There are a ton of great iOS and Android apps that work great for small businesses and startups. I picked these five because they are available on both smartphone and tablet platforms and they are very useful for any one running a small business or startup.
Square – Accept Credit Cards on your iPhone or Android Smart Phone.
Is your business currently accepting credit cards? If it isn’t and you have a smart phone there’s a solution. Square is a mobile payment service that allows you to accept credit cards from any iPhone or Android smartphone. There are no monthly fees and the transaction cost are extremely affordable. Transaction fee started 2.74% and funds are deposited directly to your business banking account within 2-3 business days of the transaction. Also, there’s no hardware to buy. Just visit SquareUp.com to request a free reader and set up your account.
Stitcher Radio – Talk radio, podcasts and live radio all in one app. Listen to your favorite shows on demand.
I are you tired of listening to the same old radio over the air in your car on the way to work? Maybe you should be listening to podcasts and other programs there a little more to your liking. Podcasts are the TV and radio shows of the Internet. Now you can listen to podcast from your favorite authors or other influential business leaders that are sharing information for free. It could be the most effective way for you to stay up to date with what’s going on and stay on the cutting edge. Shows can include anything from social media to marketing to business leadership to how to make underwater basket weaving the most effective business in the world. Stitcher radio makes it very easy to get access to all this content. And it’s free.
Google Goggles – Use Pictures to Search the Web. Even QR codes.
I bet you hate typing on your smartphone. Google has an application, called Google Goggles, that allows you to take a picture of an object and search for it. Maybe you’re in the museum and you see a painting in but you don’t know who the artist is. Use Goggles to take a picture and Google search to find out who the artist is or even the name of the artwork. The same goes for books too. One of the neatest features of Google Goggles is that you can even use it to scan QR codes. QR codes are barcodes for the 21st-century. If you have a retail store you can actually use QR codes in your store signage, allowing your customers to scan and get additional information about your product. Example of this could be a customer scanning a QR code for a pair jeans. That QR code would connect them to YouTube video about the jeans created to help sell why they should by them.
Google Plus – The answer to organizing your social circles. Share what’s relevant to them and influence their search.
70% of Internet searches are done using Google. In July 2011 Google released Google Plus. Google Plus is a social layer for Google Search. Now you can influence the search results of your friends. By joining Google Plus you can organize your contacts into multiple circles. This will allow you greater privacy. For example, you don’t have to worry about sharing personal pictures with customers like you frequently do on Facebook. The Google plus app for iPhone and Android allows you to access the Google Plus network. You can share pictures instantly from your phone and even hang out with other contacts in your circles. If you’ve ever thought about doing webinars or chatting face-to-face with customers this is a great free way to do this. We strongly suggest that you spend time getting to know understand Google Plus.
FourSquare – Check in at your favorite establishments. Be a favorite establishment your customers want to check into.
Are you a small retail shop? You compete with the big box stores? Foursquare is that level playing field you can compete with them on. With over 25 million users and over 1 million businesses foursquare is one of the top social check in applications. Get on Foursquare today and claim your business location. When customers check in to your store, present them with unique offers so that way they don’t leave your store without buying anything. Don’t be too stingy with your offers. Remember that these of the most social of social customers.
Note: This article originally appeared on Linking Into Sales, a social media for sales blog, that of which I contribute to and maintain.