With the right apps, intrepid entrepreneurs can conduct almost all their business from a smartphone or tablet. Start with these five amazing small business apps and see just how much work they will handle for you. Soon you’ll be directing everything from some remote coastal paradise like a true mogul.
Prizmo, by Creaceed ($49.99)
This handy app is a portable scanner that is compatible with your iPad or iPhone. It’s perfect for scanning business cards and entire documents, so you don’t lose the information even if you lose the original piece of paper.
The app is as simple to use as taking a photo. Just activate the app, hold your phone or tablet above whatever you’re scanning, and tap the scan button. The information will be instantly scanned and digitized in an editable and searchable format. Prizmo also allows you to scan and store multi-page documents, supports cropping and lets you export the scans to your main computer as PDF files.
Square, by Square (two different pricing plans)
One of the biggest problems small-and-mobile businesses encountered in the past was an inability to accept credit cards. If their customers didn’t have cash or a check, there was no way for them to take a payment. With Square, this is no longer a problem. In fact, this app enables you to accept credit cards directly on your phone, wherever you go.
You can sign up with Square for free. You simply download the Square app and link it to your existing bank account for money transfers. The company will then mail you a square card reader that is only an inch tall. Plug the reader into your iPhone, iPad or Android device and use it to swipe credit cards.
Square has two pricing plans for users. One charges you a simple monthly fee of $275, and the other plan charges you 2.75 percent per swipe. You choose the pricing plan that works best for your business. This is a great app for any small business to use to expand their customer base and allow for more freedom in accepting payments of all kinds, even on the go.
ReceiptMatch, by American Express (free)
ReceiptMatch is a simple app with big benefits. It organizes and stores receipts right from your iPhone, iPad or Android device. This is handy because, as any small business owner knows, receipts can quickly get out of hand when you’re trying to organize them in paper form. American Express makes this app available as an extra benefit for users of its small business credit cards.
How it works: Just snap a photo of the receipt as soon as you get it, and the app will keep an image of it. It will even match up all of your receipt photos to the proper transactions on your online bank account statement. You can even add notes to your receipts once they’re in the app. All of your receipts are stored in one place, making it easy to find what you need when you need it.
Appointment Plus, by StormSource, LLC ($39-$349 a month)
Marketed specifically to small businesses, Appointment Plus makes it simple to schedule, change and even cancel appointments directly from your iPhone, iPad or Android device. You use the app to store customer information, and the app will send out automated reminders to customers and clients. This two-way communication makes customer relations a lot smoother, as it helps avoid missed appointments, wasted time and misunderstandings between you and the people your business serves.
You can get a free 15-day trial of this app. After that, there are five monthly pricing plans ranging from $39 to $349 a month, depending on your business needs.
Zendesk, by Zendesk (free)
The app consolidates your communications with customers, including phone calls, email, website messages and social media communications. Compatible with all major mobile devices, this app takes the communications from each customer and puts it into a “ticket” form, which allows you or anyone on your team to respond to an individual customer’s needs right away without the hassle of searching through a mountain of communications to find the right piece of information.
Zendesk also allows you to store the history of each customer with your business, send customers automated responses to inquiries and even create forums for your different products or services where customers can interact with each other. It doesn’t get much easier than that when it comes to handling customer service in a small business environment.