Do You Use Your Cell Phone Like A Pro?
It's no secret the work style of the professional horseman doesn't allow much time to ride a desk chair. Horses and people require constant attention in the barn, the arena or at the show ring and professional horsemen cope with not having the convenience of an office to "step into" to do business. The barn aisle, the pickup truck cab and the middle of an arena are the make-do office locations for the busy horse business owner.
Thankfully, cell phones solved the "out of the office" communication problem a long time ago enabling easy accessibility by phone. No doubt your cell phone is your constant and sometimes unwelcome companion each day. If you're not using it for more than phone calls, you're overlooking an important business tool for your mobile office.
Smartphones continue to command market share as customers upgrade or replace phones and internet predictions say that by the end of the year, half of all cell phones in North America will be smartphones. Chances are good you already own a smartphone or will own one soon.
I suspect baby boomers (like me), conditioned by habit and reluctant to adopt change, are the group most likely to under utilize the applications and features available for better productivity in the "field office".
Here are some tips for better productivity in your field office using your smart phone.
- Use the camera and take pictures. As examples: horses for sale, broken equipment parts, serial numbers and model numbers, tack for sale. It's incredibly easy to e-mail the photos to others or simply bring the photo up on the screen in a conversation. More than once I've shown a photo of an equipment part I need to the parts counter guy while saying, "I need this thingamajig ."
- Video is too often ignored as a tool for communication. Record a video of your riding student who argues with you about not sitting up correctly or leaning. The video replay gets the point across to help the student see what to correct.
- E-mail-No need to wait until you can get in front of a computer, access your e-mail at your convenience from your phone and respond to the urgent messages fromyour field office.
- Text Messages- The speed and brevity of a text message will save time and frustration. Your younger employees will love you for texting; you'll love the simplicity and speed of texting with a change in plans. Lesson cancellations, family communications and even messages to your suppliers can be executed efficiently with texting. Yes, it costs more money. And what does wasted time, a missed appointment and a confused employee cost you?
- Calculator- Instead of guessing, use the calculator function on your phone. You can be precise with your numbers on the spot.
- Timer- Set the timer to remind yourself of appointments, to signal the end of a riding lesson, or give yourself an excuse to get out of a potentially prolonged or non productive meeting.
- Notes- Use the note feature to record information when no pen or paper is available.
- Voice Recorder- Record your thoughts on the go if more convenient for you and not distracting to others.
- Apps, Apps and more Apps-There is no shortage of applications to download to your smartphone which claim enhanced productivity. You can sort through them or wait for recommendations from friends.
For now, focus on the features already installed on your smartphone you can use in your field office to make your work day end a little sooner each day.