Paper trails and clunky excel spreadsheets are quickly becoming obsolete as businesses continue to recognize the value in using small business software and applications to manage your business.
For business owners that travel a lot or often work away from a central office, mobile apps can be a great option.
Here are five great small business mobile apps that can help you streamline your business operations.
1. Base CRM - The Best Mobile CRM Option for On-the-go Businesses
Image via getbase.com
Although not as sophisticated as some higher-powered CRM’s, Base CRM has some good features.
It is one of the best mobile CRM’s, making it a perfect option for business owners who travel a lot/work away from their main office. Also, Base CRM is one of the easier CRM systems to configure and use, which is nice.
One cool feature is that you can view a map that has all your contacts/customers on it, which is great when you are driving around and need to see where customers are. You can also create/manage contacts, create/manage sales pipelines, set up tasks and work flow automation, call/email contacts with one click right from your contact page, drag-and-drop email attachments, and more.
Base does have several downsides. First, it is pretty pricey for the features it provides. Second, it lacks some advanced CRM features such as in-depth reporting, project management tools, and invoicing. Those negatives aside, if you need an on-the-go CRM that has solid customer support, Base is a good option.
Related Article: 9 Most Effective Apps for Internal Communication
2. Grasshopper - Business VoIP Services on Your Mobile Device
$12 - $199/user/month
Grasshopper is essentially a business VoIP phone solution that does not use office phones. Instead, it uses your mobile device as its main hub, allowing you to make and receive calls using your business phone number from anywhere, all from your mobile phone.
Grasshopper has some solid features, including an auto-attendant/call routing system, call queuing, find me/follow me, call scheduling, conference calls, voicemail to email, and voicemail transcription.
Grasshopper has two main negatives. First, its call quality is reportedly hit-or-miss. Second, the monthly price does not include minutes, which are an additional charge. Also, the conference calling feature can get pricey, because if using Grasshopper’s system, each caller is charged for total minutes of the call x number of callers (5x total minutes if 5 callers are conferencing). But, if you do not use a lot of minutes per month but need a business phone routing/forwarding option so you can run things from your mobile device, Grasshopper could be a good option.
3. Square Register - Mobile POS/Credit Card Processing Solution Right on Your Phone
2.75% per swipe, 3.5% + $.50 per key-in (no monthly fees)
Image via Scrv.nr
Square has long been a major player(arguably number one) in the mobile credit card processing industry. Their Square Register App is great for businesses that need to accept payments on-the-go. There is no monthly fee, just a transaction fee of 2.75% for each swiped transaction.
Square even allows you to take payments offline, processing the payments once internet connection is restored (not ideal but it works if you are in a jam). Best of all, Square has a lot of other handy add-ons as well (Quickbooks, ShipStation, Xero, TaxJar, Stitchlabs, etc). You can track inventory, do email marketing, and integrate with lots of third-party app providers, all things that set Square apart in the industry. In the past,
Square has been associated with subpar customer service and freezing accounts, which are negatives. However, Square has been taking steps to address these issues and have received better reviews in the last several years.
Related Article: 3 Apps to Make Time Tracking More Fun
4. Expensify - The Mobile App for Everything Money
Image via Expensify
Tired of trying to find old business receipts and worn out trying to keep up with your business expenses? If so, Expensify may be just what you are looking for.
Expensify has a bunch of cool features. For one, you can scan-in business receipts right from your phone. They are then auto-categorized under the appropriate expense category. You can import bank accounts, reimburse in a variety of ways (Paypal, ACH, etc), track and bill time, work in offline mode, and much more. You can even manage individual trips, categorizing all expenses within a certain time frame under one heading, so you know exactly how much a business trip cost.
Expensify integrates with a lot of third-party apps as well, including Quickbooks, Xero, Salesforce, Oracle, and more. The main problem reviewers reported, was that the Smart-Scan feature to recognize receipts can be hit-or-miss, requiring manual categorization instead. But, most felt it was a minor problem and gave the app a good rating overall.
5. Evernote - Input, Share, and Discuss Notes From Your Mobile Phone
Free - $4.50/month
Ever had a brilliant idea and then forget what it was 30 minutes later? If so, you should give Evernote a try. Evernote is basically a note taking app that allows you to jot anything down, on any device, and then access it from any other device.
Jot something down on your phone and then access it later from your computer without a hitch. Take meeting notes on a laptop, and then look them over later on your mobile phone. You can comment on notes, share and discuss notes with other users, search through notes to find specific topics/discussions, turn notes into presentations (premium), scan and digitize business cards (premium), and more.
The main complaint of users, was that Evernote can be used for so much, that it has a pretty steep learning curve, at least to get to the point where you can use it to its full potential. But, if you are willing to put in the time up-front to learn it, it can be a great time-saver in the long run. Plus, you can do a lot with the free version, so why not try it out?