These days it is easier than ever to start a business. If you have a great idea, you can easily find the resources to establish a business. We spoke to TechQuarters, a London IT support company that started out with just a handful of IT technicians working in the CEO’s back bedroom – more than 10 years later, and they are a highly successful business with a globally distributed workforce, and they are one of the most trusted Microsoft partners in the whole of the UK. They told us that starting a business is so easy that you can do it with just a mobile phone. But is this really true?
It must be said that starting a business with nothing but a phone will definitely be a challenge, but it can definitely be done. The fact is that you would be limiting yourself but using just one device, but if that is all you have, then its all you need. The important part is getting the right applications to make running a business on your phone possible.
Luckily, your smartphone is already built for a critical aspect of business. When running a business you will probably end up making lots of phone calls; as well as this, you’ll have lots of emails you need to send – luckily every popular email client has their own smartphone app that you can download.
You may come in contact with clients or collaborators who have a specific channel of communication they prefer – such as WhatsApp, or even Instagram. Arguably the best business-specific communications app would be Microsoft Teams – it includes instant messaging, phone calls, video calls, meetings and conferences into one platform.
Accounting & Finance
This is perhaps the least fun but most important part of running a business on your phone. To start with, you will need an app for tracking your expenses – every receipt will be needed to report your expenses when you file your tax return. Expensify is one of the most highly rated expense tracking apps available on most smartphones.
You will also need an accounting software. There are plenty of options for inexpensive accounting apps for small business. For example, FreshBooks promises easy expense report creation and time-tracking. Or perhaps, you might prefer QuickBooks Online, which offers invoicing, receipt storage, profit tracking, loss reports, and bank transaction reviewal. It is a perfect all-in-one solution for small business accounting on a budget, and with limited resources.
When running a business you’ll have lots of important files to deal with; documents and spreadsheets, as well as photos, possible graphic design assets, and much more. If you’re relying on nothing but your phone, you’ll want to make sure you can store all your files, and also that they are backed up (in case you lose the phone). Using a Cloud storage service is a must – services like iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and more are available to keep all your essential business files safe and secure.
Content Creation & Branding
Unless you’re working with a graphic designer who is doing this for you, then your phone will also be your main method of creating branding and assets for your business. Luckily, content creation is becoming more and more smartphone-oriented thanks to social media platforms like Instagram. If you’re buying a phone specifically for running a business, make sure to get one with a good camera – photography will be important for social media marketing. There are a range of great apps you can get for creating graphic content – the best free option would be Canva, which can be used to create social media content, and plenty of other business content, such as business cards.
If the business you have decided to create involves lots of data acquisition from a range of sources, then you will definitely want to have a reliable analytics app on your phone, so that you are up to date on business performance. One of the best apps for this out there is Google Analytics – it does an excellent job at presenting data and reports in a format that is easily viewable on a small phone screen. It requires a Google Account, but once you have that, you will be able to check things like KPIs, build and save reports, and monitor real-time data all on your phone.
For any customer-facing business, like a independent shop or stall, having a customer service app on your phone will be essential. For example, Insightly is allegedly the number 1 Customer Relationship Manager for small business – it has free and paid plans, and the service is available via their award winning mobile app.