Running a small business certainly has its benefits. Taking an occasional long lunch or sneaking in a work out a little earlier or later than normal. Maybe even popping into a local boutique to pick up a gift for a friend.
You’ve done it.
But that level of occupational freedom often comes with the need to carry your business in your pocket.
Your smartphone and tablet are more than image posting, texting wonders thanks to the mobile digital app allowing us to bill, scan, create, or simply answer emails. Over the past two years, mobile digital app use has grown by roughly 50 percent. 75 percent of that growth is “directly attributable” to the mobile app.
Mobile has grown so fast that it’s now the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 62 percent of digital media time spent, and apps alone now representing the majority of digital media time at 54 percent,” ComScore adds.
Maybe sometime soon “workplace” will no longer mean the office, but it will simply mean the place you work. Can you really run your entire business on your smartphone or tablet? According to Sinan Eren, enterprise mobility expert and vice president of Avast Mobile Enterprise, “Yes, absolutely, you can do so.” “Actually, you can especially run a small, mid-size business with mobile apps much more effectively over legacy desktop software.”
Now if the thought of having to type on a tiny little keyboard all the time seems overwhelmingly depressing, take heart. Yuval Scarlat, chief executive and co-founder of Capriza, a computer software firm located near San Francisco, Cal., says small business owners can easily run their businesses from their mobile device, and growing businesses are the ideal candidates to go mobile-only. There are thousands of productivity apps available that can help you do everything from delegate tasks to employees, create invoices, pay bills, and keep you organized.
Knowing which small business apps are best for your smartphone and tablet is dependent on your business and your preferences. Since finding the right apps is like dating — you have to go through a few before you find a keeper. We’ve listed some of our favs to make the process easier:
Evernote allows users to effortlessly organize and sync notes from initial brainstorm to finished project between all your devices. You can organize your work and declutter your life. Collect everything and find it fast on your smartphone and tablet. Enhance your notes with links, checklists, tables, attachments, and audio recordings. Even search handwritten notes – all from this snappy app.
With Docusign you can sign documents anywhere from any smartphone or tablet. A simple, secure way to sign and collect signatures on contracts. No need to print, sign, and scan documents. Documents are encrypted and a complete audit trail is maintained. A couple of taps on your smartphone and tablet and you’re done. You’ll even help to save a few trees along the way.
Mobile life means meetings on the go. And when a picture is worth a thousand words there is no problem with Join.me. Join.me allows you to stay connected with audio conferencing, mobile white boards, and superior screen sharing on your smartphone and tablet. Host meetings and present documents all with a simple touch. Launch a project. Close a deal. Pitch a story.
Expensify makes creating and distributing expense reports easy. Track your time or mileage, capture receipts, and create expense reports easily and fast from your Expensify app. Automated workflows with next-day reimbursement. Expensify automates the entire receipt and expense management process and integrates with Quickbooks and others.
With Scanbot enjoy automatic capture with 200+ dpi, cropping, and sharing. Easily scan documents, QR Codes, barcodes, labels, whiteboards, business cards, and sketchbooks. Work with PDFs and send a fax. Scanbot supports all major cloud services and remembers your last folder. Upload the documents with a tap from the app on your smartphone or tablet.
Toggl’s time tracker is built for speed and ease of use. Toggl is the most popular cloud-based time tracking tool for accurate and transparent client billing, simple employee time management, and for increasing personal productivity. Find those lost hours and see how well you’re hitting project timelines and budgets all from your smartphone or tablet. Best yet … no more time sheets! For a full review and a great guide on how to use the app effectively, visit the Freelance Effect!
Square Register App gives you everything you need to accept payments any way your clients want to pay. Run your business on the go with the Square app. Keep track of sales and inventory in real time, manage employees, and send invoices. Take payments on your computer or sell products on an e-commerce site straight from your smartphone and tablet. No signal, no problem with the offline service.
Important calls coming in at inopportune moments? Remembering important details while on the go is no longer a nail biting matter with TapeACall. TapeACall makes it easy to record calls you’re already on, or calls you’re about to make. The recordings show up instantly when you’re done and are ready for you to share or save.
Go ahead, order up that second Coconutmilk Mocha Macchiato. With this arsenal of apps your office has gone mobile.