For most users, smartphones are primarily a way to keep in contact with their family members and friends. But these devices can also be powerful and affordable business tools for entrepreneurs all over the world, and especially in emerging markets.
Access to affordable smartphones is increasing all around the globe, especially in small towns and hard to reach locations in Africa and Asia. Now, artisans, shopkeepers, tradesman and other skilled craftsmen have a greater ability to gain access to new markets where they can sell their products and services and achieve greater financial stability.
The following is a brief overview of some of the ways that smartphone features, apps, and accessories can propel a small business forward towards great success.
Accessories that Protect Your Investment
One of the first things that most smartphone owners do is to take precautions to protect their new device from accidental damage. Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, but are more likely to occur when you are traveling on the go, so taking steps to protect your mobile phone before you begin using it is a must!
Quality cases and screen protectors, like the ones produced by BodyGuardz, can help you protect your investment. These protectors function in a way that is similar to a shock absorber. This can reduce or prevent damage if you accidentally drop your smartphone. Types of damage that commonly occur when you drop your phone include scratched or cracked screens. Damage like this can be very difficult and expensive to repair, making a case or screen protector a cost effective way to protect your phone.
Accessories that Make it Easier to Use Your Smartphone to Increase Your Impact
Selfie sticks are a type of accessory that can make it easier to shoot clear video images and take quality photos using your smartphone’s built in camera. Being able to create your own videos, pictures and other images can help to drive your business by enabling you to create a host of content that attracts visitors to your website and convinces them to purchase what you have to offer.
How to Use Your Smartphone’s Built-In Camera to Increase Traffic and Drive Sales
Take images of your products and services that show just how your offering will benefit and impact others. Make how-to-videos and create podcasts that show others how your products and services can improve their lives or otherwise delight them. Start a conversation with your followers on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter by posting images that provoke thought and comment. Use a funny or colorful image to announce your latest sale or other special event. Post a picture of your latest invention or new arrival to get your customers excited about new product lines.
Increase Communication and Conduct Business on the Go
Since your smartphone will work anywhere that you can receive a signal, you can conduct business while you are on the go, from anywhere in the world. Combine it with platforms such as Skype to be able to connect with others via video conference. Not only are you able to connect with your clients and suppliers via your smartphone, scaling up your business is also easier with mobile smartphone technology. It allows you to outsource talent from anywhere in the world. Your smartphone allows you to save money by bringing in experts on a part-time and as needed basis. This feature makes it easy to hire professionals such as accountants, lawyers, virtual assistants, IT experts and other professionals on a cost-effective basis.
Cloud Based Financial Apps Simplify Bookkeeping and Record-Keeping Tasks
There are a number of cloud based financial apps that can be accessed via a smartphone. These programs make it easy to store and track business transactions, reconcile bank statements, upload images of receipts and other business-related documents and otherwise handle all of your bookkeeping and record-keeping tasks while you are on the go as well.
According to 2015 data on Small and Medium Enterprise Finance (SMEs) provided by the World Bank, positions with SMEs accounts for 80% of jobs created in emerging markets, and yet most of the businesses lack the access to capital that is necessary for their growth. Smartphones can be an easy, affordable business tools for SMEs all over the world to decrease the amount of upfront capital that they need at startup to create a successful and thriving business.