Sunday, May 26, 2013
Whether you are opening a new mall kiosk, acupuncture clinic or online storefront, there are a number of common denominators that all start-ups face. One of the most common phenomenons among these businesses is a lack of steady revenues and profits; starting a new business often requires investment coupled with debt in order to be successful. Seeing as how this is the case, it makes sense to save money as often as possible in the beginning, and there are a variety of mobile apps that are giving start-ups the flexibility to do so. Below, we'll outline four must have apps for new businesses as they seek to grow their clout and efficiency in both the virtual and real worlds.
Having access to a cloud-based computing system isn't something everyone thinks they can afford, but with Evernote, access to files, documents and any other essential materials is just a few taps away. You'll be able to store business cards, organize notes into folders and groups and keep track of to-do lists and spreadsheets; while also being able to access all of this from any approved device such as a desktop, smart-phone or tablet. Sharing documents directly with social media profiles is also supported. Evernote is a free application with broad appeal, making it available on iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry operating systems.
Being able to accept payments on the go is a vital component of many small businesses. With costly merchant accounts, even brick and mortar establishments sometimes feel the burden of excessive fees and monthly charges. With Square, though, you are able to accept credit and debit payments directly from your mobile phone – they even send you a free card reader. Simply load up the Square app and you're ready to begin. The app charges 2.75% per transaction, and can even be used without a card reader (manual entry is 3.75%). Square can be found on both Android and iOS devices and is free to download.
Keeping track of expenses and other bills used to involve complicated software and lots of record-keeping, but ProOnGo allows its users to document their expenses in real time, while also allowing businesses to keep up with mileage and time. Receipts can be uploaded using the camera on your smart-phone, and bank account transactions can be viewed directly from the app when authorization is provided. This app is free for iOS and Android and comes with a 30-day free trial, after which the cost of the service starts at $6/month per user.
Any start-up needs to be prepared for the inevitable digital problem of data loss. CrashPlan allows you to back up any and all data associated with your business on a regular basis, helping to avoid massive losses of information and productivity. The app comes with a 30-day free trial but is a subscription service ($2 per month for < 10 GB). The app can be used for up to 10 devices, giving each and every one of them access to vital data preservation and syncing solutions.
Today's guest author, Jenny Wadlow, is a marketing executive for a leading firm for eCommerce in Melbourne. She is a tech enthusiast and regularly reads various tech blogs