Smartphones: The Smart Way to Do Business THE Tech Scoop March 24, 2013 Mobile Running a small business has come a long way since the days of the rotary telephone, a manual adding machine and ledger paper. Now information can be accessed in the palm of your hand via the smartphone. It also helps to have a business credit card. Business owners have several options for several cards, such as cards from American Express, that are tailored to companies with various revenues, including those under $200,000 a year, with the cards offering flexible payment options. Having the convenience of a credit card makes transactions a lot easier and quicker than carrying huge bundles of cash. Even with finances made easier with a credit card to perform business tasks on a PC than on a smartphone. But if you’re on the move, a smartphone will allow you to keep up-to-date with a variety of management tasks. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps to help with small business, says DashBurst, which points out almost one-third of American small business owners use smartphones to run companies. QuickBooks allows users to record sales data, make estimates for clients and send invoices. Financial Accounts Put all financial accounts in a single, secure spot, plus the free app helps set a budget and tracks finances, according to Mint.com. Office Time gives the user quick access to spreadsheets and the like. Apps for file storage include Box, Dropbox, Evernote and Documents To Go. Box and Dropbox allow companies to store information while Evernote is a note taking and bookmarking application. Documents To Go maintains all of the original file formatting no matter which platform files are accessed. Communication Needs As far as communication needs go, DashBurst mentions Skype, which allows free Internet calls, video chat and instant messaging. Webex lets clients schedule, host and attend meetings worldwide in HD video, presenting webinars and sharing files and information. Desk is geared for customer support, allowing business owners to see customers in one place and engage them in social media and support channels. Get Satisfaction is a community platform that companies of all sizes use to manage customer engagement, improve product innovation and improve customer service. Monetary Transactions For monetary transactions, Google Wallet is a means for customers to make online payments on a mobile device or desktop. Square allows business owners to accept credit card transactions anywhere. It comes with a card reader that plugs directly into a smartphone. PC World has more ideas for using a smartphone to make a small business run more efficiently. Bento is another app that allows inventory and invoices to work on a smartphone while Square allows you to make sales by accepting credit card payments virtually. Gas Mileage To keep track of your mileage on a business trip, you might want to try Trip Cubby free, which can generate Excel-compatible charts and reports for tax season. ClockIn Portal acts like a virtual time card tracking time spent on a project or client. MightyMeeting’s main feature is letting the user save and access PowerPoint presentations. You also can connect your smartphone to a bigger screen for a presentation. About the Author: Nicole Henry is a customer service manager in the banking industry, Nicole believes technology is vital to connecting customers with companies.