It’s a good problem to have, but it’s a problem nonetheless: With so many (think hundreds of thousands) mobile apps available, separating the useful from the useless can be a difficult task. To help you sift through them all, consider this list of eight essential apps for small businesses.
GoToMeeting (Android, iOS; free) — If you’re invited to or hosting a meeting on the GoToMeeting platform, this app lets you participate via tablet or smartphone just as you would if you were sitting in front of your laptop or desktop computer. You may also administer the meeting and view presentations.
HootSuite (Android, iOS; free; pictured) — HootSuite is one of the most popular apps for scheduling posts across all of your social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. The app allows you to manage posts, view analytics data, and even “bump” devices to add that new follower that you met while traveling.
GoPayment (Android, iOS; free to GoPayment subscribers) — Accept credit card payments anywhere using your mobile device and the free card reader provided by Intuit. It’s practical and simple: You swipe the card, the customer uses her finger to sign on the screen, and the transaction is complete.
Dropbox (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Kindle Fire; free) — If you store your data in the cloud, there’s a good chance that you’re already using Dropbox. The mobile app is free, easy to use, and reliable. It gives you complete access to any file directly from your smartphone or tablet.
Documents to Go (iOS, Android, Blackberry; $9.99) — Until Microsoft comes out with a mobile Office app, small-business owners are forced to take what they can get. Fortunately, Documents to Go works well. You can open and edit files from Open Office, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint while integrating with Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box.
Jump Desktop (Android, iOS; $14.99) — Want to access your office computer while traveling? Jump Desktop allows you to do that through a secure connection. The app also supports Bluetooth, multitasking, and auto-correction. You can even connect to your computer from another PC if your mobile device runs out of battery life.
QuickBooks Mobile (Android, iOS; free to QuickBooks Users) — You can’t handle all of your QuickBooks tasks with this app, but you can take care of the essentials: check accounts for outstanding invoices, send sales receipts, and create estimates. If you’re an on-the-go QuickBooks user, through either QuickBooks or QuickBooks Online, you’ll wonder why you didn’t download this app sooner.
WordPress (Android, iOS; free) — Your blog is an integral part of your business, and you need the power to administer it no matter where you are. If you’re like most entrepreneurs and have a WordPress-powered site, this app allows you to author posts, approve comments, view analytics, and work with images and other media from your mobile device.