The Best Apps for Your Home Business

Running a home business can be fantastic. It’s a great way to do something for yourself and to follow your dreams. It’s an opportunity to work for yourself, without having to follow the rules or do as you are told. It also gives you the chance to earn money for yourself, without discrimination or glass ceilings. Home businesses are growing in popularity as more people are taking the risk and going it alone.

But, it’s not easy. When you run a business out of your house, you are likely to face many challenges and problems which you must overcome, facing head-on if you want to make your business a success.

Fortunately, in 2019 there are countless tools to help you. While you may not have the resources and finances that bigger businesses have, as they use business applications so often that they eventually need applications rationalization to help weed out legacy applications and reduce the costs. You will find that help is at hand. Small business loans and grants are often available. Digital marketing is an excellent tool when it comes to saving money while growing your business, and then there are apps. Nowadays most of us have countless apps on our phones. They help us with most elements of our life, as well as providing entertainment. So it should come as no surprise that there are also apps to help you run your business. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Image Source – https://pixabay.com/photos/iphone-smartphone-apps-apple-inc-410311/

QuickBooks

If you are new to the business world, one of your primary challenges might be looking after your accounts. Many small business owners and sole traders find themselves in a panic as tax return season comes around as they have no idea how much money they have made, or what they can claim as a tax-deductible expense.

QuickBooks can be an extremely useful tool if you’ve got little experience in accounting. Even if you know what you are doing, using an app to manage your invoices and receipts can make your life a lot easier and save you a great deal of time. It could even save you money.

QuickBooks is one of many accounting apps on the market, but it’s often thought of as the easiest to use. You can use QuickBooks to keep records of your sales and expenses, track invoices, to pay your staff and to calculate your income. Other finance apps you may find useful include Wave, Gusto and Freshbooks.

Trello

Another big problem that home businesses face is productivity. When you are working at home, surrounded by distractions, it can be hard to organise and manage your time. Apps like Trello can be a massive help.

Use Trello to organise your days and manage your time. Create a Trello board for each project and add comments, pictures, attachments, to-do lists and deadlines to help yourself stay on track. If you often collaborate or have a team working with you, you can use Trello to assign tasks and get updates on progress. If you prefer to keep things simple, to-do list apps and even Google Calendars can be a big help.

Evernote

If you work from home, chances are you don’t always work from home. You might work at the library or in coffee shops. You might even try to get work done while you are sat in your car waiting for an appointment or meeting. This can be hard if all you have got in your phone.

Evernote can make things much easier. You’ll be able to work on your phone or tablet on the go, and anything that you do will be synced between your devices and your desktop back home. Evernote can give you a great way to maximise your time and get the most done, without worrying about losing work.

PayPal

As a small business, you might regularly work with other small companies and influencers. This often means that PayPal is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to make and receive payments. Having the PayPal app on your phone means that you can send invoices, receive payments and transfer money on the go. It also allows you to look at your income and save receipts.

BoxMeUp

If your business is in sales, and you sell products out of your house, BoxMeUp can be a huge help. The app helps you to organise and track your packages. You can even use it to print labels and scan them into your phone to help with tracking and communicating with your customer.

Why Your Small Business Needs a Lawyer

When you start a business, hiring a lawyer probably isn’t the first thing on your mind. You might think that you can handle everything yourself, and there won’t be a need to get a lawyer involved in anything until your business has reached a certain size. But there’s no business too small for hiring a lawyer. You don’t necessarily need one on your staff, but it can be useful to have someone in your contacts or even pay a retainer to someone you might need regularly. Before you dismiss the idea completely, consider these key reasons for having an attorney on your side.

Protect Your Business

You might not like the sound of it, but your business could be sued at any time and for any reason. If you do get sued, you can, of course, begin the search for an attorney. But by then, the damage could already be done. It could affect your reputation and your finances. While you can’t completely prevent people suing you, you can take steps to lower the chances of it happening. A lawyer can give you the advice you need to keep your business safe and avoid any serious problems.

