By Robert Cordray
There are few harder tasks out there than keeping a small business afloat. Turning something from a startup into a fully fledged and properly functional business is one of the toughest things to do, and also the reason why 70 to 80 percent of businesses fail in their first 10 years. As a small business owner, the bottom line is everything, and so you are probably looking everywhere for ways to streamline your business and save money wherever you can. Luckily, we have some incredible technology these days—available to just about everyone—that will allow you to do just that. Here are just a few of the ways in which you could be making better use of your smartphone as a small business owner.
1) Marketing and Social Tools
A small business needs to focus on creating a brand, and building up a solid online presence. A smartphone can help you in your efforts to get established, and get the word out about your new company. In particular, many important social tools can be accessed easily and managed free of charge using a smart device. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—these are some of the biggest marketing tools out there these days, and all you need is a smartphone.
2) Recruitment and Training
A smart device also allows you to better create and manage your recruitment strategy, as well as onboarding and training. The increasing number of available custom elearning solutions mean that you do not have to use up too much of your precious time or money on a overly-complicated onboarding and training process. You can create the training course that you need, and new employees will be able to simply pick up their phones, log in to the system, and teach themselves.
3) In Sales
Sales are crucial to any business, but none more so than a small business that is still striving to build up a solid client base and constant revenue stream. There are a lot of business management apps that will allow you to track your sales, manage your pipeline, and even close deals. A phone has always been a key ingredient in making sales, but now it is essential to the entire process.
4) Making Sales
As well as establishing a clientele and building business relationships, what is also important is the sales that you make every day. Your smartphone, armed with a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, can allow you to make sure that you are managing business efficiently, and giving customers what they want and need.
5) Better Project Management and Remote Work
One of the great benefits of the age of smart devices, is the ease that it provides for working remotely. More and more companies are embracing more loose office environments that allow for employees who thrive under less rigid (not nine-to-five) work environments. As a small business owner, you also need the ability to work remotely, as you likely have very little free time, and you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your company regularly. Smartphones enable this kind of remote work, while still allowing for efficient project management and constant communication between yourself and employees.
6) Human Resources
And your smartphone resources go beyond just onboarding, as there are a lot of apps and services that will allow you to take care of just about everything that a human resources department would take care of in a bigger company. Whether it is your employee time management or dealing with sick leave and pto, you should be able to sit back, let them take care of themselves, and worry about some more pressing matters.
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. Follow him at @RobertCordray.