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There was a time when technology in the work place consisted of a microwave and a coffee maker. And while it’s true these mainstays can help fuel your office morale, several new techno-gizmos are making it possible to achieve even more.
Here are some of tech’s new tools you can leverage give your bottom line a boost.
To get paid better
Want the convenience of accepting credit cards without all the baggage and fees? Mobile payment devices, like Square and PayPal Here, can empower your smart phone or tablet to do it. Just affix the swiper and download the apps, and you’ll be saying “yes” to plastic in no time. The device and apps come free in exchange for a small percentage of each swipe. Check out Squareup.com or Paypal.com for details.
For insights into how another financial innovator is changing the merchant payment landscape, check out the blog at Dwolla.
To collaborate better
When your business is small, but your staff is dispersed, online collaboration tools like Huddle, Basecamp, Podio and others can keep you connected like never before. Simple to use, these services can be used to assign tasks, track budgets, manage timelines and more – whether you’re in different workspaces or different countries. Most will have you up and collaborating quickly at a fraction of the cost of meeting in person.
For more ideas, check out the top five online collaboration tools according to about.com Mobile Office Technology.
To travel better
If your business involves travel, you’re familiar with the hassles of keeping details straight or finding the nearest coffee shop. Thankfully, there are hundreds of apps you can download to turn your smartphone into a personal Sherpa. From TripIt, the app that combines all your travel plans into one convenient itinerary, to Angry Birds the app that lets you kill time on the tarmac (yes, we all do it), there’s something for every business traveler.
For the cream of the crop, check out Timeout’s 50 best.
To store files better
Want access to your files whenever, wherever? Cloud storage makes getting to them click-ably easy – for you or anyone you choose. Several providers do it well and make it simple, allowing you to safely and securely store files for as little as $21 per month. Just download the program to your desktop or laptop to access the amount of storage you choose. Plans range from several gigabytes to hundreds of terabytes and beyond. The best part? Cloud storage frees up digital and physical space you can devote to other office necessities, like coffee and microwave popcorn.
For rankings and comparisons of the top ten business cloud providers, visit here.
To promote your website better
QR codes aren’t new, but they’re easier to get than ever before. Just type “free QR code” into your web browser for a list of sites that can help. Plug in your business’ web address and they’ll generate your very own QR code art file you can download instantly. For a fee, some sites will provide tracking information, analytics and more.
Click here for an insightful piece on QR code best practices.
To sleep better
Finally, let’s not forget that a well-rested business owner is a productive business owner. With this in mind, you might consider a white noise app that creates soothing sounds to lull you through a good night’s sleep. For the serious zonker, consider a mattress with firmness and temperature controls you can adjust to your exact comfort specifications. A web search for white noise yields several options. For mattresses, start your search at sleepnumber.com.
No matter what business challenge you’re trying to overcome, you can rest assured someone is working on the technology to address it.