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7 Apps Entrepreneurs Need on their Next Business Trip

As an entrepreneur, you might be required to travel to different locations to meet with customers or clients. In the past, we had to rely on physical maps, travel guides and notepads which might take up space in our luggage. Luckily for us, we can now access all those tools on our smartphone.

There are a variety of travel apps in the Google Play and Apple App stores that can make your bags lighter and make your trip more efficient. We’ve done the groundwork and compiled a list of seven mobile apps that you should have on your mobile devices the next time you’re traveling domestically or internationally.

 

1. Uber

If you’re not hiring a car, Uber is the app for all your transportation needs. As one of the most popular on-demand ridesharing apps, you can save time waiting for taxis or public transport and also could save money. With its intuitive UI design, you’ll be able to request your Uber at the touch of a button and track the driver as they arrive at your pickup location.

Compared to a taxi, you’ll pay a fixed fare and will be able to know how much it costs before travelling. Payment is all done through your credit card via the app so you won’t have to use cash. You can choose to ride economically, luxuriously or carpool with other passengers. With Uber you can save money and ride to your next meeting with style.

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Uber gets you where you need to be at a lower cost

2. Tripit

Tripit is a very useful that allows you to input and access travel plans on your smartphone with ease. It’s one of my personal favourites that I always use when going on trips. You can add essential information, such as flight itinerary, hotel reservations and contact information all on your smartphone or tablet.

Tripit is very easy to use and setup. All you need to do is forward your travel confirmation emails to a specified Tripit email and it will create a master itinerary for you. Your plans and itineraries are shareable to others, which means your family, friends, managers and co-workers will know where you are. Tripit boosts your efficiency, allowing you to stay ahead of your travel plans.

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Tripit helps you stay ahead of your itinerary

3. Evernote

With its recognisable app icon, Evernote is one of the most popular productivity apps for entrepreneurs that is available for free for Android, Apple and Windows phones. The app allows you to take notes, create to-do lists, add meeting minutes, set reminders and capture your thoughts while you travel.

You won’t need to worry about losing your notes because they’re stored on a cloud server and accessible on multiple devices. Evernote comes in three different plans; Free, Plus and Premium, which varies in pricing, features, and data uploads. One of the standout features, which is only available in the premium tier, is the ability to scan and digitise business cards into your phone.

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Evernote keeps your notes organised and improves your productivity

4. Google Maps

If you’re trekking into an unfamiliar location you’ll need an app that can help you get to your destination. Here’s where Google Maps comes into play. With this app, you won’t need a map or directory ever again. The app lets you easily find your way from point A to B in a matter of seconds. It also delivers real-time information on traffic, public transport and even identifies points of interests.

Finally, you can use it offline by downloading maps to your phone in case you don’t have wifi or mobile data available. Like Google Translate, this app is preloaded onto android phones and available on the iTunes store. With this app, you’ll never get lost again.

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 Google Maps helps you get from A to B efficiently

5. Tunnelbear VPN

It’s a good idea to use a Virtual Personal Network (VPN) if you rely on public wifi for social media, email, and web browsing.  Essentially, a VPN helps encrypt the internet data on the connection you’re using, allowing you to use the internet privately and more securely. Another of my personal favourites is Tunnelbear, which I use every time I travel overseas. It’s free, easy to use and visually appealing. The free plan limits your usage to 500 MB each month but you can gain more data by tweeting the company on Twitter or subscribing to their paid plans for unlimited data. 

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 Tunnelbear helps you browse privately overseas

6. Skype

Whenever you’re away from the office, you might want to communicate with your colleagues, customers or even family. If you don’t want to be billed for long distance overseas calls and only at your location for a few days, you’ll need to download Skype. The app allows you to make calls, video calls and chat through instant messenger with other users on your smartphone or tablet.

Skype also offers cheap rates if you use Skype to call landlines and mobile numbers. You can make a free account or opt in for the paid option called “Skype for Business”, where you can hold online meetings and create accounts for all employees.

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 Skype lets you stay in contact with your family, friends and colleagues wherever you are

7. Google Translate

Nǐ míng bái wǒ shuō de ma? If you didn’t understand what that meant, then it’s a good idea to use the translating app, Google Translate. Using the app will help you translate the Chinese phrase at the start to “Do you understand what I’m saying?”. It’s easy to get start translating foreign words. Just type or say what you want to be translated and it will do the work for you. 

One of its innovative features is that you can also translate words using your device’s camera. This can help if you’re not sure what words mean on street signs or posters.  This app will help when communicating with foreign clients to ensure there isn’t any miscommunication.

This app is already preloaded onto Android devices and is available to download on the iTunes store

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Google Translate helps you to communicate with locals overseas

 

There you have it, the 7 apps that entrepreneurs should have on their next business trip. With these apps you’ll be prepared for any journey.

Bon Voyage!

Do you use any of these apps? Are there any other apps you’d recommend?

Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

The 6 Best Productivity Apps for Entrepreneurs

The old saying “slow and steady wins the race” is exactly that – old! The new version of the saying should be “fast and ready wins the race”.

