NEW YORK (MainStreet) Most great businesses at their inception are short on cash. The issues facing most new companies, even amid the excitement of a promising new product, can present logistical headaches. But with the latest technology, there are few quick savvy ways to save money on your start-up and conduct business more efficiently. Here are our tips:
Square Register: Square Register is a credit card reader that works with the iPhone and iPad. It syncs with your bank account and takes a 2.75% service charge. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and chairman of Twitter, and his longtime friend Jim McKelvey, a glass blower from St. Louis, invented Square in 2009. Jim had just lost a sale on a $2,000 glass piece, because he was unable to accept credit cards, and the idea for square was born so that he or anyone like him would never miss another sale.
Katie Baynes a spokesperson for Square explained, "We launched Square Register with the goal of replacing the point of sale system with a beautiful, intuitive display that anyone could use anywhere. We support businesses of all sizes, from the individual making a one-off sale, to the coffee shop with hundreds of daily transactions, to house call doctors, lawyers and even chain businesses."
Square Register is a free application and the reader itself costs $10 to purchase through www.apple.com. Once that account is registered the customer is given a $10 credit in their account.
Business Plan App: The business plan app is easy to read through in a cab before a meeting, and it can provide quick definitions of basic financial terms such as fixed cost. It also provides templates for business plans, operating budgets, and cash flow budgets among several others. Mogens Thomsen is the founder of Business Plan. He commented, "You don't sit in your room reading a 500 page business plan book before you start. The business plan app is the book you read when you are on the move the best business plan book is the one carry with you. It gives you business essentials to startup in a practical none-academic way." Business Plan is available in App Store and costs $8.99.
Docstoc.com: Many new companies use much of their initial investment on lawyers' fees and contracts. What if you cannot afford a lawyer for a simple non-disclosure or you need to create your own contract but do not have the cash? Doctoc.com does just that. The website has over 20 million professional documents uploaded to it, and the site can assist a new entrepreneur with professional licenses. Of course, it is always better to use an attorney, but for simple documents to use as a business is getting started, this site presents a wealth of options. Jason Nazar and Alon Shwartz launched Docstoc in 2007. Nazar holds a law degree from Pepperdine University and Shwartz was a product manager at Myspace.com. Docstoc is free; however, there are premium parts of the site that require a monthly membership that can be up to $19.95.
Time Sheet App: "Timesheet allows you to keep records of your work with a simple push of a button. It lets you manage your projects or daily tasks. Simple and clear statistics will give you a great overview of your work. It also has the ability to export your data to different kinds of formats such as Microsoft Excel," explained founders Florian and Alexander Rauscha. The timesheet app is great for freelancers or new start-ups that have a few employees who may be working remotely in sales and marketing. It is free to download and use in the Android Marketplace.
Wave App: Wave makes invoicing, accounting, payroll, receipt scanning, and payment tools for small companies ideally with 9 employees or fewer. It is cloud-based integrated software. Rob Maurin, spokesperson for Wave, "It is built for businesses where the owner him or herself is the one who handles the day-to-day finances of a company. We build the right tools, in a way that doesn't require any special expertise. For example, Wave has real double-entry accounting (which your accountant will probably insist on), but the business owner doesn't need to understand anything about accounting methods or principles to use Wave." Wave can help a new entrepreneur collect money faster, save money at tax time, and track when invoices are overdue. It can also create a complete personal financial snapshot. Wave is free to use; however, the payroll tools are $5 per employee per month.
Pex Card: Pex card offers a new way for entrepreneurs to tackle expense accounts. These Visa cards are pre-filled with cash by the business owner assuring that everything stays within budget. If the cards need more money they can be filled online as well as suspended or emptied. Pex Card's website allows tracking of which employees are spending what. This makes it easier for a new CEO to know where his money is going. "Its all about control," said Toffer Grant, CEO of Pex Card. "Based on what customers tell us, it is the fact they can issue a card to an employee without the risk of exposing thousands of dollars of open spending on a credit card. We provide instant card funding, which means the manager can top up a card at any time day or night, when the employee needs it. And then - the card can be locked down for approved merchant types only - i.e. YES for gas, NO for restaurants." The cost is $7.50 per card per month.