Now more than ever, small businesses and entrepreneurs need to be able to take their business on the go. Smart phones make it easy to do, but with the multitudes of applications out there, how do you know which ones are the best for your business? Here are just a five of the apps we think are pretty awesome for small business.
1. Square: This application plus a tiny card reader allow business owners to accept credit card payments using their mobile phone, iPad, or computer. I was first introduced to this device when I bought coffee from my friend Armando and since then, I have seen it used by more and more business owners. The device and application are free and the company charges a flat 2.75% fee for all card swipes. To find out how to get your Square, visit the website: https://squareup.com/.
2. Dropbox: Ever had a meeting and forgot your computer? With Dropbox, you can securely store files and access them on your mobile phone. You also can upload files directly from your phone. The company provides 2GB of memory free when you sign up. You no longer need to worry about carrying around a USB drive or your computer because all your files are easily accessible from any location. Learn more about Dropbox here:http://www.dropbox.com/.
3. Manta Business Search: Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve made a pretty killer app. With the Manta app, you can search for location and contact information on more than 24 million small businesses, so it’s easy to find customers, prospects and partners. You can even apply filters to your search results by revenue, number of employees, ownership, proximity and more. It’s currently only available for the iPhone, but an Android version is coming soon. For more information or to download the app, check out http://www.manta.com/iphone.
4. Social Applications: Any social media marketer will tell you how critical it is to have access to Facebook or Twitter on the go. Not only can you respond to messages and comments in a timely manner, but you also can post live-time updates from the various events and activities your company participates in. There are numerous applications out there to manage your social accounts, so make sure you read up on the benefits of each. Most of these apps are free, so test-run a few and see which you like best.
5. Google Apps: Google has a number of applications that make doing business on the go very simple. From Google Maps to gmail to Google Voice and Google sync there are many ways to use the slew of apps they provide. Most Google apps work best on Android devices, but they do have workarounds for the iPhone and other types of smart phones. To see what applications are available for your device, go to http://www.google.com/mobile/.
In addition to these applications, there are many more out there that small businesses love to use. We asked our Facebook fans to weigh in on this conversation. Some of our fan favorites are Go Payment, Chase mobile and Ebay.