What equipment do you need for your business?
Over ten years ago we wrote an article on equipment you could use to run your business. At the time we were proudly suggesting things such as using a 4 in 1 copier-fax-scanner-printer. Now that remains a useful tool, although many printers can scan and copy, and the fax machine has become low on the priority list, but you can usually get buy now days without such a device. Instead you can now run the admin side of your business using a smart phone, with a laptop or desktop as an additional convenience. This article refers to using technology and devices to run the admin functions of your business. If you were hoping to find information on machines and equipment used to manufacture goods as a small business, then this article here would be better suited.
The smart phone and running your business.
A smart phone is hugely convenient to run many business management tasks, but if you can afford a laptop or desktop as well, it will be a huge advantage. There are still so many tasks that are just easier to do using a bigger screen and a keyboard. Well that is the situation as of the year 2020, but its likely to change over the coming years. For now, you will find that typing up documents, doing reports, designing product brochures and so on, are much easier to do on a laptop or desktop rather than your smart phone. However if you have to choose between the two, start with the smart phone.
What business tasks can be done on your phone?
- You can register a company with the CIPC using your smart phone.
- You can do online banking to pay suppliers and check for customer payments.
- You can submit certain tax returns on the SARS website.
- You can invoice customers from your online accounting software.
- You can receive customer payments with a range of apps, although some may require an addition device to attach to your phone.
- You can record all your book keeping and accounting transactions using the same online accounting system, which your accountant can the view too.
- You can scan documents which you need to file, such as supplier invoices, proof of deliveries and customer contact information.
- You can access your CRM (customer relationship management) software online using your phone so that you can record customer interactions and their unique needs and requirements.
- You can send out customer statements at the end of each month.
- You can set your factory / office alarm remotely.
- You can view any camera footage of your office / factory when necessary.
- You can set up and manage social networking sites as a marketing tool for your business.
- You can communicate with customers by using your phone as ….. dare we say it, a phone, but also via apps such as WhatsApp and skype.
- You can use your phone as a switchboard extension and be able to take calls from customers or reroute them to someone else who can better deal with them at the time.
- Its even possible to design product brochures, draw up reports and build websites, but in all honesty, these functions are still much better done on a laptop or a desktop computer.