The Entrepreneur’s Corner – Eight Apps that Will Help You Run Your Business More Efficiently

Businessman Using PDA on SidewalkAs a business owner and Entrepreneur consultant, I am continually looking for great opportunities and innovative tools for myself and my clients. My smartphone that keeps me up to date on most of this information. I can use it anywhere to keep in contact with the office, help out with communications issues, research tax law and access notes, or simply search for the newest and latest business trends.

Many business owners say they would be lost without their smartphone features. The apps listed below include the ability to sync with office computers, carry important contact information, manage blog posts and status updates on important projects, and stay connected with your staff as your business grows.

There are countless business-friendly apps out there. The following is a shortlist of a few indispensable ones:

1 – Square

This is great for small retail or service related industries that need to collect revenue in out-of-office settings. The application allows you to process debit or credit card payments from any location by using your Android, iPhone or tablet. There is a small reader that attaches to your phone or tablet where you can simply slide the card and the data is immediately taken. There’s no fee for the application or device, but the app manufacturer does take a small percentage fee.

2 – Zaarly

Zaarly is an app offering storefronts where small businesses can advertise their services. It’s a great way to build trust and brings growth to small local businesses. The app allows anyone with a smartphone to look up any small business in their locality.

3 – WordPress

Download the wordpress plugin for your smartphone and access your blog from any location. Write posts and manage content from anywhere with this easy to see mobile format. If you’re a blogger, mobile access to your content is a must, and WordPress is the most user-friendly CMS out there.

4 – EvernoteWoman working with tablet computer

Evernote can make a great online file folder. Write or scribble your notes and ideas. Make voice recordings and tag your notes with your points. This is great for meetings or brainstorming sessions when you don’t have time to stop and write it down.

5 – TripIt

With TripIt, you can plug your entire trip itinerary into the app, and it will organize it in a user-friendly format that will help you get through your trip with much less hassle.

As an added bonus, Google Mail users can sync up the TripIt app with their email account, and it will automatically generate the itinerary from the email.

There is also a TripIt Business version that manages multiple itineraries for team members on the same business trip.

6  – Yammer

UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL CO-ORDINATION UNIT MONITORS THE WORLD'S AVAITIONAs your company grows in size this is a great application that was set up as a company-wide online bulletin board that can both be used on the desktop and mobile, using it as a sort of Facebook for the workplace. When employees log onto the site, they will find anything from an update on a companywide project to funny photos of the employee parking lot with the caption “Guess Who Can’t Park.”

It can also be used to update the employees with what is going on in the industry of your company, and even to poll employees on business card designs, and where they can go for the next company happy hour.  It can be very challenging to make sure that everyone knows what is going on in the company and this is a great way to keep in touch.

7 – Contactually

To keep connected, you can use this app that integrates into your email and LinkedIn accounts and alerts you on whatever device you selects when you haven’t communicated with someone in a set period of time, such as 90 days.  You can even use this tool to send handwritten notes to your clients/customers.

8 – 15Five 

15Five is a website application that was designed to provide an efficient answer to keeping track of status updates from employees as your company grows.  In the early days of start up companies, status reporting is in a catch-as-catch-can state, where getting updates from email or quick hallway meetings is a way of life. But as the company grows and more staff are added to the group, the room for error increases as the chances of you forgetting a conversation or not remembering where you left your handwritten notes are high. Successful Entrepreneurs need a way to keep track of the employees reporting to them without micromanaging.  When you start using this app, have your teams take 10-15 minutes to answer your status update questions online each week.  This will provide all the updates in your company in one place and will only take five minutes for you to read.

This application works best with groups 3-5 in size and when the questions posed you each week are short and simple, that require short and concise answers.

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