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Apps & The Cloud -- A Better Way to Run Your Small Business

By Intuit

Intuit

You're a small business owner, who launched your business in the past year. Check.

You have a solid, steady stream of customers. Check.
You have the best tools in place to run your business. [Silence]

These days, it's easy to get inundated, and confused, with endless options for technologies that promise to change the way you run your business.

The question in many small business owners' mind is, "What is the right tool for me?"

"The trick is to keep things simple," said Vinay Pai, vice president and developer segment leader at Intuit. "Start with software that solves for a critical business need and allows you to customize and expand as your business grows."

Julia and Sebastian Bussert run a busy family business based in Miami called Fogo Charcoal. Their company supplies charcoal to the area's discerning restaurateurs, and the Busserts spend much of their time tracking deliveries and processing invoices.

Fogo Charcoal started in 2010, and as the Busserts' business evolved, so did their method of organizing it. Julia and Sebastian started off with the desktop version of Intuit QuickBooks, but as a busy small business that has to transport bags of charcoal around the city, they felt encumbered by their stationary means of tracking inventory, creating orders, making sales, and processing invoices and payroll.

As the business grew, the Busserts made the decision to switch to the cloud version of QuickBooks – the largest cloud platform available for small businesses today.

"I get sales reports emailed to me for the different areas we cover, and now we do invoices on the road," said Sebastian, who manages most of the company's sales. "Our employees can do everything in the cloud."

In addition to running a small business, the Busserts run a young family. Julia appreciates that she can check on her business' bookkeeping wherever she is, whether that be at home, on the go, or at the playground. She and Sebastian are able to keep a bird's eye view on their business from wherever they are, which allows them to have greater flexibility when it comes to family time.

With every part of their bookkeeping stored in the cloud, small business owners like the Busserts are able to be more flexible with how and where they work. With the ability to handle everything from a smartphone, small business owners don't need to feel chained to their desktop computers in an office anymore.

In addition to being able to improve their work-life balance, business owners can work quickly and more efficiently by being mobile, which translates into growth for their company.
"It's very helpful to see where our company stands at any time," Julia said. "I feel like we have much better control of our business."

Entrepreneurs running their business on the cloud not only benefit from the mobility factor, but also benefit from the many options to integrate new tools that help improve business productivity. In fact, Intuit QuickBooks has an Apps Store where developers and partners can create and publish Apps to help small businesses automate and improve many business tasks and processes.

"Through the QuickBooks ecosystem, our customers can connect to more than 2,000 third-party apps to help run, and grow their business," continued Pai. "We created the QuickBooks Apps Store to provide our small businesses with access to tools that help improve their day-to-day operations. These apps work together seamlessly, and data flows automatically into QuickBooks"

Some examples of useful Apps include:

  • An App created by Bill.com, which streamlines your bill approval and payment processes.
  • A product launched by Intuit and Fundbox that provides small business owners a way to fix their cash flow by advancing payments for outstanding invoices within QuickBooks.
  • Third party developer, Receipt Bank, created an App which manages business expenses by syncing data from receipts and bills with QuickBooks.

As you launch and grow your business, visit the QuickBooks Aps Store (Apps.com) to find Apps that are most suitable for your business needs.

Intuit QuickBooks is built to fuel small business success by providing a robust ecosystem of cloud-based financial management solutions. Follow this series to learn about resources available to new and aspiring small business owners, including tips, tricks and anecdotes about financial management, aligning yourself with the right partners, and using the cloud and new tech innovations to achieve long-term success.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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