Make Contracts Watertight

Getting contracts right is essential in business. You need contracts that protect you, but your clients, suppliers or anyone else you work with also wants to make sure that the contract benefits them. A contract lawyer specializes in making sure all of the contracts that you deal with are up to scratch. They will learn to understand your business and how it operates. Your attorney can prepare standard contracts for you to use with clients and suppliers, as well as help you to check over contracts that other people send to you. It’s worth having someone to deal with your paperwork for you.

Image from Pixabay

Have Access to Important Connections

Working with a business lawyer can be a great way to make sure useful connections. Firstly, you have your lawyer on hand if you need advice or help. You can also ask them to refer you to other legal professionals if there’s something that they’re not best placed to do. You could even make some useful connections in the business or political worlds. Any legal professionals like Mike Crapo move into politics. Your attorney could have valuable connections like these that can help you out if you need a favor or for various other reasons.

Safely Grow Your Business

As you grow your business, you can find yourself dealing with a lot of legal issues, from intellectual property to buying real estate. Every new issue that you need to deal with might require help from a legal professional, especially if you want to avoid any serious problems. It’s important to remember, however, that you might need a different attorney for different matters. Some might specialize in contracts, but others are more familiar with real estate or patents.

Keep your business on the straight and narrow by having an attorney in your contacts. You should be able to protect your business, no matter how big it is.

How Can My Small Business Achieve a Significant Online Presence?

The internet has changed our lives dramatically over the last couple of decades. It has changed our behaviour as consumers (meaning that businesses have to keep up) and one way they can go about doing so is being visible online. One thing small businesses struggle with is competing with more established companies, as an entrepreneur you need to show people that you’re reliable and trustworthy- and that they will have a good experience shopping with you. One way you can go about this is by having a good online presence; when a customer types your business into a search engine, they need to be able to see that you’re very much present and that everything is being run correctly. Here’s how you can go about it.

Get Your Website Right

When you’re a small business without much money to start off with, it’s tempting to want to cut costs on things like web design and have a go yourself. But while you may be able to knock up something that looks ok, it’s always going to lack that professional edge. If you want to make a good impression on customers and clients, you absolutely need to invest in a decent website. It needs to look good, be properly laid out and free of clutter and spam. It should be fast to load and free of errors. A web designer will be able to create something custom to you, so do some research and look through a few designers portfolios. Your website represents your business online, something that looks tacky will do nothing but put people off- after all, if your website is poor its easy to assume that the rest of your business is run the same way. We’re all guilty of thinking this way, how many times have you clicked off a website because it looked a little DIY or it was slow to load? It’s not something that would make you want to part with your money.

Have an App Created

Lots of smaller businesses still aren’t reaping the benefits of what an app can do for their business, meaning rightnow you have the chance to get ahead. Research how much does it cost to make an app and work this into your budget, it’s an investment that could mean big returns for your business. An app makes you look smart and professional, and for now it puts you ahead of your competition.

Get Social

Social media is one of the biggest things to come out of the internet in recent years. It’s something that business owners have been able to take advantage of, as it allows you to get closer to your customers and to communicate with them in a more informal way. You can quickly answer queries and questions, you can share positive comments, reviews and customer photos of your business. You can share marketing materials to your followers including sales, deals and discounts and you can run giveaways and competitions (which will increase your following further). Having a good following and being responsive on social media is a great way to improve your online presence.

Ask Customers For Reviews

Reviews really can make or break your business. When you’re thinking of shopping with a new company but are a little unsure, what’s the first thing you do? Chances are it’s go online and check the reviews. If you were already on the fence, a few bad reviews are going to sway you and lead you to go and shop somewhere else. Great reviews on the other hand will give you confidence, if most others have had a good experience then it shows that you probably will too. As a business owner, you should be investing time into building up your reviews. Ensure you’re putting out a quality service every time, and if there are any problems they should be dealt with quickly and professionally. You need to come to some kind of agreement where your customer is left happy, this will prevent them from leaving you a bad review. You can’t provide any compensation for positive reviews, but you can politely ask and if people have had a good experience with you then chances are they’ll be happy to leave you one. As well as adding a review tab to your Facebook business page, ask people to review you on a third party site like Trustpilot. These reviews are well respected as you have to sign up and verify your identity to post and so you know that anything posted is truthful- not just a company writing their own positive reviews! Another way you can get impartial reviews is by working with bloggers, if you send them out a free product for example they will review it fairly- of course if your product and business is good then it will be a good review. Having lots of reviews online when customers search increases your online presence and can sway anyone who’s a little unsure into making an order.

