The advent of the smartphone completely revolutionized how businesses run around the world. Now you have a small computer in your pocket that you can use to communicate and stay connected no matter where you are.
Last year, Apple hit a major milestone with more than 1 billion iPhones sold since their inception — now that’s market share. Here are seven ways to use an iPhone to grow your business.
1. Stay in touch with existing customers.
One of the quickest ways to drive a business into the ground is to ignore your existing customers. Building strong relationships leads to repeat business and long-term relationships that act as the foundation for your business as you grow and seek out new customers.
Whether your customers prefer email, text messaging or old-fashioned phone calls, your iPhone has you covered. Or use FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom or one of a handful of video chat apps to give your customers a face-to-face experience anywhere in the world with a high-speed Internet connection.
2. Handle invoicing and billing on the go.
If you run a service business, odds are you head to client sites at some point and then need to invoice or bill for completed work. In the old days, you would need to get a pen and paper to invoice. Then it upgraded to desktop and laptop computers. But now, you can invoice from your phone!
Major accounting programs like QuickBooks offer apps that give you the ability to create and send digital invoices from your phone. Or use an invoice first app like Freshbooks, Zoho or Due to make mobile invoicing easier and faster.
3. Amplify your networking.
Whenever I leave a networking event, I walk out with a pocketful of business cards and the best of intentions to follow up. But many times that falls by the wayside and I end up with a missed opportunity to grow my network.
With your iPhone, you can open apps like LinkedIn or capture business cards in your address book for faster follow-ups and responses. More connections means more opportunities to grow your business. You never know which relationship will bud into something special and which are duds until you reach out. With your phone in your pocket, network growth is never far away.
4. Keep connected to your team when traveling.
If you have a team in an office, working remotely or out in the field, staying connected is vital to your organization’s success. Good communication can help a company grow to a breakout success while poor communication is often toxic in the work environment.
Your iPhone comes with the app store pre-installed, and you can download one of several popular messaging apps for business. My favorite is Slack, which offers native apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android. When logged in on your smartphone, you can get a notification when you are needed and send notifications to the rest of your team. Small teams and large businesses alike can benefit from quality communication.
5. Manage banking and finances.
Online banking took your money management from the teller line to the Internet, but new mobile banking and finance apps put your bank in your pocket. The best mobile banking apps give you the ability to view balances, transfer funds, deposit paper checks, and take care of basic account management tasks from your phone.
The next time you are at a business conference and you see a low balance alert, you don’t have to rush to your hotel room and log in to the hotel’s expensive Internet to fix the problem. You can just grab your phone, tap a few buttons to transfer funds, and get back to the conference without leaving your seat. Even if you miss a few minutes of the keynote because you were distracted by your phone, it is better than missing the whole thing dealing with a mini banking crisis.
6. Make better purchasing decisions.
Part of growing a profitable and successful business is managing your expenses. It’s easy to run to the store to pickup items you need for your business. You may be overpaying for the sake of convenience, but you never know for sure unless you compare prices. That used to be quite a chore, but your iPhone makes it much easier.
Some shopping apps give you the ability to scan a barcode and instantly see prices from a variety of retailers. Others give you the ability to quickly search for comparable products at a lower cost. Every dollar you save on purchasing is another dollar in your business bank account, which for small business owners means dollars in your pocket.
7. Check your business health.
Personal credit score apps have been around for a while, but there is only one app today that gives you your business credit score for free. With the Nav iPhone app, you get many of the same benefits of the full website in the convenience of an app.
This app gives you important information like your business credit score, business credit report, and credit monitoring alerts on the go. As a bonus, Nav throws in your personal credit score too! If you need a new business credit card, line of credit or other loan, your business credit score is an important factor in getting approved.
The invention of the iPhone frees business owners and remote workers from the burdens of a laptop when you need to grow your business on the go. Instead of lugging around a heavy laptop with a big screen, you can jump on your phone and take care of business. If you do things right, growth is just around the corner.
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