When thinking about writing this post, I did a Google search of "operating a business without a smartphone". I literally got zero results. All of the hits I scrolled through from the "without quotes" results were about using your smartphone for your business. There weren't any I found about doing it without one. I did find this funny article from the Harvard Gazette about turning your smartphone off. It asks, "During a middle-of-the-night bathroom break, do you check the smartphone or not? What if a co-worker called with an emergency? What if the big deal went through? What if?"
|This is similar to my phone|
The appeal to the small business owner is that many say that the use of a smartphone saves them time. This may be true if you have the personal ability to use the smartphone only for business & only for things that actually need to be done & are beneficial to your business. I'm not sure many people are able to do this. I can see how it would give you access to your email & social networking sites when on the go. Maybe it's just because I've never had one, but I just don't see the harm in stepping away from all of those things every once in a while. Do I need my email & twitter account attached to my hip at all times? I don't think I do (and by the way, that's why they invented things like HootSuite!)
I actually think there are a lot of benefits to doing business & living without a smartphone. For example:
|Mobile Apps are Taking Over Our Lives|
****When you aren't always looking at your phone, you are able to view life around you more. People watching can lead to great ideas for things that you can do within your business to help others.
****Your posture might be better, when you're not hunched over your phone so much. Head up instead of down! If you're not staring at your phone, you will be more aware of your surroundings.
****You may feel more socially connected. While those on their phones may be virtually connecting with friends, it's hard to have face to face & eye to eye contact with a screen.
|Oh my really!?!?|
****There seems to be a trend of people being addicted to social networking sites or internet sites that are not necessarily beneficial to their business. These sites can be very distracting & if they are always with you, they can become even more so, to the point where you feel like you can't be without it. If you have less time available to work on social networking, you're more likely to focus on what actually works for you & your business.
****Distracted driving is a major issue since the advent of cell phones. Not having a smartphone is one less distraction on the road for you. (And in many states, including mine, texting while driving is illegal. Emailing while driving too!)
****If you're having a stressful workday, it's harder to "leave it at the office" when you have a smartphone in your pocket reminding you of that stressful day all evening. Giving up the smartphone will help you disconnect from a stressful office or work situation.
There are a lot of benefits to using a smartphone. But some of these benefits have alternatives outside of the smartphone that could be used to do the same things, like Paypal's system of accepting credit cards, or personal GPS or MP3 players just to name a few.
However, it is important to remember that even if you don't use a smartphone yourself, over 50% of the US population does so make sure your business sites are smartphone-friendly!
Do I wish I could play along with Instagram or that I knew what the heck Angry Birds was? Yes, I do. I also think that it wont be long before "everyone" has a smartphone & that it will be practically required to have one to operate a business or go to school or do your job. I'll likely break down & get one eventually too. But at this point, I don't have one, & I don't think I need one. I do think it's totally possible to operate a start-up, single-person company without the use of a smartphone, so if you're thinking about starting a business, please don't think you HAVE to go get a smartphone right away, just be a little more willing to think creatively about how you organize your work day & your social networking time!