Ed’s note: This post was written by Chris Strode of Invoice2go.
How much of your day do you spend on the road? For many small business owners, a typical workday involves a lot of traveling around – from job to job, visiting different clients, and running errands. Afterall, that freedom to move as we please is part of the joy of starting a small business. But this can make things like keeping up with paperwork, managing cash flow, and communicating with clients tricky.
Rethinking your workflow to be as mobile as you are is a smart way to stay on top of things as you go, and to avoid coming home to a pile of homework every night.
Here are five ways you can use mobile technology to get important work done from anywhere.
1. Keep to-do lists updated in real-time
The to-do list is an ever-evolving, moving target. While some subscribe to the idea of re-writing your to-do lists every night, keeping it up-to-date is a great time saver. We’re big fans of Trello, which allows you to create and update lists from any device you’re using. Use your phone to create a list of of follow-up items from a client visit, then log into the up-to-date list from your home computer.
2. Track time spent on each project
The fun part of being your own boss is often the most challenging to manage: freedom. You can spend time where you want to. But you still need to keep track of that time – accurately – if you want to get paid. To make it incredibly easy, check out the mobile version of Toggl. You can record the time you start and end each project with a simple tap, produce periodic reports that help you spot which customers you spend the most or least time on, and the mere fact that you’re timing yourself will naturally keep you on your toes and boost your productivity.
3. Manage your business’ cashflow
Invoice2go is all about keeping control of your cash flow, no matter where you are. Use the mobile app to create and send invoices on the spot, right when you’re with your customer if you can. The quicker you send the invoice, the quicker you get paid, and the less room there is for confusion since the work is fresh on everyone’s mind. You can also track outstanding payments, send follow-up reminders right from the app, and track overall business performance.
4. Record expenses along the way
Take our word for it, if you’re still carrying crumpled receipts in your wallet, shifting to a digital method of capturing receipts will be a game changer. Use the expenses feature in Invoice2go to take photos of your receipts right when you get them. You can enter key details, and have a photo for later reference. It’s easy to organise when it’s in a digital format, and especially efficient for tax prep.
5. Sign for things on-the-go
Even though paper is on its way out, signatures are still essential for contracts, closing sales, and approving purchases. At times this can be inconvenient, especially if you’re on the go. You won’t need printers, scanners, pens and paperwork with Docusign. This tool facilitates e-signatures that are as legally binding as ink. It works on any device and any timezone, catering to those international clients who need to sign important documents.