On September 19th I had the opportunity to present “Embracing and Utilizing New Technology” to 160 entrepreneurs at the Women TIES Retreat in Skaneateles, New York. I’m taking this opportunity to re-purpose the information as blog posts for the next few weeks – giving more details and offering the opportunity for questions. Feel free to comment.
Why use virtual and mobile technology?
In 2009 I moved my business from Syracuse, NY to Nashville, TN – A well planned leap of faith with my husband.
My graphic design business was well established, many of my client relationships had existed longer than 10 years. I wanted to be available to my clients by more than just phone and email. I was determined to stay connected easily. As a sole entrepreneur having a mobile office was essential to maintain communication with my vendors and clients even when we travel.
I’ve embraced mobile technology and every day I find new ways to be more productive.
Practical use of mobile technology –
As a graphic designer I started using computers in the early 90’s – so it made sense that I would easily adapt my business to mobile technology, but I’ve been amazed to see all types of industries integrate mobile technology into their business.
This past spring we had an intense hail storm locally – it damaged our roof. We had a contractor come in and look at the roof. He climbed a ladder and used his mobile phone to take photos of the damage, emailing the insurance agent and us the photos to settle our claim shortly after climbing down.
A few weeks later a truck arrived with the supplies to repair the roof. I watched as he used his phone to take a photo of our mailbox – documenting our house number for his records. He unloaded the shingles and other supplies and then took a dozen photos of each side of the pile – documenting exactly what he had delivered and the time he delivered it on his mobile device.
Our local frozen yogurt store offers a mobile app to keep track of your visits instead of the little coupon punch card. One less card in my wallet, and I always have it with me!
How I used mobile devices while I travel –
Since I was traveling to this conference, I decided to stretch myself and leave my laptop behind, using only mobile devices for my week away. I was really pleased with how well these apps listed below worked to make my life easier!
Plane Tickets (United Mobile) – I was able to have my plane tickets emailed to my device and then I scanned the QR code at security and then again at the gate – eliminating the need for paper tickets.
Photography (iPad 3.0) – I visited one of my new clients and took all their marketing photos with my iPad 3 camera. It eliminated the need to bring my camera bag, lightening my baggage.
Accessed files from my desktop backup (Carbonite) – I was able to access my cloud files using my online backup and downloaded a client’s logo – easily emailing it to them as I sat in their office. Convenient and easy.
Presentation (SlideShark.com) – I used Slide Shark as my presentation application at the retreat. When it came time to present, I plugged my iPad into the system with a VGA cable and screen shared my iPad. It worked really well.
Coffee on the go (Starbucks) – It was a nice convenience to have my Starbucks gift certificate loaded on my phone.
Download the handout –
I have an iPhone 4 and an iPad 3 with the newest iOS 6 on both. The apps I discuss are available on other types of mobile devices too. I developed a handout with all the different apps, device options, costs and features listed -Feel free to download.