With the introduction of the computer in the 1970s to the internet making headway some two decades later, technology in the home and yes, even the office, only continues. While many are skeptical about our (dependent?) relationship on Siri, Alexa, you name it — 800 million jobs are at risk of automation — technology can make life more manageable — especially thanks to the roughly 3.8 million and 2 million apps available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. But, when it comes to running a company, be it a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation, which ones should you use? And which apps to ditch? Read on to find out (plus learn why you may benefit from a GA Sec of State business search.)
You’ll learn about apps that:
- help employees stay on track
- make social media management easier, helping you improve customer interactions and achieve sales goals
- improve workflow
- give shareholders user-friendly proxy voting access
- help manage multiple projects at once
1. Staying Focused Makes Productivity at Work Doable
Did you know that the average employee only works about 3 hours out of an 8ish-hour workday? (Not-So-Fun fact: according to Inc., employees spend about 65 minutes per workday reading the news and 44 minutes on social media.) Yep, small business (500 employees or less) or large corporation, employees are your bread and butter; if theory is reality, that means 5 hours of pay (per employee) is going down the drain.
How do you get your employees back on track? One reason why so few productive hours in the office boils down to concentration, as, according to Business Insider, people can only pay attention for about 20 minutes at a time, but that number may be too high; one study indicates people can only stay on task for a little over 10 seconds, at best.
This is where time management app, Stay Focused, comes to the rescue. Following the Pomodoro Technique, the productivity app breaks tasks down to 5- to 25- minute time increments. Meaning for 25-minutes, employees work on said task. When the Stay Focused timer is up, they get a 1- to 5-minute break: stretch, walk around, eat a snack, and then head on back for another 25-minute work session. And in case you are on the fence about multiple employee breaks, research reveals that a brief distraction per hour actually improves focus.
2. Manage Social Media with Buffer
Small arcade business, Neon Retro Arcade showed the power of social media; using social platforms, they boosted sales up to a whopping 25%. This goes to show one of the biggest benefits of social media: more marketing exposure. One way sole proprietorships, LLCs, and corporations can leverage this scheduling social posts using a social media management app like Buffer (or Hoot Suite).
Thanks to the apps’ easy scheduling ability, businesses can attract customers on social media at all hours of the day. A steady and consistent social presence (not to mention, making posts findable using hashtags and posting authentic messages (especially for Gen Z customer bases) can help you get closer to hitting that 25%-sale increase.
3. Want to Improve Your Company’s Workflow? Consider this App
A 2005 Gallup survey revealed that your standard small business owner normally works at least 50 hours (if not more) per week (the exact average was 52). Why not reduce a couple of those hours using workflow-friendly apps like Zapier, which builds multi-app workflows?
Such an app (or one similar like LastPass or Buffer) eliminates (wasteful?) time-consuming tasks, especially for one-man or one-woman solopreneurs who don’t have the option to delegate work. While the jury’s out on how many hours successful business owners must work — self-made millionaire, Grant Cardone, says 95 per week while Basecamp CEO, Jason Fried,points to 40 — being as productive as possible during those timeframes is what counts.
4. Corporations, Make It Easy for Shareholders to Vote on Key Issues
According to CBS San Francisco, shareholders don’t know the voting power that’s at their fingertips; many don’t vote on major business decisions, let alone realize — or are motivated enough — to check that box. S corporations (which can have 100 shareholders or less) and C corporations (unrestricted number of shareholders) can make voting on key company issues easier using proxy voting apps such as OpenInvests’ Proxy Vote app.
With a swipe to the left or right, shareholders can put in their vote instead of resorting to the traditional mail-in packets. These apps may help get shareholder voting up, as in 2014 retail shareholders across the board had voting rates in the 28% to 30% range. Although there were slightly more social and environmental proposals, support still fell on the low end. With more all-around shareholder support, investors can become more integral players in corporations, from shaping company culture to, in Tesla’s case, deciding on the amount of CEO power.
5. Get Better Project Management Using Productivity Apps Like Trello
A survey shows that only 6% of projects are a “failure” for high-performing companies compared to 24% for under-performing companies. How can businesses decrease these numbers and get on target with project management goals? Use apps like Trello or Basecamp so business owners can keep on top of who’s working on what, and if project milestones are hit.
Final Thoughts: Not All Apps are a Shoe-In
What apps you use or don’t use comes down to your business structure, business goals, and company values. From trial and error, with apps, you can improve workflow, increase employee performance, and get closer to hitting sales goals. Do you use apps in your business? If so, what apps? Have any business-related apps to add? Leave a comment.
Interested in Conducting a GA Sec of State Business Search?
What about a New York or New Mexico business entity search? Or maybe a Florida corporation search? If so, Sec States, an easy-to-navigate database of secretary of state pages, can help you out. Within a few clicks, access multiple business pages and conduct several business searches across states’ secretary of state sites.