We check our phones about 85 times a day. Chances are, you’re reading this on one right now – or it won’t be long till you check it again. A staggering 70% of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices.
This ‘smartphone addiction’ gets bad press these days. For any small business owners, rather than a distraction, the smartphone is now their secret weapon. It’s the operating system for your life – your connection to the world, from keeping in touch with colleagues and loved ones to answering any question instantly (thanks, Google), to managing projects, teams, tasks and expenses from anywhere.
We’re witnessing the rise of the smartphone entrepreneur. In fact, Xero asked young entrepreneurs, back in 2014, what the single most important tool for running their business would be in the future. The answer? Smartphones. No surprise, then, that the ‘app economy’ could be worth an eye-watering $6.3trillion by 2021.
Working at a high-growth startup, I can certainly relate – spending all day at my desk is a rare luxury. Helping grow the business involves long days, lots of travelling, back-to-back meetings and plenty of challenges. So the ability to manage things remotely, or on the road, is a game-changer that simply didn’t exist a few years ago.
Do you often find yourself managing tasks and teams from your smartphone? Here’s my pick of the five best apps for entrepreneurs managing a business on-the-go.
Trello – Task management made simple
Task management apps like Slack and Asana are great for growing teams – but if you need a simple, quick, shareable dashboard for tracking and managing projects, Trello is a life saver. Create a board, invite team members and start collaborating within minutes.
Xero – Accounts in the cloud
Switching to Xero has been a breath of fresh air for our team – and our accountant. Having beautiful, simple accounting software that can scale with our business is essential, and the ability to switch integrations on through the Xero Marketplace is a real bonus.
Curve – Simpler business spending
Maybe I’m biased – but Curve has made it so easy for me to manage business spend and automate expenses. Now, I have one Curve card to spend from all my accounts and one app to manage them. It simplifies the way I spend, cuts out FX fees on business trips, and allows me to automate expenses by sending them straight to Xero. Oh… and I can time travel.
Wetransfer – Getting files from A to B
Show me a better way to share files and folders, and I’ll be the first to sign up. On mobile and on desktop, WeTransfer is a simple, secure, fast way to share things I’m working on – whether it’s with someone in my team or in another organisation altogether.
Citymapper – Getting me from A to B
Frequent travel is part of the job – but tight scheduling often means it’s vital for me to get around like a local with minimum fuss, no matter what city I’m in. Citymapper is a powerful, simple solution for that need, and it rarely lets me down.
There are hundreds more to choose from, but these are a few I couldn’t live without.
How does the list compare to yours? I’m always on the lookout for new tools to try, so leave a comment below or find me on LinkedIn and let me know which apps are a permanent fixture on your smartphone home screen.
Matthew Phillips leads partnerships and business development at Curve – the new app that allows you to spend from all your accounts with one smart Curve card. He also manages Curve’s Accountant Partner Programme, working with accountants and bookkeepers to simplify their processes and onboard clients with Curve and Xero.