Top 10 Mobile Apps to Run Your Small Business From the Beach
Summer is almost over, and we’re all eager to get out to the beach before sweater season. Making it to the beach can be tough if you’re also trying to run a small business, however. Luckily it’s 2017 and you’ve got a computer in your pocket at all times. The best part about running your own business? Running it how and where you want to. We’ve put together a list of our favorite mobile apps for running your business from wherever you are. Turn off the computer, charge up your phone, and do business from the beach, slopes, or anywhere you get a decent cell signal with our favorite small business apps. I can already taste the piña colada.
Can people actually work without the tools provided by G Suite? This list isn’t in any order, but if it were, Google and its ubiquitous suite of tools would be numbers 1 through 4. Gmail- you’re already using this one. Google Docs- instantly share and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from your phone, from your smartphone, laptop, or internet cafe (are those still a thing?) anywhere in the world. Google Calendar- integrates seamlessly with Docs and Mail, and it pushes notifications to remind you of meetings, not that you’d ever forget them anyway. Google Hangouts- meet with your entire small business via webcam. Hangouts is perfect for those meetings you totally remembered, just keep your selfie cam on; your employees don’t need to see your hot dog legs. I think there are still people using Google+ too, in case your Facebook and Twitter apps aren’t loading. G Suite is often the foundation of money making apps for many small businesses.
Slack is the all-in-one instant communication tool taking the small business world by storm. Slack creates a virtual work environment where you and your employees can talk business, conference, shoot the breeze, and most importantly share the perfect gif for every situation. It’s highly customizable, integrating other communication tools like Google Hangouts, Giphy, and Trello (to name a very few). Slack fills the communication gap between email and project management, creating a seamless work environment no matter where you are or how sunburned you’re getting on that beautiful white sand beach with great cell reception.
The careful reader will have noticed that I mentioned Trello in the above paragraph. That’s because Trello is an incredibly useful project management and workflow visualization tool with a slick mobile app for the entrepreneur on the go. Trello breaks projects down into cards, and as work is completed the cards are loaded with attachments, comments, and clarification labels, like a really complicated game of Solitaire. On Trello you can keep track of what work is being done, communicate with clients and employees, and organize it all. Oh and did I mention it also integrates with Google Docs (Google isn’t paying me for this I swear) and Dropbox? Start moving things to the completed column!</h2>
We couldn’t make a list without including ourselves, could we? We didn’t write this to be purely self-promotional, our app just works so well with the others on this list we had to include it! Hiveage mobile is a great way to track your time and expenses, creating professional, detailed invoices for employees, clients, and customers. Our mobile invoicing app handles everything money: accepting online payments, managing teams of employees and their pay, creating recurring billing cycles or one-off invoices for piece work. Basically, without Hiveage you won’t make money, so make sure you download the app before you hit the road (Hiveage also tracks mileage). You can log your hours, keep track of employee hours, and make sure everybody gets paid no matter where you are. Supporting both iOS and Android, Hiveage lets you take your finances anywhere.
The second in our series of apps for making money, Square is another great way to do just that. Chances are you’ve seen the little white squares that you slide your credit card through somewhere. You can definitely tell Square isn’t paying me, with a description like that. For small businesses, entrepreneurs, or enterprising lemonade stand owners, Square is an essential tool for accepting payment. With just a 2.75% fee on every transaction you’ll wonder how you accepted payments before Square (do people still pay with cash these days?). Another bonus feature: It’s fully integrated with Hiveage’s mobile invoicing app, so tracking your payments on the go is super easy.
Now that we can accept payments from customers and pay our employees, all we have to do is create a schedule to make sure your business is covered around the clock (if it’s the sort of business that requires that sort of thing). Deputy is an employee scheduling and shift planning app designed with mobile in mind, allowing employees to swap shifts, track their hours and plan their schedules. Not every business these days is run via shifts, but if yours is, make sure it’s covered with Deputy!
They say elephants never forget, which is a bad thing if you’ve offended one recently, but a great thing if you’re trying to run a business. Evernote is a note taking app for all those lightbulb moments in unexpected places. Evernote allows you to organize your notes in a sortable, searchable, and mobile-friendly platform that’s less likely to be thrown away because it’s not a napkin or random post-it note.
You know all those pictures of beautiful scenery with inspirational words or marketing messages on them? Word Swag is how you make them. Since you’re in a beautiful, insta-worthy location already why not create some of your own? It may be basic in more ways than one, but for just 5 bucks you can elevate your vacation from fun trip to on-location marketing shoot. Bring some Word Swag to your social media game.
Need to manage email campaigns? MailChimp handles your email marketing from inception to inbox, boasting a mobile app that lets you do anything you can do from a desktop. Let’s be real, it’s near the end of the article and you’re probably just skimming anyway, but MailChimp does it all if you use email marketing. Analytics, visual design tools, advanced time scheduling and automation make MailChimp one of the most powerful apps for small business out there.
Whoa there, you might be thinking, Spotify isn’t a business app! You think Elon Musk works in silence? Get in the zone with your favorite tunes, or if you’re the strong and silent type, save it for your breaks- you are on the beach after all. It doesn’t have to be Spotify specifically, but who doesn’t like music?
This list is by no means complete, but with these 10 mobile apps for small business you’ll be well on your way to running your business from the beach. Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen. Since you’re clearly a small business aficionado with taste, why not check out some of our other content aimed at the entrepreneur extraordinaire? We cover everything from the best business card creators to challenges for small business owners. If you’re more the practical type, you can use our free invoice generator instead. Now get out there and enjoy life away from a computer!