Small Business Pam Watson Korbel

Small Business Pam Watson Korbel
Picture of Pam Watson KorbelPam Watson Korbel is an expert on small business and revenue growth. She personally managed exponential growth in two companies: a software firm that grew by 500% in four years and a health care firm that grew by 1800% in eight years. In addition, she has been advising fast growth companies as a coach and consultant since 1996.

Small Businesses Going Mobile

Small Businesses Going Mobile

Small businesses are giving more and more attention to mobile applications to enhance their businesses. 60% are saying these “apps” are critical to their work, and 90% are identifying they regularly use mobile platforms. Recent surveys show smart phones and tablets save small business owners a cumulative two billion hours a year and $65 billion.

Business owners cite the agility and efficiency of mobile applications which allows them to share information instantly with customers, vendors and employees and to eliminate paper. Managers, in particular, are focused on mobile applications for time management, scheduling, mapping, accounting, invoicing, marketing and communication.

The top three use categories for small business applications are marketing, payment processing and customer relationship management (CRM). Here’s a list of applications every small business should consider:

  1. Payments – The use of smart phones and tablets for processing credit cards is growing by 35% annually. In 2017, the estimated volume is $114 billion per year, up from just $18 billion in 2012.
  2. Marketing – Many small businesses are creating mobile apps to market their business. The features of these apps include everything from finding a store location to presenting products and services to online ordering. Businesses are also collecting customer data to push marketing offers out to niches of prospects through their mobile apps based upon preferences.
    Another marketing example is Quick Response (QR) Codes – Creating a QR code for your business can help people find your online information more quickly by enabling them to use a smart phone to read a link and connect immediately.
    In addition, website compatibility for mobile platforms is now essential since most people are reading email and websites away from their computer. Research shows 93 percent of small businesses have not created “mobile friendly” websites for ease of use by their target markets.
  3. Sales Effectiveness – Applications that help your Sales team to maintain calendars, answer email, link to social media and track their prospects/customers are popular as well. Some companies have developed internal apps that provide easy access to sales and marketing information for Sales reps as well.
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – The leading CRM tools now provide mobile applications so your Sales staff may work virtually and/or access Sales information without the need to get to a computer or go to the office.
  5. Banking – Access to online banking services is more prevalent every year with small businesses especially taking advantage of services like bill payment and financial transfers.
  6. Communication – By far the most popular use of smart phones is for the old-fashioned phone call, with experts noting that in 2013, 30 billion phone calls were made on mobile phones and by 2018 that number will increase to 73 billion.

Video messaging is also a rapidly growing communication tool where smart phones and tablets are utilized.

Mobile technology has pro’s and con’s just like any platform. The advantages are saving time and money while the technology allows great mobility and efficiency for small business owners and employees.

The disadvantages can include growing dependency upon smart phones and tablets, the need to constantly upgrade the platforms, security for mobile devices and applications, and in some industries, compliance requirements.

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