If you were to ask anyone about the one technological innovation they can’t live without nowadays, they would tell you it’s their smartphone. India is home to nearly 800 million internet users, a number that could catapult exponentially as India rolls out the 5G network.

Naturally, the 75 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) that are part of India’s burgeoning mobile ecosystem, whose customer base operates primarily via smartphones, need to adopt mobile-first solutions to run their businesses successfully. The reason is simple: Everyone from business owners to their employees and customers has access to smartphones. These portable handheld devices are the perfect solution for data collection and analysis on the go.

But how are SMEs approaching digitization in a mobile-first way? Let’s take a closer look.

Switch to mobile CRM solutions

CRM or customer relationship management systems are expensive. If they remain desktop-optimized only, employees—especially typically mobile sales personnel—have to gather the details and manually enter them into the CRM later. This is an inefficient method and increases the chances of human error.

For SMBs, therefore, it is best to invest in a mobile CRM solution that allows for immediate data entry and simultaneous collaboration of multiple employees on the same spreadsheet. Using such CRM solutions is also easier. SMBs don’t have to spend time and resources on constant employee training.

Mobile-first financial data management

All entrepreneurs have to constantly monitor numbers such as profit and loss, income, expenses and the like. Large companies typically use powerful tools that help crunch the numbers, but such tools are tricky for SMBs to implement because they are typically accessible on PCs or laptops, are difficult to collaborate with, and require a certain amount of both technical and math skills to the operation.

As SMBs are short on resources and human capital, mobile-first financial management solutions are ideal for around the clock input and analysis. Entrepreneurs have access to a single window database that helps them keep track of all critical financial data. SMBs are better off with spreadsheet-based tools that require little or no math skills, are accessible on mobile devices, and allow for multiple stakeholders to collaborate.

Inventory management on mobile

Inventory management is an important and imperative activity for SMB success, but even recently computer based inventory management systems required daily manual data entry into the system which depended on manual work and did not allow data management in motion. Also, the chances of human error remained high.

SMBs are rapidly moving to mobile-first inventory management systems that enable employees to manage data anytime, anywhere to counter these issues. Real-time updates on mobile-optimized inventory management systems allow business owners to make course corrections where necessary and reduce waste. Such systems also allow employees to add or change data as they take stock and enter it directly into the system on smartphones.

The above examples are why mobile-first solutions are a must for SMBs.

By opting for mobile-friendly SaaS platforms configured specifically for the needs of SMBs, SMBs can do everything from automated GST invoicing, make payments, check compliance with one click, adjust cash flow management, and perform many these daily functions. This makes operations smoother and reduces costs.

The pandemic has brought with it many lessons, the most crucial of which is digitization as the way forward. Fast, easy and affordable mobile-first solutions are no longer an option but a revenue growth imperative. That SMEs are behaving like fish in water is no surprise, as they are the backbone of the Indian economy and will play a key role in propelling India into the top three economies in the world by 2030.

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