Technology has made it easy to run a business faster than the traditional methods used in the past. With the help of websites, you don’t have to walk into a brick and mortar store to get what you need; thanks to mobile applications, you can take inventory, calculate bulk figures and carry out lots of office work without being confined to the four walls of your business premises. For instance, if your business was based in New Zealand and you wanted a company that would provide web hosting services, you might have to walk into various tech outlets to check out what they’re offering before making a decision.
However, these days, you can find out what a company does online at the touch of a button. In fact, service providers even make apps for different kinds of smartphones that can be downloaded to provide every service they offer – with features fitted for each region they provide services to.
Brendan Wilde from Umbrellar Cloud states it perfectly: “Using these relevant apps to run your business isn’t just about being trendy, but it makes record keeping and operations easier, whilst also boosting productivity. If a mobile app doesn’t enable you to solve problems, communicate effectively with staff and customers or carry out financial transactions or calculations without any hassle, then it’s of no real use”.
There are many apps these days, but this article will provide you with the top 10 that you’ll need to work efficiently in the 21st century. It’s up to you to decide which to use, based on your line of business and major needs.
Addapt is a mobile app that helps you effectively manage your business contacts. If those contacts use that same app, they can update their details at any time and this will be reflected in your phone directory, without them calling to notify you. For example, if they’ve changed their email, office address or even business name, the new details will override the existing ones you already have stored. You can also send broadcast messages to multiple contacts. Addapt is available on iPhone and Android phones for free.
For effective communication and follow up on tasks, this is the ideal business app. With Asana, you can keep tabs on any current project or task via the Asana Board. The app also allows you to synchronise Dropbox and Google Drive, so you can easily upload files. You can also communicate via notes and comments shared on the board. It allows a third-party app called Slack (a messaging app) to share updates and communicate more effectively. If both you and your contacts have this third-party app, you can simply drag notes, images, files and other documents from Asana and drop them there.
Asana is available on Android and iOS for free, and allows up to 15 people to use it simultaneously. You can upgrade to the premium package for less than $20 and have unlimited users. If you intend to get the Slack app to integrate with Asana and enjoy special features like single sign-on (SSO) authentication and compliance exports for all messages, group calls, archived message history and so on, then you should be willing to spend between $7 – $13 per month.
If you’re in the retail or wholesale business, this app is perfect for you. Boxmeup enables you to keep tabs on your orders and items stored and organises them in a particular order. If you like to know the content of your packages at any given time, you can print QR labels with the help of the app and also scan with your smartphone. Boxmeup is free to use – and although not available on iPhone, you can still use the mobile website and enjoy it’s features.
Research shows that Dropbox is the most popular file storage platform. The app enables you to upload, share and download files. You can simply give the link to a contact or member of staff and they can access any information you want them to, without any password or the need to be there yourself in person. The app is free, but if you wish to enjoy features like advanced user management tools and unlimited storage space, you may have to subscribe to a $20 per month per user plan.
This app enables you to synchronise notes across desktop and mobile devices. Using your phone from any location, you can have access to notes, reminders, to-do lists and any other schedule on your PC. You can sync two devices and enjoy 60 MB of space with the free version. If you want a business version of Evernote, replete with admin features and more storage space, then you should be prepared to part with about $12 per month.
Financial expenditures are a major part of every business, and this app enables you keep track of what you spend on business trips. For example, if you use a debit or credit card for transactions, you can sync it with your Expensify app. Any charge will automatically appear on a report. Better still, you can take snapshots of receipts and the app will take the information it needs (from the picture) so you can make a report yourself in less than 30 minutes. This app is available on Android and iOS devices at the cost of $9 a month for corporate organisations and $5 a month for smaller businesses.
This app makes bookkeeping a lot easier. It’s pretty much the most popular invoice tracking and management app amongst freelancers and owners of small businesses. With FreshBooks, you can accept credit cards on your mobile phone, create invoices that look professional and that incorporate your logo (where applicable), create business reports, produce profit and loss statements, keep track of your expenses from any location and even bill customers for any recurring invoice. The app is available on iOS and Android phones for free, but costs $15 a month if you add up to five clients. There are other subscription plans available, depending on how many clients you wish to add.
Google Drive, Sheets and Docs
Google has always found ways to provide top notch services for customers, at little or no price. With the Google Drive app, you can upload files and even organise them into folders. Although via the desktop site, you can access Google sheets and Google Docs (which are like Microsoft office tools), these tools come as separate apps on mobiles. You can organise your expenses, notes and plans, as well as draft reports on these apps and share them with clients or staff. These apps are available for free on smartphones.
Other apps like Skype (a messaging app which enables video conferencing and file sharing), Whatsapp, Mailchimp (for email marketing), My Minutes (which notifies you if you’re wasting time on a ‘not so important’ task, like chatting) and even PayPal (for easy financial transactions) help you operate from anywhere. Therefore, start downloading those that help you meet your needs and those of your customers, whilst saving time and avoiding extra costs.