Everybody knows tech talent can earn a lot of money — well into the six-figure range. And while it seems like on-the-go solopreneurs like dog walkers or fitness trainers can’t compete on earnings — the fact is that they can, and do! At the most basic level, all of these professions are about delivering a service and require the right tools for success. While software engineers need a powerful desktop computer and various applications to code and perform other tasks, on-the-go solopreneurs need to handle business tasks efficiently and effectively while being out and about. Here are three critical tools that on-the-go solopreneurs should have in their back pocket.
3 Technology Musts for On-the-Go Solopreneurs
While everyone uses texting for all kinds of communication needs, it’s a true lifeline for the modern solopreneur. Time is money, and efficient communication means you can schedule appointments, make changes at a moment’s notice and follow up. When you don’t have a receptionist or a customer service line, texting is the way people know they can reach you, and it has the benefit of being the most preferred method of communication among people under 50 according to this recent Gallup poll.
Where your stock texting app may fall short, however, is in keeping your personal life separate from work. Your work/life balance benefits when you can silo your business texts using a different number. A professional productivity tool that includes SMS texting ability can help you take your business to the next level by grouping clients into the right categories and sending receipts, appointment confirmations, collecting payments, and other quick transactions.
One problem with relying only on standard ad-based marketing is the lack of repeat business. You might get a sale out of it, but you don’t gain enough insight about your customer to be able to follow up with targeted messaging. Worse, they may have paid in cash, and you might not even know their name when all is said and done. There’s no way to get them back for more.
Solopreneurs likely don’t have access to a huge enterprise CRM and its corresponding complex, expensive reporting, and analysis. You just need to know a few details like what the customer purchased and their basic contact information. Every piece of data you collect can help you get the client to stay and to continue using your services. Planning and executing simple but targeted marketing campaigns can dramatically impact profitability. The right tool that is specifically designed for the on-the-go professional can help organize your customer information and personalize your marketing in order to boost your retention.
The final piece of the puzzle is money. You have helped your customers and need a simple, secure payment service. Carrying around a lot of cash is never a good idea, and personal checks are inconvenient — and fading into the past. What if you could collect your payments with the tap of a few buttons on your phone and be on your way to the next client without making change or even having to swipe a card?
The right productivity tool is one that allows you to collect your payments as easily as you can schedule an appointment. One barber in a tough neighborhood in New York moved exclusively to mobile payments through an app-based business tool that keeps his employees from being targeted by carrying cash. He’s now booking three times the clients, and his earnings catapulted to well over $100,000 after adopting the solution. People check their phones at least 90 times a day, and accepting payments on your phone allows you to collect money much faster. Many on-the-go solopreneurs are paid within minutes of sending an invoice as compared with the industry average of two weeks for invoice payments on any other device.
But, Wait, Why Does This Work?
Customer satisfaction is the name of the game – but not at the cost of your business. Take Groupon, for example. It’s designed to be a low-cost way for people to try your product or service, but it’s scattershot approach too often results in a one-and-done low-priced purchase that actually costs the business money. With such a one-dimensional tool the solopreneur is left with the same manual business and marketing tasks as before. They still spend their time on repetitive chores that limit their ability to focus on improving their skills and serving more customers – in other words, doing what they actually dreamed of to achieve success. Those who adopt a comprehensive solution are far more likely to see repeat business.
Much like today’s on-the-go consumers, the agile solopreneur has to be able to respond to clients and collect payments from anywhere. These individuals wear a lot of hats and absolutely must have the ability to be productive 24/7. By embracing on-the-go scheduling, marketing, and payment tools — right from a phone– even part-time entrepreneurs can maximize income…and inspire a little jealousy in the software engineer who is tied to a desk all day. When on-the-go solopreneurs let technology handle the tedious part of the business, solopreneurs can live their best life, easily connect with more people, and still enjoy business success.
About the Author: Chinwe Onyeagoro is the CEO of PocketSuite where she is responsible for strategy, customer success, and growth.