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.

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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.

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!

 

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.

Top 3 Questions To Consider Before Developing a Social Networking App

The exact costs of building a social app can’t be estimated out of the blue. There are lots of factors influencing the cost of mobile apps. We’re going to shed light on what goes into building a social networking app.

Everyone knows the likes of Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat, right? Great, let’s delve into a development process to understand what goes into an app and makes up the costs.

The Basics

Before you start requesting for a custom app quote, read more on how to develop a social media app. Then you have to visualize your app idea. Making it simple – outline the basic features of your future app.

Here you can find the main questions to answer before developing an app:

Question #1: What’s your target market?

It’s a well-known fact that understanding the fundamental needs of your target user and satisfying them is a key to an app’s success.

app2

Here’s an example how the understanding of the target market leads to the unbelievable app’s success.

As lots of parents flocked to Facebook, teens were urged to shift a social network while they wanted more anonymity and more space for expressing themselves. And that’s what Snapchat promised with its disappearing messages.

And a few words about Instagram. A vast majority of people don’t fancy how the photo sharing works on Facebook. And this was the premises for the development of Instagram, a handy platform for photo sharing.

Find out the common needs as well as frustrations of your target audience to develop an app that will win over the others.

Once, you know your end user, and what paint the app is going to solve, it’s time to use a user-story approach to estimate the ballpark costs. And what is a user-story based approach? User stories are short summaries of what a user expects from an app and what it needs to do.

For example, as a user, I’d like to send instant messages and share photos. Isn’t it simple? With a thorough market research, you can quickly identify what your users are and what they need.

Question #2 What platforms to develop for?

It’s the most frequently-asked question when it comes to an app development. There is a vast number of mobile operating systems to reach – iOS, Android, Windows, etc. But what platform to pursue first?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Just conduct a market research to find out a priority platform.

Nowadays, it’s beneficial to develop a mobile and web social networking app. But being fair, the iOS apps are released earlier.

And there are a couple of obvious reasons. The iOS apps take less time when compared with Android or Web-based mobile apps. And less time means less money.

Note, the main thing to consider is that a mobile platform you choose should match the preferences of your target audience. It’s no use in developing an Android app for Northern America since the iOS prevails in Northern America and Western Europe. And Android takes the rest of the world.

Question #3 What main features to integrate?

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In fact, all social apps have lots of features in common while they deliver quite the same functions.

●      Registration

Consider, allowing the registration via existing social media profiles.

The key reasons to integrate registration through social media profiles:

  • A seamless registration process
  • A quick and fast adoption thanks to the existing social connections

Registration with social media accounts will allow new users to import profile data from their existing profiles. Thus the users don’t need to spend long hours filling in the profile. In addition, fewer steps mean faster adoption for new users.

●      Self-Expression Tools

To create a social app that catches everyone attention, your app should stay addictive and excite your users.

What cool features to implement to wow the users just off the bat?

  • Augmented reality
  • Live streaming
  • Self-destructing messages

These are big features that can make your app stand out from the crowd. But there are a great many of small features that count more for app’s success. Provide the users with the possibility to create personal profiles.

●      Newsfeed

Social networks where nothing happens cause no fun.

When the users are eager to check the app as frequently as possible, your app gets more popularity. Push and notification strategy can help you create a great user retention mechanism.

How to make a stunning newsfeed?

  • Integrate different types of updates (text, photo, video, etc.)
  • Deliver a powerful content and filter duplicate entries
  • Provide the ways to interact with the newsfeed content (like, comment, share, etc.)
  • Develop the men to report inappropriate content

These are the essential features to develop first when it comes to a social networking app. Of course, you will need to add a secret sauce to win over the existing apps.

 

Short Bio

Hi, everyone! I’m Helen Morrice I try hard to explain geek news in a plain (and readable) language. Here you can read one of my coverages on the mobile app development. To read more, visit my blog or follow me on Facebook/Twitter

What Professionals Working Remotely Need to Know About Marketing

Self-employed workers and freelancers have long enjoyed the affordability and convenience of remote work. To begin with, they reclaim the hours that they would otherwise daily spend commuting to and from a corporate office. As a result, they have more time to spend with their family and friends and enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Now, professionals who work for companies or corporations increasingly also can work from home and enjoy a healthier work-life balance.

Meanwhile, clients and employers increasingly embrace remote workers as a way to cut costs. For example, companies that utilize remote workers require less office space and, therefore, can reduce their rent, insurance and energy expenses. Additionally, clients and employers can access talent from practically anywhere in the world. Furthermore, home-based workers offer high levels of productivity and efficiency.

