Managing a business directly from your smartphone or tablet.

9 tips for managing your business from your mobile device

By Ioana Sima
Reviewed by
April 2, 2024
5 minutes read

Mobile devices have changed how people work. Thanks to the latest cloud developments, you can now get instant updates and collaborate with others without having to worry about geographic boundaries or timezones.

Even better, phones and mobile devices are helping small businesses owners run their businesses more efficiently.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your mobile device and run your business better, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find nine tips for managing your business directly from your smartphone or tablet.

The benefits of managing your business from your mobile device

First things first—what’s in it for you? Here are some benefits of using mobile apps to run your business:

  • Convenience: As a small business owner, you often have to juggle multiple tasks at a time. You can easily communicate with team members, monitor sales, or even manage customer service at the same time, all on the go, on your mobile device.
  • Efficiency: Mobile apps save a lot of effort by automating routine tasks, like scheduling appointments or managing inventory. This cuts down on inevitable human errors and boosts productivity. Integration with other apps even speeds up decision-making processes, allowing you to respond faster to market changes.
  • Accessibility: Situations that require your immediate attention will arise from time to time. This is when you’ll need instant access to data on every device—cloud-based mobile apps provide just that.
  • Flexibility: When running a small business, you need to be ready to adapt to new situations. Mobile apps offer the flexibility needed to stay competitive and handle urgent issues smoothly without major interruptions.

9 tips for managing your business from your mobile device

Looking to make the most out of your phone or mobile device? Follow these recommendations. ⬇️

1. Implement mobile inventory management

Mobile apps can monitor inventory on the fly and instantly let you know whether you are running out of stock, or have too much.

You can also use mobile apps to automate the process of ordering supplies. For example, your app can reorder items automatically when stock drops below a set level.

The barcode scanning functionality is the beauty of mobile tech. Whenever you need to add new items to your inventory, you can simply scan them with your smartphone and track their progress through the supply chain.

2. Streamline expense tracking

The easiest thing you can do to manage your receipts and track expenses is snap a picture of your receipt with your smartphone right after a purchase. Psst—you can use Wave’s receipts feature to automatically track your expenses and import relevant data from your receipts using optical character recognition (OCR) tech.

Consider tracking your expenses as they happen. This is how you identify spending patterns and areas where you can cut back. Some apps can even link with your bank accounts and credit cards to automatically update your expense tracker with transaction info.

You can also schedule reminders for regular payments, like bills or subscriptions to prevent late fees. Having quick access to your financial health details helps you prevent overspending and handle debt. It’s also very useful for spotting possible fraud—most banking apps send alerts for unusual activity.

3. Utilize mobile accounting and invoicing apps

If you’re someone who’s always on-the-go, try using cloud-based accounting and invoicing. With Wave’s mobile app, for example, you can manage your cash flow and create and send beautiful invoices anytime, anywhere, which saves you a ton of time.

Why keep important invoices in the cloud? Many reasons.

  • It helps you stay organized: You can resend invoices, check their status, or even use old ones as starting templates.
  • It facilitates access: If you choose to share access with team members or your accountant, everyone has access to the same data, instantaneously.
  • It keeps your financial info safe: It eliminates the risks that come with using physical hardware, like the chance of someone hacking into your system or losing all your data due to water or fire damage.
  • It helps you make decisions more easily: With immediate access to information about cash flow, unpaid bills, and overall financial health, you can stay on the pulse of your business on-the-go.

4. Embrace mobile payment solutions

There are many mobile options that make handling invoices and online payments a breeze. Did we mention Wave also lets you get paid quickly online, directly through your Wave invoices?

Some financial apps even integrate with your banking so you can keep track of your financial health and monitor your cash flow. This makes it easier to plan your finances with real-time expense data and reduces the risk of human error.

