Every business owner will testify to the fact that running one is difficult. Managing logistics, stock, services, employees and customers can prove to be one huge headache. Luckily though, for those entrepreneurs among you, technology has made things a little easier; more specifically the evolution of apps.
There really is an app for everything, from quitting smoking to ordering takeaways. So here are a few that you should use to help you run your business, and spoiler alert, some apps you will already have on your phone.
Isn’t there some saying about always needing a pen and paper when you don’t have one? Well nowadays writing utensils are entirely redundant. One thing most people always have on their person at all times is their mobile phones, so you can utilize the virtual pad at your disposal safe in the knowledge that trees aren’t being murdered for the privilege.
It gives you the opportunity to write down any and every thought that may come into your head. Of course, not all of them will be the next groundbreaking idea, but there’s no harm in noting your thoughts. You never know what use they could be at a later stage.
You don’t need telling to use the ‘Clock’ app on your phone to set your alarm in the morning, who doesn’t do that already? But it is definitely worth using the app throughout the day. Time management is hugely important in the day-to-day running of any business, and it is a skill that very few have perfected.
Even setting alarms every hour just to keep yourself time-conscious as the hours tick by can help. If you have multiple tasks to do in a short space of time, divide each task up and delegate how much time you will spend completing each. Use the stopwatch feature to ensure you don’t run over and miss any deadlines.
3. Football Manager
Football Manager is one of the best football games ever made. This is largely down to its detail and ability to completely engulf players and allow them to enter an almost-alternate reality and entirely escape the real world.
Obviously, whether a business owner would play this game is down to personal preference, but it doesn’t have to specifically be Football Manager. It’s a good example of a game that offer that ability to switch off, relax and enter a new world. So, any other alternative game that has a similar effect will also do the trick, and help a business owner take some much needed relaxation time away from work.
4. Pure Sudoku
Is Sudoku really going to be at the top of the list for apps that you’ll need to use as an incredibly busy business owner? Almost certainly not. But considering the fact that you are likely to commute to work, it is a decent app to use to kill time.
Firstly, it’s a game. The purpose of a game is to entertain, so why not play something on what would otherwise be a boring commute? A ten minute gaming session could be the only source of fun and relaxation you get to have during your busy daily schedule.
Secondly though, and perhaps more crucially, Sudoku is a great way to engage your brain and get those cogs turning. Like sportsmen stretch to loosen and ready themselves for games, you should get that brain started before the day of business ahead of you. Like the Football Manager suggestion, it’s not set in stone. If Sudoku isn’t your thing, a crossword or other brain teaser will have the same effect.
5. Google Docs
Microsoft Office has long been the official and only programme to use for any type of work, be it a powerpoint, document or spreadsheet. However, it is rather costly over the year and there are a load of alternatives that offer the same service. Google Docs is just one, and probably the best, one to use. It’s entirely free and there are very few actual differences between it and Office.
Furthermore, documents are automatically saved to the Google account that you’re using, so there’s no need for memory sticks. Simply login on any device and start where you left off. Offline editing is also available through the app and Google offers Powerpoint and Excel alternatives too.
6. Planner Pro – Daily Calendar
You may have a PA to help you with life, but if that is not a luxury you can afford, this is the next best thing.
Planner Pro gives you the opportunity to be completely on top of everything about your business. From putting events in the calendar to seeing the daily, monthly and yearly overview, with this app you’ll truly always know where you’re at with it all.
It’s such a simple app that in reality, does wonders for us. You may be all set with your seven times table, but this app could be the life-saver you need.
Of course, unless your brain is a machine, for those big problems you’re going to use a calculator anyway. But why not use it for absolutely every single calculation, even the simplest of ones? It sounds ridiculous, but when you consider that a calculator’s error rate is 0.00%, it makes sense.
A calculator will never make a mistake. It’s not slower in the morning before it’s had a coffee, or prone to the odd miscalculation after a heavy night out the day before. It always gets it right. So even if you will be correct 99.1% of the time, why let that 0.9% enter the frame? Sure it’s not a lot, but that could be the one error that ends up costing your company thousands. Just be smart and calculated (literally), play the odds game and don’t be caught out.
8. BBC News
Again, if the BBC is not your style then feel free to use another media outlet. But having a news app that’s checked daily is very useful and highly recommended.
Firstly, it’s good to keep up with what’s going on in the world, if not for a business sense, for your own good. If your business is in a specific market however, it’s definitely a good idea to keep up-to-date with the happenings in the industry. Learn from mistakes of competitors, take inspiration from their successful ideas etc.
Also, business is often about networking and relations. That means a lot of talking. So stay in the know about current events to seem knowledgeable, ensuring you always have something to discuss with others and even know about different people’s industries – even the most basic piece of knowledge can go a long way with a person if they’re not expecting you to know it.