As a small business owner, remaining competitive is essential. New companies are constantly entering the market in every industry, and with higher tax rates and more regulation, if you’re not cutting-edge, you could find yourself at the back of the pack before long.
One of the best ways to improve your business and keep up with the competition is through the effective use of apps. We’ve all heard the phrase “There’s an app for that,” and for the most part, it’s true. For strategies on how to effectively utilize apps at your small business, read on:
1. Save Money
There are plenty of apps out there to help you keep your financial picture organized. Download the Mint app for free and you can better manage your business finances while you’re on the go. It offers budgeting help, expense tracking, and more. PageOnce is another app that allows you to link multiple bank accounts to monitor transactions and pay bills. These apps can reduce expenses in your small business by helping you keep a constant eye on your financial picture, and allowing you to act quickly when necessary.
2. Save Time
The Evernote Business app gives you all the features of both Evernote and Evernote Premium. So, in addition to creating work lists and notebooks to help save time, you and your team members can create business notebooks for work-related documents, all of which are sure to improve overall productivity. Business notebooks are stored in an Evernote library that can be made accessible to all team members to help streamline collaboration. The cost is $10 per user, per month.
3. Improve Customer Service
If you find yourself frequently on-the-go and falling behind on customer service issues, try the Desk.com app by Salesforce. You can view all of your customers in one place, communicate with them through a variety of platforms, get updates on recently submitted customer cases, and manage them all while you’re on the move. Both free and paid plans are available.
4. Streamline Communications With Your Team
With iMeet by PGi, you can facilitate better communication with your team, whether they’re located in your office, down the road, or across the world. It’s perfect for staff meetings, business presentations, and more. It’s available for both Apple and Android devices, and best of all, the app is free.
5. Keep Your Business Organized
Success may be elusive if your business isn’t organized, and the Expensify app can go a long way to help you keep track of business receipts. With this app, you can easily upload photos of your receipts to be stored in your Expensify account. It’s available for Apple, Android, Windows, and Blackberry devices, and it’s free.
One thing you may not want to jump the gun on is designing your own mobile app. While it can be a great way to reach more customers and build sales, the expense could take funds and focus away from more important business priorities, especially if you have a fledgling business. Strive to save money where you can, effectively market through social media, and insist on a high level of customer service. Once you establish the basics, you can invest funds into developing your own mobile app and take the market by storm.
What apps do you utilize in your small business?
David Bakke is a small business owner based in Atlanta. He writes about business, finance, and technology on the blog, Money Crashers