It’s worth mentioning—mobile banking security is no joke. These tips will help keep your banking info private:

  • Use strong, unique passwords.
  • Add an extra layer of security with biometrics (fingerprint scanning or facial recognition).
  • Update your banking apps periodically to have the latest security patches installed.
  • Never use public networks when making transactions online.
  • Use only your own WiFi or networks that you trust.
  • Never share payment details as replies to SMS or emails.

5. Stay connected with your team via mobile apps

Working remotely poses certain challenges, so it’s important to be able to reach your clients or stay in touch with your team to make sure that everyone understands their duties.

The following mobile apps can help you stay aligned with your clients or keep your people motivated and engaged:

  • Slack and Microsoft Teams are great for instant messaging. They offer organized channels for different topics, as well as file sharing and integration with other tools.
  • Zoom and Microsoft Teams can help you organize face-to-face meetings and maintain personal connections with your clients or team.
  • Apps like Trello, Asana, and Monday.com allow your team (or even just yourself!) to track project progress, assign tasks, and set deadlines on the go.

Remote work and productivity mix well if you use proper communication strategies and business communication technology.

We suggest providing training, guidelines for best practices, and frequent refreshers so that everyone can fully benefit from these collaboration tools. You can also organize regular check-ins with team members to keep everyone informed and to address any problems before they become serious.

6. Maximize productivity with task and time management apps

Don’t wanna miss another deadline? Make good use of features like live updates and reminders within task management apps.

Ensure that you track the time you spend on tasks or projects. This can help you increase productivity by identifying areas that take up too much effort. If you are a professional who bills by the hour, this feature will greatly benefit your clients—they’ll appreciate the transparent billing records you send them!

These are our app suggestions to help you get organized:

Scheduling

  • Google Calendar offers a simple interface for scheduling appointments, meetings, and events. You can create reminders and share calendars with others.
  • Microsoft Outlook combines email, calendar, contacts, and task management.

Time tracking

  • Toggl Track is known for its flexibility. It’s great for tracking time spent on different projects and tasks.
  • Harvest also offers time tracking and is suitable for freelancers and consultants who need to bill clients.

Task management

  • Asana is great for team collaboration, project tracking, and setting deadlines.
  • Todoist is known for its simplicity in managing daily tasks. It allows you to organize both personal and professional to-dos.

7. Use social media management apps for marketing

Research shows that global spending on digital advertising is projected to reach $836 billion by 2026. Online marketing platforms are here to stay, so if you aren't using mobile-friendly websites or social media, your competitors are probably reaching potential customers faster than you.

Doing social media is simpler when you manage various platforms from one location. Apps like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social combine all your accounts in one place, saving you time by avoiding the hassle of switching between apps.

Once you’ve covered that, create a content calendar to plan posts in advance. Try to include different media formats, including video.

Start responding to messages as they arrive to keep your audience engaged. Aim to reply within 24 hours to increase engagement rates.

Analyze these engagement rates along with the number of likes and shares to improve your marketing strategy. Most apps have an analytics section to help you understand what your audience likes.

Let’s do a deeper dive into how the social media management tools mentioned above can up your marketing game:

  • Hootsuite is great for scheduling posts and monitoring mentions. It’s an ideal tool for managing social media on-the-go.
  • Buffer is as simple as it is effective. It allows you to schedule posts and analyze their performance. Ideal for professionals on the move or for those not very familiar with technology.
  • Sprout Social takes social media management to the next level with its advanced analytics and engagement tools. If you're looking for detailed info on your social media efforts, you'll find the app's listening tools and smart inbox management very useful.

8. Prioritize cybersecurity and data protection

Your mobile device will be safe from malware as long as you update its operating system on a regular basis. Updates include the latest security patches, which will improve performance. A better working device is a safer one.

Be careful with what you download and the permissions you give
. Only get apps from Google Play or the Apple App Store. If an app often asks for unnecessary access to your location, camera, or microphone—and it doesn't relate to what the app does—don't allow it.

