The modern world is all about connectivity and sharing a message to move the masses. One of the fastest ways of doing this is through using apps via a mobile device. But what are the best apps for entrepreneurs for increasing productivity and connectivity?
Here are 10 essential mobile and web applications for entrepreneurs.
1. G Suite – Gmail, Drive, Docs and More
G Suit is a file storage and synchronization service created by Google that stores your files in the cloud for easy access for you and your team.
You can synchronize files across devices, making it quick and easy for a busy entrepreneur to create a proposal on their laptop, then access it mid-meeting from their phone.
G Suite encompasses Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, an office suite that permits collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, and more.
G Suite is an easy way to store and share documents that has instant editing and saving capabilities. This means that during a conference call, all parties are able to view and edit the same document live.
As well as editing documents, there are many files that can be saved to view/read only such as PDF, video, images and adobe files so your business can engage a Virtual Assistant who can read but not change any vital documents.
G Suite is free to a certain storage capacity with prices for greater storage very cheaply priced at $100 US a year for 1TB.
Dropbox is now the file sharing choice of most small businesses and entrepreneurs on the go, and has over 500 million users worldwide.
Dropbox is one of the most user-friendly apps on the market, and has won numerous awards and grown a rapid following after its release in 2009. If you were wondering why so many people are aching to develop their own start-up app, this one is worth around $300 million US!
It’s as simple as downloading Dropbox onto your desired computers or devices, creating a folder and synchronising to the Dropbox server. From there all computers and devices where you have personally uploaded Dropbox are synced and ready, as well as folders on other computers and devices where you have opted to share information.
You can use Dropbox for free, with an ability to store approximately 7GB worth of files on your account.
Dropbox Pro starts at USD $8.25 per user per month with enhanced sharing and 1 TB of space for storage.
With Dropbox Business at $12.50 per user per month you get unlimited file storage and maximum security.
When a file or folder is deleted, users can recover it within 30 days. For Dropbox Pro users, this recovery time can be extended to one year, and with Dropbox Business file recovery is unlimited.
Dropbox also offers a LAN sync feature, where, instead of receiving information and data from the Dropbox servers, computers on the local network can exchange files directly between each other, potentially significantly improving synchronization speeds.
If you want to maximise your free storage, try using the free Drive and DropBox storage, and linking them together with www.odrive.com to sync all your cloud storage.
Learning your admin is the heart of learning your business, we’d never suggest that you skip this process of building the foundation skill set that you need to develop to set your business in motion.
However, when trivial chores are stopping you from getting your real work done, or if your swamped and working your tail off with not enough hours in a day, then hire someone else to get the salad done fast and cheap so you can focus on the meat and potatoes.
Both freelancer and fiverr offer turnarounds in less than 24 hours with a base rate of USD $5.
Know what you want from the service before you get started, have your outcome in mind so you can easily match that to what’s on offer.
Do keep an eye on your inbox and junk mail. In most cases there are speed bumps in checking proofs at your end.
If you have improvements to add or comments to make or need to reply to a question, get it back to them as fast as possible so it doesn’t affect your overall wait time.
This is the app that helps you remember everything!
This one is all about being creative. Working in the Cloud assures that no matter where inspiration strikes, Evernote will be there. It does everything from to-do-lists, to image capture, to handwritten notes and documents. Once you create your note you are able to edit and share it across any device.
The Evernote Basic Plan is free and gives you 60 MB of new uploads per month that can be synced across two devices (i.e. laptop and phone).
With Evernote you can clip web pages and images, search for text inside images, and share or discuss notes with your team. By putting clipped notes into folders, you can sort your lists and articles into genre for easy reference.
If you need more space and devices the 1GB Plus Plan has limitless sync and can handle emails. It also has a handy offline accessibility for USD $35 a year. Or the Premium 10GB Plan comes with extras like the ability to create PDF’s, customer support, create and share presentations, and a business card scanner for USD $70 a year.
“Zoom” provides cloud-based video communications that are much more reliable than Skype and also have a more professional interface.
There is no membership or profile required for participants which makes it easy to load and run for those who don’t like accounts creating multiple accounts or logging in via social media. The host of the Zoom meeting is required to have an account.
The app is smart and, like most of these listed, always growing and adapting to the market and technology upgrades, with the staggering capacity to host a conference with up to 100 people. This makes it perfect for entrepreneurs wanting to host webinars.
The basic package is free and allows easy access with a personal Zoom ID, which is also your website link to send to guests. Guests click the link or enter your Zoom ID and they are taken straight to your video stream. As the host you have the option to turn video on or off, and to mute or unmute guests either before or during the meeting. You have unlimited one on one meetings with chat capacity and group meetings capped at 40 minutes for 3 to 50 people with the free option.
