Being mobile is a must for many small businesses to stay competitive. Mobile is much more than simply having a mobile-optimized website. Mobile technology has provided employees and customers the ability to connect on the go whether waiting in line for coffee or to schedule a quick meeting via Skype while waiting in an airport. Mobile technology has changed business. As we move into 2017, businesses will focus on enabling mobile technology even more.
Here are 4 ways mobile will transform small business in 2017.
Grow Bigger and Faster
The continuous advancement in cloud-based tools and mobile technology has made small business easier to launch and scale. Mobile payments have allowed small businesses to be in a better position to compete with their larger counterparts. Additionally, many mobile payment apps do more than accept payments. Some have built-in loyalty programs that allow for special offers, mobile gifting, and other business building features. Many mobile technologies allow a business to gather customer data and use it for targeted marketing and promotional efforts. The popularity of mobile payments will continue to grow; the market research firm Javelin Strategy & Research reports that mobile payment transactions could reach as high as $5.4 billion by 2018, a stark increase from $1.6 billion in 2015. Organizations adapting mobile technology are experiencing up to 53% higher growth rates than organizations not investing in these technologies.
Save Time and Money
Mobile technology can produce significant savings in time and money. The use of mobile apps, which can spare small businesses time spent on monotonous tasks like bookkeeping, document sharing and travel can save small-business owners (employers with 20 or less employees) savings of over $14,000 per year.
The benefits of mobile are not just for the business owners, employees are benefiting from mobile as well. Mobile can save time with mobile and cloud solutions replacing manual development of forms, paper filing, scanning and provides the ability for staff to meet customers’ needs wherever they are geographically located. For employees who travel, the ability to utilize expense mobile apps that capture receipts and expenses saves significant time and money compared to manual time expense reports. Additionally, mobile gives time back to employees. With today’s workplace landscape always on the go, businesses need to give employees time as well, and mobile can provide the efficiency and balance employees deserve and crave in today’s workplace.
Big Data on Demand
Big data is often viewed as something only larger businesses can utilize. Many small businesses often feel they cannot afford the costs, time and infrastructure required to optimize big data. That does not have to be the case. Data in a basic format is free and accessible to all businesses. For example Google Adwords tracks what customers are searching for online and buying, this is a form of big data analysis, and this data often plays a key role in the businesses’ strategy.
Mobile provides big data at your fingertips. Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP) provides businesses of all sizes the ability to be in touch with their accounts with real-time dashboards. Employees and business owners have the ability to be in touch with their accounts and operations whether they are at their desk, in the warehouse or traveling throughout the world. Enterprise Resource Planning software provides 24-7 control, monitoring and efficiency for your business. Having this data 24-7 provides business owners the ability to always know how their business is performing.
Paper simply drains productivity and your business profits. U.S. businesses waste $8 billion annually just managing paper. It costs an organization an average of $20 to file a document, $120 to find a misplaced document, and $220 to reproduce a lost document. According to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers, knowledge workers spend up to half their time looking for information, and each year, the amount of data businesses creates increases by more than 65 percent. Investing in more paper when the information we have is spinning out of control just isn’t a smart use of resources.
The benefits of paperless automation apply to all industries. Paperless automation improves productivity, services and costs. A local Wisconsin manufacturing company generated an additional 5-7 million in yearly revenue by implementing a paperless automation system by partnering with Xorbix.
Paperless automation provides the ability for your business to take full advantage of all the mobile capabilities and efficiency’s. Mobile digital documents make it easy for workers to access crucial information for customers whether they are in a cab, at the airport or working from a remote location. In addition the flexibility, digital documents are more secure than paper documents. Documents in a filing cabinet containing sensitive data are much less secure than a digital document management system that allows you to protect every document with customizable, role-based user permissions, a detailed audit trail (which shows who accessed the file and what changes were made), and high-level encryption.
Many small businesses will take the next big step with mobile technology in 2017. Will your business utilize all the benefits mobile technology offers?