It’s hard to be a road warrior. Day-to-day localized travel can be frantic and stressful for entrepreneurs and their employees who are constantly on the go. To manage the day-to-day, these mobile entrepreneurs use a variety of tools and apps to help with client scheduling, customer communication and payments.
However, there are a number of task-specific apps that can tackle the smaller, everyday problems faced during life behind the wheel. Though originally meant for consumers, these convenience-driven apps help entrepreneurs utilize resources more effectively, while saving time and money. Here are four common challenges and the apps that can help on-the-go entrepreneurs solve them.
Every professional tries to map out where he or she is going each day – the daily rounds. Clients don’t want to hear that owners or employees were late, circling the block and looking for that perfect on-street parking spot. And parking tickets can kill a field job’s margins. If working in a city, using an app like ParkWhiz makes it incredibly simple to find, reserve and pay for perfect parking spot nearest to the next job. And knowing that meetings can be cancelled at any time, ParkWhiz allows users to cancel reservations at the last minute as well.
Driving around a lot can be a blessing: It takes entrepreneurs to areas of town with different food options and cheaper gas. Apps like GasBuddy let users find and compare prices at all the gas stations around – opening up the opportunity for a two-, three- or five-cent per gallon savings. And because many on-the-go professionals fill up their tanks every other day, those few cents can add up to big numbers over the course of the year.
Too many entrepreneurs don’t realize the planning and documentation they should do in order to properly discount travel as a business expense. That’s all easy with a mileage calculator. A friend of mine pointed me to Mileage Expense Log, a straightforward app to track mileage charges in one place. It helps document driving logs for the IRS and makes submitting client mileage bills a snap.
When on the road, there are so many small transactions that it can be tough not to lose sight of the big picture. Saving up those earnings to buy that house, to support a family, or to finally take that much-deserved vacation. Personal finance experts say that the easiest way to save is to automate it. SavedPlus does that, allowing users to set up on their own a certain percentage of every dollar spent each day for deposit into a savings account. That means entrepreneurs can stay focused on the day-to-day, all the while ensuring other important finances are taken care of.
Being on the road can leave entrepreneurs and employees stressed – and for good reason. Though there’s no magic technology cure for traffic and congestion (at least until Google’s self-driving cars take over), there are other cures for frequent challenges that on-the-go entrepreneurs face. Cutting out some of the worry – worrying about where to find parking, how much gas is eating into the budget, whether mileage expenses are calculated properly, or how savings priorities will be met – is not only healthy for the business, but good for the entrepreneur.