As an entrepreneur, I try to stay open to new things—especially new technology—if it has the potential to advance my business goals. While I know the value of adding great team members, the reality is that staffing is an expense that has to be carefully controlled. As a result, I have developed a true appreciation (okay, it’s kind of an obsession) with technology that can empower our current staff to do more, earn more, and achieve more.
Great apps help you find additional time in your schedule by freeing you from tasks that can be better handled by technology. I personally love apps that help streamline my business. And while they may sound intimidating now, I firmly believe that there is an app out there for everyone!
Many event pros are already familiar with Dropbox, but if you’re not, it’s time to get acquainted. Dropbox provides cloud storage for your computer files so they can be accessed anywhere and on almost any device. You can share files with team members, access them to show clients, or send large files (like print-ready images) to editors and publishers. Dropbox can be integrated on your mobile devices as well as your laptops and desktops, and will automatically sync them when changes are made.
If you have ever been frustrated by trying to make multiple schedules work when planning an important meeting, you’re going to love Doodle. To be completely honest, it has been a game-changer in our business. Next time you need to schedule a meeting, simply send out a link to your clients so they can easily visualize your availability and pick a time to meet that works best for them. You can also use the app to poll your team to find a good time for multiple people to meet. Say goodbye to scheduling headaches and hello to Doodle! (Editor's note: Doodle really is a time saver!)
Managing multiple contributors on a major project can definitely be unnervingly time-consuming, which is where Basecamp’s project management app comes in handy. Assign tasks and deadlines, provide specifications, communicate within a project when questions arise and get an overview of what is due versus what is outstanding, all in one simple-to-use app. Use it to work with your team on events, and even your clients.
Later is a free program that lets you create a schedule for your Instagram posts, then reminds you that it is time to manually submit your posts. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but it can take up an insane amount of your time if you want to establish or maintain a presence. Later helps you predetermine what you are going to share, then makes sure you don’t forget to send it in.
Finances are no fun, but convenient ways to accept money from your clients are priceless. Square allows you to collect a credit card payment in person using your cellular phone, but also gives you the opportunity to collect and schedule online payments.
These are just a small handful of the hundreds of amazing tech apps that can completely revolutionize the way you run your business by streamlining your most common processes. Don’t fear the apps – try one that appeals to you today!
Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate national president for WIPA.