 

 

 

Apps All Business Owners Should Consider Using

In this day and age everybody is using their phones or tablets to make their lives easier. Whether it’s sending a quick email on the way to work or simply keeping up with family members on Facebook, apps make it easier than ever to complete everyday tasks. The business world is actually greatly affected by apps these days too, and no matter what kind of industry you’re in, you can find the perfect app to help you run your business more smoothly. Take a look at these apps that all business owners should consider using and see if there’s any that could benefit your business!

Crowdfire

Anyone who is anyone is using social media as a way of promoting their business – and for good reason too. Social media can quickly and efficiently grow your business. The more followers and interaction that you gain from social media = better business. Crowdfire is an app that allows you to schedule posts to your social media accounts, saving you time and allowing you to get on with other tasks. The app can also help you grow your following too, so it’s definitely worth investing in the premium version of the app.

Greasebook

If you’re running a business that requires you to be in contact with drivers carrying highly sought after loads like gas and oil, it’s essential to be able to keep in contact with them at all times. Greasebook.com allows you to do exactly that, all while tracking tank levels and submitting gauge sheets. The perfect way of keeping in touch with your drivers and running your business as smoothly as possible.

Accompany

Accompany is an essential app for those that have to attend a plethora of business meetings. The app will send you a detailed email before your meetings entailing the subjects and other important information. The app works by using your microsoft and gmail accounts, as well as your social media accounts too so that it can pull up information about your contacts and prepare you for up and coming meetings.

Toggl

Ever find yourself losing track of time and spending too much time on one particular task? Hate keeping track of all of those timesheets and worrying about one becoming lost? Well, with Toggl you no longer have to worry about this! Track your time worked and also use it as a time management tool so that all tasks are completed!

Gusto

Finally, Gusto is a must-have app for any entrepreneur. Nobody likes bookkeeping and now you can access an app to help those boring and mind boggling financial tasks a breeze!

What apps can you use for your business? Are there any that you’d recommend for entrepreneurs looking to make their lives easier? Let us know below!

 

SmartPhone Evolution: Apps to Enhance Marketing Productivity

Marketing doesn’t always happen at your desktop. In fact, marketers are more mobile than ever before, and they need to stay productive while on the go.  Apps for superior marketing productivity can:

  • Make communicating simpler
  • Boost collaborative efforts.
  • Maximize your time.
  • Automate your workflow.

If you’re not taking advantage of apps that can help your marketing workflows, you may be wasting opportunities for growth.  Here are 6 mobile apps to enhance your marketing productivity.

1. Slack

Slack has become a marketer’s best friend in nearly every industry. Teamwork is at the bedrock of marketing, and this communication app makes teams far more efficient and productive.
slack

You can ping team members, check out archived chats, and make on-boarding of new team members or clients easy.

Other Slack features include . . .

  • Open communication channels for different projects and teams
  • You can go mobile, or use Slack on your desktop
  • Internal and external sharing, including files, docs, and other assets
  • A flexible browsing interface
  • Read-state synchronization

Slack also integrates easily with a number of software ecosystems, such as Google Drive, Zendesk, Dropbox, MailChimp, and major social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

2. Toggl

Marketers who freelance often need to have billable hours ready to go if a client asks. Toggl does just that, timing you how long it takes to complete a task, or a number of tasks of one client project.

toggl

Toggl is also great for timing how long it takes for you to do a certain task to help you tweak your workflow to become even more productive. You can even send detailed tracking reports from the app to clients.

Other Toggl productivity solutions are . . .

