by Deeksha Malik
Published on 8 March 2017
Running a business as an absentee owner sounds like an incredible thought. It can conjure up images of relaxing on a beach while someone else does all the work for you. The problem is that the thought rarely translates into reality.
There are numerous challenges that can prevent you from efficiently overseeing and managing business from afar. But you shouldn't get too uncomfortable in your deckchair, because there are plenty of cloud-based applications that can help make it easier to run your business remotely.
In this article, we'll reveal 10 apps that can be helpful while you're running a business as an absentee owner and explain about the features you need to pay attention to when looking for the right software.
As you're going to take a backseat in your business, you have to ensure those who you hire to run it on your behalf are of top notched quality. Recruitment and hiring apps like Zoho Recruit and Breezy HR can help you find the best talent around.
Zoho Recruit is an applicant tracking and hiring tool that takes care of the entire HR process ranging from candidate sourcing to hiring. It lets you post job openings on your careers portal, on popular job boards like LinkedIn, Monster, and on social sites like Twitter and Facebook. It likewise keeps you updated about upcoming interviews. Via its activity dashboard, you can have a quick glance at the current hiring status.
With Zoho Recruit for mobile, you can review resumes, monitor the progress of job openings, schedule interviews, respond to emails as well as track your task list, from your iOS or Android device.
Pricing: Free for one user. Most popular package costs $25 per user per month.
Breezy HR offers a gamut of hiring-related features like candidate management, job advertising, candidate sourcing, automated reference checking, and so on. Its intuitive pipeline feature gives you a snappy view of the progress of a candidate in the hiring process. You can also get all details about the candidate from team notes to social accounts in a single click. You can email applicants, schedule meetings with them, and also make them an offer. The Breezy HR's resume parser transforms even an unformatted resume into a lean and searchable candidate profile.
Thanks to Breezy HR's iOS and Android apps, you can view and manage your discussions with the candidates and the team. You can also follow up with the candidates and see their progress through the stages of hiring pipeline.
Pricing: Free version is available for one user with unlimited candidates. Starter package costs $49 for unlimited users and three active jobs.
One of the nagging thoughts of an absentee business owner is if their staff is actually working and not wasting time. Worse still, are they even showing up for work? Luckily, you can depend on employee scheduling and time tracking apps like When I Work Scheduling and TSheets to ensure all the jobs are defined, work hours are planned, and people are coming to work.
When I Work Scheduling is an employee scheduling app designed to help you easily communicate and connect with your employees. With its two-way text messaging feature, your employees can accept job shifts as well as ask for their schedule. The tool also assists you with tracking unplanned time-off and shift change requests.
When I Work Scheduling for Android and iOS lets you schedule your staff, manage their attendance and shifts, and communicate with them, using your mobile device.
Pricing: Starter package costs $9 per month for up-to five users.
TSheets is a time tracking app that lets you keep a track of hours worked, employee location, job codes, vacations, project updates, and a lot more. It is a virtual timesheet that allows your staff to create and alter their timesheets. You can track the hours spent by your team in one go with TSheets's Crew app. TSheets Scheduling is another feature that notifies you when your employees fail to log in.
TSheets' iOS and Android apps enable your staff to log in and out of shifts, take a break, submit timesheets, change tasks, and much more using their mobile devices. The apps also include GPS location tracking feature that helps you track your employee location from anywhere.
Pricing: TSheets charges $20 as monthly base fee, plus $5 for every user. The freemium version is for one user and unlimited projects.
Effective and well-timed performance appraisals and employee engagement activities can get you a more joyful and motivated workforce. Performance management and employment engagement tools like Trakstar and Motivosity can assist you with ways on how you can improve employee satisfaction and motivation, as well as create a stronger bond and spirit of cooperation at work.
Trakstar is an employee performance evaluation app that lets you conduct 360-degree feedback for staff and managers. The tool maintains a detailed record of the entire appraisal history of the employees, helping managers to assess performance history, performance ranking, and other performance-related criteria.
