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Mobile Apps for Small Business

Five Must-Have Mobile Apps for Small Business Efficiency

Innovative mobile apps are making small business owners more efficient and productive than ever.  Even better, most of the 1.4 million apps available are relatively inexpensive, if not free.  Since there are hundreds of apps worthy of your time, here are five that could help you be more efficient.

Streamline Team Communications: Slack

When you have multiple people collaborating on one project, the communication can happen through a variety of channels (instant messages, written notes, Google Docs, and phone calls – to name a few.)  And across these multiple tools, it’s easy for important information to get overlooked or deleted.  The mobile app Slack combines all of those team communication tools into one.  Slack will also sync with third-party services like Dropbox.  Teams are able to discuss projects across virtual channels like email and messaging, share pictures or files, social media, and URL’s.  Any conversations on Slack are open for all to see, so your team stays on the same page.  The best part about using Slack?  It’s free.  Yes, if you want a bigger package, that may cost you.  But the free option offers archiving of 10,000 past messages for any number of users and integration with five third-party services.

Research and Qualify Sales Leads: Infofree.com

All you have to do to access unlimited business profiles and credit reports is download Infofree.com’s free mobile app.  This tool is perfect for small business and sales professionals who want to research and qualify their sales leads.  Infofree.com’s business profiles supply information like the number of employees, how much annual revenue a business makes, and the names of its executives.  These free profiles also give users a list of nearby businesses and area competitors.  You will have your foot in the door before you walk into your prospect’s space.  Paying subscribers also have access to bonus features like accessing their sales leads and Infofree’s contact manager, CRM101.  The app can sync with your smartphones calendar, map application, and email.

Start Accepting Credit Cards: Square

You can now accept credit cards using your smartphone or iPad by using the Square credit card processing app and the Square Reader – a small scanning device that attaches to your smartphone or tablet’s audio jack.  Upon signing up for the service, you will receive the Square Reader for free.  With Square, you do not have to be in a set location, like your store, in order to accept payments.  This service helps small businesses avoid the costs of third-party processing services and merchant accounts.  If you use Square, the payments will be processed directly, making it a DIY approach to your business’s ability to accept credit cards. Payments can post to your business’s bank account as soon as the next day.  Square charges a flat monthly rate of $275 or a percentage of each purchase.

Keep Track of Your Notes: Evernote

If you keep a series of notes on your desktop and on your mobile device, but haven’t found something that seamlessly integrates them, check out the note-taking app Evernote.  This app unifies the spaces in which you work, read, and research.  It combines a filing cabinet, bookmarks, and a notebook, and organizes them with a series of tags and stacks.  You can organize it into a system that will work for you.  Evernote is a high-tech, efficient app from a company that is equally so.  Recently, they worked with Moleskine and created journals that are Evernote-compatible.  It enhances the note-taking experience, and gives you the ability to view your hand-written notes on your desktop, smartphone, or tablet.  Evernote provides the simplicity of a pen and paper, and the technology of a mobile app.

Let Social Media Enhance Your Customer Interaction: Foursquare

We live in a digital age where location-based mobile apps are an important part of customer experience.  In fact, a recent study showed that nearly 30% of consumers check out a small business on social media before deciding to pay them a visit.  Enter, Foursquare.  Foursquare give business owners the ability to claim their listing page and then personalize it with pictures, links, and accurate information.  If you’re wondering whether or not you have a page to claim, the answer is yes, as Foursquare allows visitors to create a page for your business.  Foursquare is a great tool for interacting with customers, and providing them with deals like weekly events, rewards for checking-in, and special offers.  You can also respond to comments and reviews.  The app offers analytics to help you learn more about your loyal customers.  Plus, it’s virtually free to promote your business, since you’ll only pay if someone clicks on your ad to view business information or visits your business.

Are there any mobile apps that have helped you run your business more efficiently?






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