Being an entrepreneur and running your startup is a very demanding task that can become even more demanding as your business starts to grow. While it is unavoidable that business owners must wear many hats, it is fortunate that nowadays there are a myriad of apps available to make it easier to keep track of everything. In addition to making running your own business easier, implementing the right automation tools early on puts your business in a better position for rapid growth.
Here are eight applications that are great for entrepreneurs and early stage startups:
1. File Sharing: Google Drive
Google Drive is a free and easy-to-use file sharing tool. It enables users to save all important files in one place and access them through any electronic device. Google Drive also makes it very easy to share files with others whether they are gmail users or not.
2. Financial Planning: Mint.com
As an entrepreneur it is crucial to have a paper trail of your spending. Mint allows you to keep a digital trail. It is a free app that allows you to report expenses, create budgets, and start savings plans on the go through your mobile phone.
3. Document Signing: SignEasy
Printing, scannning, and re-sending a document is a waste of time for everyone, not just entrepreneurs. The SignEasy app streamlines this task by allowing users to sign and resend documents directly from their phones.
4. Office Administration: DaVinci Virtual
This service is a cost-effective solutions to hiring a receptionist or sales person. They have a team of customer service professionals that are available during business hours to answer and forward your calls. They also provide a physical mailing address with mail forwarding as well as meeting rooms and work spaces (depending on where you are located). It's like having an office without the high rental costs that typically come with a physical office.
5. Payment Processing: Venmo
Venmo is a free payment processing app that allows users to send payments from one person to another. The app is unique in that it connects with your contacts on various platforms, from phone contacts to Facebook, making it very simple to send money. Venmo does not put limitations on the dollar amount that can be transferred and has no transfer fees.
6. Accepting Payments: Square
Square register is the simplest way to accept card payments on the go. All you need is the square register (which they will email you for free) and your tablet or mobile phone. The app is free, though they do pocket a 2.75% fee on every transaction.
7. Bookmarking: Pocket
When you get those ideas on the go don't let them slip away, there's an app for that. Pocket is a phone-based bookmarking app that can save all types of content from an article you're reading in Huffington Post to a memo you've written to yourself.
8. Time Management: Workflow
Effectively managing your time is a factor that can make or break your business. The Workflow app allows you to customize your phone so that it executes specified tasks for you. This can be as simple as creating a button to phone a cab or any other activity you do on a regular basis.
Have a business task that seems like it could be automated in full or in part? Do some research and see if there is an app available to help you. If you don't find anything, build it yourself and chances are other businesses will have a demand for it as well!