Smartphone apps can greatly improve productivity, consistency and communication within your business. They, of course, can also slow down your operations with unnecessary programs/applications for your employees to use, or simplify an already simplified process. Unfortunately, with the increased availability of fantastic phone apps comes the increased availability of apps that just aren’t helpful. The market has become diluted, but we’ll explore some apps to help streamline your business!
Camcard is one of those rare apps that is simple, useful and free! It’s a business card scanner/organizer with tons of useful features. It reads 200 languages, supports batch scans, reads email addresses and QR codes, takes notes about individual cards, will save to contacts and email accounts and can even export cards to Excel! It’s a fantastic utility to have if you’re going to a trade show, are a sales rep or just accumulate a ton of cards. It’ll help you go paperless! It’s also a freely available app for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
Evernote is a surprisingly useful tool for communicating/note taking across teams. I’ve personally found Google’s solutions cumbersome, and Evernote scratches that itch. Make/Save/Edit/Share notes to different users, organize your notes easily, have offline access, and even secure your data with TSL/SSL with Evernote. Evernote Free is, well… free, but you’ll need the Evernote Business plan to share with co-workers or employees, which is $10/user per month. It also syncs to your account, so you can access/modify your notes across all your devices. If organized, synchronized note-sharing would be helpful to your team, Evernote is a great solution. The app is available for absolutely all platforms (including Chrome OS!) making it a convenient and universal solution.
Basecamp is a beautiful project management app. It features file sharing, as well as browser-based and email-based functionality. It’s also pretty cheap if your business has large, ongoing projects. It’s $20/month for 10 projects (larger packages available), but they don’t charge per user, making it a very attractive app. Available app for iOS, Android or through your browser or email client.
Video conferencing made easy. Join a meeting through your phone (iOS/Android), iPad, browser or call in (pro version)! Zoom has expected features like group messaging, instant or scheduled meetings, private chat and unlimited meetings per month. The video conferencing app also has several un-expected and useful features; screen-sharing any iPad/iPhone app, whiteboarding, and a nifty “raise hand” function that indicates that you have a question. The basic Zoom app is free and includes support for up to 25 participants, and meetings that are 40 minutes long. Upgrading, however, is cheap ($10/month per host) and affords you unlimited time for up to 25 participants. Available app for iOS, Android, Mac and PC.
HubSpot is like having an entire marketing team in one app. This was a controversial app to add to the list. Allow me to explain: everyone I have ever spoken to who’s used HubSpot agrees that it works. It will absolutely improve the amount of inbound traffic you have (both calls and site traffic), improve conversion rates and even save time on things like market research. Their marketing model has a strong focus on converting visitors to leads to customers, and finally, to delighted customers. It maintains an automated contact list, reminds you to blog/use your social media, helps with SEO and integrates with your Google analytics. They even have tons of top notch webinars that are very highly rated. However… It’s expensive. Very expensive. Packages start at $200/ month for 100 contacts and you’ll probably have to upgrade to $300/month for 1000 contacts within 3 months. You’re also charged a $500 initial set-up fee. Also, you’re billed annually, and if you’re utilizing it properly, it will probably create more work (blog posts/SEO/Social Media) than you’re currently doing. The app is fantastic on Android or iOS, however, and like I mentioned, it’s like having an entire marketing team in one place. If your small or medium sized business could use some help with your inbound marketing and you don’t mind the price tag, this app really is a practical and fantastic alternative to hiring an entire marketing department… Within a year, you’ll have some very solid improvements, but it only works if you make sure you do as directed.
What is your favourite app for streamlining your business?