If you were to ask anybody about the one technological innovation they cannot see themselves without in the present day, they would tell you it is their smartphone. India is home to nearly 800 million internet users, a number that may catapult exponentially as India rolls out the 5G network.
Naturally, the 75 million small and medium businesses (SMBs) that are part of the burgeoning mobile ecosystem in India, whose customer base operates mainly through smartphones, need to adopt mobile-first solutions to run businesses successfully. The reason is simple- everyone, from business owners to their employees and their customers, has access to smartphones. These portable handheld devices are the perfect solution for collecting and analysing data on the go.
But how do SMBs go about digitisation in a mobile-first way? Let’s take a closer look.
Switching to mobile CRM solutions
CRM or customer relationship management systems are expensive. If they remain desktop-optimised only, employees, especially the sales staff typically on the move, must collect details and enter them manually on the CRM later. This is an inefficient method and enhances the chances of human error.
For SMBs therefore, it is better to invest in a mobile CRM solution that allows immediate data entry and multiple employees to collaborate on the same spreadsheet simultaneously. Using such CRM solutions is also easier. SMBs do not have to spend time and resources on consistent training of employees.
Mobile-first financial data management
All business owners must constantly check numbers like profit and loss, income, expenses, and the like. Big businesses typically use powerful tools that help with number crunching, but such tools are complicated for SMBs to deploy because they are usually accessible on PCs or laptops, are difficult to collaborate on and need a certain amount of both technical and mathematical skills for operation.
As SMBs are short on resources and human capital, mobile-first financial management solutions are ideal for round-the-clock input and analysis. Business owners have access to a single window database that helps them keep track of all the critical financial data. SMBs are better off with spreadsheet-based tools that require little or no mathematical skills, are accessible on mobile, and allow multiple stakeholders to collaborate.
Inventory management on mobile
Inventory management is an important activity and imperative to the success of SMBs, but even recently, computer-based inventory management systems involved manual data entry into system daily that was dependent on manual labour and did not allow data management on the go. Further, the chances of human error remained high.
SMBs are fast switching to mobile-first inventory management systems that let employees manage data anytime and anywhere to counter these issues. Live updates on mobile-first inventory management systems allow business owners to make course corrections wherever necessary and reduce wastage. Such systems also allow employees to add or edit data as they take stock and enter it directly into the system on smartphones.
The above examples are why mobile-first solutions are imperative for SMBs.
By opting for mobile-friendly SaaS platforms configured especially with the needs of SMBs in mind, SMBs can do everything from automated GST billing, make payments, control compliance on one click, regulate cash flow management and carry out many such everyday functions. This makes operations smoother and brings down costs.
The pandemic has come with many lessons, the most crucial being digitisation being the way forward. Fast, easy and cheap mobile-first solutions today are no longer an option but an imperative for revenue growth. That SMBs are taking to it like fish to water is no surprise, given that they are the backbone of the Indian economy and will play a key role in bringing India among the top three economies in the world by 2030.
The article has been written by Rahul Raj,Co-Founder & CEO, FloBiz