A recent article in Popular Mechanics stated that today’s smartphones have more computing power than NASA had in 1969 when it launched the Apollo spacecraft. Impressive, but what does that mean for you? It means that even if you don’t have a laptop or desktop computer, you can use that smartphone to start and run a business. If the idea of mobile, palm-sized entrepreneurship appeals to you, here are a few ways you can bring your dream to reality.
Image via Flickr by Luisen Rodrigo
While you may not be able to market yourself as a professional portrait photographer with just a smartphone, that’s not the only type of photography that’s in demand. Today’s smartphones have exceptional cameras that allow you to take clear high-definition photos. With a feature-rich smartphone and a fast, reliable network, such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 on the T-Mobile network, you can get amazing shots and also edit them right on the phone. Next, upload them immediately to a cloud service for nearly unlimited storage.
Who will hire you? Companies who need product photos, images to share on social media, or YouTube short-form marketing videos. You can also shoot and upload stock photography to various websites such as Shutterstock and Dreamstime and submit it for sale.
Social Media Marketer
Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter is a great way for businesses to promote themselves, either through posting updates on their business pages or creating and buying ads. However, most small businesses don’t have time to do it regularly, and many don’t know the best way to go about it. This is where you come in!
With your smartphone, you can visit the businesses, take photos of the facilities, merchandise, or menu items, and write social media posts for them. You can curate content and even respond to the messages they receive.
If you’re great at organizing, event planning is another smartphone-based business to consider. Weddings, parties, and corporate events are just a few examples of how you can put those smartphone apps to work. Mobile apps help you manage schedules and collect RSVPs. With email and phone calls, you can keep in close contact with clients and vendors.
Using design apps such as Canva, or apps by Vistaprint and other print services, you can design and order invitations and any other printed material you need for the event. Asana lets you organize an entire team of collaborators so everything runs smoothly. You can even use a smartphone app to sell tickets and print badges or wristbands.
Selling products via e-commerce is big business. Whether you’re a crafter looking to sell your handmade goods, a clothing or other name-brand goods retailer, or someone who just enjoys cruising yard sales and thrift stores to find items to resell for a profit, your smartphone can do it all. eBay, Etsy, Amazon Seller, and Shopify are a few of the most popular e-commerce platforms for small online sellers.
Smartphones can even help you source merchandise. Alibaba is a wholesale import aggregator and has a smartphone app to help you find items to re-brand and sell in your online store. Profit Bandit, CamelCamelCamel, and Scoutify can help you find bargain-priced items to flip. Don’t forget to download a mileage tracker to keep records as you drive around looking for great deals.
Tech Support or Consultant
Finally, don’t rule out any business that is typically conducted via telephone or email. Use your smartphone the way it was originally intended, and provide remote tech support for people who need computer help. You can also consult via Skype, all for a set fee or an hourly rate.
Business consulting is another field that lends itself to this model. If you are skilled in a business niche such as marketing or accounting, you can communicate by phone or email. Use that phone to make in-person appointments. Smartphone apps such as Schedulicity allow your clients to book appointments from a website — plus it’s conveniently integrated with SquareUp to simplify billing.
Today’s smartphones are the ultimate business tools. If your budget is tight or you simply enjoy the idea of doing business wherever and wherever you are, you’re in luck. Just invest in one of today’s powerful smartphones and you’ll be on your way to success.