Running a small business in the 21st century takes savvy and a set of skills that would have made Henry Ford's head positively swim. From marketing to supply chain to customer service reviews that can never be scrubbed from the Internet, the smoke from putting out one fire is almost always still burning your eyes while you're putting out the next.
That being said, there has never been a time when so many tools to assist small business owners in staying ahead of the competition have been available â€" especially when small business owners make use of Google's Android. From productivity apps to accounting, here are seven Android apps that are currently in production or already in existence that will make running your small business more of a breeze.
Made by Microsoft, this free note-taking app is better than a lot of its competitors for a few notable reasons (pun intended). For starters, its interface is easier to use and more intuitive than most other note-taking apps on the market. Secondly, when you use it, your notes are automatically synced up with OneDrive, which means everything you've worked on is stored in the cloud and accessible from it.
Thirdly, it works with a stylus device, which allows users to take notes the way most of us learned to take notes: by hand. Drawing diagrams and maps and scribbling are all easy to do with it. Lastly, OneNote is also capable of transcribing handwritten notes, so you can search for them later.
2. EZ Forms
EZ Forms is a productivity app that centralizes, streamlines, and simplifies everything from managerial shift notes to business analytics so small business owners can increase efficiency, improve communication, and boost productivity.
A cloud-based app that collects and processes data on mobile and desktop platforms, EZ Forms can assist management with real-time support needs, field data collection, geolocation services, and much more. The Android app is still in production but is nearing completion.
3. Google Drive
Built right into the Android operating system, Google Drive is a great cloud storage option that lets you store files online that can then be accessed via your mobile device, laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.
Google Drive is also fully integrated with QuickOffice, which means any edit you make in QuickOffice is made in Google Drive, so you never have to worry about having multiple copies of the same document in various stages floating around.
4. QuickBooks for Android
While the QuickBooks for Android app isn't as full-featured as the desktop version, it's still a great tool to keep small business owners abreast of their financial situations. The mobile version allows users to keep track of sales and recent payments, and it has an invoicing feature that will keep the basic business features running when you're away from your desk. The Android app is free with a QuickBooks subscription.
5. Note Everything
A notepad app for Android, Note Everything allows you to take text notes, voice notes, and paint notes all in the same application. Notes can be organized in folders and sub-folders, and notes can be sent via email, other apps, and text messaging. Notes can also be sent to your calendar and received from other apps for a note-taking experience that isn't restricted to the note-taking app itself, which makes it usable and useful outside the app.
These days every business, no matter how small, needs the ability to accept credit cards, and the Square Register app is the easiest way to do it. Once you've downloaded the app, the good people at Square send you a credit card reading dongle that plugs into your headphone jack for card swiping. Square takes a cut of every transaction, but without the means to accept credit cards, you're going to lose out on business anyway, so the trade-off isn't that bad.
7. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
Considered by many in the business world to be the best productivity suite available on the Android, Google's word processor, spreadsheet editor, presentation maker is fast, easy, and intuitive. Whether you need straightforward word processing or you have a complex presentation that requires tables, charts, photos, and graphs, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides is hard to beat, especially because the files are compatible with Microsoft Office. Editing can also happen offline on the app, now, too, which means losing service won't kick you out of the app or mean you lose work.
From jotting down searchable notes to invoicing a customer while you're on vacation, today's small business owners have an increasingly impressive array of Android apps to help keep their businesses afloat and ahead of the curve.