Podcast Using Mobile Phone Apps & Taking Credit Cards
Going Mobile – Going Greenhttp://www.blubrry.com/wildlifecontrol/1047534/going-mobile-going-green/
Former Florida franchise manager shares how to best organize routes using mobile phone apps, take credit cards and go paperless as much as you can.
Being Mobile is a very important task to master in today’s world of doing business. More and more of our customers and staff are becoming tech savvy. With gadgets becoming smaller and easier to use there is no excuse for not having some sort of mobile solution to keep you in the loop and in touch with all your business needs while on the road. Being in the service industry my office is my pickup truck. I am always on the go, so mastering the art of mobile technology to make things easier is a necessary task. All business activities from such as receiving service request to updating our companies website is easily done while on the road.
Of course we all want to get paid, but getting paid in a timely manner is also a plus. Accepting credit or debit cards is a must. How many companies do you know that do not take credit or debit cards. Sure you can probably count a few but not many. Accepting credit or debit cards has become very affordable and easy, and has also saved me time and money. (driving to the bank and waiting in line) Accepting credit cards means you can get paid from anywhere you have internet connection. This also impresses a lot of my customers because it offers them more convenient payment options. When you do not accept credit/debit cards you are not accepting business, so you may be losing customers. I can relate because I carry very little cash and I use my debit or credit card to pay for goods or services.
I use Intuit’s Mobile Gopayment Solution. It has worked wonders for my business. It hooks up to your smartphone and you are able to swipe a credit or debit card from anywhere you have a signal. Their customer support is amazing and if I have to call for a question I am not bounced around to different representatives. I can even call and speak to the same representative I’ve spoken to on a previous occassion, if they are available.
There are other mobile credit/debit card solutions you can choose from but I have not found better service from anyone. They have been around “forever” and if your using Quickbooks, well then you really should be using their Mobile GoPayment Solution.
Storage and Syncing-
In todays world of technology, storage and syncing have become very cheap and in some cases free. If you do not know what the term syncing means here is a brief description. Syncing allows you to keep information (data) up to date on multiple devices. For example: You have a laptop, smartphone and an office computer and want to keep information the same on all devices. You have contacts and some proposals you just finished working on. If you ADD, EDIT or DELETE any contact or proposal those files will update on all of your devices. It is quite amazing. You will need a connection or personal hot spot to make all this work since the information (data) is sent through the internet.
The services I use to keep everything in sync is Apple’s iCloud and Dropbox, both have free memberships available. Google – Hotmail and other free email services offer syncing features so be sure to check which one would work best for your needs.
Printing while on the road can a great asset. We try to email all of our documents as a convenience to ourselves but mostly for our customers. But you may run into a situation where a customer doesn’t have email or internet access, so its best to have a quick and efficient resolution. You may also have a request to print off a receipt, or maybe some pictures you just took of an inspection or job you provided. There are printers with rechargeable batteries which can get a bit pricey and others that use an old fashion power cord. Printing using either is very easy.
I use a $30 HP Deskjet 1000 which doesn’t take up much room due to its small size. This model comes with a good amount of ink to start off and fits conveniently under my back seats. This model will need a power source so I use a 400w Power Inverter which can also charge my drill battery, laptop and other small electronics.
The Cannon Printer Pixma iP100 is a printer that has a rechargeable battery which you can practically take anywhere. Its priced fairly but more than I justify paying since I don’t do much printing.
Communication with your customers and staff is one of the most important keys to your success. Who wants to hear, “ I have to wait until I am back in the office” or “ I am unable to make any changes while I am out of the office”. Now a days customers want immediate service and even more immediate answers. After all if you can’t provide the service or answers they need at the time then most likely they will find someone that can. Smartphones, Tablets and Netbooks have made these tasks very easy. If you have a small business (like mine) you may not have the office staff to handle all of your Invoicing, Emails Proposals and General Questions. Well, technology has made all this very simple, so If I can do it anyone can. Communicating via cellphone, video chat or sending before and after pictures of jobs you have completed is worth more than GOLD to a customer. It provides the customer with a level of confidence, that you know what your doing and keeps the relationship you build with them strong.
Apps are what makes all these mobile conveniences happen. From creating beautiful documents to searching the web for a place to have lunch, or making it possible to keep your records on hand at all times. There are thousands of apps you can choose from and on any platform you may be using. How often have you written down a note on a sticky or scrap paper then you find out it’s been destroyed by the washing machine. Well apps make things easier and more convenient with things like notes, calendars, remote log in (to an office or customer computer) and social apps (Facebook or Twitter). Before you decide on what you want to buy, you need to ask your self what your needs are or what you want to accomplish. Then you can build a solution to help keep yourself organized and in touch with your staff and clients. There are apps for just about anything. There are even educational apps for your children or yourself. Have some down time between a flight, service call or inspection and want to catch up on some local or national news, there are even apps for that.
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You can reach Anthony Del Campo through this web site:
Handling Wildlife and General House Pest in South Florida. Going Green and Paperless with Mobile Technology!
Royal Palm Beach, FL · http://www.westpalmbeachpestcontrol.com