Zoom Pro is designed for small teams, and at $15US per month per host, it can host up to 50 participants with unlimited meeting durations and has recording capacity (not available on the basic package) to a capacity of 1GB of MP4 data.
Business (meaning medium sized businesses) is $20US a month per host and can include your company branding and custom emails.
Square is a credit card payment system that enables you to accept card payments directly to your bank account without needing to pay for expensive EFTPOS machines or merchant fees.
If you run a small business, market stall, or are a coach who meets with clients one-on-one, Square is the payment solution for you.
Square is a free app that helps millions of sellers run their business safely and securely from their mobile phone, and looks and feels professional to customers.
By using Square, you receive digital receipts, inventory, and sales reports including analytics and feedback. You can also generate an email receipt to be sent directly to your customer from the app, with your business details on the invoice.
The application software supports manually entering a customers credit card details or swiping the card through the Square Reader, a small plastic device that plugs into the audio jack of a supported smartphone or tablet and reads the magnetic stripe.
While the App is free you will need to purchase the Square swiper attachment if you want to utilise the magnetic swipe option. You can get it from most stationary retailers (ie Officeworks) for less than $20.00. If you are using an iPad, Square Register has a bonus interface design that looks like a traditional cash register. Why should payments be boring?
If you’re a start-up or entrepreneur, you’re going to be attending networking events and collecting business cards. The challenge then is to keep track of the contact details you collect, and find time to enter them into your database.
Camcard takes the hassle out of this process as it accurately captures business card information in 16 languages, then transfers contact details into your phone contacts.
It also enables you to create your own electronic business card to exchange with others phone to phone at conferences, meetings, seminars and networking events.
You can also save a card with any notes you like as well as reminders for follow ups or tasks, to help you remember where and when you met a new contact and what you discussed.
Each card has search tags enabling it to be quickly searched, retrieved and shared down the track. You can also stay in touch with your new contacts by setting notification alerts for when certain contacts join new companies, get promoted or there is major news about their company.
Camcard also has Cloud storage which gives you access to your contacts and instant web synchronisation on any device, anywhere.
Grammarly is a free writing correction tool that looks at more than just your spelling and grammar.
It proofreads, detects plagiarism, and gives suggestions on more than 250 grammatical rules.
While Microsoft Word is helpful, it’s not intelligent enough to dig deep into problems, especially with grammar, where it simply highlights a ‘disjointed sentence’ without giving suggestions for correction.
If something is spelt correctly but the word is wrong, it’s going to grab you the all clear, sea what I mean?
We all know how it feels to post on social media and instantly realise autocorrect has ‘helped’ you out.
It’s not so debilitating when you are posting to your friends, but in business, everything you send needs to be professional and reliable.
The solution is Grammarly. It will instantly show corrections on over 250 types of errors across multiple platforms including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, as well as on your blogs and across the entire Microsoft suite.
It will also give you background into your mistakes so you can learn as you go and improve your English and writing skills.
Use Canva to design presentations, social media graphics, business logos or your own advertising material, for free!
There are thousands of templates and images to choose from, or you can upload your own photos, illustrations or logos for full customisation.
Editing options and filters are also built in to further enhance images, and you can choose different template sizes for each social media platform or printing option so you make the perfect graphic every time.
You are free to mix and match in any capacity you like to create a quality image, complete with text with hundreds of fonts to choose from, to send a unique and powerful message to your target audience for no cost! The only limit is your imagination.
If it sounds too time-consuming for a busy business owner, think again. While creative types might spend longer designing on Canva than others, it still saves the time (and cost!) you’d have spent going back and forth between a graphic designer getting your image right. For a start-up looking to keep costs down, the templates are complete enough that you can knock together a design in five minutes. Getting started is quick too, everything you need to know about this site can be learnt in less than 30 seconds.
Parrot is a free voice recorder app which allows you to Record, Play and Share voice recordings. It boasts a user-friendly interface that will capture clear voice recordings in High Definition.
Parrot is great for interviews as it can be used as a Dictaphone. You can record yourself if you want to take notes quickly, if you are at a seminar or workshop you can record the speaker, and can set Parrot to automatically record a phone call.
To record a phone call, you will need to put the call on speaker phone and tell the other person they are being recorded.
The only downside to Parrot is that the recordings use a lot of storage space, so you will need to periodically delete them off your phone.
Parrot costs just under $3USD.
When you have a start-up or you’re in business for yourself, you will work harder than you ever did as an employee. Thanks to these 10 essential mobile and web applications for entrepreneurs you’re now able to work smarter.