As a professional, your opportunity for working from home has no limits. Thanks to technology, you can collaborate and communicate with people and work with teams regardless of their location. You must, however, have a productive office environment to work in as well along with a well-defined and promoted personal brand. Here, you will learn about the important considerations you must make and activities you should engage in to build a successful career as a home-based professional.

pexels-photo-245032Image Source

1) Build A Landing Page

Like any business, you can use the internet to promote yourself so that the companies and clients that need your services can find you. By creating and publishing a simple, easy-to-navigate landing page, you can showcase your experience and talents. In many ways, your landing page should function as a business card and as a place where clients can schedule and pay online for your services.

Important elements of your landing page include the title, primary tagline and description. You should also carefully choose your keywords and tags. Of course, the main content of your page should concisely introduce you and explain why businesses should choose to use your services.

2) Pick Your Apps and Online Services

Place a high priority on choosing the applications and services that best support your business. As you search the internet, you will find myriad options that seem attractive, but you should resist the temptation to try to use too many applications and tools because they can become a distraction. Use customer reviews and free trial periods to narrow your selection and only choose the ones that contribute to your productivity and efficiency.

Tools and services for task management, web page creation and SEO, project management and accounting are categories of apps and services that almost every home-based professional will need. Additionally, you might need to look for tools and services that support the creation of documentation as well as those that facilitate copyrights and trademarks.

3) Be Serious About Your Social Media Game.

Social networks continue to attract millions of users, making it the perfect place to promote your professional services. Furthermore, you can use social media to connect with other professionals, influencers and vendors who can contribute to your business. Still, social media can become a liability if you fail to properly manage it. For example, if you never engage users, you might damage your reputation just as severely as you would if you communicated with the wrong vocabulary or attitude.

Although you might feel tempted to open accounts on every popular social network, you should focus your efforts on only one or two of them so you can minimize the drain on your time and avoid management complications. Also, place social media tools on your landing page so that your website visitors can easily follow you as well as “like” and share your content. Additionally, you should always respond to comments and questions left for you on social media and consider using social media to post articles and display your work.

4) Create A Productive Home Office

As has been noted, your home office should rank near the top of your priorities. For the most part, alternative arrangements such as working on your bed or at the kitchen table will not allow you to achieve high levels of productivity. Instead, choose a little-used section of your home and remodel it as your office. Make sure that it has boundaries so family members can avoid encroaching on your space and vice versa.

Your office should have ample lighting and easy access to power outlets. It should also host essential equipment such as a printer, networking and video conferencing gear, a telephone and office supplies. You should also equip your office with an adequate amount of storage space and work surfaces. After all, clutter can lead to wasted time and confusion and destroy your creativity and enthusiasm. Also, you should make sure to do home maintenance tasks, just like you do with the rest of your home.

5) Give Without Asking Anything in Return

Offering value to people with no strings attached can effectively promote your business and build the authority of your brand. To demonstrate your communications skills, you should use social media to converse with users. Similarly, you should share content posted by other users to emphasize your commitment to the community. Furthermore, you can emphasize your expertise by publishing tutorials and holding question-and-answer events.

In many cases giving back to the online community can extend beyond simply sharing information and solving problems. For example, giving away useful freebies that include your contact information can promote your brand and demonstrate your generosity. Organizing contests with meaningful prizes give people an incentive to return to your profile and stay actively engaged. As you give, however, always ask for feedback regarding your ideas, designs and strategies. Such free guidance can become invaluable as you fine-tune your brand and messaging.

BONUS TIP: Use Influencer Outreach

After tending to the basics of building a home office, creating a presence on the web and social media, and interacting with your audience, start connecting with influencers. This group of people might include politicians, professors, celebrities and business icons as well as other popular people. Such people can influence the decisions people make, including choosing to use your professional services.

When you make contact with an influencer, try to make a deal where they give you exposure to their large audience in exchange for reaching yours. For instance, you can offer influencers guest-blogging opportunities on your website and ask them to endorse you as a professional. Every time you get an influential person to recommend you or associate with you, their audience takes note and will naturally turn to you when they need your talent and skills.

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Image Source

Working at home as a professional helps you benefit from the modern trends in employment. Increasingly, people are working from home and therefore enjoying an improved balance between their work and personal life. By choosing the right apps and services, creating a productive work environment and building a landing page and social media presence, you lay a solid foundation that will help you provide high quality work to a steady stream of clients.

 

Jeff E. Brown Photo
Guest Author, Jeff Brown, is a freelance writer from Oregon with a knack for lifehacking and DIY projects. Based out of his home office where his two dogs keep him company while he types, Jeff loves writing about home improvement topics, teaching others all the tips and tricks he has learned since he moved out of an apartment and into a house. When he’s not writing, he loves organizing barbecue parties in his garden.