Roughly half of us use between 6 and 10 apps a week. And while we can probably list them all, the mystery of apps lies in their purpose. While they can be loosely grouped by function – utility, productivity, lifestyle and so on – is there more to the world of apps, particularly in the business context? And more importantly for all you entrepreneurs, are you using the best ones out there to empower yourself to succeed?
The arguments about apps get as heated as the discussions around Apple versus Android, and a lot of the time the use of an app comes down to personal preference. Having said that, there are a few great apps for entrepreneurs that might just help you make your phone more of a tool than a fancy toy.
So here they are – in no particular order: 6 apps every entrepreneur needs.
A lot of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs are a little scatter-brained. They are struck by inspiration at the strangest times, in the strangest places, and need an app that helps them jot down what happens when mental lightning strikes.
Evernote is that app. It allows users to jot down everything from notes and drawings, essentially empowering budding entrepreneurs to create notebooks wherever they are. Available across every major operating system for just about every device, you can’t go wrong with the convenience of this champion app.
Accounting is a stumbling point for a large number of self-starters, particularly in the small business space. Wave is an intuitive setup that connects you to your books via a mobile app, meaning you can take control of your books conveniently wherever you are – no accounting qualification needed.
While it will never take the place of your finance department this is an ideal choice for a business brain who doesn’t have the knowledge or time to get bogged down in the books: definitely worth considering for entrepreneurs with multiple operations running at the same time.
Remember when sending and receiving files meant you had to be in complete control of that old briefcase you lugged around with you? Or the painful time wasted waiting for massive emails that bounced back because they were just too big to send? Drop Box has destroyed both situations as it allows you to effortlessly transfer large files quickly and efficiently among your team. Plus, with version control you are always in the loop and sharing the latest version.
An absolute must regardless of the business you’re in.
Successful entrepreneurs know where they can afford to cut and where they need to hire help. TripIt is a great app that helps you plan all your travel plans and reservations – kind of like a personal assistant. The app emails you confirmation of your bookings and plans and reminds you where you need to be, but without the need to spend on an employee to do that job for you. Plus, because it’s digital, you always have the information at hand, meaning there’s no reason (or excuse) for missing that crucial meeting or an important flight.
A lapse in memory when you bump into a business acquaintance could have catastrophic consequences for your fledgling operation. Humin is designed to provide you context and background information about people so that they become more than just a name and number on your phone. By adding in small details, you are far more likely to remember who you met and when, which puts you on your “A” game when you bump into a potential investor at a conference.
Think you can remember everyone you network with? Let Humin do the hard work for you and make every moment matter.
Most people take the convenience and power of Skype for granted, but it is one of the most important business apps for entrepreneurs. Not only does it give you the power to videoconference from just about anywhere, it also connects your teams through IM functionality, which means fewer emails, phone calls, and general miscommunication.
Make sure that everyone in your operation connects with Skype and installs the app so that you have a reliable, affordable way to keep work conversations going in an intuitive way.
While the list of apps and tools to improve your business is pretty much endless, it’s important to consider options suited to your operation. Take the time to chat with your team and try different options out – in no time at all you will find a natural groove that suits your way of working.
About the Author
I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify