Take Advantage of Mobile Business Options

If the movies teach us anything, it’s that greed is good, but getting out of the corporate game is better.

The mature businessperson may recall Howard Beale from “Network” finally having enough of everything and letting the world know it, while younger go-getters may identify more with Ron Livingston’s character in “Office Space,” who eventually ditches his unfulfilling management career for a more satisfying construction job.

If we go back to “A Christmas Carol,” we see how successful businessman Ebenezer Scrooge relearns that people in his life are more important than being cooped up in the cold office counting money.

So while we’re encouraged to have a great work ethic and show lots of hustle, we’re also told to figure out how to loosen those workplace shackles, get outside, and enjoy life instead of watching it pass by from our fancy corner window.

Thanks to today’s smart phones and professional apps, we’re finally able to have the best of both worlds—we can leave the building but still stay connected to co-workers and clients. Many occupations can now enjoy this mobility and freedom, from attorneys to ad executives. Here are a few perks of our modern, mobile society:

Conferencing

Whether it’s face-to-face dialogue through Skype, Face Time on iPhone, Tango, Google Chat, or Facebook’s video chat, we can receive instant interaction anywhere in the world using our built-in cameras. Most of these basic services are free, but Skype now charges for mobile-to-desktop or mobile-to-mobile calls.

Internet access

Coffee shops or libraries that offer free Wi-Fi are available all around us. You can also create your own Internet hot spots on your smartphone, which comes in especially handy if you use a laptop or want a secure connection. This function usually requires extra demands on your battery and data consumption. Bell suggests that people wanting to tether using its Mobility HSPA network should increase their data plan or purchase a Turbo Stick that syncs both devices together.

Bookkeeping

Forget about lugging around big ledgers or boxes of old receipts. When you’re mobile, all you need is the cloud for almost unlimited record storage. Use a program like Intuit’s QuickBooks to keep track of income and costs, and then gather that data together for reports. This program continues to add new features over the years, including payroll, budgeting and product sales.

Receipts

If you have a great product, you can now sell it anywhere. This doesn’t necessarily mean going door to door, but rather through apps that make it easy to take payments over the phone. Many of these services include the option to print or email a receipt—something that used to require a physical location. Free or low-cost programs like GoPayment or Square allow customers to securely pay with credit cards. On your end, programs like Expensify can help keep track of what’s coming in, including letting you photograph checks or receipts and store their photos for future reference. You also can import your credit card bill or bank statement into Expensify to keep track of business-related costs.

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