Editor’s Note: Last year one of our most popular articles of the year was written by Shara Karasic, who pointed out 10 small-business apps for the iPhone. The response was so enthusiastic, that we invited Shara back for an even bigger and better roundup of apps for entrepreneurs and small-business execs this year. And who better than Shara to contribute this article — she lives, breathes, sleeps and eats apps in her role with Appolicious, a community review site for mobile apps. Here in 2011 we are delighted to bring you Shara’s much bigger list of iPhone and iPad apps, organized by type of activity.
Since I listed 10 great small business apps in 2010, the use of iPhones and iPads for SMB’s has exploded in areas from business travel to communication to productivity. The office has become truly mobile. Here are must-have apps for those running and operating businesses in 2011:
1. Travel for Business Like a True Road Warrior
Prepare for your trip and navigate like a true road warrior using your iPhone! Kayak PRO lets you find a flight or a hotel; TripIt – Travel Organizer keeps your travel itinerary always handy in your pocket,; FlightTrack Pro – Live Flight Status Tracker gives you real-time flight updates and helps you find alternate flights (and works seamlessly with TripIt); GateGuru will guide you to the nearest ATM, post office, or luggage store in the airport. Once you arrive, Taxi! makes it easy to find a cab 24/7 anywhere in the U.S. Don’t forget your Kindle app so you can read on the plane or in the taxi.
2. Business Communications that Join Virtual Teams
Make free phone calls with Viber, Truphone, or Skype, which has entered 2011 with the ability to make video calls over both Wi-Fi and 3G. Stay connected to your team with Free Conference Call, which lets you hold conferences and even offers free recording. Or try Callvine, with one-click group calls, or Calliflower, which displays a dashboard of conference participants. Send group text messages for free with Beluga. Join online meetings via your iPhone with Cisco WebEx Meeting Center. If you have an iPad, you can attend online meetings with WebEx for iPad or GoToMeeting.
3. Payment Processing Wherever Your Customers Are
4. Expenses Tracked on the Go
Scan your receipts on the go to make generating expense reports a snap with Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker and Receipt Reader. Or use Expensify, which imports your credit card’s purchase history and automatically creates expense reports which it emails from your iPhone.
5. Business Networking for Super Connectors
Be prepared to work a room and cultivate new contacts. Use LinkedIn to check out new connections, card reader app WorldCard Mobile to scan business cards and CardManager to manage them. Or just use Bump to exchange contact info. Gist creates rich business profiles of people you meet, and Calvetica Calendar lets you easily schedule events with them. Once you have new contacts in your iPhone, use Dialvetica to access them quickly.
6. Document Access & Management Across Platforms
View and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint docs wherever you are with Documents To Go – Office Suite or QuickOffice Connect. Share files across computers and mobile devices with Dropbox. Access your desktop remotely with Wyse PocketCloud Pro – RDP / VNC / View (Remote Desktop) or Mocha VNC. Scan with Genius Scan and print documents from your iPhone or iPad with PrinterShare.
7. Business Presentations that Get Your Message Across
8. Invoicing & Time Tracking on the Go
9. Mobile CRM to Amp Your Sales Prospects
10. Business Productivity 24/7
11. Manage Finances and Payroll Wherever You Are
12. Customer Loyalty Programs to Increase Repeat Business
13. Source B2B Products
HKTDC Mobile from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council provides mobile access to 120,000 suppliers around the world as well as a list of trade fairs.
Find more business apps at Appolicious using our new business & finance app directory. Or browse user-submitted lists of the best business apps. Have another business app that you find invaluable? Add it in the comments, and make sure to let the Appolicious community know about it.