In business, time is money. You can’t create more time in a day but by increasing your productivity on tasks, you can save a lot of time and money. Therefore, increasing your productivity makes money!

To help you do just that, here’s our list of the best money saving, productivity apps available.

Related: The Top 6 Traits of a Game-Changing Entrepreneur

Evernote

First up is Evernote. This is one of the most popular productivity and business apps.

Evernote is a note taking and organisation application that saves information via cloud. It is widely assessable and currently available on most platforms including iOS, Android, Mac and Windows.

Evernote’s beauty lies not on the surface, but really emerges when the application is used to its full potential. A lot of apps allow you to take and organise notes, copy information from websites, make to-do lists, read online content or send emails, but Evernote allows you to do all this and more!

Melbourne App Development

Evernote’s iPhone App. Source: iTunes

With its inbuilt search features and tags, Evernote makes it effortless to sort through 1000s of notes and acquire information or jog your memory on experiences or information you wrote years ago.

Evernote has a seemingly endless amount of features, so its purpose is really only limited by the user and their needs.

 

Free WiFi Finder

With business these days becoming more and more mobile there is a clear desire to be connected with your employees and customers round the clock. Working out at lunch or pitching a new proposal to clients or investors at a restaurant will almost certainly bring up the need to be connected to the internet.

As satellite internets can be a costly and annoying expense, the idea that an application can find all the free WiFi locations around me is pretty exciting. Most will probably require you to purchase a small product, coffee or cake etc but that is a small price to pay for the luxury of mobility at the tip of your fingers.

Free WiFi Finder is available in over 50 countries which makes travelling abroad no problem and with the information accessible offline, you won’t need to be connected to the net which is definitely a smart feature.

 

Dropbox

Dropbox is the king of cloud storage applications. Dropbox’s elegance lies in its simplicity – dragging folders from your desktop into your dropbox file allows you to transfer your files easily across many devices, and also to your family or friends with its easy-to-use sharing functions.

Australian App Developers

Dropbox helps backups your important files with storage via a  cloud. Storage space ranges from 2GB on a free basic account to 1TB with a pro account. Furthermore, it has an option to increase the security of your files. Whether you’re using it for work or saving personal files, Dropbox will make sure they are secure. With its stunning User Interface and functionality, it’s hard to overlook Dropbox as one of the best cloud storage applications out there!

 

Pocket

Have you ever stumbled across a great article that you just don’t have the time to read? I for one have fallen victim to this many times.

If you’re like me and don’t have a lot of time throughout the day, to sit there and read these articles and find yourself staying up at night trying to remember where you saw the articles, then Pocket is the mobile app for you!

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Pocket’s Android App. Source: Google Play

Pocket, originally called Read It Later, started off as an application to save articles. Overtime  it has grown to accommodate to videos and images. The app lets you bookmark and has extensions along with compatibility to a lot of other apps. It also has built-in saving functions you’d find in other apps such as Flipboard and Pulse.

Pocket also improves the reading experience by displaying content without the usual chaos of ads, sidebars, buttons and more. Pocket’s new User Experience design, along with its clear, uncluttered reading spaces, makes it my choice for read-it-later apps.

 

Streaks

This app essentially is a motivating tool to help create good habits. I love how Streaks rewards you for continuously completing the same task, which helps forms good habits. It has an beautiful UI and is incredibly simple to use.

Streaks limits you to tracking six tasks at any one time. This ranges from tasks like remembering to brush your teeth to tasks that you can create and personalise. Knowing that not all tasks need to be done everyday, you can roster ‘days off’. Here, you don’t have to complete the task and it won’t break your streak.

Uber

The last few years we have seen the emergence of one particularly disruptive app that has completely revitalised the transportation industry. Welcome to the era of Uber.

Uber has seen enormous growth since its start off in 2009 with an estimated value of $85 Billion in 2016. Why so much growth you might ask? The necessity of being mobile these days is imperative and with a lower-cost alternative service that Uber provides, why go anywhere else?

As previously noted, Uber’s worldwide growth has allowed ride costs and waiting times to steadily decline. Furthermore, the rating system ensures that driver quality is relatively consistent, leading to an improved service quality in comparison to traditional forms of transportation. Ultimately, Uber is an essential app for the on-the-go entrepreneur.

Using these apps, will help you be more organised with daily tasks. As result, you’ll get the competitive advantage you’re striving for. Whether you use all of these great tools or even a completely different set of apps to improve productivity, we’d love to hear about them!

Leave us a comment below on any productivity apps that we may have missed.

The 4 Characteristics of Successful App Startups

What are the shared traits of apps like Uber and Airbnb that help them become impactful multinational companies? The answer can vary depending on industry and business model. In this post we share the four most common characteristics of successful app startups.

Not since the dot-com days of the late 90s has there been such a prevalence of tech startups. The rise of mobile technology and innovations such as cloud computing has spurred this latest round of tech entrepreneurship.

As the mobile revolution becomes mainstream, new business opportunities are being presented. At Launchpad App Development, we help entrepreneurs and emerging businesses realise these opportunities through iPhone, Android and Web App Development.

