Don’t Make These Smartphone Business Blunders

By Mikal E. Belicove|For|January 18, 2011

At first glance, using your cell phone as a business communication tool makes perfect sense. It’s lighter than a laptop, fits easily in your pocket, purse or the palm of your hand, connects to the internet nearly everywhere you go, and seemingly provides instant access to everything you need when you’re out of the office.

So why am I opposed to using an iPhone, BlackbBerry, Palm or other smart phone for business communication? I’m not. These are fantastic devices for communicating your message. I’m old enough to remember when you had to hunt down a street corner phone booth and plunk in a quarter in order to check in with the office. I get the convenience.

What I don’t get is why some entrepreneurs choose to use a smart phone as the primary device for their written communications. I mean, think about it. The screen on the iPhone is under 2×3 inches, and workable screenage on the Palm is barely 2.5×1.7 inches. Heck, the BlackBerry, known as the “businessman’s phone,” has a screen size of 2×1.5 inches. Exactly how much constructive communicating can you do in a space the size of four postage stamps? Not much, that’s how much.

Why would you choose to force the majority of your written communication through a miniscule thumb-operated keyboard and teensy screen that puts permanent squint lines on your face and is prone to spelling errors galore? What are you creating for your customers, peers and prospects when you try and get a lucid, well-constructed message across with not much more than a series of abbreviations and slang? OMG! Professionalism — not to mention clarity — goes right out the window.

I can’t begin to tell you how much of my time is wasted — utterly wasted — by business people who…

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