Consider enabling the Remote Wipe option. This option allows you to erase your device's data from afar if it gets lost or stolen. Phones with Android and iOS have tools to find your lost device, which you can use along with a remote wipe.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA) for accounts with sensitive information (emails, banks, social media). Use an app like Google Authenticator or Authy for extra security, as it creates temporary codes for logging in. When setting up 2FA, you'll get backup codes. Keep these in a safe place or a password manager in case you lose your 2FA device.

Last but not least, always use a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your Internet connection on public WiFi—this encrypts your data and hides your IP address for privacy.

9. Educate yourself on-the-go

Learning never stops when running a business. You need to constantly stay updated on industry trends. Mobile platforms are here, once again, to save the day.

  • Audiobooks and ebooks turn downtime into productive learning opportunities. They allow you to improve your knowledge, without interrupting your busy day.
  • Podcasts cover many topics, from industry news to learning new skills. You can listen to them during your commute or while doing the dishes, since they’re available on popular apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Various formats are available, including interviews, panel discussions, and storytelling.
  • Educational apps, like Khan Academy, make learning organized and enjoyable. You can also watch TED Talks or other educational videos on YouTube.

As you learn new skills and join new communities, you’ll meet professionals from different areas. Network as much as you can. Who knows? A random conversation can land your next big client.

Staying informed and keeping your skills up-to-date can also open up opportunities for recognition in your field. Specializing in a specific area can make you an important resource within your industry.

How to overcome the challenges of managing your business from your mobile

Using your phone to manage operations may seem easy, but there are some drawbacks.

1. Limited screen size

You may find it difficult to view detailed reports, edit documents, and perform complex tasks on the small screen size.

Solutions

  • Choose apps designed specifically for mobile use, as they are optimized for smaller screens and touch interfaces.
  • Use portable keyboards or screen mirroring with larger displays for detailed tasks.

2. Limited functionality

You may find some tasks hard or even impossible to complete on a mobile due to its limited functionality.

Solution: Use voice commands and gesture controls when you’re tackling multiple tasks at the same time.

3. Flawed app integration

Connecting different business apps and software on various mobile devices can cause compatibility problems. You may find differences in how things look and work on phones with various operating systems, which can confuse team members.

Solution: Replace the device that you’re using with one that’s more compatible.

Staying connected is important, but so is work-life balance

Mobile devices have become an extension of ourselves.

It’s important to take a break from technology from time to time. Recharge your batteries and spend time with your loved ones, or even with yourself. Here is how to do that without neglecting work:

  • Create a work area at home for the days you don't go to the office. This keeps work and free time with family separate.
  • Take short, regular breaks to rest and tune out. Include short walks, stretches, or a coffee break to prevent burnout.
  • Choose specific platforms for work communications and keep them separate from personal conversations.
  • Unplug from digital devices periodically. Spend evenings and weekends relaxing or spending time outside.

The idea is to plan your personal time just as carefully as you plan your work—take it just as seriously! By using your mobile device to run your business better, you’ll hopefully free up more time, anyway. 😉

