Small Business Success: There's an App for That!

Courtney Inghram Events Virginia Wedding Floral Designer Small Business Tips

Confession: I manage SO many aspects of my business right from my iPhone! Obviously technology has totally revolutionized the way small businesses get stuff done, and I am a total believer in going "paperless"! Using apps on my phone helps me stay connected (and productive) while I'm on the go. I thought today I would share some of the apps that keep me working and help me check tasks off my to-do list without ever opening my computer! And as a disclaimer, this post is not sponsored by any of these companies- I just truly enjoy using each of these apps! Enjoy!

1. Mile IQ

This app is AMAZING! As a small business owner, you can categorize your business mileage as a deduction on your taxes, and so many people (including me for a while) just forget to keep track of this throughout the year! When you think about it, the savings can really start to add up though! On any given wedding weekend, I will drive from Richmond, Virginia to Charlottesville, Norfolk, Fredericksburg, DC, or beyond! I realized tracking those miles was important, but I totally don't have the dedication to keep a written record of each trip I go on. Mile IQ runs in the background of your phone, so it automatically detects when you are driving. It will prompt you to swipe left for a business drive or swipe right for a personal drive, and THAT'S IT! The app calculates your write-off, gives you a monthly and yearly report to give to the IRS, and even includes maps, times and dates so your miles are indisputable. I paid something like $45 for an entire year of using this app, and I'm pretty sure I made back that money with write-offs in the first month of using it! Click here to sign up and get 20% off your whole membership- you're welcome!

2. Honeybook

Honeybook is my go-to system for contracts, invoicing, and all things paperwork, and they now have a mobile app! It's so simple to use, and being able to use it on my phone while I'm out and about makes life even easier! They are such an amazing company, and just in a short period of time they have made more and more changes to really enhance their customer's experiences. I have so many of my clients tell me how much they love the convenience and accessibility of using Honeybook to make payments and sign contracts- who has time to print out paper, sign, and then scan or fax it back? So tedious! It has given me so much time back in my business, and now they even have features for you beyond just client management, like setting up a custom workflow, a built-in time-tracker, the ability to sync your accounting directly to it (I do this with my Quickbooks- it's so seamless), and more! Check out some of the other blog posts I have written about how much I love Honeybook here and here!!! If you're interested in setting up your own Honeybook account, head here for a special welcome offer of 50% off your own membership!

3. Google Calendar

I feel like I have always been searching for the right way to use a calendar. A few years back, I got an adorable planner to write in, and I was so excited! I did use it, but it became burdensome to carry around, and I have horrible handwriting so it continually bugged me to see my chicken scratch writing important things, like my clients wedding dates!! As much as I loved using such pretty paper planners, I knew this year something had to change. Enter Google Calendar. It's SO simple to add events, edit events, change events, etc., and I love being able to access it through my phone! One of my biggest pain points with a paper planner was taking it places (and leaving it places, oops), but I NEVER leave my phone places, haha!! Google Calendar also lets me color code events, syncs seamlessly across devices, and I love toggling through all the different views. I can look at my schedule for the day, week and month so easily, and I love being able to quickly change or type in a new date/time for an event. I am even using it now to set up work schedules for my office assistants/wedding day assistants! Using a paper planner and erasing events was so annoying to me!! Best of all, it's free! :) 

4. Quickbooks

This app is super practical; I use Quickbooks to handle my accounting needs, and I love being able to post transactions and see my latest business statistics right on my phone! Using Quickbooks has definitely helped me get a clearer picture of my business's profitability, margins, areas of high spending/expenses, and areas I could invest more in! It's SO helpful to keep everything organized with your business bookkeeping, because I know we are right around tax-time, and all small business owners dread having to deal with tax filing! If you keep Quickbooks updated year-round, preparing for taxes is so much easier, and you can just do a little a day by logging in on your phone!

5. Gmail

I LOVE using Gmail for my emailing needs. I have set-up a color coding system for each applicable area of my business, and each time I receive an email, it sits in my inbox until I have replied, and then I "put it away" in its folder. When the person replies, it bounces back to my inbox, to remind me to respond. Using this app on your phone is great, because you can still label each email that comes in, and you can also toggle between accounts easily. I have 5 separate email accounts, and the Gmail app helps me stay organized with each one! I also have different folders in my inbox, like "Bride Inquiries", "CIE Brides", "Vendor Collaborations", etc, to help me file away my emails in an organized way. 

6. Planoly

I use this app to run my Instagram account and plan out my grid!! It will allow you to write captions, and now even auto-posts for you, but I honestly most use it to plan out the aesthetics of my feed, and sometimes will store hashtags and things in there! It's really easy to set up and understand, (great for someone a little tech challenged like me), and has a cheap monthly/quarterly/yearly subscription plan! Great for someone who still wants control over their social media feeds, but needs a little help with pre-planning content creation and the visual aspect of your Instagram!

What other apps do you use for your small business?! I would love to know!

  jessie walker photography

jessie walker photography