Making The Most of The Hardware
Great Apps For Client Relations
When smart devices entered the market they opened the capabilities of what we could do with a phone. When Apple introduced the App Store it completely revolutionizedwhat we were able to do with a smartphone. It allowed developers to create apps that utilized the new found power in each of our pockets. In order to be a remote worker you need to have the proper hardware, but it doesn’t stop there. Software is the key to harnessing the hardware to create something great. The following list is a collection of apps I think any remote worker or business owner should be without.
Beyond marketing for yourself, obtaining clients is one of the main goals of a business. When starting out I tried a lot of sites like Upwork and Indeed. They were time consuming and had systems that were benefiting the client more than benefiting both parties. I came across this website called Thumbtack, and it was exactly what I was looking for. Thumbtack is open to several different industries and isn’t exclusive to just creatives. Unlike other sites that don’t limit the amount of proposals, Thumbtack only allows 5 proposals to go the client before the job becomes closed. They have a great review area and you can actually comment on people’s remarks. There is no exclusivity clauses that prevent you from taking the job offline. They have resources to see what others are charging for your services. The app is extremely easy to use and has features that make sending proposals a snap. There are templates you can set up for certain services so you can send a proposal with just a few clicks. Clients are necessary to stay in business and Thumbtack can help you reach them.
I was introduced to the THNKS app while at a networking event earlier this year. I met one of the founders and we started discussing the app. I have tons of potential clients I meet with that are shopping around for designers and usually once you meet you are waiting to potentially work together. THNKS allows you to set a reminder and in a few days you can send a thank you gift. Everything from coffee and pastries to airline upgrades. It’s a great way to remind a possible client of a great meeting you had or to congratulate a long time client on a milestone. It’s an easy way to remind people that you aren’t just about business. The THNKS app is free in the App Store.
Tyme 2 App
You’re starting to get clients and now you need to track your time. I have tried a few time tracking tools but ultimately chose Tyme 2. The interface is standard and projects can be customized by color, title, hourly rate, and due date. Tyme syncs across Mac, iPad, iPhone, and even Apple Watch. You can exports to Numbers and Excel for record keeping as well. It’s an easy to use app that I have been utilizing for about a year and a half.
Once the clients projects are done, you need to get paid. I chose the Square app for a few reasons. Square gives you a free card reader to take payments when you sign up. You can also buy the upgraded reader that also allows you to take NFC payments and chip card payments. Square also has a great app and online interface that allows you to add an inventory of products or services for quick sales. They also send invoices for free with the ability to customize it as well. The processing fess are reasonable, and after doing business through Square you have the ability to utilize Square Finance. The readers always work and they allow me to take several types of payments.
Apple Store App
What’s next after you’ve found clients, completed the project, and have been paid? Invest in your business’ future of course. As a designer technology is important and is always changing. The place I turn to when I have funding is the Apple Store App. I am able to order equipment and pick it up at my local Apple Store. In New York we have 10 stores, but some areas don’t have a store nearby. The app gives you access to an Apple Store in your pocket. You can preorder equipment, schedule a genius bar appointment, and get more information on things you are interested in purchasing. With Apple Pay integration it is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your home or mobile studio.
Apps push our devices to. Allowing us to communicate, create, and collaborate with others at home or abroad. The devices we have today would not be as powerful if it weren’t for developers thinking of new and imaginative ways to use our devices. The fact that you can have a smartphone in your pocket or a tablet in your bag also means that with the right apps you can work anywhere. The world is your office and your playground. Now thats a life I love to live.
About the Writer
Brian Anthony is the Creative Designer at Bigger Creative Agency. A comic book nerd who loves everything about design and technology. Born and raised in Brooklyn, like most New Yorkers, he isn't afraid to speak his mind. Brian is an outgoing designer who has had his work featured in USA Today, New York Fashion Week, and CES. He finds inspiration in everything and loves to throw on any tune and get to work.