Running Small Business from Smartphone


Roughly a third of American small business owners use smartphones to manage their companies, performing tasks such as banking and customer relationship management. But which smartphone apps are best for you as a small business owner?


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FINANCIAL MANGEMENT APPS
Money management is routinely listed as a primary challenge to small business people across the globe. Exciting new iPhone and Android tools can make handling day-to-day finances a snap.

QuickBooks
Features:
– Allows you to handle a variety of financial tasks.
– Record sales in a streamlined, effective, manageable manner.
– Create and email estimates to clients.
Four star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements:
– Quickbooks is available on iPhone iOS 4.2 or greater.
– You can run Quickbooks on any Android device。
Price:
– Free trial of Quickbooks is available.
– Subscription plans range from $12.95 to $39.95 per month

Mint
Features:
– View your balances and transactions in one location.
– Automatically updates and sorts all your financial information.
– Uses 128-bit SSL encryption, the same method used by major banks.
– Mint.com has a userbase of 10 million people.
Four star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements:
– Available on iPhones, iPad, Android phones, and Android tablets.
Price: MINT.COM is a free app on each system.

Office Time
Features:
– Allows you to easily and effectively manage both your company’s time and finances.
– Timesheets, spreadsheets, projects and more are all made easy with this one-time payment app.
Five star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements:
– Available on the iPhone and iPad.
– The core program is available for both Windows and Mac.
Price:
– The mobile app costs $7.99
– The core program costs $47.00 on either Windows or Mac.

FILE STORAGE
The days of storing all your business documents on external hard drives or giant server is coming to an end. New smartphone apps make managing your company’s important files simpler than ever before.

Box
Features:
– Store all of your company’s data online.
– Use the search function to quickly and easily find files, no matter how much data you’ve stored.
– Access your information from anywhere and manage permission so your employees can too.
– Favorite files for offline access.
Three star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements: Box is available for iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Windows phones and many other platform.
Price:
– Free fourteen-day trial available.
– Many pricing options following the free trial.

Dropbox
Features:
– Manage all your company’s important photos, documents and videos.
– Save a file to Dropbox and it saves to your computers, phones or any other devices; Dropbox itself also stores a copy, should you need it later.
– Invite anyone to view and edit your uploads.
Four star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements: Available for the iPhone, iPad, Android devices, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire.
Price: Introductory storage accounts are free up to 18GB and then pricing varies depending on the service required.

DOCUMENT EDITING
Document editing programs are a must-have for your small business. Without them, sharing any sort of documents efficiently is next to impossible.

Evernote
Features:
– Evernote syncs to the cloud, allowing your business to share almost anything between any number of devices and users.
– All of your company’s documents, saved web pages and shared content can be organized into folders as needed.
– Minimalist design.
– With the app’s lightweight Web Clipper, you can take snapshots or save audio files and share them with as many as few employees as needed.
Four-and-a-half star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements: Evernote is available for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Phones.
Price: The app is entirely free with upgrade options down the line should you need them.

Documents To Go
Features:
– Allows you to fully integrate your Microsoft Office and PDF files all on your smartphone.
– Promises 100% format retention across platforms, meaning spreadsheets you edit on the plane will look the same once you open them on your laptop.
– The 100% retention is due to a groundbreaking piece of smartphone code called “Intact Technology,” which secures formatting regardless of platform.
Two-and-a-half star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements: Compatible on Mac OS X, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Price:
– Baseline price of $9.99.
– Premium upgrade option of $16.99.

COMMUNICATION
In today’s ever-advancing technological landscape, sending emails just isn’t enough. Fortunately, there are a number of apps available to help guide the way toward more efficient and effective communication.

Skype
Features:
– Send and receive voice or video calls, chat via a simple instant messaging function, and organize all your contacts in one convenient location.
– Skype To Go numbers offer discounted rated on international calls, the ability not to have to download or install anything to enjoy Skype’s services and the option to call abroad when away from your computer.
Three-and-a-half star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements: Available on iPhone, Android devices, Nokia Symbian, BlackBerry and many other devices.
Price: Many of Skype’s services are free, but there also “Pay As You Go” and subscription plans available.

Webex
Features:
– Schedule, attend and host meetings with anyone in the world.
– Share files and information and collaborate.
– Pass collaborated files to someone else present in a meeting with the swipe of a finger.
– Share files between your smartphone and your office no matter where you are.
Three star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements: Available on iPhone, iPad, Android devices, BlackBerry and other mobile devices.
Price: Webex is free to use.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT
81% of consumers agree that small businesses deliver better customer support than their larger corporate counterparts. With the help of smartphone apps, you can increase that percentage to maximize your service potential.

Desk.com
Features:
– View all your customers in one place.
– When customers visit your online support center via a smartphone, desk.com automatically delivers them smartphone-friendly content.
– Communicate with customers across a variety of platforms including social networks, phone, email, chat rooms and discussion boards.
– Provide 24/7 assistance to customers searching for answers to their pressing questions.
– Track, respond and reassign customer service cases while you’re on the go.
– Get real-time alerts of customer support cases.
– All your customer support data is stored safely and securely in the cloud.
Three-and-a-half star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements: Desk.com runs on iPhone, Android phones, or any other smartphones that use an HTML5 browser.
Price:
– Free trial of Desk.com is available.
– Pricing following the trial is completely up to you, depending on how much support you need.

Get Satisfaction Mobile
Features:
– Installing a feedback widget on your website allows your customers to connect to other customers, your customer service reps, and manufacturer reps…instantly.
– The app is HTML5 and web-based, so it runs in your phone’s browser.
– Customers don’t have to download anything to use the app.
Since it is web-based, the app has no iTunes or Google Play rating.
System Requirements:
– Get Satisfaction Mobile is currently available on iPhone and iPod Touch.
– The company plans to release an Android incarnation in late 2012 which will accompany the unveiling of a redesigned interface.
Price:
– Free with all paid subscription plans of Get Satisfaction.
– Subscription plans range from free to $99 per month.

MONETARY TRANSACTIONS
Worldwide mobile transactions are expected to reach $171.5 billion in 2012. Savvy small business owners are taking advantage of this boom by implementing exciting new apps in their business practices.

Square
features:
– Comes with free card reader that plugs directly into your smartphone.
– All funds deposited in your bank account the business day following the transaction.
– Allows you to accept credit card transactions from anywhere.
– Customers can add tips sign receipts and receive electronic receipts via email or text.
Three-and-a-half star rating on iTunes.
System Requirements: Square Card Reader runs on Apple iPhone with iOS 5.0 and up or Google Android devices running 2.2 and up.
Price:
– The app and the accompanying card reader are FREE.
– You can choose to deduct 2.75% from every card swipe or pay $275 per month for the services.

Google Wallet
Features:
– Allows you to store all your creadit debt card information on your phone or computer.
– You can then pay for purchases with your device instead of your cards.
– The information is also used to deliver promotional offers in-store or online.
Three star rating in the Google Play Store.
System Requirements: The app requires Android version 2.3.3 and up.
Price: Google Wallet is free.
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