We all know the feeling of the 16-hour days for months on end while getting our dream business up and running. Juggling sales calls, business meetings, churning out marketing material, and occasionally eating that take-out Mexican meal that has been sitting there for the past two days, there never seems to be enough time in the day.
It’s not healthy to live like that, yet most entrepreneurs might say that’s the way it has to be. After all, any first-time business owner has to pay their dues. Fortunately, while long hours may be the norm the first few months of the business, there are ways to make it a little easier.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of five mobile hacks for the fledgling entrepreneur. Because after all, who wants to spend extra time on things that could be done twice as fast? From scheduling to organizing notes, communicating with all your clients to storing all your passwords, and of course all those finances, here are the five mobile hacks to help make your life as a new entrepreneur a little easier.
These hacks can be a little bit of a slingshot, such as when you try to carve your niche into the market, similar to how a small insurance company vs large debate might go.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Mobile Hack #1 – Trello
Trello entered the world of business in 2011, quickly becoming a go-to app for many business owners who were looking for a solid, fun, and flexible work-management program. Trello fills all those needs, allowing business owners to create workflows for particular projects with easy flexibility between different projects and a certain “fun” nature with boards, lists, and cards that bring enjoyment to an otherwise boring task.
Trello is a kanban-based system, which means that teams are handed projects and “cards” in a way that leads to more productivity and less headache. Like Scrum of Agile, kanban works to reduce bottlenecks and inefficiency.
The idea is based on visualization. On a virtual board, you see all your projects, what steps they are in, what the pain points are, such as a place where overburden might occur. The visual appeal to Trello lies in its use of colors and images.
These colors and images help the projects be more organized, and it’s easier to see the total representation of all workflows or projects without becoming bogged down in endless questions about specific projects on the list.
Trello can simplify things for a new business owner which is why it is our first mobile hack on this list. It can even free time up for you to keep pursuing your further entrepreneurial education.
Mobile Hack #2 – Evernote
If you’re a new business owner, you might be surprised by the sheer amount of information there is on any number of facets to your business. There is the information about accounting, marketing, sales, the actual production of different merchandise, or the completion of services, and you might find that your grasp on the sheer volume of information might be slipping.
That’s where Evernote comes in. Having been around for a number of years, Evernote bills itself as the top note-taking program, with its ability to take high-quality notes, adding images to those notes for easy remembrance, and personalize all notes through font arrangements, italics, bold, and other features.
Perhaps one of the most valuable parts of Evernote is the ability to sync your notes across all electronic devices. This allows you to take notes on your phone but sync them with your computer later or throw together some notes on a tablet and have them synced with the other two devices.
These features allow the notes to be highly organized notes and means you’ll never have to worry about taking a note on one device and forgetting about it when you switch to using the next one.
Mobile Hack #3 – Skype
Skype has been around since 2003, so it needs little introduction. But its benefits are still top-notch in the virtual calling and meeting game and it can serve as a useful tool for business owners that are not just interested in selling to clients in their home country but also outside of it.
Skype works in two ways. First, you’re given a username which can be used to call people using the internet from all over the world for free. This can save a bucket of money in foreign charges, as it can often cost tens of dollars for even mid-length calls.
Generally, Skype connects people — business owners or clients — who also have a Skype username. It can also be used to call landlines; however, this feature, like a traditional voice calling service, costs extra.
Either way, Skype’s simplicity and ease of use make it fairly standard when conducting business in other parts of the world. The simplicity and ease can leave you with a little extra time, which we all know is valuable. It can give you the opportunity to learn how to grow your business even further.
Mobile Hack #4 – 1Password
We’ve all been there with this one. Every business owner and even most employees know that we get bombarded by passwords, and tracking them all can be very difficult. Often this isn’t a problem as we have the saved password option in our browsers. But what if for some reason the browser has to be reset?
That’s where 1Password comes in. It’s your one-stop storage program for all your passwords, and it does so with a high degree of security including a Password Key that only MENSA members might be able to remember off-hand. It stores these passwords in vaults, which can be given to members throughout the company or to specific teams.
If your marketing team needed its passwords to four different programs, all could be put into one vault for that specific team. Your sales team might have another vault, and your graphic designer team yet another. This flexibility combined with security, which includes Password Key and two-factor authentication, makes 1Password a strong choice for password storage programs.
Mobile Hack #5 – Mint
And then there is Mint, our fifth and final mobile hack. It may have been around for awhile, but it has wormed itself into becoming a major player in the financial tracker game. And over the years, Mint has gained numerous features that make it more than just a tracker, and allows it to also be a way to plan financial strategies, both personal and business-related.
Mint works by connecting your bank accounts and any expense-related account like credit cards to its program. It then acts as a tracker system to track spending, saving, as well as any payments to credit cards or outstanding bills, and then puts the whole picture together in an easy to understand and navigate interface.
There is also a section where you can create a budget and use this as a way to form a financial strategy. In that respect, it can work for business by connecting and watching different accounts.
Mint offers a bird’s eye view of financial health and can be used to focus on specific aspects of finances. You can see your money coming and going, where you can invest more and where you need to trim back, which is a key element every business strategy should have.
A Final Word on Mobile Hacks for Entrepreneurs
Whether you’ve been in the business for a little bit or just starting out, there are ways to make the daily, endless grind a little bit easier, especially when dealing with commonplace necessities like password storage or financial management.
Being a little more efficient can also give you the edge a business owner needs over competitors, resulting in more time spent on actual tasks that make business money, rather than just the administrative tasks that seem to waste so much time and energy.
Chris Tepedino is a features writer for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He likes financial management, margaritas, and sometimes both at the same time.