Busy entrepreneurs have many responsibilities to manage each day, from doing the admin and managing finances, to attending meetings, conference calls and networking to overseeing staff and communicating with customers and suppliers. During these busy times technology is a big enabler, entrepreneurs benefit greatly from the apps and online resources they have at their disposal.
Darlene Menzies, CEO of SMEasy, takes us through some online resources that make an entrepreneur’s day simpler, more convenient and more productive.
Banking apps: The reality for a small business is that you need agility; to be able to do things immediately. Whether it’s to do payments and transfers or to check statements, it’s impractical and at times impossible for busy entrepreneurs to get to the bank. If you are a small business owner and not using a banking app you are doing yourself and your business a disservice. All banks have apps, they are convenient, easy to use and save a lot of time.
Dropbox: www.dropbox.com is a cloud based file hosting service that gives you access to your documents, presentations and photo’s from anywhere at any time. When signing up you get 2GB of space free as well as peace of mind that your data is safely stored in the event of losing your laptop or the hard drive crashing. Dropbox implements stringent data security measures and your files are encrypted, making it a secure, highly useful resource for entrepreneurs. Most small business owners can use Dropbox for free indefinitely but for those businesses that are data intensive, Dropbox offers an affordable rate of $99 per year for the provision of massive storage space.
Skype: With more and more business being done online, using a tool like www.skype.com can be hugely beneficial. Skype is free and allows you to call, message and video call other Skype users across the globe. If you pay a subscription, it also enables you to call phones, access Wi-Fi and send text messages. Skype is especially valuable to businesses that hold regular conference calls and make a lot of international calls. Skype allows you to share your screens content during conference calls which is very helpful and you can also send files to your contacts.
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com is an invaluable online resource for entrepreneurs and has become the most used social media site by CEO’s. Its benefits lie in the ability to research new contacts, connect with new business prospects, stay in touch with existing clients and the direct recruitment opportunities it provides. Once you start to connect on LinkedIn you can build up a shareable base while focusing on building relationships.
Travelling apps: Using airline apps that send your boarding pass to your phone ensure you don’t miss your flight due to long queues at the check- in counters. Using Uber instead of renting a car will get you to your destination quickly and conveniently – also allowing you to do some work on the way. Hotel booking apps like www.booking.com and www.lastminute.com make finding and booking a hotel quick and easy. There is no excuse for wasting hours on making travel arrangements the old fashioned way. Everything can be done online!
Electronic diary: Using an electronic diary like Office is essential for all business owners. They are a way of keeping your diary easily accessible at all times. This allows you to browse current and make new appointments anytime, it can also remind you in advance of meetings and appointments. Unlike a paper diary, you can do searches on your electronic diary and can easily store and access copies of diaries from past years.
Office 365: It is paramount that you have the ability to view your documents, spreadsheets and presentations from anywhere at any time. Using Office 365 means you can access your documents easily and share them with anyone as the needs arises.
Entrepreneurs have to tend to many aspects of their business during their day and are often hard pressed for time. Making the most of the apps that have been designed for your convenience will free up time, simplify your life, add to the productivity of your day and ultimately contribute to the success of your business.