Keeping up with all of the moving parts and managing employees — all while trying to make your business profitable can be pretty demanding. Luckily, the Internet is here to help. There are mobile apps all over the market specifically designed to make life easier, but there are also a number of apps designed to make running a business easier — and there are even a bunch of apps that do both. If you’re someone who wants to keep an eye on your small business via your smartphone then it would be wise to stay current with the latest apps.
Here are just a few that could make a big difference for your small business:
Dropbox announced it would surpass 100 million users in November of 2012 and it isn’t hard to see why. The product is one of the best and easiest-to-use file hosting services on the market, using cloud-based storage to allow users to bring their photos, documents and videos everywhere — plus you can share them easily with anyone. So as a small business owner, you can rest easy knowing you’ve saved an important company document or file that you can then access on any device, including your desktop.
It almost feels like cheating to list the Google Analytics app here since it doesn’t add anything new that the desktop version of Google Analytics doesn’t have. But given how many small businesses are increasingly reliant on website traffic and data to track success and growth down to the very last detail, it is nice to know that Google created a streamlined and easy-to-use version of Google Analytics for mobile. In fact, the best part of the app may be how similar it is to the desktop version. All the statistics you use on the desktop version to measure the success of your website are still available on mobile and they are easy to sort as well, giving you the ability to easily check the daily performance of your website while on the move.
How many small business owners are collaborating on projects with either employees or contractors and want to monitor progress in real time? Asana eliminates the element of surprise that occasionally happens when someone misses a deadline by creating one place for you to plan, organize, and monitor the status of projects that you and your team are working on. You will only use one interface with Asana and it is an especially easy-to-navigate interface when stacked against the other work management apps, which is important when you are running a new small business and are trying desperately to juggle the progress of dozens — if not hundreds — of different projects.
Really any model of the QuickBooks app will work for your small business if you can learn how to use it, but since the newest model is out, you might as well go with the one with the most features. QuickBooks prides itself on being easy to use and with a re-design to give it a clean look and a new navigation panel to improve speed and usability, QuickBooks 2013 meets that standard. Intuit designed the app after speaking with small business owners about what they would like to see included, and the result is a one-stop app where you can sync items like invoices, expenses, and estimates across your iOS devices and the web.
Seizing on the success of other applications marketing themselves to small businesses, a host of new appointment management apps are starting to crop up — but Appointment Plus may be the best of the bunch. The app not only makes it easy to change, schedule, or cancel appointments from your phone, but it will also store the customer information and will even send out automated e-mail and text reminders that help the customers remember to keep their appointments and help the business owners avoid the potentially costly mishap.
If you thought running your own small business was hard, try navigating tax season. The tax code gives special breaks to those spending money to run their small businesses, and those expenses can be difficult to keep track of, especially when you are likely only worrying about them once a year. Expensify will let you quickly capture a receipt with just a photo, categorize your different receipts and expenses however you choose, and sync those expenses and receipts with your tax and accounting software — which reduces your burden during tax season almost entirely. You can even add your mileage expenses with the built-in odometer entry, and the app will sync with your bank accounts and credit cards so you can track your purchases or expenses as quickly as they happen.
If Dropbox will help organize the infrastructure and foundation of your small business, Square is the app that will help its bottom line. The number of people who carry cash around is dwindling and research estimates that nearly $90 billion in payments will be made using a mobile device by the end of 2017. Enter Square which, despite the best efforts of its mobile transactions competitors, has become the go-to app for mobile transactions. A business owner just needs to download the app and plug in the card reader and all of a sudden she’s capable of accepting mobile payments from anywhere — while getting charged only 2.75% transaction fee on each swipe.