The market has exploded with sophisticated, easy-to-use apps that can ease the job of running your company. These tools can cut down on the time you spend on routine tasks and potentially even help you do them better.

The beauty of an app is that you can access it through your phone and stay efficient no matter where you happen to be. Many apps have a free version and some offer a more robust app with an associated charge. Explore the following five app types to find tools that can help you in your business.


Improve file-sharing

Many businesses use email to share documents, but emailed files can be difficult to find in your inbox and collaboration can create version control issues. Apps range from ones that just help with file-sharing to tools for improving collaborative editing. For example, WeTransfer focuses on images in your phone’s camera roll and transfers videos or pictures of up to 10GB in size by providing a link for recipients to click on. The Infinit app allows members to send files of any size directly to each other with no uploading or downloading to or from the cloud. If multiple employees need to edit the document, Google Docs or Huddle™ can create multiple project folders and track who is saying what.


Coordinate employees in the field

If your company has sales or service teams in the field, apps that track and support them can increase efficiency and enhance communication. Current apps provide basics such as routing and scheduling management as well as payment processing, price-quote tools, form generation and invoicing support. To help you manage appointment timing and keep in touch, some apps include GPS tracking that lets your team in the office pinpoint the location of field team members. Apps in this category include Locqus, ServiceM8, ServicePal and wide range of others depending on your priorities. Most apps have free versions, but more features are available if you pay a monthly fee.


Monitor inventory

Maintaining control over inventory is one of the most time-consuming tasks many business owners face. Available apps neatly categorize your inventory by type, product and quantity, giving you a full view of your company’s moving parts. Free apps like Inventory List and Inventory Scanner 2015 allow you to scan and sort items as well as export files, and they provide simple, clean designs to let you quickly see quantities of your products. Other options, like Goods Order Inventory, carry similar features but also allow you to pay for extras, such as purchase orders and financial reports.


Track expenses

Top-notch expense tracking is essential to good money management in your business. When you’re on the road, apps can help you record expenses in real time so you’ll never lose track of receipts or log inaccurate data.MileIQ is a mile-tracking app that logs your mileage on the road through a GPS-based system, and it’s free for your first 40 drives every month. Other free apps such as Concur or Smart Receipts let you log different types of expenses by category while you’re on the go or in the office. Their primary differences are in terms of layout and setup, so you can sample a few free apps and decide on your favorite format.


Maintain secure passwords

Entrepreneurs know they need to choose strong passwords and change them frequently to protect businesses from a security breach, but it’s a huge challenge to follow those best practices across a whole team. Mobile apps such as 1Password and Keeper® Password Manager & Digital Vault store passwords and logins for you in a highly secure location, and they give you the option to stash confidential files and credit card numbers as well. Some of these apps generate new passwords automatically, adding an extra layer of protection to your organization.


The surge of free apps has been a game-changer for many small businesses. These tools can support you in taking care of daily tasks so that you are free to focus on your business.

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