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NOW CLOSED Business owners: smartphones seem to be everywhere nowadays, but are you making the most of yours when it comes to your business? Share your tips with Barclays and you could win a £200 JL voucher(33 Posts)
Are you a business owner or self employed?
Barclays say "To celebrate two ingenious apps from Barclays: the Barclays Mobile Banking app, which lets you manage your business finances and cash flow when you are out and about; and Barclays Pingit, an app that lets you send and receive money using just a mobile number, we want you to share your top tips on how to make running your business easier with a smartphone."
Share your top business smartphone related tips on this thread - everyone who adds a comment before the closing date of 22nd July 2013 will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 John Lewis voucher. Please note your anonymous submitted tips may well be used on the Barclays pages on MN as well as possibly elsewhere.
Please also let Barclays know if you've tried Barclays Mobile Banking app or Barclays Pingit for your business.
PS: For hints on how Pingit could work for your business see here
as well as a nursery nurse I am also a self employed antenatal teacher. Its really important for me to reply to queries asap so having email on the go is great for me. The quicker response the client gets the more likely they are to sign upto your service.
Small business owner.
I respond to emails. Even if no 3g, I do them all and save as drafts to send later.
Everything useful is saved to SkyDrive. DocBox Is a good alternative.
If I have to sit outside the house with sleeping kids in the car, I can still print using a mobile print app.
I use my iPhone constantly (I freelance) as a way to be able to check emails where ever I am.
I also have a few drawing apps on it (I'm a graphic artist) and can throw together a quick and dirty thing for clients on the fly so they can see what I'm thinking, although I use my tablet more for that.
On one memorable occasion I did a logo while sitting in a coffee shop on my iPhone, while with a client, that was only a step or two removed from the final product.
I love my smart phone as I use app versions of tools that I find useful on my laptop. An eg is bufferapp.com, which enables you to share links socially. You can read an email, click share and add it to bufferapp and it will send it at the specified time.
My top 6:
1. Bufferapp (MrsMargo - use this in conjunction with Feedly and you will be forever 'appy <guffaw>)
2. Facebook Pages
6. Evernote + associated add ons such as clip, skitch & hello
I run a media communications agency and my top app is a decent PDF reader. It lets me check attachments straight away without having to be at my desk so I can reply quickly to the client.
Also, a simple thing that makes a difference is to set alarms before important phone calls are scheduled. Gives me a mo to get prepared and clients appreciate being on time.
I am self employed and clients usually contact me by email so I can reply straight away and use web links and photos too. The sat nav helps me get to their house too.
I run my own retail website - I check emails on my iphone, keep track of orders with the app from my shopping cart provider (ecwid), check PayPal payments and can check stock levels if I have a customer query. I use a Skype number as my business number and I can either make calls via Skype on my phone, or have calls forwarded to the phone if reception is too patchy for 3G coverage. In the near future I hope to use it to take in-person payments via the new PayPal Here system. Would not like to be without my iphone for running the business
I am self-employed and use my smartphone for getting urgent time sensitive emails but the biggest tip I have is to make sure your settings are right! I had emails deleted left right and center my msitake beacuse my settings were wrong
As I currently self employed in childcare this helps me to answer my emails asap
respond to enquiries on website on the go.
I actually use the Barclays mobile banking app and it does help me manage my payments from clients without all the fuss.
The Google maps and directions helps me get from place to place.
My phone is also my back up diary
I did have problems with smart phone to begin with as wasn't good at typing and I realised I dint have my settings right things were be deleted and it was doing things I didn't want so top tip in my opinion is check your settings don't just let the person in the shop do them as they may not be right for you
I use my smartphone for quick marketing via social media. It's so easy to have a thought and post it on to Twitter and Facebook or to comment on topics that are trending. I can also use it to quickly update our parents if any of our Debutots classes need to be re-scheduled or postponed.
Freelancer - and I haven't tried any of the Barclays apps.
I use my smartphone to keep in touch when I'm out and about - either with clients or with family, works both ways.
I also use it to keep up to date with what's going on - I have several twitter lists that are work related, one with client twitter accounts to see what they are up to, one with travel twitter accounts on so I can see if there are likely to be any problems getting to meetings on the trains (or getting home again in the evening), one for twitter accounts of groups or events that I try to get to or at least see what the programme is.
Finally, I then several different lists, each for different aspects of the work that I do, following the main players and others I've found interesting or useful in those spheres. They're really useful for keeping up to date, pointing me in the direction of new research or good links, highlighting forthcoming meetings that I might not have heard of, and so on. If I've got a spare few minutes then I can dip into them and catch up - and if I know I'm going to be doing work on a particular topic then I make sure that I have a twitter list that catches anything relevant to that topic. If I spot articles that look good, I'll save them to read later when I have time, using Instapaper usually. I also save articles that are particularly good or have good quotes to use or have something about them that provokes good thoughts or arguments.
