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Can you run a business with only a mobile phone?

Jonathan Zacks

Many GoReminders users run a business solely on their phones. No computer. No tablet. Just a cell phone. Some have a mobile business, and others have a brick & mortar business. Owning a business is time consuming and can be expensive, and the expense of a computer or tablet might not seem worth it in some cases. We’ve invested a lot in building GoReminders to fully work on mobile phones. 100% of GoReminders features work on mobile and tablet and computers, making it the best appointment scheduling software app. Everything you can do on a desktop or laptop computer you can also do on mobile. (If you’re looking for a mobile apps company to build an app for you, we highly recommend our app development partner Make It All Work. They make small business apps and scalable apps for enterprise companies.)

Using GoReminders on your mobile phone is easy

Using GoReminders on your mobile phone is easy

Yes, you can absolutely run a business without a computer or tablet. The one thing you need when running a business is a customer. That’s it. Everything else is optional. Appointment reminder software? Optional. Business for Dummies book? Optional. Mobile car wash equipment? Optional (okay, maybe you’d need at least a sponge for that—but if you have a sponge and no customers, you don’t have a business). Want to know how to start a mobile boutique? Find your first customer. Law office? Accountants? Insurance agency? Mobile salon or grooming services? Maybe you need scissors (and a license), but you get the point—you don’t need fancy barbershop business plans, you need customers. The most important task when thinking about how to run a business is: Get customers. (Note: Getting customers to show up is also key.)

Now that we’ve confirmed that owning your own business simply requires a customer, and not a computer, we’ll move on to discussing whether it makes sense to do that. You may hit some limitations here and there if you run a business solely on a cell phone. The problem is that some companies haven’t made all their features work (or work well) on mobile. It seems those companies think there aren’t enough people who run their businesses only on a mobile phone to warrant the resources needed to build functionality that works on mobile and tablet and computer.

Lack of support

I use a both computer and mobile phone for work. I work on my phone a lot (I’m writing most of this article on my phone), and lately I’ve run into a few issues with certain apps. Sometimes it’s obvious when things don’t work on mobile, but other times it’s not as clear.

Recently I was trying to boost a Facebook post from my phone and ran into an error. I talked to Facebook ads support and they had no idea what was causing the error. They ended up telling me that I should go to a computer and boost the post from there. They told me that they always suggest to use a computer or tablet rather than the mobile apps. I usually manage FB ads on a computer because there’s so much targeting functionality that isn’t doable on a mobile phone, but I was amazed that Facebook support staff suggested against working with FB ads on mobile.

As an independent business owner your time is limited. Your best bet is to keep in mind that you might be more efficient doing certain tasks on a computer or tablet. Think through the business apps and business services you use, and reach out to their support to find out if you’re missing out on extra features not available on mobile.

Hidden features (and bugs)

Hidden features (and bugs)

Hidden features (and bugs)

Sometimes features are simply unavailable on mobile and you might never realize it if you don’t check how it looks on a computer. I often use Medium’s mobile app to write articles. However, in the mobile app you can’t set a custom title and description. Before publishing each article I go on a computer to tweak those settings. In the mobile app those settings just don’t show up at all. Similarly, you can’t change image alignment in the Medium mobile app. You can add a caption to an image, but that’s a secret feature: after adding an image, start typing while the image is selected. However, it’s finicky and I often have to re-add the image a couple times after accidentally deleting it when editing the caption.

Recommendations

Unfortunately, not all companies make all their products’ features work fully on mobile. If you run your business from a mobile phone, it’s important to research which products fully work on mobile when choosing software to use for your business. Choose the products you use based on their mobile friendliness. You don’t need the “best invoice app” if it doesn’t work on mobile. There are often many apps that you can use, so test an app out first to make sure it’s a good fit for your business. If you have access to a tablet or laptop or desktop computer, check out the products on one of those devices to see if there are any useful features you’re missing on mobile.

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