5 Smart Ways Your Phone Can Help You Run a Business from Anywhere
Living and working on your own terms isn’t so uncommon anymore. In fact, data shows that the rise of self-employed millennials is real. Are you itching to do your own thing? While tackling to-dos like accounting and marketing might sound scary or come with a steep learning curve, the technology you already know and love can make your life as a business owner much easier — your smartphone can help you run your show from the palm of your hand.
The team at Weebly, a digital platform for e-commerce, websites, and integrated marketing, told us that they’ve seen a 75 percent increase in customers who use their mobile app to manage their e-commerce orders, along with a 120 percent increase in people who manage their inventory and products from their phone. David Rusenko, Weebly’s co-founder, says that empowering entrepreneurs to tap into their business from anywhere, anytime, is what the team strives to do. “It’s not necessarily about just being able to use a feature here or there from your phone, but what it truly enables an entrepreneur to achieve holistically. It’s a lifestyle,” he clarifies. “It’s about having the freedom to step away when you want to, run your business from anywhere at any moment. It’s the clarity that you can leave your office, your workshop or your laptop without having to worry about the pulse of your business. It’s bringing the back office a little closer to your back pocket.”
Wondering what you can actually pull off while riding public transit, waiting at appointments, or while away from your computer? We compiled a cheat sheet.
1. Respond to customers. If you run your business or store on Weebly, you’ll have access to any inquiries that come through Facebook Messenger in the app. The team tells us that this makes it easier to quickly respond to common Qs, which could be about color, size, or delivery options. Vivi Ruffino, the founder of Freedom Beachwear, notes that a quick response can help increase sales. “Because we sell swimsuits, there are always a lot of questions about how it fits and what size to get. We can often do just that directly from our Weebly app wherever we are. It’s all instant,” she notes. “We got a few inbound questions while we were sitting on the beach in Rincon, in the Dominican Republic. Instead of potentially missing that sale, we were able to reply almost instantly. We love our customers so much and love engaging with them; it’s always fun when they realize they’re talking to the owner of the brand instead of a bot. Chatting with them easily on my phone throughout the day gives a more personal and human feel to the entire experience of shopping online.”
Using another platform to sell your products or services? Use a few extra minutes here and there to respond to any inquiries that might’ve come in through email or another tool that customers can use to chat with you, such as Intercom. While responding is surely a great use of time, there’s another benefit to reading through customer questions or feedback: It’ll help you see where people get stuck or confused, which can guide you as you improve your website and process. “Being able to engage in instant chat with customers who are visiting our website helps us understand how to update our descriptions,” Ruffino affirms.
2. Print, ship, go. One of our favorite parts of the Weebly app is slick functionality that allows you to create, purchase, print, and refund shipping labels on the fly. Talk about a timesaver! You can save money too by scoring up to 40 percent off USPS labels.
3. Review your reviews. Testimonials and reviews reinforce the value of your product or service and will help your sales by adding credibility to your website. “Our research shows that stores with least one approved product review more than doubled their total sales dollars compared to similarly trafficked stores with no reviews,” the Weebly team confirms. “Even more, 70 percent of stores saw increased total sales within six months after approving one product review, compared to the six months prior.” Have a few minutes to spare? Read and approve any new reviews you’d like to add to your website.
4. Spread the word. Marketing is key to growing your customer community, whether you decide to double down on social media, decide to launch a newsletter, or come up with a series of promotions that’ll inspire people to buy from you. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to be at your computer to make your campaign come to life; you can actually design, create, and send it from your phone. Consider including branded coupon codes, targeting repeat customers, or offering discounts to a certain segment of shoppers.
5. Update your inventory. Have new products or sellable services to add to your inventory? You don’t need to wait until you get home; you can edit any listing, from pricing to photos, on any device. Paige Curtis, the founder of Hunter by Alibi Interiors, says this can be a game-changer. “I was able to manage my products — making price adjustments, uploading new photos, removing sold items — while relaxing on a girls’ weekend in Big Sur. This was especially important because I’m still working out the kinks for my business and tweaking the online store around the clock.”
Do you run your business from your phone? Tweet us a link to your website so we can check it out @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)