The internet has transformed the way we live work and play in the last twenty years and the latest developments continue at a startling pace. For businesses, the online world is a great tool but for small businesses staying abreast of the changes can be a little dizzying! The app has made its appearance in the last few years and many apps are designed with the business world in mind. For small firms there a range of excellent tools to help you manage every aspect of the day to day running of your firm. In every case the small investment repays itself in time saving benefits, which are essential for the smallest firms.
Time saving apps
- IT infrastructure can be particularly challenging for small firms. The main problem is that many of the smallest firms are one man/woman operations. IT may not be your strong point and this can mean that simple tasks can be time consuming and frustrating. In most cases, the more time spent managing the IT systems, the less time you spend doing the actual work that brings in the cash. In terms of data back-up, if you’re still using a host of memory sticks then consider the services on offer from Mozy. Available in app form Mozy offers a data back-up and storage solution that means your files remain safe and secure whatever happens to your computer. Files are accessible from your computer, laptop and, of course, your mobile, making business continuity a realistic possibility for even the smallest firm.
- The next big headache for small firms usually comes in the form of accounting methods. The accounts don’t do themselves and even if you have an accountant, which you should, updating your accounts, producing invoices and managing money all takes up valuable time. Often this time is found when “normal” people are doing things like going to the gym, spending time with friends or family and generally relaxing. Quickbooks Online, from the leading small business accounting software provider Intuit, makes all of your accounting tasks simpler. Producing professional invoices and managing expenses and income has never been easier.
- It should be no surprise that Google offer a whole suite of apps for small business. The search engine provider is keen to support small firms and offers online document storage, with collaborative working features along with other useful tools including calendars and, of course, email. The advantage that many of the Google apps offer is that they are free. Some are better than others, and you do tend to get what you pay for. However, for the smallest firms and start-ups Google’s selection of apps is well worth a look to help familiarise yourself with the world of the app for business.
- Evernote is fairly self-explanatory; this is a note taking app with some seriously beneficial features. The app transforms your mobile into a note taking device, allows you to add audio memos, add web pages and just about everything you could need to memorise. One useful feature is the app’s ability to recognise writing – so you can take a snapshot of handwritten material and then use the text search function to find the record. When running your own firm it can be easy to get lost under piles of paperwork and overwhelmed with to-do lists; Evernote puts them firmly in their place!
Carlo Pandian is a business graduate at Birkbeck College (London) and writes about payroll software, business and start-ups covering everything from freeware apps to social media decks. Aside Cloud computing solutions ranging from online accounting and document storage make running a small business far easier. Thanks to the rapid advances in technology even the smallest business can access the biggest solutions.
This was a guest post for TheEmployable