The fixed office is dead... or dying. With mobile devices becoming commonplace in the workplace, flexible offices are the trend. U.S. internet users now spend 52% of their digital time with mobile devices.
Conference rooms and cubicles are not gathering dust yet, but the trend is obvious; we are doing more and more of our business work away from our place of business. This is because mobile business apps and tools are increasing in convenience, flexibility and availability.
The ability to conduct business anywhere at any time is nearly endemic. How many of the following tools are you familiar with, and using?
Wi-Fi to go
Has this happened to you? You’re at a favorite coffee shop and their Wi-Fi goes dead. Suddenly, you can’t do any more work. It’s like you’re stranded in the middle of Siberia. No problem. If you have a mobile hotspot you no longer have to worry about being cut off from your work (or play). This tool used to be expensive, but fees are steadily declining so that just about any business person can now afford to have this backup.
Texting and emailing automation
Send out coupons, alerts and information to clients and customers with auto responders from a text messaging service like SimpleTexting or an email delivery service like MailChimp. You just type the message or coupon number or whatever in once, and the auto responder takes care of the rest according to your marketing schedule. That leaves you free to go anywhere to take care of business without having to worry about sending out mass messages.
Related Article: 6 Reasons Mobile Apps Are Here to Stay
For the jet-setting business person
Use an unlocked smartphone. Your business may take you anyplace in the world; if you have a passport, you should also have an unlocked cellphone to avoid expensive roaming charges in a foreign country or the inconvenience and expense of having to buy a new phone or SIM card every time you go to a new country.
Plus there are very few, if any, carrier restrictions on what kind of software or apps you can install while in a foreign nation.
You should be living (and working) on a Cloud
Do you have cloud storage, or are you actively considering it? This technology offers a way to store your business data that is theoretically fail-safe. So your vital data is always available. It’s also handy if you happen to lose a business laptop or some other mobile device that has unique and critical data on it.
With the cloud, you are able to retrieve that data with no problem; as long as you are authorized to access the cloud account. The cloud technology companies are offering very competitive prices now, including deals on cold storage; so don’t keep your head in the clouds, put your data there!
When was the last time I spoke to this person? When do I need to speak to them again?
Never forget to make an important business call again, or wonder when was the last time you spoke to that person, by using the Contactually app. It creates automatic follow ups after meetings and business appointments for you, and even sends out Holiday greetings, if you want.
Related Article: Why Mobile Banking Is The Future
Is your calendar app lame?
If you’re dissatisfied with the calendar app that came with your iPhone you can upgrade to Sunrise for free. The interface is extremely easy to navigate and will integrate seamlessly with all of the major calendar services.
(Source: Sunrise Calendar)
Pay on the run
Venmo lets you make a direct payment into someone’s bank account; this comes in very handy when you have to split a check at a business meal or need to get a payment to a vendor asap. It’s free on iOS and Android.
Can’t find the app that fits your exact needs? Why not build it yourself? According to doForm, they offer you the ability to build an industry-specific business form template, or they’ll do the first one for you for free. It can all be done with just a web browser and a mobile device, while you’re at Starbucks or on a long commute or a business trip. Your app can be built in under an hour and uploaded in seconds. It works for iOS and Android. Languages include English, Spanish and Russian. No esta mal, verdad?
Because more business is being done remotely or on the go than ever before, you can’t live without at least one or two of these mobile tools. Hopefully this article will save you some time in finding the right ones for your business operation.