Cash flow is the lifeblood of a business. As a small business owner, you likely know that it’s not only about how much money you can bring in, but how consistently you can bring money in to pay workers, utilities, and other daily operating expenses.
While there’s no “easy fix” for a business’s cash flow issues, everyone knows good marketing is key to generating business. But when a business is budget-challenged, the last thing they’re usually able to do is spend thousands of dollars on advertising. Thankfully, the internet has opened up a world of apps that can help cash-strapped businesses bring in revenue.
- Elephanti–Designed for mobile users, Elephanti is a free app that connects the public to the stores, restaurants, and services they need. Elephanti is designed to work like a regular storefront, with businesses enticing buyers with discounts and specials provided specifically to Elephanti members. Stores also offer loyalty rewards that keep buyers coming back to the free app. But what sets Elephanti apart is its affordability for advertisers. “With Elephanti’s innovative ad model, merchants only have to pay if they create an ad, and see results – offers are free to list and payment only occurs when a member checks into their store after seeing an offer in the app,” Elephanti CEO Lalin Jinasena says.
- Taap.it–Like Elephanti, Taap.it encourages users with rewards by providing prizes for rating various restaurants and shops. Taap.it allows users to rate your small business via smartphone, as well as share ratings with friends on social media sites. Your small business can add itself to the site and encourage ratings in your area.
- Payvment–If you want to set up a social media storefront, Payvment is here to help. The service helps you set up and manage your store on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can add your products to your timeline, create polls to encourage buyer interaction, and set up a store, all from Payvment’s interface. The basic version of Payvment is free, with premium plans starting at $29.95 a month.
- MobiCart–For the business that already has an eCommerce site, MobiCart can help you make it mobile. Since mCommerce is expected to overtake online shopping in popularity in coming years, a service like MobiCart will eventually be a must for any small business wishing to do mobile commerce. Prices start at $15 per month.
- Google AdSense–If you’re only beginning to dip your toe in the waters of advertising for your small business, Google AdSense is a great place to start. The site offers an easy-to-use control panel for administering your ads, as well as discounts for your first set of ads. Google AdSense gives site performance reports, an always updated tally of your earnings to date, and details of your ads.
Bringing in traffic is the same, whether your storefront is electronic or bricks-and-mortar. In many ways, eCommerce and mCommerce give opportunities to more easily deploy and manage your marketing campaigns, thanks to the many tools available.