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 if you're running a business as an absentee owner. We'll also explain certain features that 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 that those who you hire to run it on your behalf are of top notched quality. Recruitment and hiring apps such as 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, from candidate sourcing to hiring. It lets you post job openings on your internal career portal, on popular job boards (such as LinkedIn and Monster), and on social sites (such as Twitter and Facebook). It also keeps you updated about upcoming interviews. You can have a quick glance at the current hiring status via the tool's activity dashboard.
With Zoho Recruit for mobile, you can review resumes, monitor the progress of job openings, schedule interviews, respond to emails, and track your task list, among others, from your iOS or Android device.
Zoho Recruit integrates with multiple apps such as G Suite, Microsoft Outlook, Workato, QuickBooks Online, and Salesforce Sales Cloud, as well as social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Pricing: Free for one user. The most popular package costs $25 per user per month.
Breezy HR offers a gamut of hiring-related features, such as candidate management, job advertising, candidate sourcing, and automated reference checking. 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. 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 candidates and the hiring team. You can also follow up with candidates and see their progress through the different stages of the hiring pipeline.
Pricing: The free version is available for one user with unlimited candidates. The 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 such as When I Work and TSheets to ensure all jobs are defined, work hours are planned, and people are coming to work.
When I Work 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 for Android and iOS lets you schedule your staff, manage their attendance and shifts, and communicate with them using your mobile device.
Pricing: The starter package costs $9 per month for up to five users.
TSheets is a time tracking app that lets you track employee work hours, 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' 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 such as 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 offer 360-degree feedback for staff and managers. The tool maintains a detailed record of the entire appraisal history of employees, thereby helping managers 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 for 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 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 such as Salesforce Sales Cloud, Microsoft Office 365, and Slack.
Pricing: $3 per user per month.
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 on the go.
Zoho Books integrates with multiple payment gateways, including PayPal, Authorize.Net, Braintree, Forte, and WorldPay.
Pricing: The basic plan costs $9 per organization per month. The most popular plan costs $19 per organization per month.
Being an absentee owner, you don't want to have to keep a day-to-day check on business operations. Instead you could opt for auditing tools such as iAuditor and conduct a surprise inspection whenever you feel like. You can conduct audits to check if your business is running smoothly and identify areas that require your intervention.
iAuditor, a mobile inspection checklist app by SafetyCulture, helps 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 also export reports in various formats, such as PDF, CSV, DOCX, and XML, and share them with your team through email.
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 device with the SafetyCulture account for centralized access.
Pricing: The free version includes basic auditing and inspection features. The standard version costs $12 per user per month. The most popular version costs $15 per user per month.
A document gets misplaced, and you spend hours searching it in your emails and every folder on your desktop. It happens to most of us, and document management still remains a constant pain point. This is where the need for document management systems such as Dropbox and RightSignature comes in.
Dropbox is a free, off-site server that's designed to help you with file sharing and storage. All your files on Dropbox get automatically synced to 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. Digital signature software RightSignature lets you 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. The tool offers several business-critical features such as handwritten mouse signatures, typed signatures, reusable templates, and self-service documents. 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.