Small businesses in South Africa took a hit during the pandemic, with 42.7% of South African Businesses forced into shutting down, permanently.
However, if you have a smartphone, there is hope.
Advancements in technology have made it possible to earn money and run your small business directly off your cellphone.
In 2022, smartphones are akin to having a mini-computer in your pocket. High processing speeds and large storage capacity have made it possible for you to do almost everything that you need from the palm of your hand.
As a small or mobile business owner, having a smartphone is a vital part of your business's success.
Whether you’re on the move or you do not have the luxury of an office to plug in your laptop or computer, you can still run your business entirely on your smartphone.
That’s right, managing your business on your phone in 2022 South Africa is not only possible but also surprisingly simple!
Work effectively, stay connected, and be organised as a business, all from the palm of your hand. Here’s all you need to know about how to manage your business and make money on your smartphone.
1. Staying on Top of Email
Let’s kick things off with a universal business essential: Email.
Emails are still one of the most preferred means of communication for small businesses. They allow you to connect with suppliers and customers, streamlining the business process and opening the door for effective marketing opportunities.
It’s important to have an effective email management system, but first, you must have a great email provider.
For the latter, we recommend Gmail. Google’s email service is used around the world and is one of the most comprehensive email providers which small businesses can access for free.
The best thing about Gmail is that, from your email, you can link to almost any other Google service. You can make notes and set reminders on your Google Calendar for upcoming meetings on Google Meet, have reminders about changes made to a Google Document, upload large files to your Google Drive, and so much more. Business packages start from around R100 per month.
Not a Gmail fan? There are other email providers out there that offer great service, and you can find some of them here.
Tools for Email Marketing
The best email management systems allow you to use your emails as a successful marketing tool.
You will be able to coordinate everything relating to your email marketing strategy on one single platform.
Mailchimp is the best for this and it also doubles up as an email provider. Some elements are free whilst others you have to pay for. So head over to the MailChimp website and see what works best for your small business.
2. Keeping Organised
Planning and organisation are crucial for every enterprise, especially for small and mobile businesses. Setting up a daily planner will help you organise your meeting schedule; keep track of team deadlines and events; and stay on top of supplier and customer obligations.
Once again, we turn to Google and Google Calendar.
Most phones, regardless of operating systems, are linked to your google account in some way. Having your work schedule on your Google Calendar will mean that it is synced everywhere else on your phone—from your emails and Google Drive to alerting your contacts of upcoming meetings.
There are other apps that are beneficial for planning out your work schedule, and here they are:3. Getting to Grips with Accounting
If you are not an accountant by profession, then chances are that managing your business finances is an extremely daunting prospect. Fortunately, there are apps that have made bookkeeping as easy as pap and vleis.
Here are our top picks for balancing your business’ accounts and staying ahead of the taxman:
4. Managing Your Team
If you have a team of bustling professionals, then it’s important to have an easy way of communicating with one another.
Better yet, having a platform where everyone has access to schedules and can easily manage group tasks makes your life as a small business owner much easier.
Slack is a small business collaboration and real-time messaging tool.
You can create channels of communication for each aspect of your business (sales, marketing, operations, etc) and even create a dedicated channel for your suppliers.
5. Making the Most of Marketing
One of the scariest aspects of running a small business is having to market your business in a professional way. Advertising can be expensive, but did you know that you, as a small business owner, can create your own amazing marketing material directly on your smartphone?
Canva is a graphic design platform where you can create all your visual materials.
From creating social media ads to making quality presentations and business documents, Canva has all you need for you to become a self-taught marketing whizz!
And, as an extra feature, you can now upload directly from Canva to your social media pages with Canva Pro.
Once you have your marketing material done and dusted, you then need to add it to your various social media platforms.
It can be exhausting doing it all individually and keeping track of optimal posting times for each platform.
Use a content planner and social media scheduling app to make uploading your marketing material a stress-free process.
You can upload all your media to one app, add the times you want the material to be published on the various social media platforms, then sit back and let the app do the work while you get on with other important aspects of running your business.
Try these content publishing apps and find the one that works best for you:
6. Getting Paid
Finally, the question you’ve been asking yourself all along: “How do I actually get paid though?”
Making and receiving payments via your phone has been easier than with the iKhokha app and a card machine.
Using the iKhokha app and The Mover card machine, you are able to:
And if you don’t have a card machine, you can send a payment link from the iKhokha app and get paid online without a website!
So, no matter how your customers want to pay you or how your suppliers expect their payments, iKhokha has you covered.
Well, there you have it. Running a small business from your smartphone is both possible and relatively simple. Whether you are an influencer, freelancer, or small business owner, managing your small business is now as easy as taking your phone out of your pocket.