The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Desktop Connect
With Desktop Connect (www.antecea.com/apps/desktop_conn/overview.html), you can connect to any PC in the world. Entrepreneurs can use this app so they’re not tied down to the office computer, and they can spend more time on the sales floor, managing staff and interacting with customers.
2. Map Apps
The most important mobile apps you should have a presence on are map apps (Apple, Google, etc.). When customers and potential customers are trying to locate your store, they are going to use their mobile map app to help them navigate. When someone nearby is in need of your services, you don’t want them to end up at your competitor because you’re not listed. Make sure your business is map-ready.
3. ShopKeep POS
I am constantly impressed when a brick-and-mortar business has a seamless checkout and payment process on iPad. When I inquire what app they’re using at point-of-sale, I hear the same app named over and over: ShopKeep POS (www.shopkeep.com)! Whether you’re running a restaurant, cafe, boutique or other retailer, the ShopKeep POS app for the iPad is cutting edge and will help you run your brick-and-mortar business more smoothly.
LevelUp (www.thelevelup.com) is an innovative startup that enables merchants to accept payments and also offer rewards. Customers are able to pay with their phones, which is a fast — and cool — experience. But the added value is that the LevelUp app allows small merchants to act like the “big guys” and create incentives for customers to shop. The app offers gamification that actually drives business performance!
5. Genius Scan
This app is so helpful! A lot of brick-and-mortars have paperwork all over the place. Genius Scan (www.thegrizzlylabs.com/genius-scan) turns documents into PDF files when you take a photo of them on your phone. It keeps track of signed documents and receipts, and it’s very easy to use. The app is especially perfect for brick-and-mortars that use a lot of signed contracts, like architectural and real estate firms.
RetailNext (www.retailnext.net) is completely changing the way retailers look at in-store data. They have a camera and software solution that makes it easy for brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs to analyze store traffic at extremely granular levels. They have a killer iPhone app that helps you analyze the data in real time. RetailNext is completely changing the game for brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs.
Apple is the prime example of ease of use, convenience and a smart design that puts the customer first, and now EasyPay is their new payment platform used in the Apple Store iOS app (www.apple.com/retail/shop). Tech-savvy shoppers will appreciate the security, speed and efficiency under a reliable platform.
Every brick-and-mortar store should incorporate Square (www.squareup.com) into their payment options. It allows in-store mobility and more time for the owner and staff to be on the floor, and rids the need for a traditional cash register. It also possibly eliminates your expensive payment-processing machine.
Evernote (www.evernote.com) is the sticky note equivalent to the mobile world, but it’s much more organized and accessible. It keeps all your ideas centralized and can be accessed from anywhere with Wi-Fi.
10. Google Authenticator
Just about all of us use our Google accounts to run our businesses — but that means major trouble if a phone is stolen or disappears. Set up your Google account for two-factor authentication to protect your business, and use Google Authenticator (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-authenticator/id388497605?mt=8) to streamline the process.
– Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting
As a consultant to the mobile app world, Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) is the winning app for every entrepreneur to use, hands down. Being able to access documents and spreadsheets from a mobile phone has increased efficiency, both in and out of the office. No more having to email documents back and forth between the team. Dropbox is a secured connection and allows an entrepreneur to share large files with just a link.
TurboScan (www.turboscanapp.com) helps organize and digitize your paper. It turns your iPhone into a multipage scanner for documents, receipts or notes, as the iPhone camera quickly scans your documents in high resolution. You can then store them or email them as multipage PDF or JPEG files.