- Business and Employment»
- Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
6 Apps That Will Help You Run Your Business
Apps For Work Instead Of Fun
It's become a mobile-app world out there, and it's no different in business. When Blackberry was the predominant operating system of the business class, utilitarian business software was developed rapidly. The rise of Apple's iPhone shifted that paradigm, however, with fun and trendy apps becoming more important than utility software.
It appears as though mobile business software is on the rise yet again, though. Your employees might be playing Clash of Clans or Snapchatting to their paramour, but there are six types of apps that can really help you run a business.
Without naming specific apps, here are broad categories a business owner or entrepreneur should investigate.
Customer Facing Applications
This is perhaps the broadest category in the list, because it covers so much of the interaction a client or customer can have with a website. From the pop-up 'chat now' feature on websites to a direct line for mobile chat, the term 'Customer Facing' covers a wide swathe of software.
Customer facing apps are typically fast-paced, interactive forms of customer service. They are commonly designed to work through mobile operating systems both on the client and business side. Customer issues and potential sales can be addressed much faster, raising the level of productivity tremendously.
Cloud Based File Management
There's always a 'Carl' in every office - they lose things, they delete the wrong files; they're a disaster. Every office has a Carl. Maybe your Carl is not as bungling as the inept caricature, but bungling nonetheless. Cloud based file management apps can alleviate the 'Carl Factor.'
Having a Carl mitigation system is good enough already, however, most cloud apps come with additional file sharing and connectivity functions, as well. Your files are secured but also more accessible, making transferring documents much easier and more efficient.
Remote Video Monitoring
This one might appear out of place. Remote video monitoring is often thought of as some James Bond spy-software come to life. While it might be used in that sort of way, in the context of a business, it can be far more useful than most people realize.
Video monitoring in general can be a really useful way to check on buildings, obviously. Are the lights on? Is there someone in the office after hours who shouldn't be there? Being able to access security cameras from outside the building can be a strong deterrent for employees who may engage in any number of less than savory behaviors.
Utilizing an app of this sort probably does not spring to mind for business owners looking to make their lives a little easier, but it can have an extremely positive effect. Knowing your property is safe from harm after hours with a brief check will help many owners sleep a little more soundly at night.
Mobile Payment Apps
Mobile apps that allow instant payment are growing in popularity. Apple Pay might be the first and most notable mobile pay app, but it will not be the last. Phone companies are beginning to integrate this sort of mobile pay option into their operating systems, and this is clearly a trend that will see growth in the coming years.
With more and more business being conducted through mobile, this minor transition seems like a no-brainier. The question is not 'if' but rather 'when' a business owner should implement the necessary technology - software or hardware - to adequately facilitate this shift in consumer habits.
There has been real progress in the accounting/book-keeping software in the past few years. At least two separate apps offer the ability to scan receipts, with those receipts getting stored for easy access and accounting.
This technology is the sort of advancement that should excite a business owner. In many cases, book-keeping can be simplified to merely taking a photo on a phone, with the receipt being added into a digital record that is easily accessible. Apps in this class will drastically reduce the time taken doing menial or mundane work, giving business owners more free time to build their business or to relax.
I suppose every app could technically be considered a 'productivity app,' but these apps are purpose driven to boost the productivity of businesses. Often blending or integrating a few separate features from different categories on this list, these apps combine features like expense-tracking and digital file management to help keep everyone on the same page.
Some apps, like MailTracker, let you know if mail has been read, while Focus Lock locks out all distracting apps (like games or SnapChat) for a set time-range; 9am to 5pm, for example. This category includes things like digital time management apps and scheduling apps. This software group is designed to keep people engaged in their work, keeping their focus where it needs to be.
Wrapping It Up
This is obviously a small list of the groups of apps business owners should be look at to help them run their business. Some are obvious, like productivity apps, while the remote video monitoring is less obvious, though just as useful. Finding the right apps and downloading them is sure to make any business owners life much easier.