Where were you in 2007? Did you know that while you were enjoying a business retreat or starting an exciting new venture, the world was in a state of upheaval – only, no-one knew it at the time. Yes, 2007 was the “Year of the Smartphone” when Apple launched their first iPhone and changed the face of the industry forever.
What started out as a simple hand-held device for making calls and sending messages has turned many industry sectors on their heads. In fact, never before in the history of tech has one device had the capacity to replace so many others. It’s like a silent coup with a mind of its own!
For example, the smartphone has gradually replaced the digital camera, to the point where this beleaguered industry has seen a 78 percent drop in camera sales since 2008.
Today, we carry our smartphone as opposed to a map, radio, video recorder, camera, flashlight, alarm, calculator, clock, document reader, phone book, photo album, and bank cards. (To mention just a few!)
What Has the Smartphone Done For Business?
We can easily see the impact of the smartphone on our personal lives, but how has it affected the way we do business?
Consolidated Business Processes
In years gone by, if you weren’t at your desk then nobody could get hold of you. Your secretary took a message which you responded to when you returned.
If clients want to talk to you, they simply pick up the phone and you are always at the other end. (At least, you should be!) They need a quote – so you type one up quickly on your phone using an accounting app that links everything back to the cloud, and you send them a quick email. Done.
Your best client has a question on the equipment you installed for them. They call you via video and show you the lights on the system; a quick diagnosis follows, and your client goes away happy.
You take some customers out for lunch, after which you scan the bill into an app on your smartphone which logs the details and saves it into your accounting system.
Anything that we could do on a computer or at a desk is now a cinch with your smartphone.
Of course, besides these obvious advantages, we still have the trusty SMS functionality which enables us to reach over 90% of cell phone users with an incredibly high read rate – perfect for marketing, mobile statements, push notifications and so much more.
More and more employees can – and want to – work remotely. Flexible hours and work from home days are easily accommodated if you have a smartphone. Taking calls from customers or making calls to suppliers with the information you need at your fingertips, quite literally, gives you the freedom to work from anywhere.
Whether this is good or bad in your instance, using a smartphone allows your customers to be able to access you so much easier than before. Going through a switchboard system with multiple menu offerings, only to find that you were out of the office will always be a bore. So, there’s no need to sit at your desk while you wait impatiently for a call – do your thing and take your phone with you.
Huge Cost Savings
People may complain that smartphones and data is expensive, but it pales into insignificance when you consider what your clever device actually does.
- Staff can work from home which saves companies thousands on desks and office equipment
- There’s an app for just about everything – from tracking your mileage to communicating with clients. (And they’re far cheaper than a dedicated piece of software for each purpose.)
- Data calls are becoming more and more popular which acts as a significant saving on airtime costs.
- Many companies are using smartphones to train and upskill their team at a fraction of the cost of traditional training systems.
As the smartphone evolves, so does our usage of it. And it’s exciting.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or senior business person, the incredible revolutionary impact of the smartphone will have impacted the way you do business. No doubt you are embracing it and riding the wave of innovation. We can’t wait to see what the future brings.