A business has many touch points. And it requires time and expertise to effectively access those points. As described by Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks “An entrepreneur is someone who can define the business they want to create, see where it is going and do the work to get there.”
Manually handling all the business processes is quite exhausting as they consume a lot of mental and physical efforts. Fortunately, as a consequence of mobile revolution a good number of productivity enabler apps have come to the fore. While these apps do not guarantee success for your enterprise they simplify work by organizing and accelerating processes.
In current times people majorly rely on smartphones for their day to day activities. And therefore mobile apps have become a notable source of revenue for ecommerce companies. According to a study by Statista, there are 16, 00,000 apps available in google play and 15, 00,000 apps available in Apple App store as of July 2015. The most popular category among these apps is games followed by business apps.
Technometrica conducted a survey of small businesses that use mobile apps. 78% business owners believed that using mobile apps for business purposes saved them considerable time to be more competitive and concentrate on increasing revenues.
Let us walk through the different responsibilities of an entrepreneur and available apps to facilitate them.
All ventures begin from a small idea. And this stream of ideas should never stop flowing. From starting a venture to gathering funds, establishing infrastructure and outreaching clients – all phases require productive ideas. This especially applies to small and medium enterprises which are short of investment capital. Survival of such businesses is subject to creative budget friendly ideas.
#1. Pocket: It’s a versatile bookmarking app, previously known as Read It Later. It helps you manage an article list for later reading. It is integrated into over 500 applications and can save anything from a webpage to a video and allows you to access it from anywhere. Moreover a simple tap will save your content. It has two display formats, viz. the article view and the web view, the article view is ideal for reading textual content whereas the web view is similar to a browser.
#2. Evernote: Working professionals frequently need to save digital notes and access them. This is a cross-platform app that integrates with almost every popular app to save a variety of files. You can save your to-do lists, quotes, articles for future reference & other web snippets with time and date tags. In fact it allows you to save an entire webpage with all the contents. The cloud framework provides a data backup and synchronizes your data between different devices, so that you can leave something unfinished on one device and resume it on another.
#3. Oflow: Drained of creative ideas? The app absorbs your notes and activities to perceive your thoughts. This data is then shared with the developers to fetch relevant ideas. However it only shares usage data and no private information. It provides over 150 idea generation methods to pick ideas from things around you.
#4. WhackPack: The app features a deck of 64 cards. Every card manifests a concept with its explanation. You can select a card randomly, or allow the app to show card of the day and lastly you can mention your problem and the app displays 4 cards to answer the problem. Sounds like some Tarot card reading. But these colorful cards are a great way to generate fresh ideas.
Planning and Strategizing:
Providing a vision and direction to the company is the primary objective of an entrepreneur. It’s important to take care of all the stakeholders while setting goals and revenue assessment.
Apps that aid in Planning
#5. Workflow: A time management app that helps you prioritize and automate your tasks, so you can take up important ones and bypass others. This is particularly useful in routine activities, while you can use it to set reminders for all tasks, it is mainly effective in tasks that can be performed through the smartphone like booking a Uber cab through the app or download the pdf file from mail. You can create any task and assign it a position and execution method. It also works with iCloud Drives.
#6. Wrike: It’s an award winning project management and collaboration app. You can create tasks and assign owners and due date. It was named “Cool Vendor” in 2014 by Gartner Inc. It loads activity feeds, allows capturing and uploading pictures through your smartphone and aids many real time activities.
#7. Teamwork: It helps you manage and monitor projects, milestones, schedules and teams. You can store multiple projects, view their status and share files with the entire team or individuals. The interface is clean and intuitive which makes it easy-to-use for everyone.
Interdependencies exist between different stakeholders in an enterprises where teams need to share their work and statuses to function. Apps are a handy tool to mitigate communication hassles that can affect productivity. And for delivering good customer experience communication is an important aspect. Below are some sharing and networking apps for better collaboration.
#8. Humin: You can better manage your phone contacts like never before with this app. The app merges your phone, Facebook and LinkedIn contacts with calendar and registered email. The app also provides contact relationship tree as to how you are connected and also next probable meeting according to travel plans of people involved.
#9. Listen: This app allows you to custom configure a voice message as your ringback tone and a text message as an automated reply to other callers during an ongoing call.
