Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tip # 209: Run Your Small Business From Your Phone

Tis the season for retail businesses, especially in the confectionery industry, to expect increased foot traffic, sales and, unfortunately, stress. With the help of RCI member and past president, Brian Pelletier of Kakao Chocolate, we’ve compiled 3 apps to help make your holidays more merry by increasing efficiency in your business using your smartphone.

Created to help busy families organize a multitude of activities and appointments, through a shared calendar, shopping lists, to-do lists and more. This free app made Brian’s short list because it allows him and his staff to quickly and easily create and share shopping lists in real time. Having multiple locations, each store has access to Cozi through a desktop that’s at each of the shops. This way, when they need more cream or sugar, they can quickly and easily add these items to Cozi’s shopping list, which immediately syncs to mobile devices. Forgot to add eggs to the list, and your manager has already left for a shopping trip? No problem! Last-minute additions to the shopping list update automatically in real time. Once the item has been purchased, simply cross it off the list.

Additionally, items needed can be labeled by location and if you need something specific, you can save details, such as the dimensions of an air conditioner filter. By allowing you to save your recipes, Cozi also makes it easy to transfer recipe ingredients to your shopping list.

QuickBooks App

If you’re a small business, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with or using QuickBooks by Intuit (if not, click here to learn more). If you’re already using QuickBooks software for your accounting and invoicing, but not the app, you are missing out on a tool that offers simple, but valuable functions to this software.

As you would expect, the QuickBooks app syncs with QuickBooks online. The app makes it very easy to access accounting information while away from your desk. The app does, however, have very limited functionality. It does not allow you to balance your books on a smart phone, however, if you need to make a change to an order when making a delivery, you can pull up the invoice on your phone, make the change and immediately email a revised invoice to the customer. You can also check the status of an invoice, if, for example, a customer says they’ve paid the balance. Click here to learn more about QuickBooks online.


If you do business away from your retail shop, such as at special events or farmers’ markets, Square is definitely worth looking into. With the use of the free Square card reader, in conjunction with the mobile app, you can accept credit card payments from an iPhone, iPad or Android mobile device. Customers can add a tip, sign with their finger and receive an electronic receipt via text or email. Square also allows you to review your sales history, resend receipts or issue refunds.

If you own a confectionery shop, where the average ring is quite low, the flat fee applied by other credit card processing systems can add up quickly. Square bases their fees on a flat 2.75% percentage, per swipe, saving you money in the long run. There is no merchant account, monthly fees or set-up costs.

Square is also a great tool for keeping track of customers. With the swipe of a credit card, Square automatically recognizes the card and populates customer information, such as their name and email address. For more details and to sign up, visit the Square website, squareup.com.

RCI Members: Learn how to increase efficiency in your business operations by using your smart phone, by logging on to RCI's website to watch this educational session from the 2016 Annual Convention.

Stay connected with RCI through Facebook for more tips and inspiration dedicated to the retail candy maker. Not a member? Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business.

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