How QR Codes Boost Small Business Workflow

QR stands for quick response. QR codes are siblings of bar codes. Both are similar in that they use black-and-white shapes to provide information. In bar codes, the shapes are exclusively in the form of vertical lines, while QR codes use blocks instead. 

Unlike bar codes, QR codes are versatile as they are not limited to inventory management only. QR codes can be programmed to do many things, such as displaying an image upon being scanned, redirecting a scanner to a website, or even downloading a form. 

There are two types of QR codes: static and dynamic. The data in static codes cannot be changed while dynamic codes can be altered. In this article, we will mostly be talking about dynamic QR codes.

This puts QR codes in a unique position where they can be used for a variety of purposes. In this article, we are going to explore a few ways in which small businesses can use QR codes to enhance their workflows.

How Do QR Codes Help Workflows in Small Businesses

Given below is a list of ways in which QR codes can help improve the workflows of small businesses.

  1. Inventory Management

Ironically, the first thing you can do with a QR code is use it like a bar code. Inventory management is an important task in business that deals with products. Manually keeping track of how many goods you have and how many have been sold is a fool’s errand.

With QR codes, a small business can hasten and streamline this process easily. All they need to do is slap a QR code on every product that has been produced. Then, when such products are being sold or shipped, their code can be scanned to automatically update a database about the stock left and stock sold. 

Since QR codes can be programmed, you can add information like:

  • SKU (stock-keeping units) 
  • Batch number
  • Expiry date

This kind of information about a product helps to track it throughout the supply chain. 

The best thing about all of this is that the process only requires manual labor in two places: when you are pasting a code on a product and when you are scanning it as it is being sold. 

This saves a lot of time and effort for small businesses where there is not enough manpower to spare, thereby streamlining their workflow. 

  1. Dissemination of Information

In a business, having the most updated information is crucial. An employee working with outdated information can become a liability and hamper the business’s workflow. 

Businesses can use QR codes to provide updated information on a variety of subjects. For example, an employee training guide can be posted on a website and linked to a QR code. Any new employee can simply scan the QR code to get to an updated version of their training documentation.

This is possible with dynamic QR codes, where you only need to update the data the code points to. The QR code itself remains unchanged, while the data behind it is always updated.

Similarly, QR codes can be used to provide presentation slides or notes to all relevant personnel quickly. So, let’s say you have a meeting with some higherups, then instead of wasting time printing copies out for each member of the meeting, simply, provide a QR code that can be scanned to get a digital copy immediately. 

Another sort of information that can be easily gotten with the help of QR codes is customer ratings and reviews. You can provide a QR code on your products or website or any other customer touchpoint that can be scanned to provide a review. 

By scanning the code, customers can access a web page where they can provide feedback and reviews as well as suggestions for improvements. 

  1. Providing Enhanced Services 

QR codes can also enhance a small business’ workflow by providing enhanced services. Digitalization is only increasing, and using it properly offers a lot of convenience. 

Small businesses can use QR codes as that bridge and provide services like:

  • Contactless payments. Customers can simply scan a QR code to pay for services. This saves time because nobody has to fumble with their wallet or count their cash. Restaurants can save a lot of manpower this way as they won’t need a waiter for every table to take payments. Instead a few people could just take the QR code around to quickly collect payments.
  • Paperless Menus. Many businesses that require catalogs can simply replace them with QR codes. Customers can scan the codes to see a digital version of the catalog. This saves a lot of paper, and that makes it environmentally friendly. It is also quick because digital catalogs can be navigated faster than physical ones.

Static QR codes can be used here as long as you know you are not going to change any of the menus later on. You can use static codes for limited-time and seasonal offers. 

  • Any business that provides some kind of in-person service, like a salon, spa, or clinic, can use QR codes to schedule appointments automatically. Such a system would entail that customers scan a QR code at the reception desk and are automatically assigned an available slot. Then, they could proceed with contactless payment and get a digital receipt that serves as proof of their appointment schedule.

This is not even the entirety of enhanced services and smooth workflows that are enabled by QR codes.


These are some ways in which QR codes can boost a small business’ workflow by reducing the need for manual labor and automating repetitive, tedious tasks. 

We saw that QR codes can help with inventory management and tracking of goods through a supply chain. They can also be used for providing information to employees and customers alike. 

Additionally, QR codes can help provide better service to customers by enabling streamlined payment and appointment systems. 

So, all in all, they are a highly versatile technology that can iron out the kinks in a small business’ workflows and make them operate smoothly. 


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