Just a few years ago – certainly within living memory for most people in business today – there were no smartphones. There were no tablets either, or any other kind of mobile device except, perhaps, for standard cell phones that did nothing except make and receive calls, and perhaps send and receive text messages. However, technology has advanced hugely, and now a smartphone or tablet can actually enhance our businesses in many positive ways, giving customers more choice and adding more profit to the bottom line of your company. Smartphones used to be just for fun, but today they are an essential business tool; here are some of the reasons why that is.
Keep Track Of Your Expenses
Running a business can cost a lot of money, and if you aren’t keeping track of your expenses, it can cost you even more than it should. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can download one of a number of apps that means you can keep all of your outgoings in one place. You may be able to upload images of receipts and organize them in a cloud-based system, for example. This makes getting your taxes done a lot quicker and easier than dropping into your accountant with a bag full of crumpled receipts.
These apps are also useful for budgeting as they will be able to tell you – once you have pre-determined the limits – when you are spending too much. This way you can re-assess your budget or your spending before it becomes a problem and you could potentially prevent a serious issue from occurring.
Present To Your Customers
Sometimes a business owner will need to make presentations. This could be to gain a big, new corporate client, or perhaps to explain a product to end users. Carrying a lot of equipment to your meeting and wondering how to set it all up can make your company look more amateur than it really is, but taking a tablet (or even a smartphone) that is easy to set up and, thanks to intuitive apps, easy to create presentations on can make a big difference. This can show your clients just how professional you really are.
If you have the right apps, you can even make a presentation on the move, so that if you find you are coming face to face with someone who needs to know more about your business, with a few taps you can create something not only informative but personalized too.
Spread Your Message
Our smartphones go everywhere with us, and many people feel lost if they happen to leave the house without their mobile device, even if they don’t intend to use it. Since our smartphones are going to be everywhere with us, it makes sense to use them as some advertising space too. Order a personalized iPhone case from new startup Indkly with your logo and website on the back, and every time you use your phone, you will be letting people know more about you.
A responsive business is a successful one a lot of the time, which is why it pays to answer phone calls, emails, and reply to comments on social media as quickly as you can. You may not always be in the office in front of a computer, however, especially if your business is a mobile one. Therefore, you can use a smartphone or tablet to keep on top of customer questions and answer them much more quickly than if you had to wait to get back to the office. By that time, especially if you have a full day ahead of you, the customer who had the question may well have found another company who answered them more quickly and therefore secured the sale.
A mobile device can be used to take customer orders, and you may well have seen it happen already. It is becoming more and more standard to see waiting staff using mobile devices to take their customers’ orders and send it directly to the kitchen. This speeds up the entire process and gives customers a much better experience. Tapping the order into a smart device leaves less room for error than writing it down, or even simply remembering what was said, plus the servers can engage more with their customers which makes for a more pleasant experience all around.
Order taking devices don’t have to be limited to restaurants and bars. With the right equipment, they can be used in almost any sales situation. You can have an app designed for your business that means you can process orders there and then, rather than having to go back to the office or asking your clients to fill in long-winded paperwork. As a bonus, this means that less paper will be printed and used, which can benefit your business as well as the environment.
What if, as well as taking orders from your clients, you could even process their payments should that be necessary? There are many apps that allow you to do this, and the money will appear in your bank account straight away. This means you can take credit and debit cards without the need for a special merchant machine, and that means you don’t have to turn away prospective buyers who don’t have cash on them – they can still pay you. If you give each of your salespeople a tablet that is designed to take payments, they can make more sales because they won’t have to go back later to process the payment.
In some industries, particularly in sectors such as real estate, the signing of the contract can take a long time, delaying all the other parts of the transaction. However, with a tablet or smartphone, the contract can be signed immediately through the app, meaning that everything can be speeded up and become a lot more efficient. You will get paid more quickly, and your customer will have a better experience because their order will be processed speedily.
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