The smart small businessman or woman knows that they must stay on top of the latest trends in the business world in order to remain competitive.
With that being said, mobility plays a major role in this need to be up to speed with today’s technology. Quite simply, integrating and embracing mobile devices and apps to run a small business are almost a necessity in 2012.
According to the 2011 Mobile Apps Survey undertaken for the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC), apps on mobile devices are benefiting small business owners in a variety of ways, including saving time, decreasing expenses, working more effectively and raising both revenue and productivity.
Among some of the study findings:
* Small businesses are adopting mobile technologies at a quicker pace than the general consumer market. Close to half of the company owners surveyed said they use smartphones, and many are moving away from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets;
* Seventy-eight percent of the respondents indicated their use of mobile apps saves time for both them (approximately 5.6 hours/week) and their employees (11.3 hours/week).
* Close to half of the respondents thought that their use of mobile apps has allowed them to spend increased time growing business revenues, and an equal number reported their companies are more competitive as a result.
* One-hundred of the one-person businesses using apps agreed that they are saving time as a result of such usage.
So, what can mobile devices and apps do for your small business, allowing you to stay one step ahead of the competition?
Mobility with Credit Card Processing
There are a variety of mobile apps that small businesses have access to, including those for credit card processing.
When using mobile apps for credit card processing, small business owners will find it easier to grow their customer base, allowing them to benefit from sales opportunities that come from outside the normal retail options. By taking advantage of mobile credit card processing, small business owners can build their brand and increase their bottom line.
A number of companies have produced mobile credit card readers that fit into the audio jack on an iPad, allowing merchants to swipe customer credit cards. Companies will charge a percentage per swipe for cards like Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, or a set fee each month via a flat pricing plan that removes per-swipe fees for small businesses.
The bottom line for small business owners, remember that many customers do not want to do business with those merchants who seem outdated when it comes to technology, especially that technology that makes it easier for customers to purchase goods and services.
According to research firm Gartner, worldwide mobile payment transactions will hit $171.5 billion this year, a 62 percent jump from just a year ago. The firm projects that such sales could hit more than $600 billion by 2016.
So, is your small business mobile enough to stay one step ahead of the competition?
If so, take some credit for that.