This is a guest post by Julia on a few of the hottest mobile apps to keep your business chugging.
Please make her feel welcome and let us know if there’s a mobile app you absolutely could not live without in the comments.
Keep your start-up responsive, agile, and up-to-date
Mobile apps and cloud computing have made it a great time to be an entrepreneur: you can access information and resources that were once only available to larger companies, and with the right tools, smaller enterprises now have the upper hand in many industries.
Check out these tools to help your startup cut costs, improve client care, and make more money.
Square Card Reader (Android, iOS)
Given that nobody carries cash or checks anymore, the options for startups to handle in-person transactions have narrowed in the last few years.
Many small businesses have moved from clunky card readers to online services like PayPal, but the Square reader upped the ante by allowing online payments as well as in-person transactions via a card-reader that jacks into your smartphone.
Also check out PayPal Here, which has a slightly smaller transaction fee, and the ability to deposit checks by scanning them. (Cost: free)
Skype Mobile (Android, iOS)
If you employ telecommuters, use outside sales reps, or do a lot of international calling, Skype Mobile can save you a lot of money on your office phone bill.
Skype offers unlimited voice and video chat between users, so have your partners and employees download the app, and all your internal communications are free.
It’s also a good way to build trust and apply a personal touch with clients—people like to be able to see your face, and video chat is a good way to make a human connection. (Cost: free)
Start Up Checklist (Android, iOS)
If you’re just starting out, this app is a great way to walk yourself through the early stages, so you don’t miss any critical steps in establishing your business.
It’s especially intended for small businesses who want to bid for government jobs, but the information is solid for virtually any kind of infant small business. It has a clean, simple interface, and provides templates and forms to make each step easier.
It’s pricey for an app, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you want to make sure every “I” is dotted and every “t” is crossed. 10% of the proceeds go to micro-loans for small businesses in the developing world, so you also know your download is contributing a dollar to give another struggling entrepreneur a break. (Cost: $9.99)
Dragon Dictation (iOS)
One of the biggest challenges for smartphone users who want to get things done is the clunky, inaccurate virtual keyboard. If you want to create long-form text from your phone (for emails, web content, or even legal forms), the best option is to switch to dictation software.
Voice-recognition peaked a little too soon in the late 90s, so it has struggled to live down a reputation for being frustrating and comically inaccurate.
Today’s dictation software is surprisingly capable, and Dragon is the best free software on the market. You can find similar apps for Android, and more expensive professional options for either OS, but the functionality is not much different. (Cost: free)
Dropbox (Android, iOS)
The ability to access and edit your important files from any computer or mobile device is a huge agility boost for a small business—and if you need a lot of data storage, using the cloud allows you to keep your equipment costs low.
Dropbox is easily the best cloud storage provider on the market, and their mobile app is a great tool to keep your most important files accessible wherever you go.
Storing up to 2.5 GB is free, with competitive rates beyond that. Note: if your wireless Internet plan does not include unlimited data, you may want to shut off Dropbox when you’re not using it, as it syncs constantly between all your devices. (Cost: free)
Invoice2go (Android, iOS)
Invoice2go is a great tool to create professional invoices and estimates for your customers. You can select one of 20 templates, and the app will even configure currency and tax settings based on the country you’re in.
Especially for business-to-business transactions, professional, stylish invoices and purchase orders are a great way to generate trust and reputability for your brand. (Cost: $9.99)
Viola! Apps that rock. Do you have an app you adore? Let us know and if you found this post useful, I’d love it if you’d share it.