Accelerate Small Business Growth: 10 Mobile Apps to Consider

Curlis Phillip is a Senior Marketing Manager at AT&T. You can find more blog content from Curlis and other experts on mobility on the AT&T Networking Exchange Blog. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.


Small business (SMB) owners face several challenges including attracting new customers, improving cash flow, retaining customers, automating business processes and increasing employee productivity.  Mobile applications can help SMBs address these challenges and provide tremendous value.

According to an eVoice survey, seventy-one percent of small business owners have reported becoming more mobile over the past two years.  Mobile applications are helping small businesses to save time, improve business operations, be more responsive to customers, and increase sales and profitability.

SMBs are jumping on the mobile apps bandwagon, however; finding the right apps can become a daunting task with more than a million apps available across Android, BlackBerry and iPhone.  Here are 10 mobile applications you should check out that can help enhance your worker productivity, improve the way you do business and drive revenue growth.  Read More

Small Biz Challenges? AT&T Premier Has Mobile Solutions.

Most small businesses could do more business if their employees could work while on the move. Want to mobilize your operation? Premier has the tools you and your business need to stay connected and productive outside of its walls.

Choose 4G smartphones that deliver fast, almost-anywhere access to email and the Web. Add applications to give your business a professional phone presence, remotely sync with Microsoft® Outlook®, process payments, and more. Get Wi-Fi connectivity devices to set up workstations-and share access-while out and about.

Start with one of these affordable 4G smartphones:
– BlackBerry® Torch™ 9810 – $49.99
– HTC Inspire™ 4G – $0.01
– Samsung Galaxy S™ II Skyrocket™ – $199.99

See if you’re eligible for this offer and other discounts at Premier today.

This message brought to you by our sponsor, AT&T. 2-yr. agreem’t on voice plan & min. $20/mo. (IRU) or $30/mo. (CRU) data plan req’d. 4G not avail. everywhere. Add’l restr. apply.

How to Advertise on Twitter

When I first heard about Twitter, I was skeptical.  However, I’ve really come around to it, and in some senses it has really come around to more pragmatic users.  Specifically, if you have ever wondered what it is that twitter can do for your business, especially something measurable and tangible, they have the answer to that question for you.  Over at their advertising blog they have announced a product aimed squarely at the small business market.

Last month, twitter partnered with American Express to offer its small business card members and merchants the chance to use Twitter advertising.  Initially, only a small group of had access, but access is expanding.

So what’s good about this? Read More

Square Register is the best Point of Sale for iPad

Point of sale software on the iPad is nothing new, but it’s definitely worth a second look now that Square has released Square Register, their app for accepting both card and cash payments via your iPad.

The new Square Register should be ideal for a small business owner. Once you sign up for Square, you get a Square “Card Reader”, a little dongle that allows you to swipe credit cards. As long as you have a place to stash your cash, you can also take cash payments with just a tap of your touch screen. Read More

What are you UpTo? Shared Calendar App Set to Revolutionize Business

What’s the hottest new thing imported from Detroit?  UpTo, the new calendar sharing app.  A couple of days ago, I had a chance to speak to founder and CEO Greg Schwartz about UpTo, his new motor city  venture.  UpTo is the social calendar sharing app that has been out for about two weeks.  Already, Greg has noticed that his main users are small business owners, people who were really needing something more modern from their calendar apps.

In the recent past , small businesses used Google calendars almost exclusively. Google Calendar is fairly utilitarian: you either share your whole calendar with someone, or you share nothing at all.  And, the interface is just Google’s traditional minimalist set.  UpTo has an advantage over Google Calendar in that it lets you control what you share through a rich, modern interface.  UpTo also adds social features that really enrich the calendar experience by easily sharing the activities that are relevant, while keeping private those events that are for your eyes only. Read More

Launchrock helps your start-up make a website in minutes

As a developer, I always have a few web start-up ideas incubating.  And as the technology arm of a new venture, it’s up to me to get something put together quickly so that we can start building an audience and a name for ourselves.  At the same time, I have to balance that with quality and stability.  If you throw something up too fast, the technology (and sometimes the entire concept) may not be fully fleshed out, with embarrassing results.

Thankfully, I’ve found launchrock, a great new site that lets you toss up clean-looking ‘launching soon’ pages really quickly.   Read More

Faxing stuff: apparently still a thing

Last Monday was my birthday, and I took a personal day to go downtown and enjoy my favorite NYC cheesesteak.  While relishing my sandwich, I couldn’t help but overhear a group of guys talking at the next table.

“I mean, who sends a fax anymore?” one of the young men asked his group.

As they went on talking, I was able to figure out that they were a film crew.  Apparently, in the course of their current shoot one of them needed to send a fax on the fly. They met with some difficulty, since they couldn’t find a Kinko’s or other available fax machine that they could use.

Being nosy and alone, I helpfully chimed in with some information about the eFax site, which I’ve used to send digital faxes.  However, I wish that at the time I’d known about the eFax iPhone app, because I would definitely have recommended it to them.  It’s great – a straightforward business proposition that takes faxing into the mobile productivity era.

This simple app would have probably been perfect for our friends in the sandwich shop.  Some sophisticated business users may have found it too simplistic, but luckily eFax has responded by announcing today that users can now integrate digitized signatures into documents for fax and email. The free app can now e-sign, authorize and approve documents right from your iPhone.

As if it’s not enough that you can now receive, endorse, and return documents when you’re miles away from your desk, they’ve also added some nifty sorting and searching features for folks with lots of documents to fax.  I also like the smart integration with the phone’s contact list that allows you to easily populate a cover page with your intended recipient’s information.

Although an app like this is not as entertaining as playing Temple Run, the value of managing your faxes from your handheld likely sounds very sexy to some business folks.

How to Manage Your Small Business Reviews

Just about every review site has a mobile app and many small business owners have a love/hate relationship with these apps.  On one hand, a slew of negative reviews could wreck a budding entrepreneur’s vision.  On the other hand, well-placed positive reviews could sway a potential client and gain their trust.  Online reviews are a big part of any small business’s web presence, and can require careful, attentive management.  This task is made more difficult when online review sites don’t play nicely with each other, causing headaches for even the most tech-savvy owners.

Take my sister, for example.  She just started her own small photography business, and of course wants to generate good initial buzz.  So, several of her happy clients offered to post positive reviews to get her off on the right foot.  Pre-July 2011, this was simple – Google embedded reviews from other review sites (Yelp, Trip Advisor, Yahoo! Reviews etc) directly on a business’s “Google Places” page.  So, she could just smile, thank her customers for their help, and let them review on any site they wished – no muss, no fuss.  Post-July 2011, however, Google stripped out all reviews from other sites, leaving only reviews left by Google users.   Read More

CUBED: Road Warrior

In my latest CUBED video for American Express OPEN Forum, I meet up with Theresa Nickels, a marketing contractor and road warrior who spends her days traveling between coffee shops, Internet cafes and on the road to meet with clients all over the map. I take a look at some of the areas she’s having difficulty with, and generate some solutions that free up some precious time so she gets to spend more of it with her kids! Check out the video over at AmEx OPEN.

Satelite Technology Takes Android to the World’s Most Remote Locations

This week DeLorme, a producer of market-leading GPS, digital map, and mapping software solutions, announced that it was named an International CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree for its newest product: the inReach™ Satellite Communicator. CES is one of the biggest technical conferences in the world, and to be recognized in this way is an indicator of true innovation.

The inReach offers affordable two-way satellite messaging and emergency communications from anywhere in the world through the Iridium network. In short, this means you can stay connected even in the most remote locations. Read More