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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 October 13, 2020

                    How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

                    How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

                    Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

                    Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

                    • Taking a job for the money
                    • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
                    • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
                    • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
                    • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

                    There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

                    One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

                    Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

                    1. Be a Mentor

                    When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

                    “Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

                    This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

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                    This can get you stuck.

                    Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

                    “Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

                    With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

                    From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

                    Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

                    Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

                    Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

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                    1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
                    2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
                    3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

                    Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

                    2. Work on Your Mindset

                    Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

                    “If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

                    In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

                    Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

                    Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

                    3. Improve Your Soft Skills

                    When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].

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                    Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

                      According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

                      You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

                      Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

                      Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

                      Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

                      The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

                      4. Develop Your Strategy

                      Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

                      Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.

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                      Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

                      Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

                      The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

                      Here are some questions to ask yourself:

                      • Why do you do what you do?
                      • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
                      • What does a great day look like?
                      • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
                      • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

                      Define success to get promoted

                        These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

                        Final Thoughts

                        After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

                        Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

                        More Tips on How to Get Promoted

                        Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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