Apps make life as a business professional much easier.
The way people do business is changing, and this is good news for business professionals everywhere. These days running your own business doesn’t mean that you have to be tied to your desk, buried under a never-ending stack of paperwork.
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If you can think of something that you need to get done, chances are there’s an app for that. From organizing documents and planning presentations to keeping track of your travel schedule and budgeting your finances, these apps will make your everyday business tasks much easier and more convenient.
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Dropbox is a cloud-based storage system that can be used to organize files for your business.
With Dropbox, not only do you have a safe place to store your business files, but you can also use the platform to collaborate with your team and other professionals on projects. You can even share files with people who don’t have Dropbox.
The free app provides everything you need for you small business, but as your business grows you may want to look into Dropbox professional plans. Several big businesses—including Yahoo!
National Geographic, and Hyatt—are already on-board with professional services from Dropbox. Bill O’Donnell, Kayak’s SVP of Mobile Products, said, “Dropbox Business gives us a secure, unified place to store all of our work, and helps reverse the friction that can come with having hundreds of computers in one company.”
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2. Virtual Assistant
This handy app is likely already at your service, but you may not realize that you could put it to work professionally. Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana are a few of these virtual assistant apps that already live in your pocket.
For Apple users, Siri is integrated into iPhone, iPad, Mac computers, tvOS and watchOS systems. Running late for a meeting? Using voice commands as simple as “Hey, Siri”, you can activate your virtual assistant.
- Once activated, you can ask Siri for live traffic updates to plan your route or call to arrange transportation while you finish getting ready to head out the door. From your Apple Watch, send can help you take calls and send messages on the go.
- There is no need to stop work to pull up a search engine while you’re busy at the office. Siri can perform web searches, as well. As your calendar is synced across all devices, Siri can remind you of meetings and set alarms for important events.
- Other apps can be linked to Siri so that they, too, can be accessed via voice commands. For example, you can pay back a colleague for lunch as simply as telling Siri to “Send Mike $20 through Venmo.”
Android users will find similar functionality with Google Assistant and Windows applications now have Cortana.
- Google Assistant has the added perk of allowing businesses to set up “actions” to allow customers to interact with your business via voice commands through their own Google Assistant enabled devices.
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3. Social Media
Social media presence is crucial for any business professional in the digital age.
Social platforms are the major way for customers and clients to interact with your business, and the benefits are manifold. According to studies from the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Americans are active on social media and those numbers will likely continue to increase. Your target demographic will determine which platforms are right for you.
- Social media platforms raise awareness for your brand through social networking. Potential or current customers can share products and information about your brand with their connections, their connections share with their connections, and so on.
- These platforms also give your customers a way to interact with your brand through commenting on posts as well as direct messaging.
- Quick responses to these interactions show that your brand is run by a person, which allows your customer-base to identify with you brand through a human connection, via these apps.
Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social apps, followed closely by Instagram and Snapchat.
- There are, however, big differences in usage among different demographics. Be sure to have your marketing professional do research to ensure that you invest your efforts into the best platform for your business.
Skype can make meetings and interviews much easier and convenient, especially when interacting with other business professionals across long distances.
Through Skype, you can set up video conferences, give presentations, or even interview potential team members without anyone having to travel to a separate location.
- Even if you are in the middle of a luxury vacation, you could setup a laptop in the resort conference room and take a quick video call from the home office.
Skype also has capabilities for voice calls via the internet, for instances where you may not have cell phone reception, as well as instant messaging functionality. You can see when contacts are available online, in a meeting, or in the middle of a presentation.
- When running meeting through Skype, you can share your screen to others in the call or even give someone remote access to your desktop.
Mint is a budgeting app that can help you keep track of your finances.
By linking your accounts, cards, and bills, Mint gives you the ability to see all of your spending in one place. It will even break your spending down into categories for easier tracking. The better you track your finances, you will be able to see where you need to cut spending and the best ways to stretch your money to better your professional business.
Mint will automatically update as your expenditures process, which gives you live access to your business by the numbers so that you don’t have to be bothered with endless mathematical equations.
- Mint will even recommend services to help you save, from new business accounts and credit cards to new investment opportunities like stocks and CDs.
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6. Google Drive
Google Drive is another cloud-based service where you can create and store documents for your business.
All Google applications sync across your Google account, giving Android users an integrated experience similar to Apple’s Siri and iCloud.
Google’s G Suite provides business solutions through its Business and Enterprise editions that give your business endless storage space. With its “Google-powered machine learning,” the app advertises Drive’s ability to predict what types of files you will need access to, based on how you use the service.
- This level of convenience could save an immeasurable amount of time, as Drive can give you the the documents that you need with you having to search for them. Team Drives allow you to add files that are shared among your team members, to keep everyone on the same page.
- You can also regulate who can access certain files and how they can interact with them. “We save [ten percent] of a person’s time on a weekly basis and the comfort level of being able to do that with security is awesome,” Bill Lutzen, of Journal Communications, said of his experience with Google Drive.
7. A1A Limo
No business professional’s arsenal of business apps is complete without one that makes accessing transportation services as easy as possible.
With the A1A Airport and Limousine Service app, you can book luxury ground transportation in any of our 850 serviceable cities across the world. Whether you need a party bus rental for events in your local city or chauffeur service for visiting executives, the A1A Limo app can get you or your client to your destination safely.
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- Heading to a conference? Use the app to get instant access to reserve an airport transfer with one of our professionally-trained drivers. The app is preloaded with all of the major airports, so you can select yours from the list and reserve chauffeur service right away. A1A will track your flight and be ready when it arrives, so you will never be late to a meeting.
- Whether you need a luxury sedan or limousine, A1A Limo can accommodate all of your travel needs. Download our app and see for yourself that booking luxury ground transportation has never been easier.
Written By: Amber M. Smith