  • Charts for easy user digestion, also great for clients
  • Day-by-day productivity breakdown for tasks
  • User-friendly single click time tracking feature
  • Usable online and offline

The Toggl app is also geared for companies. Marketing managers can use the app data to tweak workflow for optimal productivity. This could have a big impact on marketing agency profits.

3. UberConference

The UberConference app simplifies conference calls by taking glitchy video software out of the boardroom. There is no pin or software to download with this productivity app, and you won’t need to decipher who is talking. UberConference shows you the profiles of all conference call members, and when they are speaking.
uber

A few features marketers can use include . . .

  • HD audio for clearer conference calls
  • Screen share option
  • Admin login with call controls
  • Social media integration
  • Document sharing
  • Compatible with Slack for chat messaging

This mobile marketing app also allows you to connect to conference calls while on the go. Whether you need to hash out client contracts, or connect with the team on an urgent issue, UberConference is a productivity powerhouse.

4. Noisli

Not all productivity apps are about production. The Noisli app doesn’t have scheduling features or note taking capabilities. However, this productivity app is all about heightening your focus to get in the zone. By providing background noise conducive to your workflow, you will simply get more done.

noisli

Marketers can find more focus using these Noisli features . . .

  • 16 different sounds (white noise, rain, wind, water, etc.)
  • Customizable by mixing sounds together
  • Adjustable volume for mixes
  • Built in timer and text editor
  • Colorful backgrounds for relaxation

“The service is mainly used as a concentration booster during work by coders, programmers, bloggers, writers, students, and translators,” Noisli founder, Stefano Merlo told CNET. “Noisli is also used by many teachers in the classroom as a base for creative writing classes or for exercises/games in elementary school.”

5. SocialPilot

This next productivity app is geared for social media marketers looking to automate their workflow. The SocialPilot app is a newer alternative to Hootsuite and Buffer with more advanced options for mobile marketers. It allows you to organize nearly every aspect of your social media scheduling.

socialpilot

Marketers can leverage SocialPilot for . . .

  • Full automation of scheduling social media posts.
  • Tracking all social accounts in the dashboard calendar.
  • Enhanced visibility via customized Facebook branding.
  • Bulk scheduling with a CSV or TXT file.
  • Team sharing with contributor and moderator settings.
  • Client management features for agencies.

This new productivity app for marketers can make social media management far more efficient. In fact, more than 75,000 agencies and marketing professionals trust SocialPilot to do just that.

6. Cloze

Have you ever wanted a personal assistant? Well, how about a virtual AI powered personal assistant you don’t need to pay? The Cloze app can make that happen. It is essentially a CRM that doesn’t require you to enter any data. The app automatically pulls your contact’s information, social media activity, and personal history, delivering one easily digestible place.

cloze

 The productivity wins for marketers include . . .

  • Compiles all your contacts in one place.
  • Updates contact information based on email signature changes.
  • Links scheduled items to the people mentioned.
  • Reminds you to reach out to people at appropriate times.
  • Organizes contacts by last touch point, location, initial meeting, etc.

“With the relaunch of Cloze, the app is moving away from being an email client of sorts, and instead is meant to function more as a tool that lets you track your contacts and your interactions in a variety of ways,” TechCrunch explained.

Ready to be the Most Productive Marketer on the Planet?

Well, maybe that is a bit of an overstatement. However, a more productive marketer is a more successful one, making you one of the savviest in your industry. From team collaboration to the soothing sounds of deep concentration, there is an app for that.

The right tools can make a big difference for any professional, and the Smartphone evolution has ushered in a variety of mobile apps that have made the mobile workforce fierce. What productivity apps are taking your marketing game to the next level?

Does Your App Score Points with Consumers?

Assuming you have a mobile business app, would you rate it a success up to now?

Many small businesses thinking of going the app route for one reason or another end up not doing it. As a result, they can be missing out on opportunities to sell their brand.

If you’ve decided to move forward with a mobile app, where will you begin?

Making Sure You Get Good Reviews

Whether only starting out with an app or you’ve had one around for a while now, you want to make sure it gets good reviews.

With that in mind, know that there are companies out there whose sole job is to review business apps on a daily basis. As such, you’d want to get a good review, correct?

