Building A Business Around Your Mobile Phone: Call Forwarding and Tracking for Entrepreneurs On-The-Go
Entrepreneurs never wear just one hat. They aren’t simply the CEO; they are often the sales manager, HR manager, billing manager, customer service manager, webmaster, and janitor. Getting a startup off the ground is no small task, and handling operations details can be even more complicated when an entrepreneur is constantly on the go, meeting new people, and tending to new business.
Because of their hectic schedules and lengthy task lists, most entrepreneurs could not live without their mobile phones. It is imperative that they stay connected to employees, clients, and vendors, even on the road. But distance can have a detrimental effect on productivity. Through the use of features like mobile call forwarding and apps, entrepreneurs can stay connected to employees, clients, vendors, and company files, giving them the ability to remain productive while traveling.
Turning a Mobile Phone Into a Proxy Office
Smartphones are more than just telephones, they are really mini computers. Entrepreneurs can turn their mobile phones into virtual offices, helping them stay on top of their work with the strategic use of calling features and mobile applications. Some of the ways to turn a mobile device into a productivity center include:
Mobile Call Forwarding.The traditional way to stay connected to the office while on the road is to dial in to a voice mailbox to retrieve phone messages, or call the office and ask an employee to relay messages. These methods are not always convenient, and they leave a great deal of room for technical and human error. With mobile call forwarding, entrepreneurs can bypass these old-fashioned methods. Calls placed to their office phone can be re-routed to ring on their mobile phone instead. Calls can either be answered on that device, or sent to the mobile voicemail box. Combining mobile call forwarding with voice-to-text apps also allows users to get a text-based copy of incoming voice messages via SMS or email, lessening the chance the call will be forgotten.
Evernote. Evernote is a handy app with free and paid options that works with desktop computers, mobile phones, and tablets. Users can clip websites for future viewing, take notes, record voice memos, sync files, and capture photos. One account can be connected across all devices, which means that memos recorded on a mobile phone or tablet can be retrieved from the desktop app. Evernote is particularly handy for recording action items after taking a call on the road. Mobile call forwarding does no good if calls are not acted upon. Instead of writing a list on a piece of paper that can be easily misplaced, entrepreneurs can record their post-call action items in Evernote for easy retrieval upon their return.
Dropbox. Dropbox is the most popular cloud-based file storage and sharing system in use today. There are free versions, as well as a variety of paid options. Entrepreneurs can use this app on mobile devices or computers, and syncs all files across devices. Users can access their files from anywhere, without fear of losing them due to a device crash. Team members can also be integrated into the system so that they can see shared documents, cutting back on email and giving users control over file versions. The app is incredibly versatile, as noted in Macworld’s article, “ 62 Things you can do with Dropbox.”
Lastpass.Hackers have made it necessary for individuals to create extremely complicated and unique passwords for every website and online application. Keeping track of these passwords can be a nightmare. Lastpass allows users to generate and store unique passwords for all internet logins. The service is free for desktop use, but there is a $12 annual charge for mobile devices – a small price to pay for security.
CamCard.The giving and receiving of business cards is essential for doing businesses. In an effort to grow their network and get out in front of potential customers, entrepreneurs often spend a great deal of time visiting conferences. CamCard is an app that allows users to take photos of business cards to prevent lost contacts. The app scans the photo and collects the relevant contact data, storing it for easy retrieval.
Expensify.Traveling entrepreneurs can rack up a great many business expenses on the road. Keeping a handle on receipts can be daunting, and a lost receipt can’t be claimed. Expensify allows users to take photos of their receipts, and then stores the data in chronological order. This app also has a place to store mileage and other expenses.
Travel time used to mean lost work hours. But with mobile call forwarding and productivity apps, entrepreneurs can keep themselves organized and productive on the go. Combining these apps in a systematic way means business owners can keep a handle on critical tasks while remaining connected to clients and colleagues. They give entrepreneurs a way to create and keep a competitive edge while ensuring the growth of their startup.