U.S. Cellular recommends mobile tools to keep local businesses running smoothly

Jeff Heeley

E businesses are the backbone of an economy. In Oklahoma, there are 350,718 small businesses, accounting for 99.4 percent of Oklahoma businesses employing more than 712,582 people, according to statistics from a 2019 report by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Jeff Heeley, U.S. Cellular's director of sales in the Tahlequah market, points out that businesses create new jobs, lead the way in technology and product innovation, and often reflect the diversity of communities. There are many apps, software, and wireless networks to help entrepreneurs manage their business operations. And in today’s environment, working remotely using mobile tools has helped businesses stay moving.

“At U.S. Cellular, we want to be a resource and provide insight to all of the activities that technology can help us do, especially at this time” said Heeley. “We have always been committed to the future of the communities we serve and want to do our part by keeping businesses running and people connected.”

The following tools can be considered to help support business needs, whether by a business owner with a brick-and-mortar office, an entrepreneur who runs a business from a smartphone, or those who are working from a home office due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cloud-based communications blend multiple communication functions and features together, like desk phones, smartphones, email, chat, video, and text. There are a number of solutions to choose from including, Telnyx, Bandwidth, and Twilio.

Project management tools keep track of projects from start to finish and who is working on what with project management tools, like Trello, that allow users to collaborate with a project team, stay on top of tasks, track progress and see who is delivering what. Trello also allows workers to link with other tools like Google Drive and DropBox. Another option, Monday.com, allows for team collaboration and a 360-degree view of the project process.

Accounting tools are offered by a number of apps available to help small businesses keep on top of finances. Xero is an accounting app that lets users make employee payments, review billing details and manage tasks like purchase orders and other details in an effective manner. It also offers cloud functionality to easily save data and important files and folders in a safe location and also view cash flows with real-time updates. Expensify helps businesses track receipts and manage expenses on the go. Expensify can categorize and code each receipt, and can automatically submit business expenses for approval and reimbursement.

Document-sharing tools allow businesses to operate from many different locations using file sharing and collaboration tools like Google’s G Suite. G Suite offers a number of productivity enhancing features, including document sharing, calendar, launching an online ad campaign or tracking traffic stats for websites. doForms is a mobile forms and workflow solution for companies to easily capture information in the field on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The information is sent back to the office via the cloud and seamlessly integrates into existing operating systems.

Marketing tools such as MailChimp can offer all-in-one marketing platforms for small business. Users can create an email list and send visually engaging emails, newsletters, postcards and more to customers. MailChimp provides advance analytics reports showing click rate and allows users to learn from past campaigns. Other tools like Hootsuite, allow users to post to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all from one post, saving time. Google Analytics helps users track everything from website performance, content and marketing campaigns.

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