This is a guest post by Krisca Costes-Te.
We have really come a long way since the days when you have to travel hours just to monitor your business operations, when you have to talk to an operator to connect you to a business associate, when you had to bring bulky and heavy gadgets, to do your business presentations, and still, we have yet far to go. Now that technology has advanced immensely, there are so many options for a businessman to optimize his business productivity.
With the introduction of many smartphones and tablet PCs, we were given freedom like never before. As long as the right applications are downloaded, many businessmen can use their devices to improve their businesses- help them work smarter, more efficiently, and more simply.
Here are just some five of the best applications that can optimize your business productivity, without costing you much:
1. Google Mobile App
A lot of Google services are being used by many business people. If you are one of them, this mobile application can help you as it integrates with your Google account, so even when you are on the go, it’s like you have never left your office. Google Mobile App will allow you to access work-related documents with Docs, and you’ll be able to use the familiar email, contacts and calendar. It requires no hardware or software and need minimal administration, creating remarkable time and cost savings for businesses.
2. Wi-Fi Finder
Use this mobile application to find the nearest hotspots wherever you are. The Wi-Fi application allows its user to locate Wi-Fi hotspots wherever you are. They have a massive list, containing well over 145,000 of free hotspots for you to connect with around the world. With this Wi-Fi hotspot app in your device, you will find one that is near you.
You can search for hotspots within a specific geographic area, or use the 'near me' search filter to find hotspots. Narrow the search even more by choosing the type of hotspot location you're searching for.
This application is ideal if you travel often and are constantly in need of a hotspot to fire up the Internet. The Wi-Fi finder application works whether you are online or not, and virtually from anywhere you happen to be in the world. This Wi-Fi Finder app is available and free at the iTunes App Store.
The best benefit of using the free Skype app on your device is that it is such a well known application; it's highly likely that you and most people you know will already have an account.
Skype service via smartphones or Tablet PCs provides added value in an efficient communication, especially for your business. With this application on your device, you can always connect with your business associates, colleagues, and customers- a thing which is critical for businesses. With Skype communication can be done not only through voice and video calls but also via Instant Messenger. Mobile Skype is perfect because it is an efficient way to be contacted and the service is free. It will have the usual high quality functionality that you are using Skype on your desktop computer at home. This means that even when your contacts do not have the same device as you, they can still take advantage of this application. They don't necessarily need Skype installed on their PC; you can still call them using Skype for very low call charges, because Skype mobile allows you to make phone calls over Internet protocol, which is much cheaper than a standard call.
There have already been several offerings for those small business owners who want to start accepting credit card payments in the past, but they are inconvenient as they require you to punch in the card’s entire number.
That’s why Square might just be the best app just yet for small business owners, as this application allows them to accept credit cards on their mobile devices easily, with no requirements for contract, monthly fees or merchant account. Every person who gets this app will receive a free Square credit card reader in the mail, which is a magentic-strip reader that can be plugged into the iPhone’s headphone port. And within minutes of downloading this app, an entrepreneur is ready to take payments. All you need to do is swipe the card in the reader, punch in the charged amount, and let the customer sign right on the phone. When the transaction is complete it is geo tagged and a receipt can be sent via email or an SMS. The app is free to download, and there are no monthly fees; however, the user will be charged a small percentage of the amount for every transaction.
5. App for Courier Services
For business that often do shipping of products, they’ll be glad to know that couriers have already tapped into this technology to better serve you. And all you have to do is pick your favorite courier, and download their respective app. This makes it very convenient for you as a business person to send and receive packages while out and about. You can track packages, produce shipping labels, or even find the nearest shipping center all from your device.