As a small business owner, you probably don’t have an extra hour in your day to spend keeping up with the latest technology advances, or extra cash to test drive every new trend that comes down the pike. That’s why it’s often smart to think big and spend small when it comes to technology, which means honing in on affordable features that move your business ahead.
Here are five tips to leveraging technology without spending a fortune:
Perfect your inventory ordering
What do you really need to keep in stock? It can be difficult to know, and getting it wrong means you’re losing money. Imagine, say, watching customers go elsewhere because you ran out of your famous chai double-shot concoction during the afternoon rush. Or the lobster special everyone loves has to be shelved early on a Friday night. Why not bring in the power of data to help with this?
Using inventory data maintained by a mPOS means you have accurate information about how your product has sold historically. This way, you know exactly how much of which product to order and when. The data in your mPOS also allows you to better monitor what you sell, who is buying and which products are top sellers. You’ll have better insight on the slow times when not a lot of inventory is moving. Tightening up on inventory means better control of wholesale food costs, which have increased more than 25% in the last five years, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Industry Report. Using mPOS data can also help optimize inventory tracking and storage by avoiding lost sales or delays filling orders.
Back up your data in the cloud
For a small business, keeping your data secure is extremely important to the bottom line. You and your staff probably don’t have the time or resources to recreate months or years of history in the event of a disaster. So why have 60% of small businesses not backed up their data off-site?
Using mPOS to collect important customer information provides an affordable solution to the data storage problem, allowing you to easily collect and store your information in the cloud, and help grow your business with improved customer service based on better data. Making an informed choice about mPOS technology can help your business save money and quickly react to any breach or loss, which may perhaps help you rest easier at night.
Cozy up to one social media platform
Managing customer relations is do or die for the small business owner. The better and faster you communicate with your customer, the more you can sell and the more repeat business you are likely to get.
It’s likely not necessary or efficient to dive into every social media platform that exists. If most of your customers are on Facebook, you may choose to focus your campaign there. Sticking with one platform for social media marketing can save on overhead because one staff member can most likely monitor and manage a single-platform social media campaign in addition to their regular responsibilities. But be careful: Pile too many social media responsibilities on a staffer’s plate—especially sites like Twitter and Facebook that may require comment monitoring and dialogue with customers—can quickly balloon into a full-time undertaking.
Save money on staffing by using mPOS for smarter employee scheduling. Use mPOS data about your busy and slow times to make staffing adjustments, making it less likely you’ll be caught off guard by a sudden rush or paying for employees to hang around during a lull.
Business owners can also avoid payroll inefficiencies by using the mobile POS system as a time clock. The automated clock-ins and clock-outs reduce mistakes and make for more accurate payment. You can also track labor as a percentage of sales to ensure proper staffing and higher profits.
You can avoid paying for a ream of paper, or two, or three, when you maximize the use of your mPOS. Mobile point-of-sale technology reduces paper use, paper waste, and the need for paper storage. For most businesses, this means savings on office supplies and a greener footprint. It might also be a virtue you can tout to customers to generate goodwill towards your business.
Going paperless can also immediately impact on your bottom line by freeing up valuable space. You can fit more workers, tables, countertops, or display cases into space once occupied by filing cabinets or record storage. It’s also going to be easier to find data quickly, saving time once spent scouring piles of paper. In these ways, going paperless can help you run a more efficient, lean operation.
These tips can help your business use technology to save money and time, and allow you to interact creatively, consistently and effectively with customers and employees. Remember—you don’t have to break the bank to capitalize on smart technology. With a little savvy and a resourceful mPOS system, there’s a lot you can do to boost your bottom line.
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