Delivered by FedEx.
Consumers have embraced mobile applications to get information for leisure activities such as checking movie times or finding a restaurant. Now, entrepreneurs are tapping into a whole new set of apps that enable them to fuel, streamline and grow their businesses.
“Small business owners are always moving, with so much to do, and are always on the lookout for any tools to help them make their business run more efficiently,” says Dionne Noisette, who works in digital access products for FedEx. “It’s increasingly important in today’s world that entrepreneurs have access to products and services globally.”
Some of the most popular apps for small firms looking to streamline their processes are designed to manage time, money and shipping. Here are a few that can help you become more efficient on a daily basis so you have time to focus on the things you really like to do:
1. EasyTask Manager from Orionbelt.com offers a free app for the iPhone and iPad that enables you to create a to-do list, prioritize tasks and put them on a calendar.
2. FedEx has an iPhone app and is gearing up to offer a new mobile app for the BlackBerry, and eventually the Android, that will enable you to schedule a pickup, track package status, view rates and locate a FedEx Office location.
3. Shoeboxed, an expense management firm, offers a free iPhone app that lets you take pictures of your receipts and add notes. The technology extracts the data to an iPhone where you can submit expenses.
4. SurePayroll enables you to pay employees, enter payroll hours, and approve and process payroll via an iPhone application. This free app also helps with submitting forms to the government and tracking payroll deadlines. But first, you’ll need a SurePayroll account.
5. wCharge by Transaction Wireless is a mobile application on most platforms that enables remote processing of American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa payments via a mobile phone. The transaction records are stored in your PayPal online profile. It will cost you about $5 to $8 per month.
6. Zoho offers mobile apps, priced at $8 and up, for spreadsheets, document creation and email that work on most platforms. Most of the apps are available in multiple languages.
More than 73 percent of the global workforce is expected to be mobile by 2012. And, while less than 20 percent of the world’s population currently uses a computer to go online, more than 50 percent uses a cell phone — usually with enhanced capabilities such as Internet access. With stats like those, it’s time to app it up.
Sharon McLoone is a journalist specializing in small-business, technology, telecommunications and policy issues. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNNMoney.com.
American Express OPEN and FedEx have teamed up to provide discounts and a comprehensive resource for shipping, business and print services. To learn more, go to http://www.fedex.com/opensavings.
OPEN Savings®: Payment must be made with an American Express® Business Card at the time of purchase; savings will be credited to your account. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. Subject to offer terms and conditions located at opensavings.com. Merchant participation and offers are subject to change without notice.