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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

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                    Last Updated on January 13, 2020

                    Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

                    Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

                    Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

                    Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

                    Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

                    Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

                    How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

                    The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

                    You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

                    Physical Signs

                    Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

                    It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

                    In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

                    Mental Signs

                    One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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                    I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

                    Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

                    • The tension in your neck
                    • Difficulties with sleeping
                    • Unable to concentrate
                    • High anxiety
                    • Depression

                    If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

                    Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

                    Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

                    The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

                    Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

                    Desire for an Increase of Salary

                    The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

                    At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

                    Overnight Decision

                    Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

                    Rejected for a Promotion

                    I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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                    Bored at Work

                    Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

                    A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

                    • How long have you worked in your career?
                    • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
                    • Do you receive recognition?
                    • Can you consider working in a new department?

                    If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

                    How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

                    I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

                    One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

                    It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

                    A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

                    You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

                    • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
                    • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
                    • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

                    How to Make a Career Change Successfully

                    The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

                    1. Write a Career Plan

                    A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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                    You can learn how to set your career plan here.

                    2. Weigh Your Options

                    If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

                    You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

                    3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

                    It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

                    A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

                    • Economic factors
                    • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
                    • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
                    • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
                    • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

                      A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

                      4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

                      A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

                      • What is required to be successful in the role?
                      • What certification or educational development is needed?
                      • What are the challenges of the role?
                      • Is there potential for career advancement?

                      A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

                      Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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                      5. Research Salary

                      Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

                      It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

                      6. Be Realistic

                      If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

                      For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

                      Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

                      7. Volunteer First

                      A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

                      Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

                      Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

                      8. Prepare Your Career Tools

                      I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

                      • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
                      • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
                      • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
                      • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

                      Bottom Line

                      It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

                      Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

                      More About Career Change

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
                      [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
                      [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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