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Apps for the SME Sector

Yesterday it was the fax and today it’s the app. What next? Technology moves quickly and although faxes have hopefully run out of toner for the last time, it seems likely that the app is here to stay. For small business owners staying on top of the rapidly changing world of IT is essential. Cloud computing and the rapidly expanding world of the app are two of the most significant developments, and two that offer incredible benefits, especially to the smallest firms. Here’s some that you shouldn’t be without and some to keep an eye out for in a future near you.

SKYPE

If you haven’t already got SKYPE on your mobile what can we say? Yesterday is the time to do it. SKYPE offers your clients the chance to call you for free, as long as they too have the service. If there is one thing guaranteed to put a client off it’s the thought of those hefty mobile charges but with SKYPE on your mobile they’ll not think twice about constantly giving you a buzz. The service is well established and, importantly, trusted. It also has a range of features to make if flexible for those who need quiet times while they work, such as voicemail. From the client’s perspective you are only a click away and from yours you can present an accessible web presence. Good news all round.

Evernote

Evernote is a nice, simple, straightforward concept now available in app form. It allows you to make notes, set reminders or record audio memos, all on the go and all accessible from your phone or online. It’s the  replacement to the Filofax,  and the “really important note written on the back of a napkin and then lost on the way home”. No more excuses, Evernote will mean you’ll never lose a note or an important number again. Even if you lose the phone it’ll be there and waiting for you back at the office.

Finance and Accounting

If you hate accounts and are time stressed, there are always those important financial tasks that you procrastinate over – you keep meaning to do them but always leave them for another day. Cloud computing and apps offer a range of accounting software solutions which makes life considerably easier. For the mobile worker the app is simply a godsend! QuickBooks online from Intuit is a well-priced example of a smart phone accessible accounting solution and is one of the most popular amongst the smallest of firms – probably because this is who it’s designed for. For the micro business and freelancers apps that do all the kit and caboodle you’ll need include Freshbooks and the  Sage Pay App

 

 Online Storage & Back Up

Document storage and sharing apps. There’s a few to choose from these days, Google Drive, Box.com and Drop.box to name just a few. These three are competitors and the choice is yours; Dropbox is well established, Google Drive has a reputation all of its own and Box.net is a relative newcomer. Functionality is good on all three and the main advantages include that you can upload, create and share documents at will. A business proposal need never be left back at the office again and you can work on it up to the last moment before that essential business meeting. If you’d rather sit back and relax on the journey you can delegate to colleagues anywhere in the world! In terms of storage and back up facilities the different providers offer different options and these should be part of the decision making process when you pick a provider.

Others

If you have less than 10 employees here are some HMRC recognised free payroll software providers

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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