Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 07/18/14

The Best Apps for On-the-Go Business Owners

By Jaimy Ford for America's Backbone Weekly

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As a small business owner with a seemingly unending to-do list, you might think that taking a vacation is a distant dream and that industry events in far-flung locales would compromise your productivity and ability to manage your business. Technology is making it increasingly possible, however, to efficiently manage your professional services firm, construction company or other small business from anywhere you go, whether it's a remote cabin in the woods or a sales conference in Asia.

Wherever your travels take you, you can keep your business running smoothly while you're away with your trusty mobile device and these handy apps:

Pay employees from the road.

Easily manage your payroll duties from any Android or Apple mobile device with SurePayroll's free Mobile Payroll app. Pay employees, manage personal time off, view payroll summary reports, and set or change check dates. The app is free for customers who have run at least one payroll with SurePayroll services and is available for download at the iTunes store or Google Play.


Track your expenses.

As a small-business owner, you need to calculate every dime you spend traveling so that you can take full advantage of tax deductions come April. Expensify allows you to easily fill out and file expense reports. Scan your receipts; automatically import card transactions; and record mileage, time, and other reimbursable or billable expenses. Personal accounts are available for free for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.

Organize your travel.

For an all-around travel management app, few can compete with TripIt. Simply send your hotel, flight, train, rental car and other confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and automatically create itineraries. You can customize your itineraries with maps, directions, notes, photos and recommendations, and then easily share your plans with people back at the office or store, family members, friends or clients.

TripIt offers a free version, but if you are a road warrior, you may want to upgrade to the Pro version for $49 per year. It offers additional services such as auto-sharing to keep designated contacts updated on changes to your itinerary. Plus, you can receive mobile alerts regarding flight delays or cancellations and gate changes, among other extras.

Sell products and services on-the-go.

If the purpose of your trip is to close a few sales, GoPayment makes it possible for you to accept payments just about anywhere using your mobile device. Intuit provides the free card reader and app. When you want to make a transaction, swipe customers' cards and ask them to "sign" the screen using a finger. Choose from one of two plans: no monthly fee with a swipe rate of 2.40 percent, or opt for the monthly plan at $20 with a swipe rate of 1.75 percent.

Take the worry out of traveling for business or pleasure. With a few inexpensive apps like the ones we mention above, you can run your business from anywhere in the world.

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Jaimy Ford is a professional business writer withnearly a decade's worth of experience developing newsletters, blogs, e-letters,training tools and webinars for business professionals. She contributes to bothThe Intuit Small Business Blog and Docstoc.com. She also serves as editor-in-chief of SalesMastery, a digital magazine writtenspecifically for sales professionals.

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