As with every other type of endeavor, the true acid test for a small business nowadays is reaching customers across all the various platforms available, as well as keeping track of the word-of-mouth forming around your business online. The growing place of the Internet in our everyday lives is also a blessing, no disguise about it: companies big and small, online and off, can take advantage of its soapbox potential and pitch possible-but-not-quite-there customers with next to no hassle.
Most business owners are already aware of this and are making it work in their favor – they might not be as familiar with the relatively recent advent of mobile devices, however. Let’s take a look at how mobile apps can help not only deliver your message and drive it through, but also streamline your business practices and improve your bottom line.
1. The mobile apps that allow you to swipe credit cards and issue receipts with your smartphone or tablet are instrumental for businesses whose bread and butter is made on the go. If you’re an outdoorsy business peddling large ticket items, using an app like Moblized will save you from losing customers who don’t have large amounts of cash handy.
2. Most small business owners, by definition, have to play the part of receptionist as well as manager, to name but a few hats they’re switching to and from on a daily basis. They’ll be glad to learn there are apps out there that can help drastically reduce the time spent fielding calls by transcribing voice mails and sending them to your email. That way, you can organize the messages you receive more efficiently, assess their priority with just one quick look-over and redirect your attention accordingly in one fell swoop.
3. Did you know that as many as one in four teens access the Internet primarily via their mobile? Even if your business isn’t targeting them directly, mobile surfing is gaining ground with adults too – at such a rate that we’re now seeing more than 60% of them conduct their online browsing, and status updating, from a mobile device. Using social media apps like Foursquare or Facebook, namely its check-in feature, will help you keep track of how your customers spread the kudos or the cavils about your business online, as well as addressing it all as soon as it’s posted.
4. If pushing papers around or going through your bank statements is not how you’d prefer to spend your time, you can now manage all the painstaking aspects of your business in an app-organized fashion. The app stores are awash in apps that will monitor your expenses and income, making your CFO hat as easy to handle as a walk in the park… while you’re walking in the park. And, for those businesses that involve keeping detailed records, sending and receiving files large and small, as well as having back-ups on home devices, there are also a number of apps to choose from that will make it all a breeze.
Lastly, a good thing to remember when trying to decide if mobile apps are right for your business is that most of them are free – or else, their cost, along with the time it takes you to learn how to use them, are still incredibly low, compared to their benefits, and will be written off in no time at all. Nowadays, standing out from the clutter may not be easy for small businesses, but the mobile developers are giving entrepreneurs a helping hand and that shouldn’t be wasted.