With so much business technology today, it’s hard to know the good from the bad. With cloud computing, you don’t need to worry about this a lot because you can replace your business’ hardware with a monthly subscription that lets you check out a variety of apps to see what works best for your business. These Software as a Service (SaaS) tools are available to fit all your business’ needs while also improving collaboration, power, and cost-effectiveness.
Considering that more people use their smartphone than their computer today, it’s important to allow your employees to always work on projects from wherever they’re located. Limiting the way that they work also limits how your business is able to grow.
All of these benefits show how it’s time to take a serious look at business apps today.
How Apps Help Your Business Grow
According to Small Biz Trends, the average American spends over two hours a day on their smartphone. Globally, more than one billion smartphones exist. What this means is that people are spending more time on their smartphone than on their computer today. As such, your business will need apps to help it grow.
There are actually several ways in which apps can do this, including:
- Market more directly because you’ll have more information about your clients – including demographic and geographic information so you know your clients’ preferences and needs. This allows you to give your clients more pointed information about your products and services such as pricing, promotions, special rates, product specifications, and new features.
- Offer your customers more valuable products and services than your competition.
- Send out thank you notices when clients buy something from you.
- Engage with your customers and remain available to them so they don’t go to another business whom they feel is more in touch with their needs. This includes answering questions, replying to orders, noticing comments, and taking steps to address complaints as soon as possible, regardless of where you are or the time of day it is. UberConference can help you with this purpose by making it easy to host a web conference from your smartphone regardless of where anyone is located or what time zone they’re in.
- Achieve customer loyalty by keeping your brand constantly in front of them. You no longer have to be in your office or even in front of a computer to do this.
- Addressing your customers on social media where most of them are at anyways, helps them remember your brand while catching up with their friends and family – especially on Facebook and Twitter. Remember to make it easy to like, share and comment on your messages. Don’t just share text here either. Share photos and videos to keep your customers engaged. This will lead to retention and monetization will follow.
Apps for Your Small Business
Knowing why apps are so important for your business is only the beginning. You must also know what apps your business should use. Salesforce says that the 10 apps you simply can’t afford to overlook today include:
- MozyPro lets you schedule backups to the cloud so you never have to worry about data loss in the midst of a disaster.
- Salesforce Pardot Marketing Automation saves sales and marketing teams time by automating lead tracking, nurturing, and scoring so you can focus on efficiently driving revenue.
- Box is like a folder on your desktop but it lives in the cloud. From it you can access all of your gadgets and devices. This is great because you never have to worry about forgetting your USB stick again. It’s also great for collaboration because all your team members can share and update the same documents.
- Sagepeople HR Management System offers global, mid-size businesses a comprehensive system that boosts HR productivity, increases workforce visibility and delivers great experiences.
- UberConference is another great app that brings your employees together. With easy to use features such as conference calling and screen sharing, UberConference makes communication better.
- Quickbooks is an online accounting service that monitors cash flow, creates VAT returns, sets up budgets, and creates business reports.
- Salesforce1 Mobile App helps you plan your day and track all of your sales opportunities. You can view service case details and reports from your dashboard, collaborate on files, and do everything you need to close a deal while being mobile.
- Evernote frees your desk from clutter by letting you store all your notes on your smartphone. You can even upload a picture of handwritten notes then run a text search to find it.
- GetFeedback helps you create online surveys that your customers can take from any device they own. This is a great customer service tool.
- Geopointe helps you effectively manage territories and routes for your growing sales team. This app puts your data on the map so you can engage in smart planning.
Deciding What Apps Your Small Business Needs
Of course, it’s relatively easy for someone to suggest a list of apps to you that you “should” use. However, in reality, only you know what your small business actually needs. You also know when apps are distracting instead of helping you run your business. This is why it’s so important to find just a few, powerful tools that will help you run your business. It’s equally as important to focus on centralized platforms like Google so the various platforms don’t distract you.
Zapier says that from here you can start analyzing your needs, especially in regards to workflow. You don’t want to simply start searching for apps without knowing exactly what you want and need it to do. A lack of clarity will definitely cause your team to feel overwhelmed because you’ll simply start piling on apps that nobody knows what to do with.
Remember, apps aren’t a “one size fits all” situation. While these are some great apps, others also exist and even more are being developed daily. Each business is different and you’ll find lots of great apps to help you run yours more effectively. With this in mind, you’re encouraged to take some time to look around and find ones that really will work for your business.