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10 Must-Have Apps for Startups and Small Businesses

10 Must-Have Apps for Startups and Small Businesses

Running a startup or small business can be costly and hectic, but today’s apps can help save entrepreneurs time and money. Download these apps to make living the entrepreneurial life a little easier:

Rescue Time

This time management app runs in the background of your computer and mobile devices to track activity on websites and applications. At the end of each day, users are sent a report with a snapshot of how their time was spent. Entrepreneurs will be able to better manage their days knowing what activities are taking the most time. Sounds perfect, right? The only downside to this miracle app is it is not yet available for iPhones.

rescue time app

    Mobile Day

    This app eliminates the frustration that comes with having to access your Outlook calendar and type in a 10-digit number for a conference call while trying to rush out the door to catch a flight. Mobile Day syncs with your phone’s calendar and provides one-touch access to any conference call or online meeting you have scheduled.

    Running behind? This app also allows you to easily text or email all attendees when you’re a few minutes late.

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    mobile day app

      Slack

      Pick up the slack with the Slack messaging app. Each conversation can be organized into channels that can be defined by the user. Whether you want to split up the channels by project team, department, or another way is up to you.

      Not only does this useful app allow for instant messaging, it also integrates with other apps such as Twitter, Google Hangouts and MailChimp to keep your conversations all in one place. These notifications can be assigned to appear in whatever channel you choose. For example, create a channel with your marketing director and assign Twitter notifications to appear here so both of you are aware when your company receives a retweet, mention or direct message.

      slack app

        LogMeInPro

        Traveling entrepreneurs have a new best friend with the LogMeIn Pro app. This app gives you fast and easy access to your PC or Mac from your browser, desktop or mobile device. Using the app, entrepreneurs can access files or applications stored on a PC or Mac from anywhere.

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        logmein app

          Humin

          As an entrepreneur, you probably know networking is essential to growing a business. But are you really expected to remember everyone you meet? Not with the Humin app. This revolutionary app combines contacts from your mobile device and social media accounts with your calendar, email and voicemail to provide context to the contacts in your phone. After this information is brought together, you can use a Google-like search feature to sift through contacts.

          What was the name of the person you met last Wednesday night? Ask Humin.

          Know someone who works at Apple? Humin does.

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          humin app

            Mint                    

            An essential app for any small or growing business, Mint brings financial management to entrepreneurs’ fingertips. This app compiles all financial accounts into one spot to provide a quick overview for business owners. Each transaction can be categorized so entrepreneurs can track expenses, revenue and monthly spending with a simple visual chart. The bill pay reminder feature is an added bonus for on-the-go (and forgetful) entrepreneurs.

            mint app

              Perka

              Brick and mortar store? Perka is a must-have for your business. Don’t force your customers to carry around a dingy paper punch card to prove their loyalty! Perka brings these old-fashioned reward cards into the digital age. Customers simply log-in to the app and check-in to your location, which will allow their account to show up in your system. When the customer is ready to make a purchase, all he or she has to do is tell you the first name the account is under in the system. No hole puncher required.

              perka app

                Asana

                Yoga practitioners may recognize the word asana as a pose or posture, but entrepreneurs will now associate it with one word: efficiency. This project management app works great for organizing tasks for small businesses. Each user can create to-do lists and assign tasks to others with due dates, relevant files and detailed notes. Users have the capability to comment on or add subtasks to lists, eliminating the need for incessant back and forth emails.

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                asana app

                  Pocket

                  How many times have you scrolled through a newsfeed and reminded yourself to come back and read an article later? How many times have you actually remembered to do so? Chances are, even if you did, it would be difficult to relocate the article.

                  With Pocket, busy entrepreneurs can stay up-to-date with current events, industry news, and that funny video your best friend sent. Using this app, you can quickly bookmark articles, work documents, videos, or photos with ease and revisit them later at your convenience.

                  pocket app

                    Unroll.me

                    Tired of sifting through holiday sales, 20% off coupons, or social media notification emails to get to the ones that really matter? Busy entrepreneurs and small-business owners should not be tied down with cleaning out a cluttered inbox.

                    With the Unroll.me app, users can unsubscribe from aggravating email lists with one click instead of having to open each individual email and go on a scavenger hunt to find the microscopic “unsubscribe” text. Unroll.me goes one step further and combines the email lists you decide to keep into one daily digest.

                    Which apps for startups and small businesses do you use? Did your favorite make the list? Tell us in the comments below!

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                    Joel Goldstein

                    Entrepeneur

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                    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                    Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

                    You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

                    Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

                    “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

                    It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

                    Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

                    As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

                    As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

                    Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

                    Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

                    1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

                    When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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                    Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

                    2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

                    Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

                    But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

                    If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

                    Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

                    3. Go to All Office Networking Events

                    Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

                    If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

                    Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

                    Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

                    The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

                    Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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                    4. Show Initiative

                    Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

                    Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

                    Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

                    5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

                    Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

                    Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

                    6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

                    A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

                    Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

                    Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

                    A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

                    Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

                    Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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                    These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

                    Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

                    7. Find a Mentor

                    With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

                    Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

                    Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

                    Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

                    8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

                    After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

                    What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

                    Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

                    Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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                    You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

                    9. Set Your Professional Bar High

                    Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

                    Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

                    Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

                    Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

                    The Bottom Line

                    Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

                    “Half of life is showing up.”

                    The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

                    Remember, your career is your business!

                    More About Continuous Growth

                    Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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