businesses is more crucial than ever. However, despite these overwhelming numbers, many businesses overlook or simply fail to take full advantage of what’s available.
If you’re doing any of your business on the road, smart use of your mobile device can make you operate more efficiently and offer more productivity. Be the best mobile version of yourself with these suggestions for making the most of mobile business technology.
Your smartphone likely comes with many standard features such as a voice mail, email, a web browser, maps, a camera, a notepad, and a voice recorder. The very first step in optimizing your mobile device usage is taking advantage of these features.
Your clients, employees, and vendors are all going to want to reach you–even when you’re not in the office. Make sure your calls are forwarded to your phone to avoid having to check your office voicemail. Make sure your outgoing message clearly states your company title, your name and number so they feel confident they’ve reached the right person when leaving a message.
Set up your business email account so you can easily check your messages no matter where you are. Most smart devices with email capability can accommodate multiple accounts so you can keep your personal email separate from your work email address that appears on your business card. You can set up your email so that read messages remain on your email server so you can review them on your desktop computer later.
With your device’s built-in web browser, you should be able to get what you need to know about your clients, and where they are and, using your map, get directions to their office. It allows you to also do quick searches when you need more information to answer your client’s questions.
Your mobile device’s camera is an often overlooked tool for conducting business on the go. While many people use the camera to take photos of family, pets, and food, technicians on service calls find smartphone cameras useful in taking pictures of equipment being serviced–including serial numbers and codes in hard-to-view places. Mobile cameras are also useful for taking before-and-after images of equipment, or for taking pictures of broken hardware pieces to determine part number and availability from a vendor.
Finally, when it comes to taking notes, your mobile device can handle much of that without having to rely on paper that could easily get lost. Your devices notepad program is designed for taking quick notes–even offering voice-to-text entry. These notes can sometimes be shared automatically on the cloud so they’re easily retrievable later by you or others working with you. Depending on how you like to take and retrieve your notes, you also have the option of a voice recorder to handle your note taking needs.
Chances are, your business is already using cloud technology in one form or another. Public cloud services such as those offered by Amazon, Dropbox, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and others all have mobile device apps for accessing not just cloud storage, but services as well such as Google Docs, OneNote, Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox Paper, and so forth. These allow you to not only retrieve and store documents but also view and edit those documents anywhere you have a secure Internet connection.
The only real caveat with this is a reminder to be aware of good security practices–both with your mobile device and with your cloud account. In terms of security, be sure keep strong passwords, avoid public Wi-Fi, and install firewalls where applicable.
Making a sales call or making an off-site presentation? Rather than carry an armful of catalogs and brochures, you can easily display them on a large mobile device such as an Apple iPad, Kindle Oasis, or other tablets. With a good email or file sharing set up on your large mobile device, you can email or digitally transfer sales documents to any potential client in PDF or Microsoft-compatible formats.
Even if you’re not making a formal presentation, loading catalog pages in PDF format, or specific photos of your product, to your mobile device–even the smaller ones–can be more efficient than flipping through catalog pages.
iOS and Android both have apps for reading barcodes. Combine this with inventory apps tied to your company’s database, you can check availability or even order desired inventory without having to actually call or fax anyone.
Business documentation, too, can be handled by most mobile devices these days. Order forms, agreements, and other documents can be retrieved, signed digitally, and sent back to the office from your mobile location.
Many of the options above were not available ten years ago. With business integrating with technology at a greater rate, mobile device makers want to make sure you’re connected with all the tools you need to be as productive as your office-bound counterparts. When used efficiently, you can even run an entire operation solely from mobile devices. Most businesses, at the very least, benefit greatly from the successful integration of mobile business technology. Make the most of these options to be the best, most efficient and productive mobile version of yourself.