For decades, local businesses relied on manual tasks to accomplish everything within their business. You needed a cashier to manage the register and handle transactions and receipts. You needed an inventory manager to track sales and reorder items when stock was getting low.
In other words, to manage the business effectively, you needed to be in the office. Fortunately, technology has rendered a lot of these dependencies obsolete and made it easier for managers to run their local business from anywhere.
Not only can these advancements give you flexibility, but they improve operational efficiencies and can help you run a more successful business. Here are four ways for you to run your local business remotely.
#1. Use Communication and Project Management Solutions to Manage Employees
Local business owners often think of their company like their baby – which can sometimes make it difficult to delegate or trust employees. As a result, you may be struggling to feel comfortable working outside your office.
However, thanks to the many advancements in digital communication and project management, you should not fret about communicating or managing your employees offsite.
Messaging software like Slack gives you the ability to talk to your employees in real-time. The integration with other applications also helps you track projects, manage tasks, set reminders, and adjust schedules.
You can also use video conferencing and screen sharing on tools like Zoom to get a more personal interaction. And, if you want to stay on top of projects, consider one of the many project management tools like Trello that help you track granular tasks within a larger project via a web-based platform.
#2. Use Payment and Accounting Solutions to Manage Money
If you want to run a successful local business, you need to keep a keen eye on its money. From collections to filing your taxes, there are several areas of your business that can be affected by poor money management.
Contrary to what you might believe, the best way to manage money effectively isn’t to hire an in-house accountant or handle every dollar – it’s to find payment and accounting solutions.
For example, payment processing solutions offer businesses alternative ways to accept payments from customers. They are often mobile-friendly too which allow you to accept payments outside your store – which can enable you to sell your products anywhere.
You can also use accounting solutions to track sales, forecast revenue, budget expenses, and prepare taxes, among other things. Accounting software and payment solutions give businesses the flexibility to access and track their money anywhere, anytime.
#3. Use a Virtual Phone Number to Manage Calls
A recent study from Call Intelligence discovered that 65% of customers prefer to contact businesses by phone over any other channel. If you want to run a successful local business, you need a phone number. Fortunately, there are alternative options to the traditional business landline – the virtual phone number.
A virtual phone number is not directly linked to one device. This enables you to program the number to forward calls to any landline, VoIP, or mobile phone. You can answer and send calls from your virtual number on your mobile device no matter where you are. Virtual phone number providers offer businesses a creative solution to managing their local phone system anywhere in the world.
Best of all, you can set up a virtual phone number using a local area code. This familiarity will make your customers more comfortable dialing.
#4. Use POS Software to Manage Inventory
Inventory management is one of the most important areas of running a successful business. If inventory is too low, you miss out on potential sales – if it’s too high, you’re incurring storage costs and missed opportunities with the cash used to purchase the inventory. In other words, if you mismanage your inventory, you’re losing money directly and indirectly.
To add to the pressure of inventory management, many consumers are adopting a trend called BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store). It’s estimated that 23 percent of US consumers are already using BOPIS.
Thankfully, you no longer need to be at your physical store to manage your inventory effectively. Access and manage your inventory from your mobile device or computer with the power of POS software.
By using cloud-based POS software solutions, you can manage inventory and track sales from anywhere. This software will provide inventory reports, update online stock based on in-store purchases, and automatically reorder items once they fall below a specified threshold.
Even though you run a local business, you are not confined to that location. Technology has made it incredibly simple for you to manage your business wherever you have a reliable internet connection.
From using virtual phone numbers to direct business calls to your mobile device to managing inventory through a POS solution, there are many business solutions that can streamline operations while giving you the flexibility to work from anywhere.
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