Apps Every Businesswoman Needs
This is a guest post by Sona A. Tatiyants, a young Southern California lawyer who launched her own practice two years ago, talking about the apps she finds necessary to succeed in business.
I am not a techie. I still take notes on a legal pad during client meetings. I print my research on paper before I read it. And I love leafing through paperbacks before I buy them.
But there are certain applications and online services that I just can’t live without in my law practice.
Because I don’t have the manpower of a large law firm, using smart phone applications to automate and save time are crucial to the success of my legal practice.
Any successful business owner must have a good grasp of money coming in and out of her business. Mint.com allows me to do just that.
I have the iPhone app and check my business accounts a few times a day to see if certain checks and deposits have cleared. I even use Mint (instead of QuickBooks) to keep my books.
To do that, I’ve created categories specific to my practice like rent, employee costs, taxes, income, marketing, client expenses, etc.
At the end of the year I take all this information, dump it into an Excel spreadsheet, and hand it over to my accountant who uses this data to prepare my corporate tax returns. You can even use Mint to set budgets for your company’s monthly expenses, and Mint will alert you once you’re over the budget.
Best part of all, Mint is Free.
Now, that’s a good money decision!
I am big on earning credit card miles. In my personal life, I have only one credit card and use it as much as possible to earn miles (I even have my business credit card linked to my personal one so I can share my miles).
When a client whose boyfriend lived in another city but frequently came to visit her asked if she could pay with a credit card to earn miles, I finally gave in and started accepting credit cards.
I didn’t want to sign up as a merchant to take credit cards and pay a monthly fee.
Instead, I purchased the Square Card Reader at the Apple Store. It is a small device that connects to my iPhone (on the headset jack) and allows me to swipe a client’s credit card. The client signs directly on the screen with a finger and is e-mailed a receipt.
If you frequently accept credit cards for your services, then you can pay a small monthly fee and enjoy lower rates. For my clients’ convenience (and my ability to collect fees!) giving up 2.75% from the transaction seems like a good deal.
And you get your fee deposited into your bank account the next day while you check the transfer status with your Mint app.