New financial year, Networking, marketing, accounting, and researching… there’s an app for that. The blessing (and the curse) of the ‘smart’ age is you can run your business anywhere and at any time – and the benefits are particularly advantageous for small businesses.
If you’re anything like me, the start of a new financial year is always met with a handful of resolutions; promises I will become more organized, efficient and productive. The good news is there are hundreds of apps – some free and some for a small fee – designed to do just this.
Here are five incredibly useful apps you should consider downloading to your smartphone or tablet.
This productivity app keeps your projects, ideas and inspiration handy across all your digital devices. With Evernote, you can clip bits and pieces of information from the web, tag them for easy searching and alter them with pics, video and/or audio. You can also use Evernote for journaling, to-do lists, recipes, contacts and even storage for tweets or emails you want to keep handy. Basically, it helps you remember everything. Evernote’s free version lets users upload up to 60MB of data per month, with the business version costing $12 per user per month. Trial Evernote Business for free to get a feel for the administrative features, such as document sharing with employees.
Simply put, Wunderlist is a highly efficient to-do list. You can create an endless number of task lists and share them with whomever you want. Lists sync automatically so others can see which items have been completed. There are lots of good choices for list lovers, but Wunderlist stands out not only because the basic version is free, but it also works on so many different platforms. If you have more complex to-do needs, there’s also a higher-powered business app ($4.99 per user per month) that lets you delegate tasks to team members, break them down into subtasks, add notes, set deadlines and schedule reminders.
If your small business uses Gmail or Google Apps, Streak is a great CRM that integrates with both. Instead of organising customers by contact, Streak lets you keep track of where you are in your business relationship. For instance, perhaps you’re just beginning a pitch, or maybe you’re finalising a deal. You can view all emails associated with each client directly within Streak, and a newsfeed can keep everyone on your team updated. Streak’s basic service is free for up to five users, while premium versions range from $19-$119 a month per user.
How many times have you run across something interesting, but didn’t have the time to read it? Pocket lets you bookmark articles from around the web and save them for reading later: a clever way to make sure you stay on top of key trends without being constantly distracted. Pocket is simple to use and has a cool, built-in social network function for publicly sharing articles and finding recommendations. A handy feature is you don’t need an internet connection to view what you’ve saved – making it perfect for wherever you find yourself in your downtime. Pocket is free, but it does have an optional subscription model that tosses in premium features. Having said that, most users will be able to get by without spending a cent.
This point-of-sale app allows you to receive electronic payments with your smartphone or tablet. It’s small, stylish and wireless, making it perfect for pop-up markets, food trucks and events. Square now also accepts gift cards, compiles invoices, and accepts payments, even if the internet temporarily goes out. Your business will be charged 2.75 per cent of every swipe, regardless of the credit card. The fee is on the high side, but it doesn’t include hidden fees for minimum sales or rewards cards, so you can keep small-order customers happy. new financial year Consider Square if you’re just getting started in the mobile space and don’t know how often you’ll need to support credit card payments.