Here are the important qualities to achieving app startup success in the evolving mobile marketplace.

They are disruptive

One of the defining characteristics of successful app startups is Disruption. A disruptive app challenges the status of an industry – transportation, retail, lifestyle, etc. – to such an extent that the traditional way of doing business becomes practically obsolete.

That’s easier said than done, and a lot more difficult than creating an app that follows consumer demand and market trends. So why are so many app startups aiming to innovate rather than regulate?

As the late Steve Jobs succinctly put it: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

So is a disruptive app created?

Clayton Christensen – who introduced the disruptive innovation theory in the Harvard Business Review – notes that disruptive innovation often starts from the low-end market foothold.

Consider an industry where companies try to provide their most profitable and demanding customers with ever-improving products and services. In such an industry, these companies are paying less attention to less-demanding customers. This opens the door to disruptive apps to provide these low-end customers with a Minimum Viable Product.

Example – Uber

The taxi industry is tightly regulated and the drivers face strict obligations. In most cities, drivers need a special operator’s license in order to act as a taxi. Furthermore, there are restrictions to what cars they can legally drive.

In comparison to traditional taxis, Uber started in the low-end market by allowing anyone with a car to drive other people around for money. No special certification or knowledge was required.

As Uber’s network grew in each city, ride costs and waiting times declined and the rating system ensured that the driver quality was relatively consistent. With this improved service quality, Uber was able to move upstream to attack taxis directly – a classic disruptive move.

Uber Most Valuable Startup

Now worth $85 billion AUD, Uber is the World’s most valuable startup. Source: Statista

They have a well-defined Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement that explains what benefits your app provides and how it does it uniquely well. It describes your target users, the problem your app solves, and why it’s distinctly better than the alternatives.

A significant part of defining a value proposition involves what Forbes writer Michael Skok calls the 4Us:

  • Unworkable: Does your app solve a broken business process where there are real, measurable consequences to inaction?
  • Unavoidable:  Is it driven by a fundamental requirement for accountability or compliance?
  • Urgent: Is it one of the top few priorities in the marketplace that your startup is entering?
  • Underserved: Is there a noticeable lack of valid solutions to the problem you’re looking to solve?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re on the right path toward a compelling value proposition.

Example – Evernote

Evernote’s value proposition is to “help the world remember everything, communicate effectively and get things done”. From saving ideas and thoughts to preserving experiences to working efficiently with others, Evernote’s distinct app offering makes it easy for users to stay productive and organised.

With a well-defined value proposition, you know that your target market is primed for the solution that your app provides.

They start with a small market

When it comes to successful app startups, there’s been a lot of talk about the huge market that’s readily available through the ever-evolving mobile platform.

While it’s true that a startup must eventually reach a large market to transform into a large company, it’s actually best to identify a narrow market segment to begin with.

As we covered in a previous post, starting with a small market helps you to understand the behavioural traits of app users in an insightful manner, while also underlining any issues that need to be rectified more quickly.

“Begin with a really small market, take over said market, and then expand that market in concentric circles.”

Peter Thiel, PayPal Co-Founder and early Facebook Investor.

 

Thiel advises in his lecture , “the greatest mistake you can make as a new startup is going after a giant market from the get-go. That signifies that you haven’t defined categories properly. And you’re going to be dealing with too much competition in one way or another.”

If you want to turn your app startup into a successful company, you should first capture targeted small markets and then help that market grow over time.

They provide an outstanding User Experience

By definition, a startup is a new company. They can’t be dependent on brand loyalty built over years or decades like their big, entrenched competitors can.

This is why providing a useful app product that’s simple and intuitive to use is so important to the business’s long-term success.

So how do you deliver a great user experience for the app that you’re building? Here are some guidelines to get you started.

  • Easy flow and navigation – Once you’ve decided on the first set of features you want to be part of the app, it’s essential that you make it easy for the user to navigate from screen to screen, or from one feature to another. Your aim should be to reduce the learning curve for the users and make navigation more intuitive.
  • Understand your customer What is the profile of your typical customer (E.g. Age group, gender, their behaviour with technology, etc.)? The navigational features (such as button size, easy tap instead of swipes) will differ from a 5 year old compared a 55-year-old mobile user.
  • Utilise the platform – Each platform, iOS or Android, offers various gesture-based navigation tools. Swipes (left, right, up or down) can bring a new screen and remove another, while a pinch can zoom into content or move out of the current screen as well. Depending on the nature of your application and its purpose, platform-specified gestures should be offered to provide an intuitive navigation experience.

App User Experience

The iPhone’s gesture-based navigation tools. Source: Business 2 Community

The User Experience your app offers should be an integral part of your product strategy. Remember, success is by design, not by chance.

Remember, success is by design, not by chance.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether your app idea will grow into a successful startup depends on a variety of factors. They have common characteristics that can be identified.

Successful app startups are disruptive, have a well-defined value proposition, start with a small market and provide an amazing user experience. Making sure that your app concept has these four traits will set you on the right path to achieving startup success.

What additional characteristics do you believe lead to app startup success? Let us know in the comments section below.