By Xenios Thrasyvoulou Friday, 19 April 2013

Run a business from your mobile phone

You can now run your entire business from your smartphone or tablet. Here are the key tools you need to go mobile.

How many business meetings have you been to lately where someone hasn’t pulled out their smartphone or iPad to take notes or to look up information?

Thanks to the wonders of technology and the ever-developing cloud, small businesses are taking advantage of the power of mobile, and owners are being liberated from their desks. A recent PeoplePerHour poll found that a staggering 73% of business owners use apps to run their businesses on a daily basis.

The most obvious advantage is the freedom; having the ability to keep in touch with staff and clients from anywhere with an internet connection. If you think that your mobile or tablet isn’t meant as a business tool, think again. As they say, there’s an app for everything, including streamlining processes and operations. Business apps include the basics, like email and calendar management, to CRM tools, accounting, HR and even sales, which could mean a real difference to your bottom line.

The top ten apps for small business owners who want to run their firms on the go are:

Document editing

Google Drive: Google Drive is ubiquitous for a reason. You can store all of your business documents in the cloud, track changes and create new documents on the go - a no-brainer for small business owners.

Notes on the move

Evernote: This is a fantastic note-taking and bookmarking application that works with nearly every computer, phone or mobile device out there. You can capture your ‘eureka’ moments when you’re out and about and share between a number of users.

Cheap/free calls

Skype: What business couldn’t make great use of free calls? Especially if you have the need to make international calls on a regular basis. The quality of the call is also pretty good for VoIP.

Video conferencing

Webex: This clever app lets you attend and schedule meetings in HD video around the world saving potentially thousands of pounds on the cost of flights. You can also arrange and host webinars.

File storage

Box: This is a file storage solution that helps you store all of your information online so you can access and manage on the go. Easy access to all your important presentations and massive images wherever you are.


OR

The ever popular Dropbox is another file storage solution to allow you and your employees to access your company’s documents from your smartphone as well as tablet and desktop. The beauty of Dropbox is that it syncs across all of your devices too.

Accounts management

Quickbooks: Cloud accounting for business solution Quickbooks is used by over 1.3 million customers worldwide already. Your financial tasks can be accessed on the go and you can also create invoices and estimates for clients.

Kashflow: Rival software provider Kashflow also has an easy-to-use app for balancing the books and dealing with invoices on the go.

Customer support

Desk.com: A great customer support app that lets you see and engage with all of your customers in one place. It looks at channels such as email, Facebook and Twitter and you get the most important alerts real time.

Social media

HootSuite: Keep abreast of your social media accounts on the go, schedule tweets and share your company news. It’s also useful for keeping up to date with industry influencers you might happen to follow.

Xenios Thrasyvoulou is founder and CEO of online freelancer marketplace PeoplePerHour

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