One of the biggest challenges of running a small business involves simply finding the time to do everything. While some aspects of being an entrepreneur will always require face-to-face or hands-on management, an increasing number of key business functions can be handled by smartphone or other mobile devices.
Processing point-of-sale payments, depositing checks, tracking productivity and conducting social media marketing can now be accomplished with just a few taps on a screen. For small business owners looking to be more efficient, there are many advantages to mobile banking.
Process point-of-sale (POS) payments
The ability to accept credit card payments on a mobile device frees small business owners from being tethered to a POS terminal or cash register.
A mobile point-of-sale system typically includes a downloadable app as well as a sliding card reader to plug into your smartphone. This service works well for any business that handles a lot of off-site sales (at craft shows and community events, for example) or that provides services away from the office, such as through house calls or customer visits.
To make the transaction process as seamless as possible for your business, make sure the mobile payment system is compatible with your smartphone’s operating system as well as with your existing merchant services account. Mobile payment processing must also include encrypted reading and sending of your customer’s financial data.
Additional features to consider include the ability to recognize repeat customers and streamline their checkout process, the option of sending email or text receipts and online management tools to track daily transactions.
Mobile money management
While the use of paper checks has declined sharply in recent years, some people and businesses still prefer them. But physically visiting the bank or the nearest ATM to deposit paper checks can eat up precious time.
Mobile check deposit tools allow you to quickly and easily handle this task: You simply take a picture of the front and back of the endorsed check and send the images to your financial institution. If this service isn't available from your bank, there are third-party apps that facilitate paper check deposits.
Mobile banking is about more than just depositing checks, though. Digital banking services allow you to safely and securely pay bills, transfer funds between accounts, get funding alerts and manage checking and savings accounts — all from your smartphone.
And thanks to features like Bank of America's SafePass® (which sends a unique 6-digit authentication code to your smartphone to approve every transaction), you can be sure your mobile banking activity is safe and secure.
One of the biggest challenges of being a business owner on the go is ensuring your employees are doing what needs to be done in a timely fashion. Cloud-based project management programs can serve as an all-in-one solution to this challenge by providing one location for your team to upload and share files, organize lists of deliverables and due dates, discuss projects in a confidential setting and log work hours.
Choose a project management program with an app that’s compatible with your smartphone or mobile device. This will give you an excellent tool with which you can manage and track team members more efficiently.
Increasing your own productivity is also possible with a mobile note-taking app that makes your notes easily retrievable and searchable. Depending on the app, your notes can be augmented with pictures you take — great for tradeshows and conventions — or web content. Look for a note-taking app that allows you to share content with your team via email or by granting access to your files.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is one of the pivotal messaging channels small business owners use to connect with customers. All of the major platforms — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest — have mobile apps, but consider a dashboard-style app that allows you to monitor activity and post content across multiple platforms.
A dashboard-style app generally allows you to track analytics about your social media posts, view replies and comments to those posts and easily send your own responses. The best social media marketing apps also generate reports that allow you to view how your campaigns have performed over time, as well as recommend any influential people or organizations you may want to connect with in order to increase your reach and visibility.
Keep it connected
Mobile businesses management tools can’t do everything, but they can certainly reduce the amount of time business owners have to devote to administrative tasks. So the next time you review your company’s operational processes to look for more efficient ways to use your time, staff and resources, don’t forget your smartphone. A mobile app may be just the solution you’re looking for.
Want to be able to safely access your business accounts wherever you have your mobile device and a mobile connection? Get started with Bank of America Mobile Banking today.