I also use the phone as a calendar and alarm to remind me about things.
We use ours for emails, sat navs, mobile banking, traffic reports, googling legislation and...revolutionary I know...we have also been known to make phone calls on ours too!!!!! Haven't used the Barclays apps to date.
Having a smartphone is SO handy business-wise.
But on the same hand, I wish I'd never gotten one
I'm now contactable 24/7 through all social networking, email, texting and calling.... I've now limited myself to times of day where I will check the different functions of my phone as I was finding that I was spending a lot more time than was necessary being 'contactable'.
It's also handy having the internet in your hands 99% of the time as many ideas/research things that would have been forgotten about can be taken up on the spot.
I'm a self employed childminder and my parents know they can FaceTime their child when I'm home and in wifi.
I whatsapp photos and videos to parents sharing special moments.
Parents enjoy being able to show photos of their kiddies to colleagues.
I use Internet banking to ensure I've received payments.
I use the apps: pages, twitter, analytics, seo, Wordpress.
All are very useful for keeping tabs on my blogs and online marcomms. I also take photos and film and upload direct to the sites. Use cloud and Dropbox for storage.
I have multiple email accounts set up to feed to my phone as well.
Aside from design I can generally do what I need to from my phone.
Just wish the network connections were better and data charges were more reasonable.
Like others it's great for being contactable, social media and having an integrated calendar and alarm.
I also have an expenses app, store documents that I need to reference quickly, check the news on the go, have various to do lists and google maps has got me to many a meeting safely!
I'm so grateful that I put the time into organising my phone so apps are grouped, my email signatures are all set up andI get push notifications when I want them. Well worth the initial time spent doing it.
I have a smartphone and use it for personal and business use every day. As above I use it for emails, maps, online banking (not with Barclays although interested on their offerings) and so on. My best tip is to invest in an online diary like pocket informant that supports a task list linked to calendar days. So for example I can find my sister's birthday, add a task to buy her a present a week earlier, and the task won't pop up until that time (and won't go unless I've done it). It's been a godsend to me as I work full time with two small children.
Freelance Social Media Consultant - so a smartphone is indispensable. I'm also editor of an online magazine.
I check Twitter, FB and Google+ several times a day, and of course emails.
Though I prefer to blog on PC, I have blogged on the WP app and use it to check stats on the magazine, approve comments etc.
I use FreshBooks to keep track of the time spent working for clients.
I don't use Barclays apps yet, but have recently opened a business account with them, partly due to reading a lot about them on Mumsnet. My normal bank was pretty useless and Barclays have been brilliant so far. Will be looking into the apps.
Top tip for using smart phones for a freelance business is using drop box to allow easy transfer of files from smartphone to home computer to office computer.
I work from home, but my smartphone means I can work - or at least check emails - on the school run too. Or when waiting for sports day to start.
im a self employed maternity nurse and temp nanny as well as doing wedding creches
having an iphone is crucial in my business, as often i can have a call/email from my agency about an emergency job and be there in 30mins or less - one time i had a call from a bride who had got my number from my ad on the internet and needed childcare asap for her wedding as her childcare hadnt shown up or cancelled
very unprofessional and I got there in time for her to walk down the aisle
all emails come directly to my phone whether work, pleasure or both
The sat nav app/google maps is fantastic esp for emergency work for day and night and i just put in the postcode and has never let me down unlike an actual satnav that had me arrive by a huge dark field and told me i had arrived at my destination
plus i can sync my calender on my phone and make sure i never double book myself at weekend when out with friends as i do a lot of wedding work
camera is fab for taking pics of what my kiddiwinks are doing and again then attaching to an email so parents can see we are having fun/children are safe and happy, and many aps to change to black and white
again same goes for face time, some of my clients go away for a few days/week without their children and nice to 'chat' to them
many times while feeding/winding a baby at 2am i have done my birthday pressie buying/christmas shopping online often via ebay and amazon and using paypal is so simple and safe when buying stuff
also handy for my partners work - hes a self employed gas safe engineer and does property maintenance in kent under GKS&B
sorry a blatant plug then and I get emails from facebook if people send him messages, so if he hasnt seen them as head in oven or plumbing in a bathroom etc, when we chat i mention it as well
in short my iphone controls my life and makes every aspect run smoothly and its always within hand reach
Use an online mailclient with multiple accounts to ensure that you can always pick up client e-mails without having to log into the laptop.
Use Dropbox or similiar to share large documents - it's secure and doesn't block up servers with overlarge files.
Use facebook/twitter to constantly keep people updated as to what is happening.
Was coming on to mention email but am persuaded that there is a lot more than that! Am developing/running our new business alongside full-time paid employment so usually grab the opportunity to do own business stuff at lunchtime, think will now start doing SEO and other website stuff now as well as emails.
Updating Twitter is another important one as this needs to be timely.
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