Whether getting a Bismanonline app review or from other companies, here’s why good ones are key:

  1. Brand notoriety – While you never want to stand out for the wrong reason, notoriety for the right ones is big. That said a strong mobile app game is important for your brands success. Having that recognition can not only help you keep business, but also land new customers.
  2. Customer experience – Good reviews help build a better customer experience. If a consumer has your app at or near the top of their phone, there’s a good chance you’re going to do regular business. Although many still shop online via desktop or laptop computers, more go the mobile route. As such, you want to make sure they have the best customer experience possible each time out.
  3. Socialize the process – With a mobile app, make sure your business is as social as can be. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other such sites are important to promoting your brand. Your app can offer relevant industry content, coupons, and of course consumer feedback. With a solid social media game on your app, reviewers will be apt to give you the thumbs up.
  4. Staying ahead – Last, you want positive reviews to stay ahead of the competition. Remember, most competitors will always be looking for ways to upstage you. As a result, you can’t assume they are not investing much time and money into their apps. The chances are they have in fact been investing time and dollars towards their apps (see more below).

Did You Design the Best Possible App?

Whether you did your mobile app in-house or reached out for help, did you come up with a good one?

In the event you are not happy with the current app for your small business, don’t settle for mediocrity.

Take the time and money if necessary to do better. When you do, your mobile app should garner more interest from consumers.

Last, don’t be afraid to see what competitors have done with their apps.

Never copy them down to the last detail. That said don’t be afraid to look at their ideas and how you could put in place one or more in your own manner.

If your app is not scoring points with consumers, it is time to restart the game.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business topics on the web.

 

 

Top Reasons People Hate Your App

It can sound a bit harsh to say someone hates your app, but if you’ve gotten to the point where you feel like it could be possible, it’s time to figure out why. When you have a business, and you create an app, your objective obviously isn’t to have people hate it.

Unfortunately, more often than not that can be the case. If you can identify what elements of your app design or functionality users don’t like, you may be able to fix it without a complete overhaul.

If you’re not sure where to start, the following are some of the top reasons users could be less-than-thrilled with your app in its current form.

Users Don’t Know When Something Is Happening

You’re using an app, you push something, and it seems like nothing happens. There’s no acknowledgment that you’ve taken action.

Is it working or not? It’s extremely frustrating but all-too-common.

When you create your app, you want your users to know that their action is recognized. For example, you can show an icon of movement or that the screen is being refreshed. You want to be able to create a sense of cause and effect for user actions.

Advertising Feels Intrusive

Nobody likes intrusive advertising in any media. We’re at a point in digital technology where people can largely avoid advertising altogether if they choose. So while you may need to drive revenue with in-app advertising, you need to be careful with it.

You don’t want to include super graphics-heavy advertising or video ads that are going to make someone’s phone seem like it’s going haywire every time they use your app.

You also don’t ever want to include any unresponsive advertising. It’s going to be highly frustrating, and even if your app itself is great, it’s probably not going to matter.

Constant Push Notifications

Push notifications can be an excellent marketing tool, but not when you’re bombarding users. If someone feels like their smartphone is buzzing every hour with your push notifications, they’re probably going to uninstall the app.

As with advertisements, you need to be smart, strategic and discerning with your push notifications, so they create value rather than turning off users.

Constantly Asking for Reviews

When someone downloads an app, they do so because they want it to bring value to their life. It’s not about your business getting feedback.

If you’re using every second a person spends in an app asking them to like or share it, they’re going to feel frustrated.

That’s just a big interruption and obstacle in the overall user experience. If someone is trying to complete a task in your app and they keep being stopped so it can ask for a review or a like, it’s a problem.

Of course, in-app feedback can be useful, but it can’t be overdone, or like advertising, it can’t feel intrusive to the user experience.

Finally, be on the conservative side when it comes to how many personal details you’re asking your users for. Yes, your app may ask for some, but it’s important that you do so for a purpose, and you disclose this to users with transparency. Otherwise, they’re going to feel like you’re trying to exploit them or take advantage.