#10. SugarCRM Mobile: With this app you can build good customer relationships by managing quick access to CRM information, accounts, leads and other sales modules. You can organize meetings, attach details to accounts, share references and most importantly do all of this anytime regardless of your location.
Business and finance go hand-in-hand. Financial planning begins before commencement of any venture and continues throughout the entire business cycle. This planning affects major business decisions like selection of projects (based on their operating costs) and marketing methods. Financial reports generated at the end of a year/quarter help in revenue assessment and future planning. Finance management is the most crucial aspect of businesses.
Finance Management Apps:
#11. You need a Budget App: This is a personal budgeting app that helps you set and manage budgets for a fixed period. It doesn’t integrate with financial institutions however, but it allows you to upload and save receipts and invoices for reference purposes. The inbuilt modules allow you to categorize your expenses. It provides a summary report of previous month to keep you updated about your account status.
#12. Moveo Expense Manager: You can manage your finances using a single app. It allows you to create and set budget milestones, pay all your bills and track your account status. You can schedule transactions and mark a recurring transaction for saving time. You can also set payment reminder notifications. And most importantly, it’s a secure platform to entrust your invaluable account details.
Payment Processing Apps
#13. Venmo: This is a payment processing app like PayPal where you can link your account and debit card details and process payments quickly at any time. You can also move funds from and to your bank account from Venmo. The service provides bank grade security wherein, you need to confirm your identity every time you login from a new device.
Smooth functioning of business is essential for organization’s health and this can happen only if the entrepreneurs visualize and foreplan risk management.
Risk management app
#14. Stars Enterprise: The company provides a comprehensive risk management platform and has now launched an enterprise app to access risk-management dashboards from mobile phones. The app allows offline viewing of reports, automatic emailing to contacts and updating project status. Risk is an unplanned event and therefore managing it requires access to information at all times.
#15. MetricStream: If you are an IT firm this is the right app for you. It provides a comprehensive risk identification, analysis and management for entire software development lifecycle. The risk management database contains a central library of documents for risk identification, impact assessment and standardized risk mitigating methods, an asset repository, risk score reports, heat maps and many other risk monitoring factors. The cloud based model provides a consistent support.
#16. Google Calendar: Although this app has no direct risk management module but it is advantageous in planning purposes which can evade many upcoming risks.
Get Market Updates:
Market is the ultimate reality. And for survival it’s important to be updated about existing practices. Knowledge of upcoming trends, customer expectations and competitor analysis is useful in improving processes and increasing profits.
A vibrant social presence acquaints you with industry news and customer expectations. Apart from social networking apps there are a few more to familiarize you with current trends.
#17. Dapamen: The image consulting firm’s main aim is to educate men on dressing etiquettes for different events. This is especially useful for sales executives who face clients often.
#18. Image Consultant Guide: Image consultancy is a very happening term these days with image consultants grabbing huge paychecks for their advice on appearance, behavior and communication by conducting trainings and seminars. When perceptions determine business outcomes such apps are a must have for client-facing businesses. This is a lifestyle app which provides advisory services according to your need.
Marketing Automation Apps
#19. Mailchimp: With a simple interface you can create and send ad campaigns, add and maintain subscriber lists and view reports. It allows you to configure multiple accounts simultaneously without confusing the system.
#20. Marketo Events: This app allows event organizers to check and update the attendees in the database simultaneously from multiple devices. You can automate marketing campaigns log in leads and view real-time reports.
Reviewing your work at the end of the day comprises an ideal work cycle. Performance monitoring is probably one thing entrepreneurs regularly do. While routine activities can’t be avoided, if they can be done using mobile phones, it is certainly a major time-saver.
Apps for Measuring Performance:
#21. Salesforce1: You can drive sales, manage leads, access sales metrics and CRM reports all on your smartphone. You can organize clients and order history and edit Office documents from the app itself. It also allows you to define and save custom actions. All of this helps close leads faster by eliminating processing gaps and speeding up collaboration.
Technology has filled our lives with comforts. It has reduced distances and connected people like never before. Businesses today can now reach out to faraway audiences regardless of their geographical location. Where internet has created a global forum, apps have assured uninterrupted access to it.