Small business success means being more productive than the competition: Faster, better, cheaper. And there’s no tool that will make a business faster, better and more productive than a tablet computer. If your business is not tablet-ized, now is the time.
Don’t shudder when you think about splurging on a fancy gadget and learning new software. Instead focus on the areas of your business that will be more productive and more valuable. The verdict is in: tablets are powerful new business tools that are already improving every aspect of small business.
Here’s how tablets can be used in 6 key areas, improving every function in your business:
How can mobile communication, mobile data collection and the friendly interface of a tablet make your staff more efficient (and your customers happier)?
There are few better examples of how tablets are maximizing staff efficiency than the modern restaurant. Many places have servers taking orders, and customers perusing menus on iPads and Android tablets. Servers send orders wirelessly to the kitchen, and spend more time taking care of the customers. In fact, some restaurants eliminated the need for servers entirely by providing table-side tablets for diners!
2. Customer Service
Where could you be doing business? How much faster could you get paid if your customers could provide a credit card at the point of sale?
Tablets are powering another surge in mobile commerce, as evidenced by the popularity of merchant services such as PayPal, and credit card readers such as Square. These mobile apps, (and others such as Credit Card Terminal) allow employees to enter credit card data and process charges — complete with a customer signature right on the tablet’s touch-screen.
Small business owners can save a pretty penny by ditching their expensive credit card-processing systems in favor of tablets outfitted with merchant apps.
One of the other main advantages to mobile payments is, well, MOBILITY. With a mobile card reader, the POS terminal goes to the customer, not the other way around. Wherever you sell — even at your customer’s home, a trade show, or the county fairground – your Point of Sale system now goes with you.
3. Shipping & Receiving
If you have a warehouse, you need a tablet. In fact, your entire warehouse team should be padding around with tablets that help them manage inventory, order tracking, shipping and returns.
Just as tablets have eliminated the need for POS systems, they can also eliminate the need for pricey inventory-tracking systems. Both Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platforms offer a host of inventory tracking apps complete with bar-code scanners – some for less than five dollars. And because most of these apps contain comprehensive inventory managers, it’s never been easier or cheaper for the small business owner to keep track of stock.
Once you have inventory taken care of, connect your customer database, your UPS and FEDEX accounts, and an account from Stamps.com. Got Salesforce or QuickBooks? Make sure the warehouse folks have complete access to everything they need to ship orders to your clients, and record the transaction in record time.
How much time do you spend printing, mailing, filing, copying collating or stapling paper? Forget it once and for all with a tablet and mobile file storage.
Business that switch to tablets and give up the habit of printing and filing every scrap can save amazing amounts of staff time. Stop spending needlessly on reams of copy paper and really go paperless. Get a Google Drive or a DropBox and throw your filing cabinets away forever. With a tablet, your files go where you go.
Putting a tablet in the hands of every sales person is a no-brainer. They stay connected to the office, and have the tools they need to wow customers, take orders, and process payments.
No sales guy wants to carry around a projector and a laptop. Give presentations on an iPad, and when the customer says “yes”, your sales guy says “sign here” — the deal is closed. Sign contracts and other documents right on the screen, file it in a virtual filing cabinet, connect the document to the customer record in the CRM, and send a message to the warehouse — Order Incoming!
6. The Executive Office
What could YOU be doing better, faster, cheaper?
Tablets make every process better, and more efficient. And nobody’s time is more valuable than yours. Grab an iPad, a ($200) Google Nexus 7, or even a new Samsung Note and see what you’ve been missing.
The writing is on the wall. With tablets at the ready, no small-business owner need ever be held hostage by inefficiency ever again.
Dedicated to your (Mobile) success, Matt