In Canada, small-business owners are becoming increasingly mobile – more than half are now running their companies from their smartphones. Rather than spending thousands of dollars a month on a brick-and-mortar storefront or office rental space, technology lets you run a business from your phone, anywhere, anytime.
Here’s a few tips on how to run your business from your phone.
1. Sell from Anywhere
For many retail businesses and service providers in Canada, cash registers or an elaborate e-commerce website are things of the past, thanks to payment apps like Square, which turn your smartphone into a point-of-sale (POS) terminal. It accepts and processes credit card payments and tracks all cash payments. An added bonus is that Square integrates with QuickBooks Online to streamline your accounting. If you run a retail shop, you should also consider Shopify, which is similar and provides a POS system you can manage on the fly.
2. Build Presentations on the Go
Even though it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, a smartphone is a presentation powerhouse. Apps such as MightyMeeting allow you to upload presentations, and run them from a mobile device. You can store PowerPoint presentations, videos, and PDF documents in your secure content repository, and download them to your smartphone for immediate access whenever you need to host a presentation.
3. Conduct Low-cost Meetings
In today’s digital world, conducting virtual meetings are useful, as they save time and money on travel expenses. As long as the microphone and camera work, and you have good mobile coverage, you can conduct one-on-one meetings and web conferences from your device. This reduces the likelihood of cancelled meetings, even when you’re travelling, as users can conduct meetings from the back of a taxi, a hotel room or an airport lounge.
4. Invisible Accounting
QuickBooks Online is the cloud-based counterpart to the popular desktop program. Used by many small-business owners, the mobile app allows you to manage all financial tasks on the go, including getting daily imported bank feeds. You can add transactions, send invoices, generate reports, and even process payments on the spot. Plus, you can access QuickBooks from your Android or iPhone. It’s a powerful program that’s been around for a long time, so it’s a well-trusted name in the world of financial management software.
5. Use Apps to Manage Customers
If you’re seeking to break free from the confines of the office, consider using customer management apps. Apps such as Booker let you pay bills from your smartphone. You can reach out to customers and keep in touch with employees from anywhere.
Running your business from a mobile device is possible – there’s little that you can’t do with your smartphone. The smartphone plays an important role in business management, even though many adults still use the device as a toy for playing online games and chatting with friends. Despite the wide variety of smartphone apps available for small-business management, Intuit’s 2015 Small Business App Study revealed that more than 55% of Canadian small-business owners use their smartphone for business management purposes.
What Is an Electronic Signature
An electronic signature requires no pen or paper, and it streamlines your ability to do business through the internet. The option to acknowledge and sign pertinent documents by typing your name or checking a box eliminates the inconvenience of faxing or mailing contracts or agreements. Endorsing these documents online can speed the process of conducting business with trusted partners, often making it easier to pay or get paid.
Applications such as Citrix’s RightSignature allow vested parties to share documents with three basic steps in under a minute. You’re able to use your mobile device to complete business transactions anywhere, at any time. If paperless systems appeal to you, e-signature apps are a must to improve productivity in your business.
Online Software for Small Businesses
Business owners can choose from a vast range of mobile apps to manage a business from the cloud. As a result, it’s possible to manage finances, create documents, and attend meetings with your smartphone. You can remotely handle nearly every business management activity conducted in the office with a relatively small investment in application software. According to Intuit’s 2015 study, Canadian entrepreneurs spent an average of only $1,000 on software, with nearly half of those business owners using more than three software packages to run their businesses.
QuickBooks Apps Can Take You to the Office
Whether you use a smartphone or a tablet device, QuickBooks can help you manage all of your accounting activities from its cloud-based platform when you’re away from the office. A wide variety of apps from third-party developers sync with QuickBooks, making duplicate entries unnecessary. Here are three examples:
- QR Inventory is a cloud-based inventory system with bar code and QR code scanning.
- Method:CRM is the top-rated customer relationship management software for businesses using QuickBooks.
- LivePlan allows you to create budgets and sales forecasts. LivePlan syncs with QuickBooks, allowing you to compare your forecasts with actual results as well as industry benchmarks.
- TSheets time tracking relies on employees’ smartphones for tracking hourly employees. It also uses smartphone-supplied, GPS location points for employee routing, accountability, and mileage. TSheets syncs with QuickBooks for payroll, job costing, and invoicing.
Other Online Software
With the right combination of mobile apps, you can handle nearly every aspect of your business from the palm of your hand. Managing your social media accounts, creating and sending email campaigns, and dealing with physical mail are three common tasks that you likely deal with on a daily basis.
- Buffer lets you manage social media outreach with ease. Send out coordinated posts to various social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn from your smartphone. You also have access to analytics, so you can track the performance of your social media campaigns.
- MailChimp helps you direct email campaigns, track analytics, add subscribers, and produce and send campaign drafts. Staying in touch with your email list is crucial in the internet age, and this valuable app simplifies the process and offers valuable data so you can personalize your marketing campaigns for superior results.
- If you’re trying to go completely mobile, dealing with physical mail is a potential hindrance. Traveling Mailbox provides a physical address that you can give out as your company’s mailing address. When people send you mail, the company scans the letters and uploads them as images, which you can access through a private email portal. Choose to have the mail opened and scanned, or you can shred and discard the mail if it’s not worth your time. Furthermore, this service offers useful features, including mail forwarding, check scanning, and bulk document scanning.
Manage Business Expenses While Travelling
Receipt Bank is a mobile app that lets you upload receipts to the cloud. Regardless of whether you pay by cash or credit card, you can photograph any receipt or invoice with your smartphone’s camera. The app uploads the images to Receipt Bank’s cloud-based system for processing. The app can also extract particular data from a receipt or invoice. If only a portion of the information on the document relates to a particular account, you can isolate the relevant data because the app scans the information in the receipt. Receipt Bank’s auto-publish option automatically sends the receipt data to QuickBooks. A stored image of the receipt includes any handwritten notes made on the receipt itself concerning specific details of the transaction. Forget about saving and sorting through crumpled, paper receipts. Simply snap a picture and send it to the cloud, where the app files it accordingly. Your smartphone can save you time, while helping you avoid many of the headaches from small-business management.
Using a mobile device, such as your tablet or smartphone, to run your business has many advantages. Reduce costs, track expenses, and communicate with clients while on the go to take your company to the next level. 4.3 million customers use QuickBooks. Join them today to help your business thrive for free.