The world has gone mobile, and so has business management. As a business owner, I am always on the go and I rely on my mobile devices not only to communicate with my team and our clients, but also to manage my business. I can’t be tied to a desk all day so finding tools to help me be productive while I’m out of the office is an important part of my success.
Here are my Top 10 Small Business Owner Mobile Apps*
*I’m an Android advocate. All of these apps work for Android.
Face it, business runs on Microsoft Office. Excel, Powerpoint, and Word are daily resources and you need to be able to open, view and edit documents while on the go. I still use QuickOffice but it’s no longer bundled for download so you can use the Google Docs, Sheets, Slides apps for the same resources if you don’t like OfficeSuite7.
There’s a great satisfaction of being able to open a spreadsheet and edit it to send back to the team that gives me the independence to unchain myself to the desk!
With documents flying back and forth, I like to have the “cloud” at my disposal. You may also use Dropbox (I do, for larger files and to send documents to clients for download) to keep your data in one place for everyone to have the same version. It seems like a lifetime ago I was worried about who had the latest version of a media plan!
Your business listing on Google is an important tool for customers to find you in search results. Use this app to manage your business listing, address and how you appear in search. You can also post and manage your Google+ Page (I know, but you have to have one). The app also gives you a quick insight into how many people are seeing you listing and if they took any action.
We, naturally, use adwords for clients with large paid search campaigns, but this “lite” version is great to update our map listing and to add in a quick search campaign to drive phone calls or visits. I tend to use this app when I’m at the airport and think to myself, “I should do a little paid search today” and it’s a very easy tool to use. I also like the interface to show the campaign results.
Needless to say, we need to know how people are viewing our site. This is a great tool to check in on site performance and engagement. Take the mystery out of who’s on your site and when while on the go. I will caution you to not obsess over daily visits…it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
If your business relies on Quickbooks, this tool is important to manage your finances and understand your profit and loss. If you’re anything like me the A/R Aging Report is a daily review to see who hasn’t paid their bills on time. Since I have it on my phone I can just drive right over and take a payment, kthanksbye!
Just about every business can use a good Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) tool. Large business and sales organizations run on SalesForce, but for the small business owner those tools are cost prohibitive. A good CRM helps you keep track of contacts, leads, where a pitch is in the funnel and manage your schedule. Keeping all of my business development and client management in one location is great for me across devices. If you are not using a CRM today, consider one like Upvise.
Microsoft RD (Remote Desktop)
Even though I rely on the cloud, there are some things I just need to access through my desktop back in the office. I’ve tried apps like Splashtop and GoToMyPC, but this tool is best for my needs to free me from my desk. I can use this app to access tools that may not render on my phone or tablet. This app has also freed me from traveling with a laptop. I can use my tablet and a bluetooth keyboard to do all my work while I’m supposed to be on vacation.
When I’m out of the office my team can reach me by chat much more easily than text or phone. We rely on this tool in the office to share links and folders as well as information much more easily than email. In addition to chat, the hangout can provide a robust video conference tool that comes in handy when we are spread out across multiple locations. Google has taken the video conference to a new level with the ability to share desktops between users and auto maximize the screen of the person talking. If you just need a video conferencing tool and are tired of me talking about Google, use Skype!
Broad Street Co. Media Proposal App
You didn’t think I was going to put this list together and not tell you about how you need Broad Street Co. close at hand, did you? We built a quick app to show a client just how easy it can be done and it’s available in the Google Play Store. Our app allows new clients and existing clients to shoot us a proposal request or media plan request right from their phone or table. It’s so easy to work with us, why aren’t you already?