Running a small business is never easy. There are network contacts to manage, meetings to attend, and expenses to track. Small business owners often wear many hats and perform multiple tasks in order to operate a business on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are ways to make these tasks simpler and the smartphone is a perfect device to get the job done. Many free applications are available for the Android phone that are designed to make life easier for anyone who manages or operates a business.
CamCard Lite – This free version of the highly rated CamCard app that makes it easy to share and save business cards in one location. It is the epitome of a digital rolodex. Business cards are captured through the phone camera and the contact data is saved in the phone address book and are searchable, making it easy to organize and find the right contact for your business needs. The lite version allows users to capture 10 cards during the first week and then 2 cards per week after that. For heavy networkers who are collecting many cards per week, there is the full upgrade for $11.99 with no limitations.
Google Voice – Google Voice has transformed the way many use and manage their communications. With one Google Voice number, you can forward your calls to all your numbers including your cell phone, land line and business office number. Voicemails are transcribed and can be sent via email or text. The service also lets you make free calls and text messages within the United States and Canada both from your phone and your desktop computer. International calls are much cheaper than the traditional counterparts.
Barcode Scanner – Although not specifically a business app, Barcode Scanner allows you to scan product barcodes and QR codes on the fly. From QR codes, you can save contact information, calendar events, text messages and URLs and show the information on a map. You can also create your own QR codes to share with colleagues who can scan them directly from your phone.
Bump – This novelty info sharing application lets you share data or contact information with someone else’s phone with a fist bump. By selecting the item you want to share, simply hold your phone and gently tap your fist with another Bump user.
PDANet – Have you ever been out to a meeting with a client only to discover that your internet connection was bad or non-existent? PDANet comes in handy during these situations. This app is a great utility that lets you share the internet connection from your phone with your computer without having to have root access on your phone. Your connection speed with be the same as that of your phone’s.
CamScanner – This useful app turns your phone into a document scanner. Save business expense receipts or capture the whiteboard notes in your office to ac market reference while on the go. CamScanner allows you to scan multi page documents and do batch processing. Scanned files are converted to PDF format and can be shared through 3rd party services like Dropbox or Google Docs.
Astro File Manager – This app is a multi purpose tool for managing all your files on your Android. It lets you copy, rename, move, delete and send file attachments through email with ease. You can also extract zipped or tarred file. In additions, this app monitors your memory and CPU usage, allows you to see what processes are running and lets you backup your files and applications to a memory card.
In this age of mobile devices, the smartphone has become the small business owner’s best friend. As the Android application development market continues to grow, more advanced tools will be at our fingertips and continue the way people do business.