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Fujio Cho, Vice Chairman of Toyota and one of the most innovative companies in 2016, once said, “If you are not busy reinventing your company, I guarantee you are falling backwards”. Cho’s comment is galvanising enough for every organisation to eliminate the conventional boundaries that exist in the business value chain. Several business processes are being enhanced and automated in the cloud on digital networks giving businesses the freedom to freely innovate and re-invent their business processes and models. That’s why it is imperative for your business to re-strategise this year, with strong considerations of the disruptive technologies and the fourth industrial revolution tools. 10 Ways to Boost Business in 2018 Using Mobile Solutions:
  1. Get your business automated
Business process automation (BPA) is a sure way to manage information, processes, and data with technology in order to reduce costs for a business.  Ascend2 Marketing Automation Trends study found that companies who have implemented marketing automation: 23% expect results in 3 months or less and 34% expect to see results in 4-6 months. In other words, to improve your sales in 2018, the first step you need to take is to automate various tasks. While there are many things you can automate, the most important thing is your outgoing emails, including follow up emails, scheduled emails, reminders, blog notifications, lead nurturing emails and so on. Statistics show that salespeople send approximately 120 emails a day. You can (and should) use email automation software, such as Mailchimp, InfusionSoft, and Hubspot, to create email templates and email drips that automatically send emails to prospects. Automate as much as possible, but make sure that the emails still feel personal.
  1. Leverage data capturing tools
Businesses are leveraging data collected at every point of the customer journey, to increase their leads. This information might include mobile app usage, digital clicks, interactions on social media and more, all contributing to a data fingerprint that is completely unique to its owner. Outside the country, there are seamless data capture platforms like ABBYY FlexiCapture and Castor EDC that are helping to improve business processes in different countries. However, while adopting solutions like this from here may be difficult and expensive, we have equally capable platforms in the country like BioRegistra; an easy to use online data capture system useable in every sector. It enables individuals and companies to create and dynamically configure and capture projects which can be used for data verification, reporting, identification of any sort i.e. Human Capture, Animal Capture, Plant Capture, Automobile capture, Object Capture etc.
  1. Use QR codes to engage customers in the mobile space
Online marketing and SEO consultant, Peter Semple, gives two case studies showing how small businesses can do this. In one instance, a savvy auto mechanic sent out a direct mail piece with a QR code allowing customers to download his mobile app. In another, a local promotional clothing company offers customers a protective sleeve for wireless credit cards. On the sleeve is printed a QR code to the company’s mobile store.
  1. Deploy Chatbot
Bot-as-a-software performs an automated task. However, you should be more concerned with bots that go live in chat platforms called chatbots. The most intuitive definition is that a bot is a software that can have a conversation with a human. For example, a user could ask the bot a question or give it an instruction and it would respond or perform an action as appropriate. This tool provides suggested responses for the human agent or brings up relevant information in a timely manner which the human agent can then act on. Also consider voicemail, CallerID, conference bridges, and more. These services will now be increasingly available for the small business market, too. This latest package is often important for companies with 20 or fewer employees. For instance, UBA just deployed ‘Chat Banker’ and you need to see how people are receiving immediate responses via the platform.
  1. Deploy mobile apps for management tasks
A study by email marketing company, Constant Contact, shows that small businesses are using mobile apps for a host of management activities. The study also found that small businesses often used apps for activities like scheduling and time management, customer communications, GPS and mapping, accounting, and invoicing. Apps such as Trolla, Slack, or even Evernote will help you achieve this.
  1. Equip your sales team with mobile tools
As Mr. Mike Olajide, Executive Director at Sidmach Technologies said: “With an increase in broadband penetration, the year 2018 will witness increased BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), cloud computing and other enterprise solutions that will unleash industry 4.0”.  Some of the tools you should be looking at include smartphones, laptops and tablets or phablets. This is crucial in empowering your team for constant and instant response to clients’ requests. Nothing annoys clients than delayed responses. If you must do business in the ‘jet age’, act as though you are the pilot!
  1. Do banking in the mobile world
There’s at least one other small business task you can complete using mobile apps. Small businesses can use mobile apps to do their banking, too. Banking halls are getting less attractive to customers; huge transactions now happen outside the banking halls, courtesy of rising influence of FinTech. Key into this trend by ensuring that payment for your services is less cumbersome.
  1. Make your website more mobile friendly
Get your webmaster to make the website function very easy for mobile users to view. One way to accomplish this is to simplify your web design so it is easier to view on a smaller screen like that of a smartphone. Another is to create a special mobile version of your site designed specifically with mobile visitors in mind.
  1. Mobile meets social media apps
Mirror your business as a digital marketing company. When you are building a new list of leads, you want to include small businesses that are most likely to accept your business proposals and your products/services. As apps can provide many specific benefits, you want to zone in on businesses that can take advantage of these benefits. Now, a mobile app can help them increase reviews and improve their star rating on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor. So, when conducting an online research for new leads, look for local businesses that have poor ratings or don’t have reviews at all. When you then reach out to the small business with this pitch, they will be able to see the benefit of what you are selling almost immediately.
  1. Let your business target mobile users
Why do you need to target mobile phone users? Africa Mobile subscriptions and Internet penetration report released by Jumia in 2017 substantiates that there are 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80% penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18% with 216 million internet users. While Nigeria’s internet penetration is much higher at 53%, its mobile subscription pattern is similar to the rest of Africa’s at 81% penetration (150 million mobile subscriptions). These are where your customers are talking about your brand. You need to meet them there! We need to have at the back of our minds that these tools and strategies can be better managed, utilising solutions that offer us convergence. Businesses looking to make key decisions can do so with these platforms as it offers valuable insights to enterprises through data.  

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This article was first published on 10th April 2018

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