Small business owners have some of the biggest challenges that anyone can face professionally; not only do they have to perfect their products or services, but they are also required to be experts in a variety of areas including marketing, branding, web and app design, employee management, and accounting. If you are an entrepreneur, maybe you’ve resigned yourself to living on three hours of sleep per night or spending every moment of spare time combing through the Internet for best practice tips. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, self-serve mobile apps can help you stay organized and informed to help you build a foundation for success.
Since there are so many pieces of the puzzle that comprise your business, let’s focus on each topic separately.
Regardless if you have one employee or a hundred, your company is only as good as the people that represent you and your product. Instead of shuffling through timesheets and texting mobile employees to find out where they are, consider creating a customized timesheet app. You can have your employees log on, synchronize with management so you’ll know who is on the job, and the app can automatically calculate wages to prevent costly overtime.
Additionally, you can create a sales app to monitor who your top salesperson is. Good help is hard to find, so tracking and rewarding top employees is a profitable investment. In fact, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions sites that, “a mere 5% increase in employee retention can result in a 25-85% boost in profits.” Knowing how your sales team is performing and acknowledging your top employees is critical information towards reliability, profitability, and loyalty to your company.
In 2014, “33% of all orders came from a mobile device rather than a computer,” reported Shopify. “This is up from 23% the year prior, and just 12% when we started tracking this back in 2012. That means that in only 2 years, mobile’s contribution to total sales has skyrocketed by 175%.”
If you have an eCommerce store, you know the importance of literally taking your store wherever you go and managing your company from a mobile device. Your storefront app can include pictures of product, display price lists, add descriptions, and take orders. From boutiques to fairs to conventions, you can be prepared to show and sell your inventory at any time.
Retail stores are becoming increasingly more tech savvy and so are their employees. Brick and mortar stores are incorporating mobile devices to promote customer service as salespeople are using smartphones to help in-store customers find products not on shelves through mobile POS systems. Employees can inquire if the size medium blue t-shirt is in the storeroom or located at a different location and they can look up sizes or style numbers of previous purchases for an alternative option.
Modern commerce also demands more than just the days of counting stock in the back room; with an inventory app you can be on alert to when it’s time to order more of a specific product, analyze sales trends, and even attach pictures to help employees identify the correct product.
Marketing, PR and Sales
Marketing is expensive and knowing what works and what doesn’t is a priceless formula. Track your A/B testing, promotional offers, advertising outlets, and other marketing strategies using a sales report app to find out where you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Secondly, let’s say you meet a sales lead at a community meet and greet event. Three days later you have time to call that potential client but you lost that important business card and you can’t remember if her last name was Thompson or Thomason. A lead tracking app can help you to monitor clients and potential clients, not only with a simple contact list, but you can include vital information like company affiliation, potential investment outcomes, special interests, previous agency hired, or anything else that will make you stand out when you do have time to make that follow up call.
English scientist Michael Faraday once said, “The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success are concentration, discrimination, organization, innovation and communication.”
Concentrating on the task at hand and discriminating the good from the better business path is up to you. However, organization, innovation, and communication can certainly be achieved when you incorporate the right apps into the daily management of your company.