Running your business from your phone is neither about receiving and responding to short emails, nor taking voice calls while out of the office. You are probably already using your mobile device that way anyway. It is about innovative uses of mobile phones to close sales, manage inventory and supply levels, deliver goods and services to customers, process payments outside the office.
If you’re currently using devices this way, give yourself a star. However, if you’re not, there are a few ways you can integrate your mobile devices into your operations to help generate more revenue and deliver better customer service.
Do business in the cloud
The is the most important step in integrating operations. The cloud is a complete game-changer and has 4 main advantages:
Most cloud-based tools and apps allow you to access them from your mobile device, offering unprecedented flexibility and portability. Instead of confining you to the counter or to one spot within your store (or to your store at all, for that matter), they free you to move around and bring a better experience to your customers.
The cloud unifies your operations by allowing you to manage everything from one platform. It saves you tons of time and allows you to run on the same level as other modern retailers.
One of the biggest advantages of running a retail business in this day and age is the ability to work remotely when you need to. By doing business in the cloud, you’re giving yourself the option to run things from wherever you are — be it seaside or at the breakfast table.
The cloud lets you host every piece of business data in one place and manage all your systems from one location, cutting down on double-entry and minimizing the potential for human error. This in turn increases your efficiency as an organization.
5 ways you run your business from your mobile device
1. Track packages
There are a number of apps that now make it possible to conveniently track packages being delivered. So if your customer wants to know where their shipment is and you’re out of the office, you ca easily check on it from your mobile device.
2. Load catalogs or images of product models on your smart phone
Why printed catalogs are easier to show, mobile images have good resolution and other information can be available on your smart phone instead. You can even email selected information to the customer to view on the spot.
3. Fill in forms, sign and return documents from your mobile device
You don’t have to print and fax documents anymore. You can use a convenient iPhone app to fill in forms, add a digital signature and send them to the other party. Zosh and RightSignature are variations.
4. Give presentations on an iPad or tablet
If you have a sales presentation and you’re with one or two people, there’s no need to lug around a laptop and projector. Just get a stand for your iPad and present your materials off of that. For larger audiences you may need that projector, but the iPad is quite nice for small groups and lends an informal intimacy that aids the sales process.
5. Track inventory with Blackberry or other smart phone devices
Using a combination of an inventory software application, and a barcode scanner app or add-on for your mobile device, you can scan and/or check inventory on site or while mobile. NEOReader is a universal scanner app which claims to be able to scan and read all kinds of barcodes. There’s also a barcode scanner for Android by XZing.