This month I’m celebrating my 15th Anniversary in business, don’t forget to sign up for your chance to win SmallBizLady’s 15 Days of Giveaways Contest.
Today is Part II of my 15 Things Series. Today we’ll discuss best apps for busy small business owners. As small business owners, we constantly have competing objectives and timelines that need re-prioritizing daily. Having the right tools can make a big difference. As you contemplate your daily business activities, I have put together a list of the 15 Best Apps for Busy Small Business Owners that can skyrocket your success:
- Dropbox: This free, cloud-based, file-storing service lets you bring your photos, docs and videos anywhere and share them easily with your laptop or mobile device. No more danger from the blue screen of death with this app. Move all your files to the cloud so you can access them from any device, anywhere. You can also interface with your team to share files, which provides great version control and cuts down on e-mail.
- GoBackup: For Android users this app is free in the Google Play store to backup up your smartphone. This backup and restore tool not only backs up your contacts, but your calendar, call log and text messages too. If you are running your business from your phone, this app is a lifesaver.
- Square: This on-the-go mobile-payment device plugs right into your smartphone to accept credit card payments. And you don’t need to set up a merchant account at your bank. Just order the card reader for free and set up an account. Square charges 2.75 percent per transaction, and funds deposit in your account the next day—with no transaction or amount limits.
- Doodle: Have you ever sent upwards of 4 emails to schedule a single meeting? Well, Doodle is a solution that will get rid of time intensive meeting planning. In 5 minutes or less you can propose a meeting time for one or several team members using a range of dates that they can vote on. The meeting planner can see everyone’s availability and select a time that has the most overlap.
- Basecamp: If you need tools for team collaboration, Basecamp has become the de facto program for entrepreneurial minded teams. Using the software you can create collaborative projects, assign to-do lists, and share documents all in one place. You don’t have to worry about forgetting an assignment because you’ll get a daily notification of what’s on your list. One of the best features is that organizations can also share selected projects with people outside of the company that are also Basecamp users. This means your freelancers and clients can be fully in the loop on how things are progressing.
- CloudOn: Unleash your productivity. The CloudOn workspace makes Microsoft Office® (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) files accessible on your Android tablet or smartphone, letting you edit documents with full functionality. If you are frequently scheduling lunches or coffee meetings, with CloudOn you can access spreadsheets and presentations from anywhere.
- Hootsuite: I wouldn’t be the social media ninja that I am today of it wasn’t for automation tools like Hootsuite. This program lets you plan your twitter posts in advance and then schedule the time when you want them to release. It works for other channels like Facebook as well. Using Hootsuite, you never have to feel overwhelmed with social media. Since most of your posts are scheduled in advance, you can focus on listening to conversations that are happening and chiming in to add value.
- MindNode: If you’re like most business owners, the ideas are always flowing. MindNode makes mind mapping easy. Mind maps are a visual representation of your ideas, starting with a central thought and growing related points or tasks from there. It gives you space to brainstorm and organize your thoughts so you can capture all of your ideas.
- 1Password: If you have ever forgotten a password you are going to appreciate this tool. 1Password offers you a system for managing multiple accounts with the same login details. You no longer have to remember several user names and passwords. My favorite part is that you can create a special password for team members. Let’s say you have a summer intern working with you that will need to access certain protected sites. You can create one password that works for all of them and easily change it when the internship is done. No hassle.
- Pocket is a storage App. When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket. Have you never been searching the web and find articles that you want to come back to? Well, pocket will help you do that.
- Free Wifi Finder: If you’re like me, you’re on the go a lot. I need to access my documents from anywhere I am. Free Wifi Finder helps business owners locate a connection at the moment when it’s crucial to respond to client, send an invoice or complete something you didn’t get to before you left the office.
- One Receipt offers digital storage for all your receipts for free. Using the App you can take pictures of receipts and file them by category so that they never see a shoe box again. If tax time has been an organizational nightmare in the past, this app will help end all that.
- Speek conference calling with no dial-ins, pins or downloads. You can fully conference in up-to 5 callers for free. Using this service, your business can host meetings from anywhere. It works really easy: You sign up for an account, choose a username that becomes your unique URL. For example: Speek.com/smallbizlady. Share the URL with meeting attendees, they click the link enter their phone number and join.
- FinanceIT is point of sale financing for small businesses. The program enables businesses to offer affordable monthly payments to their customers from any web enabled device. Their network of lending partners provides credit approvals and FinanceIT manages the process including loan origination, reporting, servicing and collections.
- Streak lets you track and manage customers straight from your inbox. The App makes it easy to see the process of your sales pipeline so that prospects never get trapped in your emails again. The best part is that your CRM moves from just being accessible on your desktop to becoming fully mobile.
Every year we resolve to make our lives a little bit better. The dilemma is how to execute past the first quarter excitement. These tools will help you get there.
What Apps do you use in your small business?
Don’t miss out on my SmallBizLady’s 15 Days of Giveaways Contest. Every business day from March 5 through March 25, we’re giving away a great prize worth $150 or more to help you in your small business. To participate, you must be a legal U.S. resident and signed up for my email list www.succeedasyourownboss.com/15daysofgiveaways Each day an email will be sent with the #15DaysofGIveaways link of the day. Between Noon-6pm ET you can post the link on Twitter or my Facebook Fan Page www.facebook.com/smallbizlady to qualify. One winner will be selected per day. Be sure to us the hashtag #15DaysofGIveaways. We have a ton of great prizes from sponsors including Sam’s Club, Google, Infusionsoft and The UPS Store, so stay tuned.