How often have you been in a meeting and seen someone pull out their smartphone or tablet and start making notes, sending emails or conducting online research? Probably a fair few. The technological advances offered by apps and cloud computing mean that the playing field is becoming more even. SMEs and entrepreneurs can interact with other businesses of any size, at a national or international level – but without the price tag incurred by major corporations. Mobiles offer the freedom to deal with whomever you want, whenever you want and from wherever you are.
But could you seriously run your entire business from a mobile device?
Running on the Run
The days in which the owner of an SME was tied to one computer at one desk in on office are over. Thanks to apps and cloud accounting software, businessmen can conduct virtually every aspect of commerce on the go. In addition, there’s no limit on sharing information or collaborating with colleagues. The 21st Century has an app for practically everything – available at a fraction of the price of its traditional software counterparts or, in many cases, entirely free. Let’s check out which apps are the must-have’s to keep your business running on a mobile device.
● Skype. One of the biggest bills facing any company is the dreaded phone bill – yet, without the facility to make honest-to-goodness vocal contact with people, many businesses would sink without a trace. Skype is one of the pioneers of VoIP technology and is constantly raising the bar in terms of call quality and customer services.
● DropBox. Cloud storage is becoming more and more popular, as the service dispenses with the need to pay for expensive servers or install complicated software. Cloud providers offer the lot, in one bundle. It integrates with your existing storage and offers instant back-up if your non-cloud storage goes belly up.
● QuickBooks. From Intuit, this is cloud accounting software at its best. Although designed with SMEs and entrepreneurs in mind, QuickBooks can grow with your business and is currently used by over 4,000,000 companies of varying sizes across the world. Your accounts can be managed on the go and you can even generate invoices and accurate estimates for clients, without being tied to one place.
● Desk.com. This is an app that allows you to identify and interact with all of your customers in one place and facilitate your customer support service, using all the social media sites you need to and giving you information in real time.
● Hootsuite. An important part of any business is marketing and this app allows you to keep broadcasting your presence and company news. Hootsuite will manage all of your social media accounts, giving you a virtual megaphone through which to keep people up to speed with whatever you’re doing. Social media marketing also gives you the opportunity to interact with people before they become customers. You can establish a good relationship without having to fall back on ‘hard sell’ techniques, which can turn people away.
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