A couple of decades ago, if you wanted to run a business from home, you had to invest a major amount of cash to purchase equipment to get yourself up and running. In the 21st century, that’s all changed. You don’t need a fully equipped office because you can get the same work accomplished (and more!) with a smartphone, along with some good productivity tools and apps.
Thanks to technology, the opportunities now are vast for aspiring entrepreneurs. With the amazing capacity of mobile technology, the barriers to entering the world of free enterprise have never been lower. Want the flexibility that comes with being your own boss? Here are five tips for starting and running a business from your smartphone.
1. Choose your niche
The first thing to do is to determine the type of business you want to run. You can opt to find a business that can be run entirely online or go more traditional. For instance, if you want to be completely reliant upon digital resources, you can build apps and sell them. Or you might prefer the idea of getting out into the “real world” but still want the ability to run things via your phone. If you have the capital, why not buy a property and put it on the market as a vacation rental?
Whatever it is you decide to do, be sure to think about your knowledge and skills, but also your interests and hobbies. To succeed, you’ll have to not only be good at what you do but also enjoy it. Otherwise, the business could fizzle as your interest in it wanes.
2. Get a dedicated phone
It might be convenient to use one phone for both personal and business affairs, but this is a poor business strategy for a few reasons.
- Decreases productivity. When you use one phone, it’s easy to lose track of time as you check personal email, social media, and texts. Having two phones enables you to put your personal tasks aside to focus entirely on business.
- Blurs work-life balance. Even as the boss, you’ll want to establish a healthy work-life balance so you don’t reach the point of burnout. Take your business phone off the clock at quitting time to avoid the temptation of continuing to work. A case of burnout could severely hurt your business, but a good balance between your personal and professional lives increases the likelihood of success.
- Appears unprofessional. If you use one phone number, you’ll have to always answer as your business. Consider the probability of messing up and answering the phone as your personal line if you’re tied to a single line.
- Incurs spam. If you use one phone number for everything, you’re going to open your company up to more robocall spam and increase its security risks.
Bottom line: Purchasing a second phone is worth the investment. Sure, you can set up a second phone number with one device, but this won’t eliminate some of the potential problems. Do the math, certainly, but adding a second smartphone and line to your personal plan rather than opening up a whole second account with your carrier will probably be more cost-effective.
3. Focus on security
Security deserves its own mention when it comes to running a business from a smartphone. It’s also one of the primary reasons why you should keep a separate business phone — that way you can better secure your company and its assets on a dedicated device. Data breaches persist as a problem and, statistically speaking, small businesses are targeted more than 50% of the time. Keep these tips in mind to keep your security on point:
- Perform routine backups. Make sure you have a secure and reliable backup system with adequate capacity to accommodate your business and client information. For instance, cloud computing is safe and easy. You can store important data and be able to instantly access it from anywhere — a perfect solution for on-the-go entrepreneurs.
- Secure your login. Although passwords and two-factor authentication take a little more time when you log in, these simple step decreases the potential of someone else breaking into your device and apps, which can save you time and headaches in the long run.
- Track your device. Put a mechanism in place to help you locate your phone in case it is lost or stolen.
- Limit access. Keep access to your device and its apps (especially those containing company info and documents) on a need-to-know basis. If you have employees who quit, be sure to disconnect them from any accounts connected to your business.
- Invest in security software. There’s no reason not to take advantage of the many options available for digital security. Using protective tools reduces the chances of being hacked, an unwelcome event that could derail your whole operation.
Before investing in any technology solutions, be sure to check online reviews, read and assess privacy policies, and investigate to see which services other entrepreneurs are using for their companies. It’s critical to find trustworthy partners to do business with, so definitely put your effort into this on the front end.
4. Invest back into your business
One of the beautiful things about running a company from your smartphone is the low overhead and ability to save money. To further enable yourself to grow your company, consider making other life changes to enable you to invest even more cash back into your business.
Take advantage of the freedom a mobile business affords you and consider the best place for your headquarters. You could move to an affordable city to save money on rent and living expenses. For example, with its thriving economy, great climate, and a below-average cost of living, Charlotte is a great option for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
5. Selectively choose apps
When it comes to successfully launching and running a business, productivity matters, big-time. So choose your apps selectively, as this will be one of your keys to success.
- Stay mobile. Most popular business apps today are compatible across different devices to sync your data. You may need to occasionally use a laptop or desktop or give others access, so make sure each time you set up a new app that’s it’s mobile-friendly.
- Do test runs. Nothing’s more frustrating than getting your staff on board with a new app, only to find it doesn’t do what you’d hoped and planned for. To avoid wasting time and energy, choose quality apps and vet them to increase productivity, aid communication, and help with organization.
- Keep it simple. Only download apps you need to avoid overloading your phone with unnecessary ones. Too many apps can clutter your devices and increase the risk of taking on spyware, not to mention boost the chances of a data breach.
Applications are fantastic tools to increase efficiency. Before you get started, evaluate your needs, do some research, and focus on the apps that will promote the productivity, health, and, ultimately, the growth of your business.
Technologically speaking, there has never been a better time to start your own company. A smartphone offers you all the tools you need to get going. So do your research, make smart choices, and then dial up some success for yourself!