Admit it, you don’t go anywhere without your smartphone. It’s ok, the rest of us don’t either. That reason alone is incentive enough to examine just how useful your smartphone is to your business. With more of us enjoying job flexibility today, and with the probability of up to 58% of workers expected to be independent contractors by 2027, if you’re not using your smartphone for more than texting, calls and email you should be.
Here are 13 ways to turn that smartphone into a valuable business tool.
We all know about texting, calling and emailing from our phones, but are you collaborating from it as well? With a plethora of collaboration tools online, it’s as simple as finding one with an awesome phone app that works for your business. My favorite is Slack, but there is also Yammer and Skype.
2. Capture the Moment(s)
Smartphone cameras have come a long way. The images I take with my iPhone 7 are far superior to my expensive, 10 year old digital camera. That means with a bit of practice you could bypass the stock photos for your website and take actual pictures of your office. Not to mention sharing on social media. Attending a conference? Share it! Connecting with your market via social media or a business blog is the new full color brochure. Take advantage of that smartphone camera and make your images personal.
3. Photo Editing
I know, not all of us can snap photos on our phones like the Insta-famous. That’s ok though because you don’t have to be a Photoshop wiz to edit photos anymore. With photo editing apps you can turn something less than stellar into social media stunning. My favorite editing app is Aviary, but there are lots more out there like Adobe Photoshop Express and Google Snapseed.
4. Social Posts & Meme’s
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so can you imagine a picture that’s combine with words? It’s social media gold. Luckily you can turn the pictures you take with your smartphone into amazing social posts and meme’s quickly with the right app. We’ve all seen those awe inspiring pictures of nature with an inspirational quote on them, or that hilarious meme that makes us laugh. By creating your own and including your brand, when it goes viral, you end up with marketing goodness. My favorite apps for social posts and meme’s? It’s a toss up between WordSwag and Adobe SparkPost (Adobe Spark comes with my Creative Cloud subscription). Of course there are other options like Canva and PicMonkey. Psst…the image for this post was created with SparkPost.
5. Speaking of Social Media
All of your major social media platforms have mobile apps for your smartphone. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, you name it, it has a mobile app. Which is great, because it makes it super easy to share your pictures, social posts and meme’s we just talked about without needing to get on a computer or tablet. Even better, there are scheduling apps that will let you post to more than one platform without opening each one individually. Apps like Later, TweetDeck, Hootsuite and SproutSocial all make being a social media maven less time consuming.
6. Video Killed the Radio Star
Watching videos on your smartphone is inevitable. Take advantage of our video-centric times by creating your own videos right on your phone. Vlogging, IGTV, FB Live… use video to build your business. Some great apps for editing your videos? Try iMovie or Adobe SparkVideo.
7. Present Yourself
Need a presentation for an upcoming event? You can create a slideshow right on your smartphone. There’s an app for that. Try Keynote, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides or even Canva to create a powerful presentation on the go.
8. Documents on the Go
Yet another reason to ditch the file cabinet and move your files to the cloud; file access on your smartphone. If you’ve ever had someone request a document when you’ve been out of the office you are bound to appreciate a cloud storage app. Easily access and share documents on the go. My favorite? Dropbox. But of course there are apps for Google Drive, Box and Microsoft OneDrive.
9. Office Shopping via Smartphone
Sometimes you just don’t have time to run out and get office supplies. Is the printer giving you that low toner message? Run out of K-cups? Need a new computer? Online shopping apps to the rescue. Most major retailers have mobile apps now. My favorites for office supplies? Amazon, Staples and Sam’s Club apps.
10. Scan and Fax Email
Still dealing with paper documents in your office? You don’t need a huge scanner to convert them to an electronic document anymore. With a scanning app on your smartphone you can turn paper into pixels in a snap. My favorite scanning app? Adobe Scan, but there is also ABBYY Scan and the Dropbox app has a scan feature as well
11. Skip the Trip to the Bank
Remember the days when a business had to plan a trip to the bank to deposit checks? That’s a thing of the past now that most banks offer the ability to snap a picture of the check and deposit right from their mobile app. How about skipping the checks altogether? Lot’s of banks are rolling Zelle into their apps as well. Your banks mobile app doesn’t have a Zelle type option? There’s always Venmo to eliminate those pesky paper checks. And what about transfers? Mobile banking apps make it easy to transfer money between accounts, even when it’s between banks.
12. Easy Credit Card Payments on the Go
Selling product or services when you are out and about? If you’ve ever had to turn down a purchase because you had no way of taking a credit/debit card payment you’ll be happy to know there’s an app for that now. PayPal and Stripe both have card readers that plug into your smartphone allowing you to accept a credit card payment instantly. There’s absolutely no reason to miss a sale anymore.
13. You CAN Get There From Here
It’s super embarrassing to be late for a meeting because you got lost. Trust me, I know from personal experience. Luckily, if you have a smartphone, you have a powerful GPS at your fingertips. My favorite app for driving directions? Waze, hands down. Not only does it give me turn by turn directions, it also warns me when I’m speeding, if there is road work or obstructions ahead and even when a police cruiser is sitting in that favorite speed trap spot. Plus it’s free. Alternatives include Apple Maps, Google Maps (both free) and TomTom Go Mobile (free up to 50 miles). And for those of us who don’t drive, there’s Transit for bus and subway times. And let’s not forget letting someone else do the driving by grabbing an Uber or Lyft.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, smartphones are here to stay. That means you might as well be getting the most out of yours by making it work for you and your business.