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Poll: Use your smartphone for business?

Posted by GTR 
Poll: Use your smartphone for business?
January 31, 2012 04:55PM
4 smartphone uses for detailers:

1. Photos.
Ever had a customer call with the job that was “borderline”? it’s too risky to throw out a quote over the phone, so you quote a wide range on the job. The customer says he’ll think about it. But you never hear from him again. Now, if the customer can take a quick photo with her cell phone and text it to you immediately, you can throw out a very specific number with some confidence. Also, we have all driven many miles to a job that just wasn’t fixable as a re-conditioner. A quick photo via text can keep you out of a frustrating trip like this. And don't forget that it's easier than ever to build up a collection of before and after photos for your website or portfolio.

2. Videos.
The video capability of most smart phones is now good enough for YouTube. This is a huge promotional opportunity. You only need a helper, a friend, or a coworker to do a brief video of you detailing a car. What you do next is upload the video to YouTube and label it with something like “Tucson Auto Detailing.” Often, Google will place these videos on the first page of Google much faster than your webpage. You can get a ton of free publicity for just 30 minutes of work.

3. Appointment setting.
Some days get pretty busy in the car business. There isn’t a technician out there who has been around for more than five years who hasn’t completely forgotten about an appointment. It’s a huge embarrassment and a bruise on her reputation. If you can structure your whole day on your cell phone, and add alerts as each appointment comes up ( have your phone vibrate 20 minutes before the next appointment) this simply won’t happen again. And applications like Google calendar have some really powerful features that allow you to send out automatic e-mails to your customers a day prior to your appointment. Because it’s not just you that forgets appointments, it’s your customers too.

4. Accept credit cards.
This costs about 3% per transaction. No fees initially. No monthly fees. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive than taking checks, and if you have a trusted account, certainly continue taking checks. But for customers who insist on plastic, and for new customers, processing cards with your phone is a revenue generator and time saver. Try squareup.com.

1. Yes. I keep my schedule, take photos, invoice, email customers, etc.
2. Yes. But I don't use it to its full potential.
3. Yes. Own one but don't use it for business.
4. No. Don't own a smart phone.

Robert Keppel
Applied Colors
Paint Touch Up Systems for Detailers
Re: Poll: Use your smartphone for business?
February 03, 2012 12:15AM
Okay, I posted this poll in 3 forums and results were: 90% of detailers use smartphones in their business. Pretty impressive, as the average among all small biz owners is just 49%.

The full article:
Re: Poll: Use your smartphone for business?
March 11, 2012 08:04AM
The smart phone's are popular partly because of unlimited data plans. Those genorous plans appear to be on their way out
Even with the unlimited data, providers are now throttling ( slowing ) the service of heavy data users . I wonder how easy it will be to run a business out of a smart phone if the data allowance runs out fast .

If you have cable internet at 600 dollars a year, a business phone at 360 dollars a year, a laptop computer costing $800, a monitored alarm on the shop at $280 a year, maybe cable T.V. in the waiting room and a smart phone at around $1000 a year....how much will you have to charge detail per car ?
With enough modern electrionics to make you money, I'm betting you could end up broke .

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