Small Business Apps You Must Have To Run Your Business
As a small business owner, there are many administrative tasks you have to do in order to run a business. Not all of it is easy to do, but there are some apps out there that can make it easier. These are 5 apps I found I cannot live without when running my home staging business.
While this app is initially free for the first 40 drives each month, I went ahead and upgraded to the unlimited version ($59.99/yr). MileIQ keeps track of all my miles and you can categorize them as personal or business miles. As a home stager, I use these miles to write off on my small business taxes for trips such as shopping for a client, open houses, meeting realtors or homeowners or business meetings with tradespeople. You can even send yourself a monthly report via email to keep track of the miles you drove. No more guessing or trying to use Google maps to recreate the route you took.
MileIQ will remind you when you need to categorize your trips. All you do is swipe to the right if it a business trip or left if it is a personal trip. You can also delete trips. It is always running in the background and will even notify you if you turned it off. Give it a try if you are always running from place to place and need to keep track of miles for your small business.
2. Paint Harmony
Paint Harmony is just the visual tool I need to show my clients when I need them to change a wall color. Some clients can’t visualize the effect of the color change and those small paint swatches can only go so far. With Paint Harmony, I take a picture of a room, select the section I want “repainted”, pick my color and see the new wall color in the picture. Now your client can see what the room will look like before they actually start painting! Genius!
Paint Harmony by Cambrian Tech uses colors from all the major paint suppliers such as Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Glidden, Valspar and more. You can save your favorite colors on the app and use them when needed. Pictures are worth a thousand words and this app makes it easy to show how the room would look. This app does cost $.99 but it so worth it.
3. iHandy Level
I am constantly hanging pictures when staging a home and I want them to be perfect. I bring lots of tools in my “staging box” but that torpedo level can be misplaced, left at home etc. Enter the iHandy level. This free app loads on your iphone and looks just like a level with the bubble. Place it on the wall and voila, you can now see if your art or mirror is level. Very rarely will you find me without my iphone so my level goes with me too!
4. BM Color Capture
As a decorator, I have many paint samples, flooring, etc. These can get heavy to carry around and sometimes you misplace the color swatch or loan it to a friend. Now you have to dig around to find that paint color. Not with the Benjamin Moore Color Capture. I prefer Benjamin Moore only because I started with that supplier, but Behr has Color Smart, Sherwin Williams has ColorSnap, so you can use those apps as well. The point being, the app has all the color swatches you can download for free on your iphone. You can look up your favorite wall colors on your phone and show a client the color you are trying to describe. You can also take a picture of an item in your home and Color Capture will tell you the closest paint color they offer with any complementary colors to help decorate a room.
Want to know what could go with that pink couch? Take a picture, start your app and see the complementary colors you can use for throw pillows, candles, art etc.
If you can’t find your way around town or want to get there faster, there is no better app (in my opinion) than Waze. This free app on your iphone takes into consideration all traffic between you and where you want to be. It will give you an estimated time of arrival and turn by turn directions to get there.
As a small business owner, I may not know all the side streets or routes to get to a client’s house, but Waze will tell me how to get there. If there is a traffic jam, Waze will let me know how long I can expect to be in that traffic jam. If there is another, faster route, Waze will reroute me so I can get to my client’s home. I rely on this app to show me how to get to unfamiliar neighborhoods. If it looks like I am going to be late, I can easily call my client and let them know how much longer I will be. Not all all GPS systems take traffic into account in their estimated time of arrival. But this little guy does it all for me.
So while your small business may not be in the decorating field, you may find some of the tools I use to run my business may help your small business. Technology is a great thing and can make your life easier. What apps or tools do you use to make your small business run?