Does Your Small Business Need More Mobility?

How does your small business go about trying to land more customers?

For some companies, it means providing better customer services. Others, meantime, turn to more advertising of their brand, be it through traditional ads and/or social media. Still others look to improve on their products.

In other cases, the man or woman running a small business comes to the realization that they need to be more mobile. When you break it down, it essentially means offering mobile payments to their clientele.

According to a Yankee Group estimate, the global transaction value for mobile payments will be around $984 billion by 2014, up from a figure of $162 billion just two years ago. That involves transactions including mobile banking, contactless cards and mobile coupons among others.

If your small business has been slow to adapt to the mobile payment world, you have likely been missing out on a decent share of revenue.

mobile payments
Image by monty.metzger / Flickr

In order to better understand the world of mobile payments and how they can help your small business, consider the following:

Mobile payment providers work with you – As more mobile payment providers work their way into this growing market, small business owners have choices as to which provider they want to work with. Many mobile payment providers do not charge small business owners a start-up fee, while many provide free card readers. The goal here is to do your research of which provider best fits your business needs. Make sure you have a good idea of what your company’s revenue is to help you determine the best provider. Also research a provider’s financial stability, track record for customer service, and if there is any pattern of customer complaints (you can use the Better Business Bureau in this effort);

Get to work on mobility – Once you have a mobile payment provider lined up, the setup time is minimal, while there is little training for you or your employees to process such transactions;

Impulse buying – It is not uncommon for many customers to buy on impulse. That being the case, you stand to increase your revenue when you offer them a mobile payment option. If a customer has to wait to go online to buy from you, they may end up not making the purchase, meaning you lost out on potential revenue. On the other hand, letting them swipe a smartphone at checkout or when you visit their office or home (if you sell on the road) can lead to more sales;

Sell on the go – There are many small business pros who sell products and services on the road. For those occasions, offering mobile payments just makes sense. Whether you go to someone’s home or office to deliver products or services, you have the mobility to conduct a transaction without being tied to your store or office. Not having to rely on a point-of-sale terminal or magnetic-stripe card reader opens up more revenue opportunities for your small business, as customers like the flexibility of being able to do business with you in the comfort of their home or office, meaning they do not have to travel to your business locale. In the end, it is a win-win situation for both parties;

Emphasize security – One common concern customers can end up having with mobile payments is will there data be secure? Make sure you point out to them that the information they provide is encrypted and is entirely safe to transmit via a mobile payment. Once you have the customer’s sense of security covered as it relates to privacy and avoiding fraudulent charges, there is no reason not for them to want to do business with you in this manner;

Promote your mobility – Finally, make sure that your current and potential customers know about the fact you offer mobile payments. Use your social media outlets to advertise the fact, plus make sure you note it through both your employees and your traditional advertising venues. Offering customers specials and rewards for making transactions via mobile payments is a great way to increase such revenue.

While many small business owners are still warming to mobile payments, others have taken the ball and run with it.

The question is, are you ready to make your small business more mobile in 2013?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics for various websites, including why companies should accept credit cards online.