For the entrepreneur or SME owner, apps are a powerful tool. They can help us to share information with our colleagues, manage our finances and edit documents – all without having to be anywhere near your office computer.

Apps have changed the way we do business and can give a small business owner the ability to get out there and meet his clients, whilst taking care of the running of the company.

However, they’re not just a way to take care of the more time-consuming aspects of business; apps – if used carefully – can also increase the awareness of your brand.


Networking on the go

A lot of business relies on networking, but you need to know that you’re talking to the right people at the right time. Business conferences offer plenty of opportunity to spread the word, but you need to be putting those words in the right ears. Using apps such as LinkedIn is a great way to get the low-down on the people you’re talking to – while you’re still in the room with them. That way, you can make an educated decision about who’s worth talking to and who’s not, saving you valuable time.

Similarly, social networking has become incredibly important for businesses, allowing them to build up interpersonal relationships with potential customers, without having to resort to the hard-sell techniques than can put so many people off. Facebook and Twitter apps allow you to update those all-important statuses and respond immediately to anyone who is following you and has something to say or a question to ask. Managing advertising campaigns through social media doesn’t mean you have to be tied to a desk; it can happen on the go too.


Turning Chance Encounters into Opportunities

Too many entrepreneurs lose the chance to spread the word through being unable to take credit or debit card payments. Potentially, everyone you meet is a customer. Do a good job for them and they will spread the word for you; word of mouth is still one of the most effective methods of brand promotion. However, if you can’t take a payment, you can’t do the job and a valuable opportunity is lost. But how do you create payment solutions for chance encounters?

Intuit Pay does a lovely little app that converts your phone or mobile device into a card reader. It uses Chip and PIN technology to create a secure facility for transactions. Your customer punches in their security details and the sale is authorised. You can even issue digital receipts, so that everyone has a record of what took place. As far as payment solutions go, this is already revolutionising practice for many one-man bands, making every encounter – whether it’s by chance or not – an opportunity for a potential sale.


Votes of Confidence

Testimonials are an important part of generating new custom. Today’s consumer is very aware and the more votes of confidence you have behind you, the more likely to you are to attract new clients. Persuading your customers to review your business through the Yelp app can give your company some much-deserved kudos. You might want to encourage reviews by offering an incentive of kind, helping to spread awareness of your brand at the same time.