Business Lifecycle

Creative ways to use your smartphone to accomplish small business tasks

Your smartphone — thanks to mobile phone apps — can help you keep up with important to-do items.

Published: December 10, 2014
Updated: January 27, 2017

Smartphones have just about become a necessity for everyday life. While they may never completely replace the need for a laptop or PC, they can be an incredible tool for running your business. You might already be using your smartphone to do a number of tasks, but here are additional creative ways to use your smartphone for your small business.

1. Printing and scanning

To print documents, you used to have to be sitting at your computer, tethered to a printer. With cloud computing and the power of Wi-Fi, you can now print documents, presentations, or images right from your smartphone — as long as the printers you are connecting to support Wi-Fi. There are also many high-quality scanning apps that allow you to print, sign, and return scanned documents while on the road.

2. Accessing video conference calls

Having to sit at your desk to hold or take part in a video conference call is a thing of the past. By using mobile phone apps from Skype or Google Hangouts, you can host or take part in a video conference call just about wherever you are. Both are free but require you to have an account for use.

3. Editing and viewing documents

Thanks to cloud computing and various online apps, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, you can save documents and access them from almost any device. You can also share large files with someone who's remote. Mobile apps like Microsoft Office Mobile allow you to make edits to files, turning your smartphone into a productivity powerhouse.

4. Syncing email, contacts, and calendar

By syncing your smartphone to your email, contacts, and calendar, you can keep all the important contact and scheduling information you need right at your fingertips. Never miss an appointment or have to call your office for a client's phone number again.

5. Managing projects and processing invoices

Today's savvy business owner wants access to business applications on the go, and business vendors are responding. Mobile apps from FreshBooks and QuickBooks allow you to invoice and handle basic accounting on your smartphone. Project management services such as Asana and Basecamp allow you to keep tabs on projects and tasks, managing your teams while mobile.

6. Small business marketing via mobile phones

Use your smartphone to snap a picture of a daily special or current promotion, and post it on social media for everyone to view. If you are a retailer and new inventory just came in, take a picture and put it into an email blast to alert your customers. MailChimp and Constant Contact mobile phone apps let you manage email marketing campaigns on the go.

As you increasingly use your smartphone for business tasks, it's critical to consider safety and properly protect your information. Depending on the type of smartphone you have, remote finder apps can help you locate your lost or stolen phone. And always implement a password or PIN so others cannot access your information.

Smartphones are revolutionizing the way we do business. By multitasking while also staying secure, you can manage your business from almost anywhere, as long as you have a smartphone in your pocket.