Essential business apps

Essential business apps

Last night C & I were watching Civilization, with Niall Ferguson. While I’m really enjoying the show, I don’t fully grasp the concept of calling the contributors killer apps. Apps are software programs people use. C says, “He explained it on the first episode.” …Yeah, Yeah. But that’s not how I think of “apps.” Apps, applications are used by someone, something. “Who, then, would be the operator of these apps, which are killing civilization?” C says something about me choosing not to understand, then tells me to hush so he can hear the show.

My mind wanders, to my essential business apps…

Six killer apps for small business

facebookConstant ContactQuickBooks POSMicrosoft OfficeSmart phone camera; mine's a BlackBerry...yeah, I know...I've heard your iPhone's coolerwebmail

  1. Facebook: Real-time social interaction with those people who like me the store. I check-in throughout the day to answer customer Qs, and do on-the-spot updates by typing notes into the handheld. My link to sanity when nonsense ensues; sharing the insights of my day.
  2. Constant Contact: Heads-up email bulletins filled with products; beer info and events. These can take an hour to hours to craft; due to other business demands The Weekly Brews has been reduced (to every three weeks or so). Constant Contact’s keeping on top of improvements to promote efficiency for busy small business owners like me.
  3. QuickBooks POS: Tracks inventory, taxes due, tells me what beers — and how many bottles of each, our busiest times of day, and so much more. If only I could get it to help stock the shelves.
  4. Microsoft Office: Excel, Word: Price calculations, product info tracking, inventory review, order creation, email subscriptions, barcode stickers, growler tags, shelf tags, tasting sheets, and so much more.
  5. Smart phone camera: Posing products for pictures: Focus, snap! Pop it into an email, type a little note, send. Wallah! In just an instant the photo goes to facebook friends, the twitter feed on the business website, and to those on-the-go tweeting merrily.
  6. Email: Self-syndicated content, responding to customer Qs, posting new products, conducting business, keeping aware of the noteworthy, and posting to facebook, twitter, and the website with a single note.
  7. I use these apps every day. Overall, I love them. But sometimes there are updates, communication snafus, lock-ups causing hard boot — there are moments with thoughts of throwing the machine out the window.

    …my mind returns to the show. On screen, Niall continues to give us a tour of the killer apps of Western Civilization…


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