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Must have small business smartphone apps

Posted by Jason Keith  October 17, 2012 11:25 AM

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While small business owners are sometimes slow to adopt new things, one trend that they have embraced fully is using mobile technology to enhance how they do business. With the advent of smartphones and corresponding applications that make life easier for everyone, small businesses have truly adopted mobile, according to studies. One recently done by Paychex cited that nearly 85% of small businesses are using smartphones to enhance their operations. 
Smartphones are first and foremost an important for communication with employees, prospects and current clients. Mediums like email, text and voice have made reacting to and responding in real time the norm, rather than the exception. Now small business owners have access to all of these in one hand held device. 

But what about the applications that can help small businesses? Are there a few out there that can truly help make an owner more productive?  

The answer is yes, and here are a few of my favorites that you can be taking advantage of today.

Square: This application and corresponding attachment makes taking payment over your smartphone simple and easy. For anyone in the services industry, this or a similar application is a must have. The "square" attaches to the phone and the credit card is swiped in for payment right then and there. No more having to send a bill and wait for payment (or send reminders and chase clients for payment), it can be done instantly. The process will cost a small business either 2.75% of each transaction swiped, or $275 a month and zero swipe fees. 

Business card scanner: There are several versions of this and no one application does this better than the others (at least in my opinion). But the ability to take a photo of a business card and have that information then automatically port into a contact database is invaluable. It's simple and easy to load someone new into your phone and have their information ready when needed. For networking types that connect with potential clients on a regular basis, this is also a must have. 

Banking applications: Nearly every bank, even local ones, now have smartphone applications that allow you to track finances, move money and pay bills online via your phone. Applications like these can help you manage cash flow and even bills when on the go, which is handy when it can't wait. 

Evernote: This is an application that allows you to store basically anything and then share it with others. To do lists, appointments, web pages, and other pieces of information are all easily grabbed, stored and accessible using this mobile app. While it does take some learning and getting used to, it's also one that encompasses so many things, once you start using it you'll wonder how you ever got by without it.

LogMeIn: If you're like me, sometimes getting something off your computer at home is vital. But when out on the road or at outside meetings, it can be impossible to access. LogMeIn allows anyone access to their desktop computer through mobile phones and tablets, something that can save the day in certain situations. But it can also allow for work to be done remotely without having to either carry around a lap top or being chained to a desk. It's also free!

What applications have you used as a small business that you found helpful? Are any missing? 

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Jason Keith has been working for and with small businesses in the New England area for more than 10 years, specifically small, micro businesses. Born and raised in Massachusetts and a former journalist, he provides a unique perspective on the issues facing small businesses locally and nationally.To reach him directly email

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

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