There’s an App for that

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Can an App help you run your business?

When you think of a growing business and technology, one generally cannot survive without the other. Whilst tech isn’t always 100% reliable, it can be one of the best tools to invest in. With some of the latest technology already in your hand, such as mobile phones and tablets, it makes sense to make the most of it. So, having said that, how could apps help your business?

Productivity

When technology is brought into a business, it’s ultimately to solve a problem and hopefully make life easier for those who use it. When it comes to productivity, problems can be very simple and appear small, but a solution can make a huge difference.

Imagine your average working day, the number of people you speak to, colleagues and clients, and the number of tasks you give out or acquire yourself. How do you keep track of it all? On a trusty spiral notepad, or maybe even colourful post-it notes littering your desk? Or, could you perhaps put these tasks into an app, an app that can remind you, each day what you have to do and by when. It’s a solution that means you avoid frantically searching through paper notes for that essential information. A quick search on your phone and the answer is there, saving you precious time!

Collaboration

Being part of a hard working cohesive team can help your business succeed, and at difficult times make the difference between failure and success. Having said that, you might not always be in the same place, or have access to the files you need to work on. By storing files in a cloud file sharing space, you and your employees can access files wherever they are. And, depending on the capabilities of the app, you could also make file changes.

Banking

Having a personal banking app on your phone is fairly common, having your businesses accounting system on it, not as much. But, it is possible, though only 65% of SMEs use accounting software in the first place.[1] So if such a small number of SMEs are using the software for accounting as a whole, is there a problem or an opportunity?

It seems there is a little of both to be had in this area. Software can cost money and take time to train on; you might find it easier and more straightforward to stick with your manual system. But whilst you can have your trusty filing cabinet, going digital might be worth considering if it helps your business take advantage of the HMRC Making Tax Digital for 2018. Going digital now could save you a lot of time and therefore money when the new portal goes live.

Communicating

Very few enjoy the landslide of emails that can fill up your inbox on a daily basis. Especially, those where you are cc’d in, by way of an FYI.’ Your time can certainly be used in much more productive ways.

There isn’t a lot that can be done to change whether people send you unnecessary emails or not. But you can change the way some people contact you in the first place. Particularly your own employees. By utilising an instant messaging platform, you could organise your team’s conversations into separate private and public groups so others can take part. Moreover, most conversation apps have the ability for the sender to see whether their message has been seen or not. Meaning they won’t be chasing to see if you’ve read your message saving more time for you.

Is it worth the change?

If you have ever browsed the apps store on your portable devices, you know that there are thousands of options. And, some apps are certainly better than others. If you think an app could help streamline your business and make your life a little bit easier it’s worth looking into. It can be daunting trying to find the perfect solution so make a list of what you want from the app. If the list is rather long, break it up into ‘must –haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. If the list is short, think about the key points that would make up one aspect. For example, looking for an app to help you manage your tasks, you might just write down ‘to-do list’ or ‘task manager’. Broaden the scope, would you want;

  • calendar functionality,
  • the ability to review completed tasks,
  • integration with your work or mobile calendar (so you work from one and not two); and,
  • to be able to give tasks priorities and set deadlines?

When you’ve identified the key must-haves, have a look at the apps available to you for android, apple and windows technology. It’s time to search the internet and read reviews. Whilst there are thousands of apps out there, there will be one right for your business. You just have to find it!

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Sources
[1] http://www.bradleysaccountants.co.uk/resources/news/why-are-small-businesses-not-using-accounting-software
https://www.lifewire.com/how-many-emails-are-sent-every-day-1171210
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/we-are-beginning-to-feel-crushed-by-the-number-of-work-emails-we-get_uk_56f2b084e4b08af01be9f9ee
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-tax-digital/overview-of-making-tax-digital
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connect/small-business/business-solutions/apps-to-help-sme-owners-run-their-companies/?WT.mc_id=tmgspk_aniab_1635_AnRdZ1P4yQnM&utm_source=tmgspk&utm_medium=aniab&utm_content=1635&utm_campaign=tmgspk_aniab_1635_AnRdZ1P4yQnM

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About the author

A CIM qualified, results driven marketer. Stacey has a focus on delivering a wide range of marketing solutions to exceed client expectations.