Even your partners and customers can add their feedback to the employee appraisal document. Your staff and managers can track the progress of their activities and goals, to ensure they align with company objectives.
Pricing: On request.
Motivosity is a cloud-based peer-to-peer recognition and reward tool that helps improve employee engagement activities. By using the app, both employees and managers can openly reward each other with cash for their performance, contributions, and achievements.
You can record dates for special events such as employee birthdays and work anniversaries, as well as assign rewards or gifts to such events. The tool also sends automatic reminders for these upcoming events. As every interaction on the tool is recorded, it's easy for you to track which department or individual receives the most recognition. You can also add gamification elements to company goals and milestones. You can also share employee engagement surveys through the tool.
Motivosity for iOS and Android enables employees to appreciate and reward each other, as well as keep themselves updated on new activities, using their mobile devices.
Motivosity integrates with apps like Salesforce Sales Cloud, Microsoft Office 365, and Slack.
Pricing: $3 per user per month.
As an absentee owner, it becomes more essential for you to keep an eye on the books and remain on top of your income. Financing and accounting tools like Zoho Books can help you with that. Furthermore, auditing tools like iAuditor can help you conduct audits to check if your business is running smoothly and identify improvement areas which require your intervention.
Zoho Books is a web-based accounting and financial reporting tool that lets you manage your business accounts anytime, anywhere. With this app, you can access all your business transactions and financial data from any location. Zoho Books is designed to streamline your office work and automate banking tasks. It structures your entire financial data into comprehensive reports. Some other key features of the app are inventory tracking, invoicing, and sales and purchase order tracking.
With Zoho Books for mobile, you and your staff can track project status even on the go.
Zoho Books integrates with multiple payment gateways including PayPal, Authorize.Net, Braintree, Forte, and WorldPay.
Pricing: Basic plan costs $9 per organization per month. Most popular plan costs $19 per organization per month.
Being an absentee owner, you don't want to want to have to keep a day-to-day check on the business operations. Instead you could opt for an auditing software and conduct a surprise inspection whenever you feel like. iAuditor is a mobile inspection checklist app by SafetyCulture will assist you to conduct audits, create digital checklists, and generate audit reports, using your mobile device or tablet.
Its desktop platform allows you to manage your inspection process centrally. It can help you identify trends and review performance across inspections with analytics dashboards. You can standardize your audits and inspections using mobile forms. You add images, hyperlinks, and GPS location to your audit reports, as well as authorize them using digital signature. You can export the report in various formats like PDF, CSV, DOCX, XML etc., and send it to your team through email instantly.
With iAuditor for iOS and Android, you can conduct audits (online and offline) from anywhere. In addition, the app syncs the entire audit data on your mobile with the SafetyCulture account for centralized access.
Pricing: Free version includes basic auditing and inspection features. Standard version costs $12 per user per month. Most popular version costs $15 per user per month.
It happens to most of us. A document gets misplaced, and you spend hours searching it in your emails and every folder on your desktop, but to no avail. Document management still remains a constant pain point for most of us. This is where the need for document management system like Dropbox comes in.
Dropbox is a free, off-site server that's designed to help you with file sharing and storage. All you files on Dropbox gets automatically synced to all your devices. You can also create a backup of your images and videos from your mobile device or laptop. The app lets you share files and videos with anyone, even if they don't have a Dropbox account.
Dropbox for iOS and Android lets you upload, store, access and share files from your Dropbox folder even on the go.
Pricing: From $8.25 per month.
As the owner of a business, you really do not know when you're going to need to sign some critical document. With a digital signature software like RightSignature, you can securely sign, store, and manage all your critical business documents anytime, anywhere.
RightSignature allows you to sign important documents, contracts, receipts, invoices and more online using this electronic signature tool. The tool offers several business-critical features like handwritten mouse signatures, typed signatures, reusable templates, self-service documents, and much more. You can also fill out a form and eSign it.
RightSignature for iOS and Android lets you review documents, fill forms, and create digital signature online.
Pricing: From $14 per month.