Tuesday, November 24, 2020

What to consider before getting a smartphone for your home business

When you’re running a small business, it’s a wise idea to try and keep your business and personal life as separate as possible. This isn’t always easy, particularly if you are running your business from home or using your personal devices to run your business. You might find yourself taking calls from clients on your personal phone at times where you should be taking a break or working well into the night because it’s hard to switch off when your phone becomes your office.

One of the easiest things that you can do to help keep your business and personal lives separated is to get a business smartphone. By doing this, you can keep your personal communications personal and make it easier for you to determine whether somebody’s calling on business or for something else. And, having a dedicated business phone can improve the professional impression you give off – no risk of mistakenly sending the wrong text to a client or answering the phone with the wrong message. So, what should you keep in mind when choosing a phone plan for your business?

Budget

Determine how much you can afford to spend on your business smartphone, and how much you want to pay on a monthly basis for your allowances. You might want to consider business contract offers from several networks to find one that works for you, or keep your options open by going for a SIM-only plan and purchasing a cheap smartphone that you can use it with. For example, Lebara SIM plans are ideal for solopreneurs and home business owners since they are cheap and you can get allowances that include international calling that can come in handy if you have any clients overseas. Plus, they will only last for thirty days at a time rather than a lengthy contract, meaning that you can easily change your price plan to suit your business budget if things change.

Allowances

Consider how many minutes, texts and how much data you are going to need for your business smartphone. Chances are you will use it more for calling and texting than you will for browsing the internet, so it’s a good idea to opt for a plan with more emphasis on plenty of minutes and texts rather than lots of data. If you are running your business from home, chances are that your business smartphone is going to be connected to your Wi-Fi network for most of the time, so you can usually get away with just a small amount of data – unless you tend to travel a lot and use internet messaging services like WhatsApp to keep in touch with clients on the go. Bear in mind that if you choose a SIM-only contract on a rolling 30-day basis, you can easily upgrade your data allowance the next month if you find that you didn’t have enough.

Handset

Most small business owners find that a basic smartphone handset does the job quite well. If you need a business phone predominantly for answering calls and replying to text messages from clients, you may not even need to get a smartphone and could probably easily manage with a basic phone that does not have internet connectivity. However, you may want to use your business phone for other online activities related to your company such as checking emails on the go or using productivity and automation apps. Consider the other devices and programs that you tend to use most for your business and consider which smartphones will sync with them best. For example, if you use a MacBook or iMac and make use of iCloud for storage, an iPhone would be a good choice as you can easily sync apps and files across all your devices and quickly send files between your devices using Airdrop. On the other hand, if you prefer G Suite and use Google products a lot, an Android smartphone might be a better option for your needs.

New or Second-Hand?

Whether or not you choose to buy a brand-new or second-hand smartphone for business use will depend on a number of factors. If you want to get a smartphone contract, you will usually get a brand-new phone included, but bear in mind that you will have less flexibility with this option compared to a SIM-only contract and will not be able to adjust your monthly payment amount in line with your business budget in the same way.

On the other hand, if you decide to opt for a SIM-only contract, you have a lot more flexibility in terms of the handset that you choose. Refurbished smartphone handsets are the ideal choice for many small business owners since they typically work just as well as brand new while being a fraction of the price. You can buy refurbished handsets directly from manufacturers like Apple and Samsung or from trusted retailers like Music Magpie. And, there’s usually a much greater range of options when it comes to refurbished phones, so if you don’t care about having the latest handset for your business you can often save a lot of money by going for a cheaper, older model.

Business Needs

The needs of the business should be the main priority when choosing a handset and monthly plan for your company smartphone. Don’t just consider what you need right now, but think about whether or not it will still be the right fit for you after some time. For example, if you have huge growth planned for the future, you may actually save money by investing in a smartphone with more features and capabilities right now compared to getting a cheaper one and then only having to upgrade it later.

Smartphone Features

Choosing a smartphone for your business is often very different from picking one out for personal needs. And every business is different, so it’s important to consider exactly what you plan to use your business smartphone for aside from communication, emails and apps. For example, if you are selling products online, do you plan to take product photos and videos with your smartphone camera? There are several excellent quality smartphone cameras available these days that you can take advantage of and use for your business rather than investing in separate photography set up.

It’s also worth considering features such as battery life. Your clients expect you to be available on the phone throughout the working day, so be sure to opt for a smartphone that has good battery life as the last thing that you want is to worry about whether or not your phone is going to last. It’s also worth considering if there are any accessories that you need your business smartphone to be compatible with. Finally, consider how much storage space you will need and whether or not you are going to require additional storage options such as a slot to add a MicroSD memory card.

If you’ve decided to start your own business that you run from home, one of the simplest first steps towards separating your business and personal lives is to get separate devices. Choosing the right smartphone for your business not only helps you set boundaries with clients, but you can also get much more out of it.

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