The word ‘App’ is no longer only a reference to Temple Run or Angry Birds or even Facebook or Whatsapp for that matter. Sure, these apps have gathered a lot of attention because of the way they touch our lives but Google Play and the Apple app store are filled with numerous applications that not only entertain kids (or adults) or make it easier for people to be in touch but also make numerous aspects of running a business hassle free. A small business doesn’t have the funds to set up different departments like Human Resources, Customer Service, Marketing, Accounts and so on. Most of the times, there is just one person looking after the whole department. Technology is their only solace. Be it marketing your business online, or accounting for your expenses, or managing your contacts or even reaching out to your customers to solve any issue that they might have, there is an app for everything. Apart from the essential apps ones like a cloud app (be it Dropbox, Google Drive or Sky Drive) and LinkedIn, here is a list of a few must have apps for small businesses –
Whatever business you are in, networking cannot be limited to LinkedIn. You meet a lot of important people and the first thing that they do is give you their business/visiting card. You give them yours and then everyone goes about their work. Then, a week later, you are in that person’s city and you want to meet up that person with respect to a project that you have been working on. But, alas, you left his card in your office. It is here that CamCard comes into the picture. CamCard just needs you to take a picture of the person’s card and you are done. All the details mentioned in the card will be saved in your phone’s memory. This saves you from the trouble of preserving every card that you receive. Moreover, it’s a completely free app.
Unless you are a one-man business (which is not that rare these days); you need to take care of expenses made by your employees and co-workers. Now days, many startups take in unpaid interns who are only reimbursed the expenses that they incur in the course of their work activities. Hence, keeping track of employee expenses can be a huge pain. Expensify aims to simplify this process. Employees can easily upload their expense details on the app using scanned images, the approval process becomes simple and faster as approvals become a matter of seconds on the app and the accounting of the expenses is made easier too as this app helps you to export the expense details to your accounting package.
This app is especially for those brick and mortar businesses that are looking to create and establish their online presence. It helps these businesses market themselves online with a special focus on the local area in which they are situated. In a way, it just provides an extension to your offline business. This is becoming increasingly necessary for those brick and mortar stores that are looking to remain relevant in the ecommerce era by targeting the younger generation who need that Facebook page, that Twitter handle and that all-important website. Local Vox takes care of all this and more.
Needless to say, it is increasingly becoming clear that you don’t need to be physically present in order to have a face to face meeting. Big business deals take place over video-conferencing these days. Before you are ready to spend a fortune setting up a swanky video conferencing facility in your office, good old Skype is your buddy. Completely free, Skype lets you connect, call or video chat with anyone from across the world. A must have app for any small business.
How would you like it if you could track your sales in real time and manage your inventory with one single click on your iPad? Square Register does just that and more. It also acts as a Point of Sale (POS) that works on tablets and smart phones, thus making it easier for you to transact. Payment processing is available in US, Canada and Japan. It has lots of useful features such as, connecting a receipt printer or bar code scanner, recording complete or partial refunds and many more, making it a much needed app.
Howsoever small a business you may run, you cannot ignore the customer. Customer is king. But with a very small workforce, as is the norm in present times, it becomes difficult to keep the customer always happy. Freshdesk is a customer support software that is very easy to setup and can be really helpful in keeping track of various customer complaints and requests. Use Freshdesk and never forget to reply to that email, message or tweet and keep your customer always engaged. You can choose to start using it with a free trial and opt for a paid package later on.