starter
Plan
starter
Plan
$0
pro
Plan
$16USD
$20CAD/mo
Option to accept online payments
Starting at
2.9% + $0.60
per credit card transaction
Starting at
2.9% + $0*
per credit card transaction
for first 10 transactions/mo
Unlimited invoices, estimates, bills
Add your logo and brand colors
Automate late payment reminders
with online payments
Wave mobile app
Unlimited bookkeeping records
Dashboard and reports
Auto-import transactions
Auto-merge transactions
Auto-categorize transactions
Add users
Live-person chat and email support
with any paid add-on
Digitally capture unlimited receipts
additional fee
Payroll
additional fee
additional fee
Hire a bookkeeper
additional fee
additional fee
Option to accept online payments
Starting at
2.9% + $0.60
per credit card transaction
Starting at
2.9% + $0*
per credit card transaction
for first 10 transactions/mo
Unlimited invoices, estimates, bills
Add your logo and brand colors
Automate late payment reminders
with online payments
Wave mobile app
Unlimited bookkeeping records
Dashboard and reports
Auto-import transactions
Auto-merge transactions
Auto-categorize transactions
Add users
Live-person chat and email support
with any paid add-on
Digitally capture unlimited receipts
additional fee
Payroll
additional fee
additional fee
Hire a bookkeeper
additional fee
additional fee
starter
Plan
$0
Legacy businesses
New businesses
pro
Plan
$16USD or
$20CAD/mo
starter
Plan
$0
Legacy businesses
New businesses
pro
Plan
$16USD or
$20CAD/mo
Invoicing + payments
Option to accept online payments
(and create unique links with checkouts)
Starting at
2.9% + $0.60
per credit card transaction
Starting at
2.9% + $0.60
per credit card transaction
Starting at
2.9% + $0*
per credit card transaction
for first 10 transactions/mo

Send invoices, estimates, and other docs:

  • via links or PDFs
  • automatically, via Wave
when you add-on online payments
when you add-on online payments
Automate late payment reminders
when you add-on online payments
when you add-on online payments
Add your logo and brand colors
Remove Wave branding from footers
Add attachments to invoices and estimates (coming June 10)
Create reusable message templates (coming June 10)
Invoice and estimate in the mobile app
Accounting
Unlimited bookkeeping records
Auto-import bank transactions
Auto-merge and categorize transactions
Add users to your business
businesses already auto-importing bank transactions and/or that already have users added to their businesses as of May 1, 2024
Digitally capture unlimited receipts
Manage accounting transactions in the mobile app and sync with desktop (NEW!)
when you add-on receipts
when you add-on receipts
Other Wave features
Dashboard and reports
Live-person chat + email support
with any optional add-on
with any optional add-on
Optional add-ons
Receipts
nothing changes
additional fee
included
Payroll
nothing changes
additional fee
additional fee
Advisors
nothing changes
additional fee
additional fee
Invoicing + payments
Option to accept online payments
(and create unique links with checkouts)
Starting at
2.9% + $0.60
per credit card transaction
Starting at
2.9% + $0.60
per credit card transaction
Starting at
2.9% + $0*
per credit card transaction for first 10 transactions/mo
Send invoices, estimates, and other docs via links or PDFs
Send invoices, estimates, and other docs automatically, via Wave
when you add-on online payments
when you add-on online payments
Automate late payment reminders
when you add-on online payments
when you add-on online payments
Add your logo and brand colors
Remove Wave branding from footers
Add attachments to invoices and estimates (coming June 10)
Create reusable message templates (coming June 10)
Invoice and estimate in the mobile app
Accounting
Unlimited bookkeeping records
Auto-import, -merge, and -categorize bank transactions
businesses already auto-importing bank transactions and/or that already have users added to their businesses as of May 1, 2024
Add users to your business
businesses already auto-importing bank transactions and/or that already have users added to their businesses as of May 1, 2024
Digitally capture unlimited receipts
Manage accounting transactions in the mobile app and sync with desktop (NEW!)
when you add-on receipts
when you add-on receipts
Other Wave features
Dashboard and reports
Live-person chat + email support
with any optional add-on
with any optional add-on
Optional add-ons
Receipts
nothing changes
additional fee
included
Payroll
nothing changes
additional fee
additional fee
Advisors
nothing changes
additional fee
additional fee

*While subscribed to Wave’s Pro Plan, get 2.9% + $0 (Visa, Mastercard, Discover) and 3.4% + $0 (Amex) per transaction for the first 10 transactions of each month of your subscription, then 2.9% + $0.60 (Visa, Mastercard, Discover) and 3.4% + $0.60 (Amex) per transaction. Discover processing is only available to US customers. See full terms and conditions for the US and Canada. See Wave’s Terms of Service for more information.

By Ioana Sima
Categories:

The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.

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