Five Mobile Apps to Make Your Small Business More Efficient
Small business owners are now able to be more productive than ever, thanks to innovative mobile apps on smartphones and tablets. Many of the over 1.4 million apps are free or relatively inexpensive – making them a budget-friendly addition. Though there are many apps worth checking out, here are 5 that could quickly make your business more efficient.
1. Keep in Touch with Your Team: Slack
When you’re relying on multiple tools (email, instant message, phone calls, and texts) to collaborate on one project, it’s easy for an important facet to get lost or overlooked. Slack streamlines all of those communications into one real-time tool. Even better, Slack will sync with numerous third-party services like Google Drive or Dropbox. Everyone on your team can discuss topics across various virtual channels that can include emails and messages, shared files and pictures, social media updates, and web links. The conversations are open for all to see, so everyone will stay on the same page. The best part? It’s free. Yes, there are pricing options for a bigger package; however, the free offering archives 10,000 past messages for an unlimited number of users, and integrates with up to five third-party services.
2. Qualify Sales Leads and Find New Customers: Infofree
Infofree’s free app allows you to access unlimited business profiles and credit reports. It’s perfect for sales professionals and business owners, who can research their sales leads before they call utilizing information like annual revenue, number of employees, and names of executives. The free business profiles also include nearby businesses and competitors, so you can makes sales calls after meetings with prospects. All you have to do is search by the business’s name or phone number. Infofree gives bonus features to paying subscribers, who can also access their sales leads and Infofree’s contact manager, CRM101, right from their mobile devices. The app syncs the lists and notes you create on your desktop into your smartphone. Your appointments can also be synced to your smartphone calendar. Infofree is also offering a free trial of their subscription services. Just go to www.infofree.com/free to try it out!
3. Simplify Accepting Credit Cards: Square
The Square credit card processing app and the Square Reader – a small scanning device that attaches to your smartphone or tablet’s audio jack – allows you to swipe credit cards right on your mobile device. When you sign up for the service, Square sends you the Square Reader for free. The best part is, you don’t even have to be in a set location – such as your store – to take payments. Traditionally, small businesses have avoided accepting credit cards because of the costs and fees associated with third-party processing services and merchant accounts. With Square, the payments are processed directly, making it a more do-it-yourself approach to accepting credit card payments. Payments are posted to the business’s account as quickly as the next day. The only fee required for this services is a percentage of every purchase made or a flat monthly rate of $275.
4. Keep All Your Notes in One Place: Evernote
Evernote is a note-taking app that works seamlessly while you move from your mobile device to your desktop. The goal is to unify any space in which you work, communicate, collaborate, read, or research. It is a cross between a notebook, web browser bookmarks, and a filing cabinet, organized with a series of tags, notebooks, and stack. The beauty is that you can organize it into a system that works for you. Not only is the app efficient and high-tech, so is the company that created it. Recently, the company worked with Moleskine to create Evernote-compatible journals to enhance the note-taking experience: you can see your hand-written notes on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Evernote combines the simplicity of pen and paper with the technology of an app.
5. Utilize Social Media for Customer Interaction: Foursquare
In this digital age, a huge part of customer experience is location-based apps like Foursquare. Claiming your listing page – and yes, you more than likely already have one since Foursquare allows visitors to create a page for your business – gives you the opportunity to personalize it with pictures and links, and ensure that information like your address and hours is accurate. You can interact with your customers in ways that keep them coming back – tips on weekly events, special offers and rewards for checking-in, and responding to comments or reviews. Foursquare also offers analytics so you can learn more about the customers that are walking into your business. The best part? Using Foursquare to promote your business is virtually free. You only pay if someone acts on your ad, either by tapping to see business information or visiting your business.
What mobile apps have you found to help your business be more efficient?