Efficiency in running a business
How to effectively run a business has been a major topic of debate for decades. As businesses have evolved, so has that debate. Some believe that in-person, face-to-face interaction is the best way to retain and gain a solid and stable customer base, while others believe that customers prefer to use the Internet to resolve issues or update accounts rather than speaking with a person directly. Even so, many business owners can agree that utilizing new technology can enhance productivity, lessen stress and save time. Smartphones like the iPhone and Android are compatible with apps that can act as shortcuts in the daily life of any business owner. For those not ready to upgrade their iPhone to access Siri, below are five iPhone and five Android voice-activated apps that can revolutionize the way you manage your business and employees.
Five voice-controlled iPhone apps:
Vlingo: Vlingo is marketed as a virtual assistant, and is very similar to Siri. By speaking in commands — such as “e-mail Tony,” “call Shirley,” or even “find post office” — you can continue with your work, your commute or your business lunch meeting without any problems. It also connects to your social media accounts, so you can update your company or personal Facebook or Twitter accounts easily and quickly. The Vlingo app has full functionality and is a free download.
Voice Secretary Lite: With the ability to update your schedule and set reminders just by speaking aloud, the Voice Secretary Lite app can turn your iPhone into your own secretary. You also have the option to send e-mails with voice messages attached — whether you’re sending them to family, clients or employees. It even provides a backup of audio files to your computer. The Voice Secretary Lite app is free, but if you’re looking for additional features, the Voice Secretary app costs $3.99 regularly, though sometimes is on sale for $1.99.
AudioNote Lite: If your life is made up of many business meetings, AudioNote Lite may be able to help keep you organized. It records audio and, as you write notes, it links them to that section of the audio recording. This allows you to revisit meetings and discuss the meetings prior — meaning there is no need for a secretary to take minutes during meetings. It can even be used while you’re interviewing potential employees. AudioNote Lite limits you to 10 minutes for each note you take, with a maximum of two hours of audio, and it’s free. However, if you need unlimited audio and note-taking, you can upgrade to the full version for $4.99.
iTranslate: Depending on your business, you may need to interact with those who speak different languages. iTranslate is a free app that allows you to speak and have a custom translation repeat what you’ve said in up to 11 languages. An additional 32 languages are available, but not with voice. It even enables you to send the translations through e-mails.
Voice Memo Recorder: For $0.99, you can download Voice Memo Recorder and have recorded, saved and prioritized memos right on your iPhone. The Voice Memo Recorder app allows you to record a memo up to an hour in length, title memos so they’re easier to find later, and categorize memos by color or number, whichever works best for you and your business needs.
Five voice-controlled Android apps:
Voice Actions: This app can be used for both your personal life and your business. The Voice Actions app allows you to use your phone’s key functions through voice commands. You can voicedial your business contacts, get the latest news about your industry, and set alarms or schedule reminders. The Voice Actions app is a free download, but it can be upgraded to Voice Actions Plus for $2.99.
Dictosyl: This is the app to consider if you need to record and e-mail dictations to your secretary, assistant or employees so that the recordings can then be transcribed. Because the Dictosyl app is free, it’s a cheaper alternative to traditional dictation and transcription software commonly used by doctors, nurses, medical transcriptionists and other professionals.
Rembr Lite: The Rembr Lite app is all about adding calendar events — such as appointments, meetings and deadlines. All you have to do is speak what type of calendar event it is, the place and the time, and it’s added right to your calendar. The voice-activated calendar makes it easy to add events while driving or any other activity that may limit your ability to manually add an event. While there are many voice-activated calendar apps, Rembr Lite is free and can be upgraded for $1.99.
Voice Email Client: The Voice Email Client app is $1.99 to download and has many useful features, including audibly reading your received e-mails, transcribing your voice in an e-mail you want to send, sorting through your e-mails with simple voice commands, and allowing you to monitor several e-mail accounts at once.
Clipboard Voice: You can save any text in your clipboard and the Clipboard Voice app will repeat it back to you. This is helpful if you’re configuring notes, e-mails or company memos and prefer not to refer back and forth from your clipboard to your computer screen. This app costs $0.99 per download, and it could even benefit your secretary or assistant.
Being a business owner today is different than it was 10 years ago — five years ago, even. With the many technological advances, it can be difficult to keep up and maintain the relevance of your current technology and business model. However, by utilizing the above apps — and many more just like them — you have affordable business and technological solutions conveniently on your smartphone, which can save you time, money and your sanity.
COPYRIGHT 2011 AGENT GENIUS
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION