15 Key Apps For Entrepreneurs

Apps For Entrepreneurs

The best apps for entrepreneurs all help combat an overflowing to-do list.

Being beyond busy just comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur.

Whether you’ve got a business that’s been operating for years, or you’re just itching to get work done on a project of your own, many challenges stand in the way of entrepreneurial efficiency. Thankfully, with the right tools at your disposal, there is a way to get to the other side.

  • Breaking Down Your Breakdowns

Any time an obstacle blocks the path to your productivity, it falls into one of three categories.

The first is good old-fashioned distraction. Whether you find yourself distracted by noisy co-workers, something outside the office, or just the idea of the pile of tasks still waiting to be done, we all know how easy it is to have our attention misdirected.

Then it’s a question of prioritization. Managing a big project or running a startup involves attending to an endless list of demands. Finding a way to distinguish the critical from the important and the non-pressing is essential to navigating workflow.

Craig Ballantyne, Author of The Perfect Day Formula explains how to master this 5% vs. 95% Rule, which is a formative principle for every truly successful entrepreneur.

Finally, there’s the question of function. Nothing crimps your process like getting hung up on some functionality issue. Maybe you’re trying to figure out a way to process a payment across platforms or your progress comes to a screeching halt when a problem pops up with your data security. Whatever the cause, suddenly you find that you’ve spent hours trying to accomplish what seems like it should take 10 minutes.

The solution to each of these issues, however, might be as near as your own pocket.

  • Letting Technology Do Its Part

Contemporary entrepreneurs have a vast toolbox — all on their phones — that wasn’t available a few years ago. Over the past decade, more and more apps have been developed to alleviate the above challenges.

By consolidating your workflow onto a single device, you achieve streamlined processes that vastly boost your productivity.

Forget about shuffling through papers and coping with chaos: Harness the power of your smartphone and its cloud capabilities, and you’ll ease your journey toward success.

There are four app varieties I consider essential to solving problems relating to distraction, prioritization, and function. The 15 unique apps below will offer solutions to these barriers.

  1. Hootsuite/Trello/Lizzabo

It’s easy to get wrenched off-task by social media, especially when you use it to share business-related content, communicate with team members, or network with potential contacts.

A variety of apps can address this. Hootsuite, for example, allows you to schedule posts without actually spending any time on social media platforms. Meanwhile apps like Trello and Campfire facilitate collaboration within your team. And tools like Bizzabo and LinkedIn are great for digital networking.

  1. Asana/Remember the Milk/Google Now

Powerful apps have taken the place of the day planner. Apps like Asana, Remember the Milk, and Google Now make it easy to not only plan out your schedule, but share it with other team members.

  1. Square

For the longest time, independent businesses didn’t have easy access to the tools necessary to accept payments in plastic, so all transactions were limited to cash or check. But your smartphone makes it a snap to take debit or credit card payments wherever you happen to be.

Create your own point of sale with the Square register app. Simply download the app and plug in its companion card swiper, and you’re ready to accept cards. For independent contractors, artists, or people who rely on tips, this can be a real game changer.

  1. Box/Hotspot Shield/TigerText

When it comes to working online, security is a huge concern. The digital age has made the task of protecting financial information, data, or communications more important than ever.

Keep your info safe from prying eyes with security apps like Box or My Secret Folder. Encrypt your work when using public Wi-Fi by leveraging Hotspot Shield. For communication, TigerText protects your messages by self-destructing them once they’ve been sent. And my own service simplifies phone call management by serving as your administrative assistant.

The trick is to try them out, find the ones that work for you, then stick with them so you’re not jumping from app to app.

The bottom line is that there is a nearly endless array of apps and tools you can use to get the most out of your day. So many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming when you try to dive head first into the app revolution. The trick is to try them out, find the ones that work for you, then stick with them so you’re not jumping from app to app. Enforce their use with your team, and eventually they will become standard to your operations.

Ari Rabban

Ari Rabban is the CEO of Phone.com and a veteran of the IP communications industry. Phone.com’s virtual phone service builds on the digital VoIP industry experience of its founders to deliver a complete suite of enterprise-grade unified communication services at an SMB price. Ari was named among the Top 20 Most Influential People in VoIP 2012 and currently serves on several boards, including the New Jersey Tech Council.