As a young corporate attorney, YiShaun Yang dreamed of creating a business that would contribute to society by fostering a love of reading in children. She broke out of the corporate world faster than many with such aspirations, launching her book publishing company AdoraPet before age 30. By the time she had her first child this year at age 32, she had sold thousands of books and was operating in the black.
Her experience as a solo home-based entrepreneur and traveling saleswoman has made her an evangelist for technologies that have enabled her to be flexible and do business anywhere. In particular she is a fan of mobile payment technology.
Yang's pocket-sized books, priced at $5.95 each, detail the adventures of Pima and Pico, puppy characters that visit the dentist, work on the farm, fight fires, meet mermaids, play as pirates, and explore space. She sells the eight-book series on her company website, at Amazon, in some bookstores, and at gift fairs and conventions in New York City where she lives as well as in New Jersey, the Hudson River Valley, and upstate New York.
At the fairs, "people walk by your booth and you get to meet customers in person," Yang says. "It's very important to me to be able to provide great customer service. That includes being able to give people the option to use whatever payment type they prefer."
Yang relies on an android smartphone, Verizon's 4G network, and Intuit's GoPayment technology to swipe customer credit cards into her smartphone anywhere she takes it. The small card reader plugs directly into her phone's audio jack, and interacts with an app that Yang can pre-program with her inventory list, prices, and tax rates. Customers can sign the digital bill with a stylus or their finger, and receive a receipt by email.
Are customers ever wary about entering their credit card information into Yang's cell phone? "No one has ever told me they are uncomfortable. They are always pleasantly surprised at being able to use a card and at the Intuit GoPayment scanner," she says.
In fact, since adopting GoPayment in October, Yang says her gift show sales have doubled if not tripled because people buy more when they can pay on credit. For instance, at one holiday fair, a customer had enough cash to buy a $47 eight-book set, but when she discovered that Yang would accept her credit card, she purchased sets for each of her five nieces and nephews.
In addition to ringing up card sales, Yang's smartphone and 4G connection enable her to operate a mobile office. She uses its GPS system to drive to sales calls all over the region, stores documents on it, writes notes to herself with it, and gets instant payments on it. "I've entered wholesale prices into my phone, so when I sell books to a store I can tell them how much is owed and get a deposit into my bank account on the spot, as opposed to sending an invoice and waiting for them to make a payment," Yang says. "It's all about being lean and agile with a small business."