CEO on the Go: 17 Tools You Need to Run Your Business From Your Phone

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

These 17 tools will enable a business owner to run their company from a smartphone.

In the short time they’ve been around, smartphones and tablets have transformed the way we do business.

Apps now cover virtually every business function from human resources to sales.

With the right selection of tools, an entrepreneur unexpectedly stuck in an airport can now see the real time status of any of project, host a meeting with their team, create a new marketing campaign, send out invoices, pay bills and access every document they might need.

It's truly an amazing time to be in business.

The challenge to accessing all this power is choosing a complete suite of tools to cover every function, so you don't find yourself in that airport realizing that you've missed one key element.

While there are hundreds of great mobile business apps and services available, listing them all would be less useful than listing none, and declaring that certain ones are the best, would simply invite argument.

Instead this is a list seventeen extremely high quality apps that cover the major functions of most businesses.

Related Article: 14 Apps That Help You Manage Your Business On the Go

Communications and Marketing

1. Buffer

If you have a presence on social media, using a tool like Buffer can help you manage posts to multiple streams (like FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn) from one place.

Buffer also gives you analytics so you can keep track of how your social media outreach is performing.

Price: free app and basic-level plan; individuals can also pay for an enhanced plan for $10 per month.

Business plans come in three tiers for $99, $199, or $399 per month.

Works with: iOS, Android and Windows Phone

2. MailChimp

MailChimp is an email campaign tool that lets you design and send campaigns.

The MailChimp app lets you manage your email campaign, add subscribers, view analytics, and send drafts of campaigns.

Reviewers were complaining about a buggy interface as of early 2016, but MailChimp has said it has fixed several bugs in its latest version.

MailChimp also offers Subscribe to let you store collected email addresses, and Snap to send a photo-based email to a list of subscribers.

Price: free app and basic plan; two paid plans give more customization and reach more subscribers, and go for $25 per month and $199 plus $25 per month.

Works with: iOS and Android 

3. RingCentral

RingCentral offers phone management systems, including texting and faxing.

With its mobile app, you can make VoIP calls over Wi-Fi, manage communications between different departments or locations, and send and receive faxes.

RingCentral is one of the more feature-rich services, and offers a high volume in its online fax plans. Reviewers have noted that the interface can be tricky, but that it makes searching through calls and texts easy.

Price: free app; three plan tiers cost $24.99 per month, per user; $34.99 per month, per user; and $44.99 per month, per user.

Works with: iOS and Android 

4. Traveling Mailbox

Physical mail is one of the biggest anchors preventing entrepreneurs from being completely mobile.

Traveling Mailbox solves this by providing you with a physical address (14 cities offered in 13 states) to use as your business mailing address, then scanning all incoming mail sent to that address and uploading the images to your private mail portal or your Evernote account.

You can then choose to have each piece opened and scanned, or shredded. The service also provides features like check depositing, mail forwarding and bulk document scanning.

Mail can be viewed through your Evernote app, but no Traveling Mailbox apps are up and running yet.

However, the company is developing an iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps.

Price: Three plans run $15 per month, $25 per month, or $55 per month 

5. Weebly

The Weebly app has won high praise for its interface, ease of use, and support. Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder, which makes it easier to use than more complex website tools like WordPress.

The app also uses a drag-and-drop builder that’s designed for a touchscreen, and lets you create and manage a website from your mobile device. If your website has an online store, you can also manage it from the app.

Price: free app and basic-level plan; three tiers come with more features for $8, $12, and $35 per month.

Works with: iOS and Android 

HR and Bookkeeping

6. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks has been making a big push lately for its online accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll products, and a subscription to QuickBooks Online comes with a free mobile app.

The app allows you to invoice clients, scan receipts, manage expenses and sales, and attach photos and notes to estimates and invoices.

Price: free (with subscription to QuickBooks Online). Subscriptions come in three tiers: $12.95 per month, $18.86 per month, and $39.95 per month.

Works with: iOS and Android

Management

7. Upwork

Upwork, formerly oDesk, connects employers with freelancers in categories from virtual assistants and sales and marketing experts to web developers and designers.

Freelancers and employers can connect for one-time jobs or for ongoing projects; Upwork takes a 10 percent commission. Upwork’s app is a messenger smartphone app that allows you to receive and reply to messages.

