Small business owner: woman and her flower shopThe image of a harried small business owner putting in a 16-hour day is so common, it’s almost clich√©. You’ve heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder,” right? Here are our picks for the top five apps that will help you do just that:

Evernote

People all over the Internet are singing the app praises of Evernote. This app lets you write down your business notes and ideas, organizes them and allows for easy retrieval right when you need them. It’s the digital equivalent of placing sticky notes throughout your cubicle, but you can take the notes anywhere and sync them with any device you use.

Evernote Business costs $10 per month for 1 GB of content. If you plan to use less, you can get Evernote for individuals and receive 60 MB per month free of charge. Visit Evernote.com for more details.

Bitcoin Wallet

Currency is going digital, and more people want ways to pay for items without using a credit card. Become a savvy business owner by accepting virtual cash with the use of Bitcoin Wallet app. Fox Business claims that Bitcoin works by allowing people to purchase virtual coins using real cash. Then they can use the virtual coins to purchase items from online stores as well as from local merchants.

Giving your customers another payment method to buy your merchandise will allow you to increase your sales. Bitcoin.org has all the details about signing up with this payment network, including the transaction rate.

American Express Receipt Match

If you’ve ever lost track of your receipts when managing your sales reports at the end of the month, this app is for you. The American Express Receipt Match app makes managing your receipts easier by taking photos of the receipts and uploading them. Use the uploaded receipt to match transaction details on your online business statements.

Before you start, read the American Express end user license agreement, privacy notice and terms of service at AmericanExpress.com to learn more details. This app is free, but you will need to have an American Express business credit card to use.

Square Register

Running a mobile business requires you to accept several different types of payment methods. Turn your smartphone or tablet device into an instant card reader with the use of the Square Register app and reader. The Square Register app syncs with your bank account, so you receive payments instantly when you swipe a customer’s credit card through the Square reader, which is attaches to your mobile device. Have the customer sign his or her name on the screen.

Sign up at Squareup.com to obtain a free card reader and app. You’ll have to pay a 2.75 percent credit card swipe fee or you can just opt for the flat rate of $275 a month.

Zendesk

Even a small business needs to offer reliable customer service to answer people’s questions, give information and resolve disputes. The Zendesk app lets you gather all correspondence from emails, websites and your phone, then assigns each message as a ticket that can be handled in a timely fashion.

Go to Zendesk.com to sign up for the app. You can decide to pay the monthly fee of $25 for every user or get on a starter plan that can run as low as $1 per user.

Patrick King

About Patrick King

A lifelong designer-turned-entrepreneur, Patrick King is the founder of Imagine, an integrated marketing firm based in Manassas. He also has a remarkable sock collection.

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