There is never a dull moment in the daily lives of small business professionals. Faced with an overload of e-mails, text messages, phone calls and to-do lists to sort through, you are always on your toes.
With mobile technology and apps, you can fight back, becoming more efficient and effective. Apps can help with marketing, information management and communications while you’re on the road and on-the-go. As of June 2013, there were approximately 900,000 applications in the iPhone app store. Within that number, an estimated 63,000 specialize in some facet of business.
You do not have time to peruse through the myriad of apps offered. But there are some applications that everyone can use. The apps listed below will help enhance your productivity and image, while easing the stress encountered on a daily basis. Aside from well-known social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, the store features a plethora of apps dedicated to helping advance small-business endeavors.
1. CardMunch for business cards
CardMunch, by LinkedIn, gives you the ability to digitally organize business cards and contacts. Using the camera feature, CardMunch enables you to take snapshots of business cards. The app coordinates with LinkedIn; once the shot is taken, the individual listed on that card can easily be made a LinkedIn connection or listed as a personal contact in your address book.
As a public relations professional and networker, I utilize CardMunch for rapidly connecting with business people who I meet at events and trade shows. The app enables me to be proactive and quickly integrate the people I meet on LinkedIn. I can capture important contact information without the hassle of having to manually enter it into my database.
CardMunch has proven to be very effective for my immediate follow-up, which is vital because small business networking can be quite challenging. According to statistics published by followupsuccess.com an estimated 48% of salespeople never follow-up with a prospect. With CardMunch, the process of following up with prospective business leads is easy.
2. Google Drive for files
Small business people are typically bombarded with copious amounts of paperwork.
Google Drive enables you to upload important files up to 15 GB. These files are then accessible via both the mobile app and at drive.google.com. You can access them from your mobile device.
Files can also be edited on devices and shared. Google Drive users can also create spreadsheets, slides, forms, tables and more.
3. Square for credit card reading
Many Americans rely almost exclusively on credit cards. For this reason small and microbusinesses need to adapt. The iPhone app specializing in credit card accessibility is Square Register.
Square enables you to accept credit cards anywhere — with a mobile device. Square is a simple-to-use, free credit card reader application; download the app, sign up for an account, and request the card reader. Once the card reader is received, you can carry out transactions via their mobile device. There is a 2.75% fee for each swipe, and in approximately two days the payment gets deposited into a bank account synced with the application.
Another plus to utilizing Square is that after a transaction is made, a receipt can then be sent as either an e-mail or a text message. You do not need to worry about personal data being lost; the data is stored on Square’s servers. Similar apps for PayPal are also available.
The days of relying on clunky machines to process credit cards are over.
4. Evernote for organizing notes
Evernote gives you a tool to help you stay on top of information. This app provides its users with a storage platform for photos, typed notes, to-do lists, and voice reminders. With the added app, Penultimate, handwritten notes, diagrams and photo markups can also be written and saved. You can also store trip itineraries and preferred web pages.
Not only will this app help with organization, it also decreases paper clutter. Evernote/Penultimate is an ideal mobile platform for managing documents and notes for both clients and yourself. It is a time-saving application that I primarily utilize for developing to-do lists, taking notes at meetings and organizing files.
As a web based application, I can easily create notes and pull them up on my iPhone, iPad, laptop, or desktop. When Evernote is connected with Penultimate I can create diagrams, embed photos, make notes on photos or simply jot down notes. Notes can be shared effortlessly which is very helpful during the creative process.
5. Pocket Scanner for mobile scanning
A top app in the United States and in over 20 other countries worldwide, Pocket Scanner provides you the ability to scan documents and other important files directly from your mobile device. With one simple click, a document can be scanned and uploaded in seconds. Any document scanned can then be shared as a PDF via an array of platforms including e-mail, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Sugarsync, Mydisk, and FTP/WebDAV.
Pocket Scanner can help you sort documents into folders and print them via the AirPrint support feature. Furthermore, as a password protected app, you do not have to worry about the security of confidential information within scanned items.
While on-the-go I scan notes from business meetings, invoices, receipts and more. These can be converted to PDFs for easy viewing and sharing. As a public relations professional, I work with media outlets often; I use Pocketscanner to scan print articles that feature clients and quickly share them.
The app is convenient, saves time and may even eliminate the need to have a scanner in your office. These applications are only several of those that can assist busy business people stay to organized, market and communicate more effectively and efficiently when out of the office and on the go.