Apps for Your Small Business

Your office is in the weeds. The receptionist is sick. The bookkeeper's cell phone is busy. The employees want your immediate attention on all 12 projects, and it's only Monday.
Your hope for success sinks. You need better organization. You need new technology. Most of all, you need to save money to make your dream, your small business, work. The best solution is on your smart phone. But where should you begin? Check out the more than 100 billions apps sold in 2013. You want the right ones minus hours of navigation. Take a look at the best mobile apps for the small business.

1. Hyper Office

You love collaborations and you hire employees aligned with your creative vision, but projects are piling up, and your fragile time management is cracking. Plus, with so many assignments, it's impossible to check each worker's contributions or opinions.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Think of Hyper Office as the creative janitor. The shared office space program creates an ideal environment for collective projects and web conferences; even away from your desk. The powerful Online Project Management system syncs email lists, calendars, and tasks through the mobile browser. Web forms and surveys on all devices allow for easy employee feedback. The price -- ranging from $5 to $12 a user per month -- lowers the financial stress.

2. Ruby Receptionist

Your receptionist leaves for two weeks. Replacements are a hassle. Complaints of missed calls are frequent.

It's time to bring in Ruby.

The virtual receptionist's cheerful and professional demeanor makes each caller feel special. Plus, customers receive essential information, like descriptions of your services and office directions. The app also connects important calls wherever you are, allowing time away from the office. Client voicemails send as .wav files, giving you time to respond at your convenience. Ruby never takes a late lunch and is promptly at the desk, ready for the next ring. The price--$800 for premium services--is a fraction compared to on-site employees.

3. Pinpointe

You love marketing and your business degree from Washington State gives you an edge. You also realize marketing is moving toward the smart phone. But, social media is evolving daily, and you lack time and resources to fully integrate the advantages.

Pinpointe is your new media maven. Start the ad blitz by choosing from over 1,000 email marketing mobile templates. Harness social media with follow, share, and like buttons. Prospect's buying habits no longer need extensive team research. Pinpointe's "smart segment" combines behavioural information (where clients click on specific email campaigns) with demographic information. Prices vary according to company size.

Plus, no more expensive ad experts.

4. Mint

You are low on your accountant's extensive client list. Return phone calls are sluggish. Your balance sheets seem out of your control.

Mint revives your confidence in financial matters. The free app securely connects all your accounts and moves banking and credit transactions into specific categories. Easy to read charts and graphs give you a clear picture of where your money goes. Budget management, bill reminders, and financial goals are all organized and easy to read. Lose your phone? No problem. Log into your account from anywhere to deactivate your device.

5. Evernote

A great business idea hits you at lunch. You scribble the inspiration on a dirty napkin. Back at the office, the note disappears. Worse, the idea escapes you.

Evernote takes these crucial thoughts and stores them on the mobile. Presentations no longer need long hours of slide show prep. One click takes project notes and transforms them into a gorgeous screen-ready layout. Snap photos of receipts, business cards, and whiteboards and drop them into the Evernote research section. Organized meeting records are downloadable into any phone for employees to check. Trip itineraries are a cinch, giving you more time to focus on the client instead of finding your hotel.

Mobile apps elevate every day. They make lives easier. They are the receptionist, the bookkeeper, and even the project manager. No more lost receipts or inept travel agents. Now thank your phone. You are a happy and efficient small business owner.

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