There are a number of different advantages that technology provides for small businesses. Besides making it easier than ever to communicate with customers, companies can now effectively manage their own accounts, track inventory, find qualified candidates for unusual positions and generate top-notch marketing materials – all from the comfort of their traditional offices.
However, another revolution that is set to sweep through the corporate world is being driven by mobile apps. These programs may not seem terrifically powerful, but the benefits they offer companies are tremendous. Consider the following software that is either free or very affordable and think of ways to integrate it with a small business' operating model.
One area that may not be in a small business owner's wheelhouse is finance. Keeping track of expenses and profits requires a bit of experience, which is why accountants and other planners are able to charge so much money. Mobile apps may not be able to finagle the financial system quite as well as a CPA might, but they can certainly help make the availability of funds a lot more transparent.
It is also important for small business owners to be able to access such information when on the go. Besides being responsible for the economic side of things, company leaders often have to run an organization's operations as well. Consequently, being able to access financial data on app such as Dimewise or Wesabe from one's car or while waiting for an appointment will free up more time and make a business more productive.
Companies aren't the only entities that need to track their finances – customers are often just as demanding of documentation. Bills, invoices and receipts need to be generated by any reputable business to assure customers that everything has been done properly, so mobile apps that make this possible are extremely useful. This is especially true for organizations that find staff members traveling offsite to complete transactions. Use programs such as FreshBooks or Harvest for maximum accountability and customer satisfaction.
Small business owners often need to use elegant solutions to make sure that all personnel are on the same page and drawing from the same pools of information. Phone calls and text messages can only communicate so much, so the best way to share data and media with a widely dispersed staff is through mobile apps designed for collaboration and communication.
Products such as CampFireNow and Zoho allow users to share presentations that can include hyperlinks, video, pictures and other formats that drive home points and illustrate tasks in detail. Additionally, for in-depth meetings while employees and coworkers are traveling, video chats are appropriate and can help to reduce misunderstandings.
Despite being savvy in the use of inbound marketing, social media branding and promotional products, small business owners may find that they have little to no time to engage in active marketing campaigns when they're busy and on the go. Consequently, all of the platforms through which advertising is conducted can usually be downloaded onto a mobile device so that companies can continue to engage with consumers even if they're busy attending to other matters. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, EBay and other traditional services that help to facilitate marketing are all available from most app stores and help to make small business owners walking promotional machines.