Little do most people know, small businesses are practically the largest contributors in the American economy nowadays. For instance, small businesses employ about half of workers in the United States and have generated 65%, or 9.8 million, of net new jobs over the past 17 years, says the US Small Business Administration.
Four years ago, the government estimated that there were at least 27.5 million small businesses in the US, outnumbering 18,311 large firms. And more than half of them are home-based or mobile. However, half of start-up businesses fail during its first five years, according to Census data.
Of course, there can be a lot of reasons why small businesses fail. Most startups rely on loan financing and bank credit, which still have tight terms and conditions to date. Small business failure may be due to competition, low sales, and over-investment in fixed assets and for reasons often brushed off as trivial: failure to track expenses and acquire up-to-date business knowledge, as well as poor communications and marketing tactics.
Both mobile devices—Smartphones, tablets, and laptops—and cloud apps are godsend to startups, whose normal business day can be quite stressful, particularly when they don’t have those helpful gadgets. Thankfully, the world’s app market is jam-packed with business-oriented apps that can walk you through your normal day business operation. Now that almost every aspect of business has been “appified,” business owners can focus their attention to more important things and make sure they won’t miss out on exciting business opportunities.
One of the leading VoIP providers in the US has proof compelling enough to ignore. 57% of 300 small and mid-sized business owners across all major industries in the US said that they are dependent on cloud apps to accomplish tasks critical to their business, according to a RingCentral survey.
Check out some of the apps that can come in handy for a bootstrapping startup:
- Toshl Finance
Just like any other business, even startups are not exempted from bookkeeping tasks; which is by the way both time-consuming and emotionally taxing. To help you out, download Toshl Finance on your Apple, Android or Windows gadget for free. It is a cloud-based, personal finance and expense tracking app with other features like a bill reminder, currency converter, and automatic sync. With Toshl, you can also publish your financial reports in PDF, MS Excel, and Google Docs.
Don’t have time to read industry news and financial/market trends? Try listening to it! From business tech articles to finance pieces, Umano is a cloud app that narrates timely news. Available for free on Google Play and iTunes app store, this app is definitely a must-have for busy business owners, mobile workers, or globe-trotting business professionals.
- Facebook Pages Manager
For startups, who are already tight on their budgets as it is, starting an advertising campaign for brand, product, or service awareness need not break the bank. Small businesses can actually cash in on social media, which are considered as effective but cheap forms of advertising. Manage your business’ Facebook page anytime, anywhere with the Facebook Pages Manager app. With this app, you can constantly update your posts, monitor customer feedback, and measure your reach using your Android or Apple device.
- Genius Scan
For a little less than $3, you can have a mobile printer/scanner for your mobile office. Genius Scan for iOS and Android OS allows you to take high-quality snapshots of your documents (“scan”). You can compile your documents into a single PDF file and send it to other cloud apps like AirPrint, Dropbox, Box, Goggle Drive, among many others.