This week we welcome guest blogger Angie Porter to Small Business Owner. Angie is an Aussie ex-pat who’s just set up her new business SearchLab in London. Please make Angie feel welcome!
Today I want to talk about something thing that’s made my life so much easier – my new Google phone, or G1 as it’s also known.
I can check emails, do my banking and buy groceries when I’m on the train – in fact, wherever I am. The funny thing is, I used to look at those people on the train ‘playing’ with their phone and think – how sad – can they never relax? Now I’m ONE OF THEM!! So far I’ve refrained from taking my phone to the gym and surfing on the treadmill, but this day is not far off…
There are so many applications to download, it’s completely mind-blowing. My partner and I got our new phones on the same day and spent a whole weekend just mucking around with them. Sad? No…so far I have used my phone as a jukebox, GPS, voice recorder, camera, whoopee cushion, hypnotherapist, translator, fertility tracker, stopwatch, thesaurus, TV, spirit level and motivator (downloaded Obama’s address to congress). Brilliant!
Many, many more applications become available everyday, but it can quickly become overwhelming and I wonder how long this honeymoon period with my phone will last (one month and still going strong!)
So, enough about how my G1 has changed my personal life…what’s it done for my business?
Well, it’s fantastic for people whose online networking activities play a major role in their business. I can Twitter and get Facebook update alerts straight to my phone. I can stay fully up-to-date with clients and colleagues through a LinkedIn application. I can also write blog entries when I’m out and about or even update my website.
Any sales from the website alert my phone from my email, so it’s much easier to keep fully aware of all sales activity. And I can easily log into Google Analytics through the phone and check my website statistics.
A key feature of the Google phone is the pop-out keyboard for writing text on the phone. It’s by far the easiest phone to write longer amounts of text. The instant connection to Google Calendar and Gmail features is also great – especially if you have an existing Gmail (or Googlemail) account.
Calendar alerts mean meeting management just got a whole lot easier, especially when I’m not at my computer. Having trouble finding a meeting is no longer an issue – the built in GPS gives me directions from any location. My contacts are all stored in my Gmail account – so as long as the phone is on, I can access all my contacts’ details and update them.
But what really makes my G1 phone special are the applications. The various task list applications are great and I can use them to organise my to-do lists and write notes for my book. I use the Facebook and LinkedIn applications and also a spreadsheet application to keep track of my business outgoings. I also use a voice recording application to record important interviews.
But most of all, the G1 phone helps me run my business by keeping me fully aware of all the activities on my website, and in online contact with all my clients through my networking sites.
But hey, not everyone’s perfect. One thing that’s really NOT good about the phone is that it only really works in the UK. Next week I’m going to a friend’s wedding in France for a week. I was really looking forward to taking the phone, but when I found out the cost of keeping connected I thought, ‘I can’t even afford to turn it on!’ – it’s ridiculously expensive. In truth though, the fault in this case lies with service provider. I’ve seen some suggestions on the Internet to get around this and I’ll continue to explore if there are any global mobile phone service providers.
Some people might groan at the thought of being permanently attached to their business, but I don’t really see any disadvantage (at the moment) to being fully ‘wired’ to my business. I enjoy the freedom of not having to be tied to my desk, and I love that I can provide a high level of service to my clients and be as responsive as if I was in the office.
What are your thoughts? Are you ready to take the plunge? Or if you have already, how are you finding it? Am I going to eat my words down the track?