By Tony Armstrong
Any seasoned entrepreneur can tell you that running a small business requires the wearing of many different hats. Fortunately, there really is an app for just about everything, and this reality can help take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Here’s a look at five mobile and desktop apps that will make your entrepreneurial life a whole lot easier.
Clear is an easy-to-use task management app that helps users keep track of daily responsibilities. Think of it as a digital to-do list. Items on your list are easily manipulated: Pull down on your smartphone’s screen to add a new task, and simply swipe to the right to get rid of one that you’ve completed.
That’s right: no more sticky notes or frantic searches for a pen when you think of yet another chore that needs doing. iPhone users will have to pay $4.99 for Clear, while those using the app on their desktop will have to fork over $9.99. Because this app only works on the iOS and OS X operating systems, Android users might want to turn toward either Koalcat or AndroidFocus for two similarly helpful apps.
Regardless of the place or time of day, many small business owners are nonstop brainstormers. As such, you’ll want to be able to jot down a potentially brilliant idea as soon as it strikes you. Evernote helps entrepreneurs do just that, allowing users to sync these notes between their mobile and desktop devices. Better yet, Evernote’s basic version, which should suffice, is free. This app works on all phones, tablets and desktops. Microsoft OneNote and Simplenote are worthy alternatives.
With so much happening online these days, it’s essential for your company to have a strong web presence. Naturally, not every small business owner is a computer science major, which can make creating a website a frustrating endeavor.
Moonfruit, a free app that is best used on your desktop, helps users select a website design and layout, offering templates for every taste. The app, which is compatible with both PCs and Macs, also helps you integrate add-ons into your website, like video tools and Google Maps. Weebly, another web design app, offers many of the same services as Moonfruit.
Square is a matchbook-sized debit and credit card reader that attaches to iPads, iPhones and most Android phones. This app is essentially a portable register, making it especially convenient for business ownersoperating in tight spaces or selling their products on the road. Businesses using Square are charged 2.75% of every purchase made using this app.
Although that may seem somewhat steep, the convenience that Square offers is hard to match, especially if you operate a small business that only accepts cash. PayPal, and in 2015, Apple Pay are two other great ways to receive payments.
As your company grows, you’ll need to have the right tools on hand to collaborate effectively. Enter Quip, an app that allows colleagues to work on the same document at the same time, saving drafts and showing changes as soon as they’re made. Quip features an integrated messaging system, which means you can discuss whatever you’re working on without having to engage in time-consuming email exchanges. The app also lets you create shared folders and works offline—any changes users make offline will be updated as soon as they reconnect to the Internet.
Quip is free and works on all devices, desktops and operating systems. Google Drive, Dropbox and Polaris Office offer many of the same features as Quip.
Being a small business owner isn’t always easy. However, with the help of some of these apps, you’ll be able to start boosting your efficiency and productivity in no time.