Streamline Your Small Business with these 5 Mobile Apps
October is small business month and, with summer over and everyone back to school and work, it’s a great time to refocus and refine your business processes. While some of this requires some good old-fashioned elbow grease and attention to detail, there are a number of tools out there that can help you make things simpler and more efficient. Here are five of my favourite tools that any small business owner could benefit from:
Microsoft Office isn’t new but it’s certainly become more exciting in the past few years, thanks to the addition of mobile versions of many of its apps. To be honest, even I haven’t been using this software suite and its accompanying apps to its full potential in my business. For example, we recently replaced our shared file server with Microsoft’s SharePoint cloud solution, which allows us to store files on the cloud where we can access them from anywhere without the need for cumbersome VPN solutions. We can also easily share these files with clients and partners, just like we would using a service like Dropbox.
Microsoft offers SharePoint and most of its other Office software on mobile, so you can edit, manage, and share files easily using your mobile device.
If your business accepts Point of Sale payments, Square offers the simplest turnkey solution with its Square reader and app. The app allows you to send and track invoices, and text your customers their receipts. The app even offers tools to track and analyze sales data. Square offers its app and all of these powerful features at less than 3% per transaction.
Getting documents signed can be a real pain in the digital age. We’re all used to transmitting information digitally these days and asking a customer or partner to sign a document and send it back usually results in unnecessary delays while you either send paperwork or ask them to print it and send it back. To make this process more efficient, a number of solutions offering digital signatures have entered the market. The most popular and long-standing solution in this arena is DocuSign and there’s good reason. Offering a free 30-day trial, secure and reliable service and apps across desktop and mobile, I would encourage any small business dealing with cotnracts to give DocuSign a try.
I’ll be honest, when it comes to business, I really like communicating via email. It offers a digital trail of communication and a lot of flexibility when it comes to adding people to the conversation. That being said, managing my inbox has become a cumbersome and time-consuming task. To take the pressure off our inboxes, we implemented Slack as our internal communication platform at my company. Slack offers a digital trail of communication while allowing us to keep conversations organized and offering an experience similar to an instant messaging service like Skype. Better yet, Slack has mobile apps allowing you to stay up to speed on what’s happening right on your mobile, from anywhere. Slack and its accompanying mobile apps have really helped us streamline communication and I would recommend it to any small business.
Along with internal communication, expense reports have been an inefficient pain point in my business for many years. I probably don’t need to remind any small business owner how tedious tracking and submitting expenses can be, so I’ll cut to the chase: you can simplify this process with the help a mobile app like Expensify. This app offers a simple interface that allows business owners and their employees to scan and upload receipts and track mileage. While managing expenses with Expensify is simple, this solution is also surprisingly robust with features like direct deposit reimbursement and per diem functionality.