Top 10 apps for small businesses

The mushrooming popularity of hand-held devices has provided plenty of gimmicky games for consumers but it has also thrown up a selection of worthwhile options for small businesses.

 

From Apple to Android, we look at the top 10 apps currently available for your company.

 

LogMeIn

Forgetting to download a presentation or leaving a crucial email on your work email account after you’ve left the office for a meeting used to provoke a flurry of cursing from business owners.

 

Fortunately, an Apple app called LogMeIn is on hand to remedy these woes. The app allows you to remotely access one or more of your computers, from anywhere. Having all your files and contacts on your mobile device also saves you from hauling your laptop everywhere you go. At $36.99, it isn’t cheap, but it could save you plenty of frustration.

 

Jobs

Jobs is an app that is designed for sole traders and independent contractors in mind. It enables users to search for work opportunities, plugging them into a wealth of freelance opportunities.

 

The app also allows you to set your own rate so you can benchmark your pay against the rest of your industry.

 

Locale

Earnest conversations about supplier contracts should never be interrupted by a ringtone blaring ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyonce. To avoid such a regrettable situation, an Android-based app, Locale, can automatically put your phone in silent mode when you’re in the office or other key locations.

 

Locale, which adjusts your phone settings depending on where you are, could prove the end of the all-too-common embarrassed fumble for a ringing mobile.

 

Salesforce Mobile

Generating sales in the early stages of a start-up is fundamental to its survival. However, new entrepreneurs often get tied to their desks on other tasks rather than drumming up business.

 

The Salesforce Mobile app allows you access and update your sales information on the go, rather than have to pour over data in the office. It also provides the ability to log and chase new leads and fresh account activity.

 

iTimeSheet

iTimeSheet keeps a track of your valuable working hours, allowing you to maximise your productivity. The app allows you to create activity reports, bill clients and analyse the time spent on certain tasks. Apps such as iTimeSheet won’t completely cut the long hours involved in starting up a business but they can provide them with a much-needed trim.

 

ServerUp

For the growing band of online start-ups, a crashing server is equivalent to a small fire in a bricks and mortar store. Server downtime can cost you money, as well as brand awareness.

 

You may be unaware of outages if you’re away from your main computer but that’s where an app called ServerUp comes in. The app keeps tabs on your server performance, as well as allowing you to enable and disable specific hosts.

 

GoodReader

GoodReader is widely considered the best PDF reader for the iPhone but the latest version for the iPad promises to be even better.

 

The app enables you to view a host of files, including PDF, Word and Excel, as well as downloading files from a URL or web server. It even unzips files and can connect to Google Docs.

 

Meebo

Recent research found that just 17% of Australians have any kind of digital strategy. If you are a smart start-up, you will be in the minority and have a social media framework that pro-actively supports and promotes your business.

 

Meebo allows you to get a handle on all of your social media activity by bringing together platforms including Facebook, Google Talk and MSN. You can log into the accounts simultaneously and save all of your chats to a Meebo account.

 

1Password

Your password security should be a little more robust than choosing 12345 for every log-in, but remembering a wide range of passwords can be problematic.

 

1Password is an app that securely stores all your information, such as credit card numbers and website passwords, in one place. You can then access everything without scouring your memory for an obscure password.

 

Bump

Handing over business cards is a well-known, if little staid, part of corporate culture. Bump is an app that allows you to share details in a far more fun way – by tapping your phone to the person you’ve just met. With this kind of hip technological high-five, you can almost believe that you’ve just conducted business with a record producer in LA rather than a wholesaler in rural NSW. Almost.

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