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Gene (00:02):

Hey everybody. And welcome to the Hartford’s Small Biz Ahead podcast. My name is Gene Marks. Thanks so much for joining me. What I wanna talk about this week has to do with apps, mobile apps. I’ve been speaking to a bunch of clients and people in my community and asking them, “hey, what kind of mobile apps are you using to help run your business?” It’s kind of a big deal. One of my clients says who’s been running his company for 14 years. I mean, he says that like, he’s never been able to work smarter or more efficient, thanks to the mobile apps that he’s using. People are using mobile apps in their businesses to get things done in a more expedited and well organized pace than ever before.

Gene (00:48):

The whole mobile app thing is really catching on. In 2021, check this out, consumers and small businesses spent almost 4 trillion hours using mobile apps and paid more than $320,000 at app stores every minute of the day during the year, it’s a 20% increase from the previous records recorded in 2020. That is an unbelievable number. And I thank App Annie, which is a report, you know, a research firm that studies mobile data and analytics. You can tell that mobile apps are really, really important. So let’s talk about the mobile apps. What are small businesses using? Well, let me go over a few of them that I think that you should know. First of all, there’s email, so if you’re out and about, I think that that is an obvious thing.

Gene (01:37):

Microsoft Outlook, Google’s Gmail are very, very important. I personally use my email from my CRM. It’s called Zoho Mail. Some people do all their communications on mobile apps from some messaging services like Facebook and LinkedIn have great mobile apps. Two other mobile apps that you might wanna look into. One is called Aqua Mail, and the other is called ProtonMail. All those stand apart from Outlook and Google and have more administrative capabilities. I have some clients that like both of those applications very much. And also I have one client who likes a little mobile app called Spark. What Spark does is it brings together all messages into one place and helps him prioritize his responses. So, those are some of the really great email apps you should consider: Outlook, Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Zoho Mail, Aqua Mail, ProtonMail and Spark. Those are the email applications you should consider.

Gene (02:38):

How about collaboration with your people? There’s a lot of people working from home and working remotely. Well, of course, Microsoft Teams is one big application people use as well as Google Workspace and Slack. Those are among the most popular mobile apps. They help business owners and their employees share documents and emails and videos and conversations and notes about customers and projects wherever they happen to be. An app called Box is also very, very popular. Dropbox of course, to save your documents. People know that as well. I also like an app made by Jotform. Jotform is utilized by many of my clients because, they make it very easy to create mobile forms that use conditional logic and accept payments and generate reports and automate workflows. Like if you ever just want a form to be filled out and make it very easy for people to put data in and get it into your system, it integrates with just about every CRM and accounting application out there.

Gene (03:37):

Jotform is also really good. Also a handful of my more technical clients use Open Office from Apache. It’s an open source suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and graphics, databases, things like that. Another really great app for collaboration. So let’s summarize for collaboration, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Slack, Box, Dropbox, Jotform and Open Office are the mobile apps that I see most popular among my clients. Some other things that help people kind of do work that are mobile. I have one client that loves this app called Figma F.I.G.M.A. It helps remote workers share their ideas on a virtual whiteboard. Other clients like an app called JIRA, J.I.R.A and Confluence, which are both project management apps that also help you create a knowledge base for questions and answers for issues that come up on client engagements, all mobile, you can do that.

Gene (04:42):

I have one person, of course, who manages all of his projects on a mobile app made by Trello, T.R.E.L.L.O, which is a very popular project management application. And other clients, when it comes to project management, they like to lean on some of the, some of the more well known platforms like Basecamp, Airtable and Asana. All of those apps will help you with projects, knowledge base and managing communications amongst each other. So let me summarize them as well. There’s Figma F.I.G.M.A, there’s JIRA, J.I.R.A, Confluence, Trello, Basecamp, Airtable and Asana. Next there’s customer relationship management or CRM, great CRM apps that you can use for your business. So for example, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce and Zoho. And then of course there’s accounting. Every accounting application that’s out there also has a mobile app.

Gene (05:40):

Some of the more popular accounting applications like QuickBooks and Xero, those applications come with great mobile apps for you to do invoicing, check your customer balances, get financial reports on the go. If you’re looking for mobile payments, the more popular mobile apps there of course are PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay and Square. If you’re expanding your human resources, you wanna consider mobile apps from Paychecks, ADP, and BambooHR. They allow their employees to view their payroll history, manage their vacations, expedite onboarding, update information, all in performance reviews. So again, on the CRM side, look at HubSpot Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce and Zoho. On the financial side, check out mobile apps from QuickBooks and Xero that’s X.E.R.O from mobile payments. Look at PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and Square. And for payroll and HR, check out Paychecks, ADP and BambooHR. Just a few more to throw on you, Productivity (App)…

Gene (06:46):

You wanna make sure that you’re running your life and your business as productive as possible. I have one client who loves a mobile app called TapeACall T.A.P.E.A.C.A.L.L, which gives him real time transcriptions as he’s speaking. It’s a great, great transcription app. I use another one called Temi T.E.M.I. Also, if you want to demonstrate by mobile app, something that you’re doing on your phone, you can use a great product called Loom. Also, if you wanna just take notes in a good way, Notability, GoodNotes and Simplenotes are all great note taking applications. I use Simplenote and I absolutely love it. So Productivity, TapeACall, Temi that’s T.E.M.I, both for transcribing conversations, Loom for taking videos of you working on your phone that you could share with clients.

Gene (07:38):

Notability, Goodnotes and Simplenotes are great mobile apps for note taking. Finally, let’s talk a little bit about travel and just moving around. Okay. Uber and Lyft are extremely popular mobile apps among small businesses. If you want to check your flight status, I use the mobile app from FlightAware. I also use an app called Curb when I pay for regular taxis. And then of course, there’s just fun stuff like getting news and listening to music. Of course I hear from everybody, they, they love Spotify. I use a news reader called Feedly for my news. Some people get their news from Reddit and also when they’re communicating WhatsApp and Zoom, very, very popular, people like to watch to their movies or read books on the Kindle app. And if you want a little chilling out, I do recommend an app called Calm C.AL.M., which has nice little chilling out music.

Gene (08:30):

And sounds to kind of bring down your brainwaves. Listen, the takeaway is that mobile apps, they’ve become critical technologies for small businesses, and they’re gonna continue to be so for the foreseeable future. I mean, my business is more mobile than ever. And what’s fun about that is that there’s new apps that are coming out every year. So I’ll be back to you in a year. And I’ll share with you some of the newer apps that are out there that I think might help you in your business. Hope this information helps. So if you want more information and if you wanna get some of the specifics of this, that’ll be in the transcription to this podcast. So hopefully that will help you as well. And if you want some information and advice and tips for running your business, please visit us at to get that information. You can also listen to our most recent podcast, our Small Biz Ahead podcast that I do with Jon Aidukonis here at The Hartford. Thanks again for listening. My name is Gene Marks. I hope you got some good information from this and we’ll be back to you next week with some more advice to help you run your business. Take care.

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