Best android apps for entrepreneurs 2012


These days everyone has their favorite mobile apps, ones that make both their personal and business lives run smoother. But are there any apps that are must haves for entrepreneurs and startup founders?For startup entrepreneurs, it’s crucial to find the apps that actually make a difference to you and your business. Plenty of startup founders are already experts in this area. Heck, apps are the business of many startups these days. But startups in other fields may not be so savvy.You don’t necessarily need a startup app — most business apps are probably appropriate — but your main concern should be apps that provide enterprise-like power on a smaller scale.Here are some of my favorite apps that are particularly apt for startups. You may already know and use most of them, but probably not all of them:The popular Square allows startups and entrepreneurs to accept credit cards from their phones, and is simple to set up. Essentially, the Square Card Reader turns your smartphone into a mobile cash register, which makes it especially useful for consultants, food-truck operators (a booming startup field) and even some traditional retailers. You pay 2.75% per swipe, and the reader accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Perhaps most importantly, you don’t need to set up a merchant account (which is virtually impossible for startups to do), and there are no additional monthly fees or set-up costs.

If you and your customers use PayPal, check out Bump Pay which easily transfers money between PayPal accounts.At one point or another, every startup worker has been caught flat-footed needing access to a file on their computer, but that computer is nowhere in sight. DropBox, the hugely popular, simple-to-use cloud-based storage and sharing service, remains the best way to get around this issue. (Both Google and Microsoft have recently introduced similar services.) Once DropBox is installed on your computer, you simply drag and “drop” small or large files, videos or pictures into the Dropbox folder, and they can then be retrieved from any computer or your smartphone. Start with the free version; you can later upgrade to a paid plan if you need additional storage space.Most techies know (and likely use) Skype, but have you loaded the mobile Skype app? Great for conference calls on the go – just don’t leave it running when you’re not using it (its a battery and bandwidth hog).If you want to check your website stats, check out Ego, which allows you to quickly view daily, monthly or even hourly visits to your site. You can also see how many people are following you on Twitter and more, all in one place.

- Let’s start with the obvious. I need to be able to take a payment anywhere, any time and the days of those bulky POS (the S stands for SALES…get your mind out the gutter) terminals. Square allow me to insert a little square dongle (hence the name) into my device and with the click of an app and swipe of a card, I can process credit card payments on the spot. It only costs me 2.75% per swipe and my money is transferred into my bank account within a day or two. There are no other fees and even the dongle is free. Easy breezy. And I just heard they came out with a device for cabbies that they’re testing in New York. Go Square!
Paypal- OK I know some folks don’t like Paypal, but honestly, I’ve been with them since the very beginning. They now have an app where I can just log in, send a payment request to someone and they get an email letting them know to make a payment. I use the standard service and I don’t pay any monthly fees. They charge you on a sliding scale 2.2 – 2.9% plus 30 cents each transaction. I can even create invoices. But what I like about Paypal is that I can process higher priced services like consulting fees and the like without a cap on transaction amounts. Plus some people just prefer to pay via Paypal.Intuit Online Payroll- Yes! You can even process your payroll via an app. Intuit let’s you set up your account online (a tedious but well worth it process) and you download the app to your device. Then you can process payroll for your employees. The app is free but the service is $39 per month. Right now they are offering a 30 day free trial. They also offer the GoPayment service that is similar to Square. But if you have employees and you’re always on the go, Intuit Online Payroll keeps you current and professional.
And for honorable mentions, the banks and investment brokerages I use all have apps so I can access information about my money at all times. I also use (there’s an app for that!) and XE Mobile Currency (which is a foreign currency converter). It comes in handy when you’re traveling abroad and need to do a quick on the spot currency conversion.

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