There's an App for That

How many times have you heard someone say, “There’s an app for that.” For practically any need, there’s an app available to make your life easier and more enjoyable.

For example,  let's say you are the outdoorsy type and are planning a road trip to Portland, Maine. You want to check out the scenic lighthouses and stay at nearby camp grounds. You can download the Roadtrippers app to search by points of interest to find the lighthouses and nearby campgrounds. Download the app, pack your gear, and you are ready to go. This app adds spontaneity to your trip and saves you a ton of time on research.

That is one example of how technology makes our lives easier.You can probably see where I’m going with this: there are apps designed to make running your business easier. For nearly every industry, there’s an app already available to help streamline operations. For example, in the remodeling industry there are apps where you can take a picture of a roof, add the dimensions, and it will calculate the pitch. You can then take the data to a project management app and build an estimate for the job, submit it to the customer, coordinate with suppliers and laborers, schedule the job, track progress, and get paid. That is a lot of work that can be managed in one place!

Some apps are free, but most cost a small fee. The key to getting the most benefits out of an app is to use it. Learn all of the features the app offers and then set it up for your business. By dedicating some time up front, you will have an easier transition as you learn how to use it properly, establish common procedures, and get in the habit of following them. The time you save by using the app in your daily operations will far outweigh the cost of the app and the time spent setting it up.

Many apps offer a free trial. If you aren’t happy with the first app you choose, you can try out others until you find one you like.  New apps are being developed every day and software developers are continually improving existing ones.

The accounting software I primarily use, and recommend to my clients, is QuickBooks Online (QBO).  QBO integrates with over 470 apps already. Many more apps are available and if QBO doesn’t integrate with an app you like, there are work-arounds. Other apps are designed to transfer the data from whatever your using into QBO.

My advice is to do some research on the different apps you could use in your business. Most likely there are several apps customized to fit your industry. Consider if they will help you avoid troublesome issue you deal with frequently. Test the app, and if you feel comfortable using it then you can go forward with a full implementation.

The goal of using an app is to make running your business easier. Who wouldn’t want that?