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Posted: April 12, 2012

Be smart about using your smartphone

Mobile apps can make your small business boom

Jay Dirkmaat

Today’s smartphone – whether it is an iPhone, Android device, Blackberry, or Palm – can serve as your communications epicenter when you find yourself away from the office. You don’t have to sacrifice functionality and accessibility when you’re on the road. While the devices themselves have been a boon to small business, it’s the little applications that can be downloaded to these devices that make them so extraordinarily useful.

Cloud computing

The proliferation of cloud computing services has been a real boon for small businesses. Ubiquitous connectivity means that you have access to all of your documents on your office computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone. Think of accessing the cloud from your smart phone not just as an app for enhancing your productivity, but as a way of completely expanding the functionality across your devices. Some cloud based services that we like are Dropbox, SugarSync, QuickOffice Connect™.

Document printing abilities from your phone

Print N Share for Advanced Printing by EuroSmartz allows you to print to all printers via WiFi and wireless-enabled printers without extra software. And, where there is no WiFi, you can print remotely over 3G and in-corporate networks. For times when you need a copy of a document but don’t have access to a scanner, JotNot Scanner and ScanBizCards are two great apps than can help you keep track of important documents and business cards straight from your phone.

Finance

PageOnce is amazing app that lets users track online spending, watch investments, pay bills and more – all from your phone. You can set up multiple accounts for credit cards to track balances, alerts for when bills are due, investment portfolios with up-to-date changes, airline miles accounts, cell phone minute tracking and even manage a Netflix queue. If you’re concerned about security, you’ll be happy to know that if your phone is stolen or lost, you can easily disable the mobile connection from the apps main website at Pageonce.

While you’re managing your personal finances, you’ll also want access to your business books. Quickbooks now offers an application that allows you to run profit and loss statements and look up your contacts while you’re on the go.

Individuals and business owners have found Square to be an invaluable asset. The credit card reader attaches to a smartphone making cashless transactions fast and mobile. With Square, no payment processing contract or expensive hardware is necessary. The small plastic square dongle fits into the headphone jack of the phone. With a swipe, the credit card data is captured. The amount is charged is entered. Then, using a finger, the customer signs the phone. The paperless receipt can be emailed to the customer.

In today’s fast paced working environment where employees are doing more with less, using these 
applications on your device that you already carry everywhere can help cut back on the stress and make you more productive than ever.

 

Jay Dirkmaat is Vice President of Comcast business services in Colorado and New Mexico. In addition to his work with businesses ranging from start-ups to large corporations, Dirkmaat manages the Comcast Community Partners program, a resource that provides nonprofit organizations with deeply discounted services and technology solutions that save time, increase productivity and offer more value. Active in the community, Dirkmaat volunteers for Operation Christmas, Habitat for Humanity and the MDA telethon.

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Excellent...thank you for sharing. I'm excited to go check them out. By Teri Karjala on 2012 04 16
Great suggestions for useful apps, Jay! I'll have to try Print N Share for remote printing. I'm just getting started with Square for event sales of my books and videos and love the low cost and ease of use. Thanks for sharing these valuable smartphone tools! By Dawn Bjork Buzbee on 2012 04 15
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