Small business owners are used to operating on a shoestring budget and wearing multiple hats. And today there are a slew of free and low-cost mobile apps that can help. From apps that can handle your accounting to ones that will answer the phone for you, here’s a look at five apps that can replace your office workers and potentially save you a bunch of money.
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Every small business owner knows they should be on social media, but for many there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to run a business and market online. One service that’s aiming to solve that problem is LocalVox www.localvox.com. This apps helps small business owners by publishing news, promotions and events with the click of a button. The information will show up on social media, in local online directories and on your website. Pricing for this service varies, depending on the small business owner’s needs, but for many not having to market on their own or hire a professional can be invaluable.
Hiring a finance person to take care of your books can be costly, especially if you are paying for health care and other benefits. Even using a consultant can get costly, and that’s where InDinero www.indinero.com comes in. Not only will this service handle your accounting, taxes and payroll, but it gives the business owner graphs and analytics so they can understand what’s going on with their finances. As like most services, the pricing varies based on the size of the business. Business owners are given a flat monthly rate.
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Whether you have a receptionist handle it, or do it on your own, managing your travel can be time consuming and expensive. TripIt aims to save you time -- which is money -- by organizing all your travel plans into easy to read itineraries. All business owners have to do is forward trip confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the service will automatically build an itinerary that can be accessed online or via your mobile device. The best part: the basic service is free. Want more bells and whistles such as mobile alerts, itinerary sharing and alternative flight information? It will cost you $49 a year.
TextUs.Biz – Receptionist
In a perfect world all of your business calls would get answered and you wouldn’t have to hire a full time receptionist to make that happen. Well, that may just be a possibility with The Receptionist app from TextUs.Biz, which turns your iPad into a virtual receptionist. Basically when a visitor walked into your office it would be greeted by an iPad with your business logo and touchscreen prompts, depending on who the person is visiting. Small business owners can receive visitor arrival notifications via text or email, or both. When you respond back the message will show up on the iPad screen, allowing a two way conversation. You can even create visitor badges with this app. A basic package will cost you $49 a month, while the pro version will be $149. There’s also a premium package which costs $99 a month.
Cash flow can be a big problem for small business owners, especially if they don’t know where they stand. An app that makes it easier for small business owner’s to stay on top of their cash flow and eliminate the need for a bookkeeper is iXpenseIt. For $4.99, this mobile app gives business owners a complete snapshot of their monthly budget and expenses and also includes a visual indicator to show at a quick glance how much money is left in the budget. But the app doesn’t stop there. It makes it easy to add and delete records and even has a built in currency exchange translator.