Price: free

Works with: iOS and Android

8. Doodle

Scheduling meetings can be a hassle, especially when attempting to do so leads to endless email chains.

Doodle’s mobile app takes some of the back-and-forth out of the process by allowing attendees to answer a poll on their availability.

It also works with Outlook, Google and Apple calendars.

Price: free app and basic-level plan; two tiered plans offer more features for $39 and $69 per month.

Works with: iOS and Android

Related Article: 7 Apps to Make Email Usage Safer, Better and More Powerful

9. Trello

Trello is a project management and productivity app that lets users keep track of projects and actions within projects down to a very detailed level using a series of boards and cards.

It’s collaborative, so you can see what others are saying and doing, and you can share notes with your team. The Android version of the Trello app allows sharing across Gmail, Google+ and text messaging.

Price: free app and basic-level plan; two tiered plans offer more features for $8.33 per user, per month and $20.83 per user, per month.

Works with: iOS and Android

Productivity

10. Dropbox

By saving all of your business documents inside Dropbox, all of your company files will be nearly instantly available on all of your devices.

Dropbox is also a great collaboartion tool, because it allows you to invite others to share individual files or entire folders- constantly synchronizing the files and even recording versions and identifying conflicting issues, if two people happen to work on a file a the same time. 

Dropbox has a free basic version, or two paid versions: $9.99 per user per month for individuals, and $15 per user, per month for teams. The app is free.

Price: free app and basic-level plan; two paid plans offer more storage for $9.99 per month and $15 per user, per month.

Works with: iOS, Android and Windows Phone

11. Evernote

Evernote lets you clip web pages and PDFs, chat with team members, and organize notes and files into categories.

You can also create agendas, track expenses, make lists, voice memos, and set reminders.

The mobile app lets you edit and create new notes, share and clip from your mobile device. Evernote’s Scannable app scans business cards, receipts, or documents and saves it.

Price: free app and basic-level plan; two paid plans offer more uploads and features for $24.99 per year and $49.99 per year.

Works with: iOS, Android and Windows Phone

12. Focus@will

If you’re working remotely and alone, you may need some help keeping upbeat and focused.

Focus@will is a music service that claims to have scientifically remastered music designed to enhance concentration and increase your attention span.

Price: Monthly subscription costs $11.83 per month or $8.33 per month with a one-year contract, $6.25 a month with a two year contract, or a one-time fee of $299.99 for unlimited access with no expiration.

Works with: iOS and Android

13. Google Docs and Sheets

Google’s collaborative tools let you create documents and spreadsheets in the cloud and share them with others. You can access and edit, or create new documents, with the mobile app.

Price: free

Works with: iOS and Android

14. LastPass

Don't make yourself vulnerable to hackers by repeating two or three passwords for all your accounts.

Create, save and access passwords for all your accounts using LastPass.

The LastPass apps also allow you to autofill login information directly inside mobile browsers on your smart device like Safari and Chrome.

Price: Mobile users will need the $12 per year Premium account that syncs across all your mobile devices

Works with: iOS, Android and Windows Phone

15. Skype

Skype allows you to have face-to-face meetings, and video calls can support up to 25 people.

Group chats can support up to 300 people. Skype was purchased by Microsoft, which is pushing this as a major part of their strategy to meet the needs of the small business community.

The app has wide availability, which makes it easy to connect with people on a range of devices (even TVs).

Price: free

Works with: iOS, Android and Windows Phone

16. TeamViewer

For those times when you absolutely need to access something that is only available on your desktop, TeamViewer will give you remote access directly from your phone or tablet.

Price: free

Works with: iOS, Android and Windows Phone

17. Wunderlist

There are a lot of to-do apps to choose from, but Wunderlist has won high praise for its simplicity, collaborative task management, and customization.

It’s also available on a huge range of devices and computers, including Windows phones (it’s owned by Microsoft), the Kindle Fire, iOS (including the iWatch) and Android devices, and Chromebook, Windows 7 and 8, and Mac OS X computers.

Price: Free (Wunderlsit Pro goes for $4.99 per month)

Works with: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Windows Phone

Related Article: 14 Tools to Track Key Performance Indicators for Your Business

 

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