Being a business owner today means being mobile and use business technology. Between 2012 and 2015, the number of business owners who used their mobile phones for business at least once a day increased from 70 to 80 percent, according to Manta’s SMB Wellness Index. Twenty-five percent use their mobile phone for business at least once an hour. Seventy-eight percent even use their mobile device while sitting in front of their computer, typically for tasks such as checking texts and email.
This raises the question of whether both a smartphone and a computer are essential to run a business. Ten percent of business owners run their business entirely from their smartphones, Forbes research shows. Whether or not you want to ditch your desktop and go mobile only, slimming down your technology can cut both your expenses and the amount of equipment you need to store and lug around. Here are some strategies you can use as an entrepreneur to clean up your technological clutter related to your business technology while cutting your costs at the same time.
Choose a Versatile Portable Device
One way to start consolidating your business technology is to choose a primary portable device that is versatile enough to cover a range of business functions.
For instance, if your work revolves around meetings with clients and you don’t have tasks that require a big screen, you may be able to get rid of your desktop and use a smartphone as your primary device. Or if you have to take pictures as part of your job, you might get a smartphone such as the LG G5, which supports an LG Cam Plus module that lets your phone act much like a traditional camera. On the other hand, if you do need a larger screen to work with, you might go with a portable device that can double as a desktop, such as Microsoft’s recent Surface Studio release.
Use the Cloud
Another way to reduce your on-premises technology equipment is to centralize your operations in the cloud. You can connect to the cloud from any device without needing to store all your hardware in your physical location. You can also use cloud apps to minimize the amount of software you need to store and manage locally. Plus, the cloud can serve as a storage location for your files and backup files, enabling you to automatically sync your online data with ones you’re using on your mobile device or desktop, and allowing you to schedule automatic backups using a cloud backup service.
Get a Good Cloud Office Suite for Your Business Technology
One type of cloud app that can contribute significantly toward streamlining your software clutter is a cloud office suite. Cloud office suites such as Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google Apps provide a central platform for managing a full range of business functions, including communicating with your team, creating and sharing files, managing calendars, and managing projects. Such tools also enable you to save costs on on-premises software licensing fees.
Centralize Your Finances
A cloud-based accounting app can also help you minimize your software needs. Tools such as Intuit’s QuickBooks Online and Sage One can be accessed from any device on the cloud, enabling you to manage your books from any location without needing software installed on an on-premise machine.
These types of cloud-based accounting tools also integrate with apps that handle other key business functions. They can be payment processing, inventory, payroll and tax preparation. Also, organizing a wide range of activities into a single simplified workflow can be done.