Let’s say you’re a typical entrepreneur. And like 80% of entrepreneurs, you use your smartphone to run your business. Now let’s say, for a challenge, you lose your access to your favoured piece of technology. Would you still be able to do business like normal if you didn’t have it? Would you be able to survive without your smartphone?
According to PeoplePerHour, “over 80% of entrepreneurs use smartphones to run or manage their business.” Without their smartphones, how different would life be for entrepreneurs? In most cases, as you will see, it’s like a throwback in time.
In 2018, 51.9% of those aged 24 to 44 checked their phone every 30 minutes. – Statistics Canada
Connections, Meetings and Calls on the Go
Entrepreneurs run their business using calendar apps and messaging services to keep track of their schedules, take and receive calls, and schedule and attend meetings. When it’s almost time for a meeting, an alarm on their phone will go off as a reminder.
Getting ready for business trips are a no-sweat, easy activity with apps to remind you where you’re supposed to be and when. You can book a hotel, a car rental, and a plane ticket from the comfort of your phone, no matter where you are. Even if you’re in the bathroom.
Virtual meetings already structure a part of your day, but they don’t limit where you have to be. There’s no need to rush to the office to attend a meeting. You can turn on your smartphone camera and attend from the inside of your car in between running errands.
If you want to send a message without making a phone call, you can type a quick text. If you’re in a rush, and you want to send a long (ish) message, you can send one by voice. All these tasks are convenient and quick to do.
But an entrepreneur without a smartphone would be working quite differently.
Without their calendar apps, entrepreneurs would be keeping track of all the events in their day with a day planner or a wall calendar. They would need a pen to jot down all their notes in their day planner, and have a purse or a small bag to keep the planner with them when they leave their desk. Planning one’s day already requires a lot more stuff.
A wall calendar is also handy for keeping your month organized, but unless you take your calendar with you, you may need to memorize when you have some of your appointments and project deadlines. And for all those random thoughts, ideas, and memos you may have, you’ll need a little pad of sticky post-it notes. Your wall or desk will become quite colourful.
Video conferencing will have limitations if you don’t have a smartphone. When you’re at the office, you’ll need to go to the meeting room, where the screen, telephone, and speakers are already set up for your call. You probably had to book the room in advance as well.
If you have a call at your home office, then you need to be back at your desk, where your camera and speakers are set up for an optimal meeting experience. You might have a virtual background set up. Everything that is in view of your camera in your room is quite presentable.
You may have had to kick out your cat or put your pet in the next room. Same with the kids, although it will be harder to kick them out of the room. At least with a smartphone, you can easily move yourself to a new location wherever there is WiFi or data. You can even hide in a brightly lit closet.
No matter which option the entrepreneur chooses for doing business meetings without a phone, they are limited by the location of their laptop or tablet, and WiFi connection.
Organizing yourself, messaging others, and attending meetings is still survivable without a smartphone. You just need to rely more on other types of technology, a big laptop, and good old paper documents like planners and post it notes.
When Entrepreneurs Need Their Documents
Security has improved to the point that we can share files in the cloud. We can access the same document from our smartphone, our tablet, or our laptop. Not only can we access from any device, but we can also access our files from anywhere.
Mobile payments have also become a cinch to do from mobile devices. You can make a payment or do your banking from your bed. Or make an online purchase while watching TV. You can be a lot more spontaneous than if you have just a laptop or tablet.
Got a few minutes to make a mobile payment? You’d have to take out that laptop, set it up, find a place to set it up, and so on. If you don’t have a laptop, you would need some time to walk over to the bank to make a payment.
It’s not so long ago when entrepreneurs would get creative with getting documents prepared. You could lug your heavy laptop with you to do a presentation at a meeting with a client at their office.
And before we had data plans, you could bring a backup of your files on your USB drive in case your WiFi connection failed. You also had the messy alternative of printing out a copy of your file to put in a file folder or portfolio for safe keeping. Not only does this option affect our tree population, but it just means doubling the amount of stuff you have to bring with you.
No matter what option you choose, USB or paper, not having your smartphone means requiring access to more devices and a lot less flexibility. Laptops require more space. Paper copies take longer to navigate because you can’t skip directly to a section you want unless you already know which page it’s on.
Most freelancers, business owners and entrepreneurs appreciate the fact that smartphones offer them the opportunity to quickly check their emails, upload new products to their websites and even interact with their customers, all on the go. And while this is great, it is the addiction and the urge to always check your smartphone every other second that is worrying. – PeoplePerHour
Keeping Up With News and Social Media
Keeping up with the trends is quicker and easier with a smartphone. You don’t need to stop for the morning paper when you’re on the way to work. You don’t need to surf the internet on your work computer for news headlines. One click on your smartphone news app and you can quickly scan all the biggest headlines, check out sports scores, and the latest numbers for the stock market and real estate market.
Who has the patience these days to scan a newspaper for headlines when you can Google search what you want? Why slowly read through everything on a page when you can move from one item to another in seconds with the flick of a finger?
In fact, the availability and abundance of information, has affected how much time we can spend on things. Our attention span has dropped by 4 seconds in just four years.
A 2016 Microsoft consumer study claimed the attention span for human beings had dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds (lower than the notoriously ill-focused goldfish) mainly because of the effects of the increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain. – PeoplePerHour
Solopreneurs who work on their own social media marketing can check the status of social media posts, look for leads and potential clients on Facebook, and see what their friends are up to on Facebook and Instagram.
When it comes to personal social media use, men and women are looking for different things. Men are more likely to use social media for news and see who they can meet on dating apps. Women are more likely to use social media to see what their friends and family are doing.
Without a smartphone, entrepreneurs would have to wait until they are at their workstation to check for social media and news updates on their laptops or tablets. It’s not as convenient as checking while on a bus ride, during a commercial for a TV show, or when sitting around having a tea or coffee.
Entrepreneurs can continue to do business without their smartphones. They can survive without the convenience of this technology. But they will also lose many of the conveniences they are used to, making it more difficult to run a business from anywhere at almost any time.
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