The smartphone generation: Four great entrepreneurs running their business on a mobile

The smartphone generation: Four great entrepreneurs running their business on a mobile
Dan Martin
Dan MartinFreelance content creator & event hostDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Wed 28th Mar 2018

This article is sponsored by O2 Business, a supporter of Enterprise Nation's ScaleUp Series, five events in London featuring successful entrepreneurs sharing their growth stories.

Nyasha Pitt, founder of Living Content and O2 customer

My mobile is essential for me as a 'solo-preneur'. It's basically my little pocket assistant.

I also use it for email management, photography, video, artwork and content development, social media management (for myself and my clients), creating podcasts, accessing my business bank account and managing my accountancy software too

It's a media production and delivery system too! It's a key tool for networking also, whether through social media channels like LinkedIn or via specialist apps like Shapr.

From a well-being perspective, I also have several apps on there for health and exercise plus a few choice apps for some retail therapy too.

And my tunes are on there too! Where would I be without music? I don't even want to think about that!

My mobile is integral to helping me run my business, manage my work and organise my life. I absolutely could not be without it.

Favourite apps:

  • Xero: Great accountancy app that lets me keep track of my expenses on the move. I couldn't be without it and it makes my accountant's life easy which in turn reduces my costs!

  • Canva: I'm a marketing consultant so being able to create social media tiles, flyers and other comms quickly is key. Canva is brilliant for this and it also means I have an additional image library available that's stored in the cloud (not taking up memory on my mobile)

  • Trainline: This app allows me to book travel and go paperless as I simply scan my mobile at ticket barriers. And it's all linked to my business account too

Tips for running a business on your mobile:

Stop thinking of it as a mobile phone. Unless you've gone retro, you have a powerful computer in your hands. Start using it like one.

It's all about the data. Make sure you get a great data package. Even if you have a limit on minutes, you can get around that with solutions like FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp calls but data is data. You need to get a good amount of monthly data.

Rachael Dines, founder of Shake It Up Creative and O2 customer

My mobile is invaluable to my business for several reasons because it's much more than a phone.

Both myself and my business partner are parents and we work from home offices.

I have one day a week working when my youngest son is home and my phone enables me to actually get things done.

When my son won't tolerate me sitting with my laptop or at my desk, I can sit on the floor near him and his toys, working from my phone and it's a great compromise.

He will try and poke my laptop screen and use the keyboard, but he doesn't do this to my mobile so it works for me.

My mobile allows me to respond to social media interactions on the school run, to emails when at the park and to have the office line diverted to me when needed.

Favourite apps:

  • Box: I use Box cloud storage so I can access all our files via my mobile, send attachments, proof-read design work when out, check the details of quotes and much more

  • AutoEntry: For receipts management. I can quickly take photos and submit into an accounting system

  • Facebook Pages Manager: For Facebook page posting, scheduling and notifications management

Tips for running a business on your mobile

Ensure you don't run out of battery by carrying a USB memory block and phone charger.

Ensure your operating system has the capability to open documents such as MS Office, PDFs and images.

Rebecca Yates, founder of Rebecca Yates London

Without my smartphone, I would really struggle to get as much done on my business as I do.

At the moment, I run it on the side of my 9 to 5 role, so every extra minute in the day I can use is valuable.

My daily routine always involves posting on social media from my phone while waiting for the Tube.

The other big thing it helps me with is keeping my blog up to date. I use my travel time and my phone to write and edit my blog posts although on some occasions I have been so engrossed I have missed my stop!

My business is ecommerce so being able to check my Google Analytics and other stats is also really useful. I don't think I could do business without my mobile!

Favourite apps:

  • Preview: Great app for planning out Instagram content. By planning out your content it makes posting a lot quicker and helps you ensure your feed is consistent. The free version also has some really good basic analytics

  • Word Swag: The app allows you to create really nice typography images quickly and easily. It also lets you add your logo to the images

  • Facebook Ads Manager: This doesn't have the full functionality of the desktop version but is worth downloading if you are running ads on Facebook or Instagram. It's a lot easier and more effective to set them up from here rather than on either the Facebook or Instagram apps

  • Squarespace blog (or your host's equivalent): Working on blogs is a great thing to do on the go and it doesn't rely on you having a strong signal or WiFi

Tips for running a business on your mobile:

For anyone who is balancing running their business and working full time, I would recommend thinking about any 'dead time' you feel you have at the moment.

Chances are there is something you can do on your phone to fill it. For me, this is my commute. I use this time to post on Instagram and work on blog posts. Whilst walking I also often listed to a business advice podcast

Play around with content creation apps. There are so many great free apps to help you generate good content for social. Have a play around and you'll be impressed with what you can create.

Monika Kamycka, founder of MonaPink


Being a jewellery business, my content is highly visual and my favourite platform is Instagram.

It's a great place to build your brand profile online, connect with your audience and build relationships and collaborations. I use my mobile to take snapshots and videos of behind the scenes and use these for Instagram Stories; the audience love them!

I also use my mobile for regular posting, interacting and engaging with my Instagram audience.

Top tip: Use your mobile and give your tribe a glimpse of your life in the Stories.


Wave is an on the go finance app. I can take a snaphot of a receipt and upload it straight to the system or forward an invoice that has just come in on email.

It's quick and easy and it's ready and waiting for me when I come to do my accounting. That way I never forget a thing.

Top tip: Do your expenses on the go. I know what I'm talking about; I'm an accountant as well!


Doing accounting by day and jewellery by night (or sometimes the other way round) puts my back under a lot of strain and I need to make sure I look after it well.

Having a yoga app on my phone means I have no excuses not to do the exercises as it's always at my fingertips.

Top tip: Find a way for your mobile phone to not only be a work tool but also a wellness tool, be it yoga or meditation app, good book or some great tunes!

It really is worth having that work/play balance in life in the long run.

Check out the latest mobile deals on the O2 Business Shop. Share your business tech challenges with O2's Digital Advisors here and they will be in touch with a solution.

Hear from five top entrepreneurs about how they've scaled hugely successful businesses at the ScaleUp Series. Find out more and book your ticket here.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinFreelance content creator & event hostDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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