Modern devices have advanced far beyond the computers of decades past. So much, in fact, that the smartphone in your pocket is just as powerful—if not more—than the desktop computers used by most offices in the ‘90s. If you wanted, you could run your entire business straight from your mobile. All you really need is the right combination of applications.
Excluding things like email and task management, which are critical to personal productivity but not as applicable to running your business as a whole, there are apps for nearly every aspect of operating a company.
Many clients (especially B2B) have a 30- to 90-day waiting period before they pay your invoice, so it’s a good idea to invoice them as fast as you can to avoid cash flow problems. But what if you’re on a business trip and won’t be back in the office for weeks? No problem! There are plenty of web-based accounting solutions that offer mobile invoicing services. If you already use an invoicing software program like QuickBooks, there are apps, such as Invoice ASAP, that integrate with QuickBooks for seamless bookkeeping.
It’s critical for product-based small businesses to properly manage inventory, especially since capital is tight and every single item on your first few runs needs to be accounted for. You don’t want to be caught short and unable to keep up with sales. At the same time, you don’t want to overstock and leave too much product on the shelves.
One of the best things about running a small business today is that you can work with talented people regardless of their location. Web-based project management and videoconferencing tools let you easily communicate with people all over the world. Mobile apps take this one step further, allowing you to connect while on the go, wherever you are.
Project management apps like Asana and Trello have mobile versions that let you manage team assignments in real-time, as well as give you updates on your projects’ progress. If you don’t want to miss important team meetings, apps like Skype and Speek let you connect via videoconferences, offering a perfect alternative for getting some face time with your team.
Small businesses are about more than just money, products, and projects, they’re also about people—your people. You want to make sure you’re taking care of your employees, whether that involves giving them the right work schedule or paying them on time.
Mobile scheduling apps like When I Work and Shift Planning help you manage flexible work schedules and even remind your team members to report in. This is great for retail positions or when your team is out in the field. You can even manage payroll on the go thanks to apps like PowerPay.
File and Document Management
A common challenge faced by offices with remote staff is file and document sharing. Traditionally, people would send items back and forth via email. This is okay most of the time, but it’s difficult to find the latest version of a file after a few sessions of email-go-round. Thankfully, it’s still possible for your team to securely access common files using their mobile or tablet devices, even without a central server.
Sites like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Zoho Docs have been around for a while, but they’re still among the top file and document management mobile apps thanks to their accessibility, usability, and security.
With apps like the ones mentioned above, it’s easier than ever to run portions of your business using a mobile device. And while you wouldn’t want to do this all the time (mobile isn’t yet a replacement for a laptop or a desktop), it means you don’t have to put your business on hold every time you go to a conference. You can still maintain the momentum that’s so critical for a small business’ success.
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