Top Five Online Services to make your 2018 a Business Success

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 17.25.58.png

Having worked for myself for many many years, I welcome good services and tools that can make my job easier. Not only does it allow you to smile more at the end of the day, it also gives you some time back and I am sure everyone would admit to liking more time on their hands. I check out new online services regularly and would like to share my top five picks with you today.

I always need to send videos and other files to my clients, more or less on a daily basis. If you need to send files quickly and easily, to someone in the same workplace or to the other side of the world, Send Anywhere could be right up your street. Not only is this a free service, it allows you to send files with no maximum file size. Imagine being able to move files between your own devices when you get a new smartphone or laptop. Or perhaps you need to get that finished video over to a teammate for approval. This is no problem, using the simple web-driven interface. There’s even a WiFi Direct feature that allows you to send files without using data or the internet.

Another really cool use-case scenario relates to emails. Many email providers limit the maximum file size you can attach. With Send Anywhere that problem no longer exists, your file is presented to the recipient as a link which they simply click to download the attachment. Imagine that … email attachments with no limits. 


Also worth noting is that you don’t even need to register to use this service. A simple six-digit key is all you need to get started. Did I mention that all file transfer from Send Anywhere are safely encrypted to ensure maximum security as well as privacy? With just six digits, you are ready to send your files anywhere, across mobile devices, desktop and the web.  

Intuit Quickbooks Self Employed is a real time saver for small business and especially sole traders. As a content creator myself, I used to spend hours doing my accounts and really hated it. Now my bank account is linked to Quickbooks, with all my transactions syncing across automatically. Nowadays, I just spend one hour per month reconciling my invoices and receipts. It even allows you to track mileage (another great saving on your tax bill) and invoice your customers too. When tax time comes around, help is at hand here with reports that help you file your tax return. It’s super easy to use and a real time saver.

Google Keep is relatively new to my collections of useful services. This allows you to make quick notes, checklists, audio memos, photos, screenshots and reminders. These are then saved to the cloud and accessible across multiple platforms, for example your Android or iOS smartphone and Windows and MacOS via your web browser.

MailChimp for keeping your customers informed is super powerful and it’s free at certain levels. The most simple explanation of this is an email subscription list service. You get your customers to subscribe to your list, then on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis (you decide), you can send them an email newsletter. This is very powerful, as you can update them on new services, special offers etc and it keeps you connected to your customer-base. On the free service you can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send a maximum 12,000 emails per month. You can even check how many of your customers actually opened your email newsletter too. 


My wildcard service is indeed one you should definitely have heard of, but often overlooked as a business tool. Making your Instagram a business account, allows you to access very useful analytics about the photos you are sharing. A top tip here is to share photos that are not just trying to sell to your customers every single time. Sharing inspirational photographs, that have some relevance to what you do is important. Of equal importance is adding extra value to your followers (and potential customers). Making them smile once per day will make your company more personable and with clever planning can open many new doors for you.

You can download Send Anywhere here.

*Sponsored post. Opinions remain writer's own.

ExpenseIn Preview: the Brand-New UK App for Receipt Management

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 13.14.00.png

November 2015 will see the introduction of a very exciting new business expenses app, ExpenseIn, for those of us who as part of our general routine have to manage a large number of receipts and complete the associated VAT returns in order to make allowable expenses claims for businesspurposes with the HMRC.

The Problem
Historically, individuals have had to collate all the receipts that they accumulated driving around the country's motorways, attending client, partner or investor meetings and presentations, staying overnight at hotels or B&Bs, while grabbing lunches and lattes on the go. All those receipts would have to be retained and filed, which would invariably mean an overflowing, receipt-stuffed wallet, or desktop spikes with pierced and crumpled bills going all the way back until last Christmas and beyond.

But that's not all.

As a company employee, they would then have to spend hours filling in spreadsheets for the finance department, who would in turn have to scrutinise those returns and interact with said employee until all parties were satisfied that the claims and receipts matched up, with each claim legitimate and in keeping with the latest UK tax requirements. A huge amount of combined company hours.

The ExpenseIn App Solution
So for the self-employed, finance department and business owner, the facility that ExpenseIn provides to track and organise expense records comes as an absolute godsend.

Importantly, a USP of the ExpenseIn app is that it comes from UK tax specialists, with a working knowledge of UK tax law and business practices, who are therefore able to ensure that all updates are fully compliant with the latest in HMRC developments.

Furthermore, the app itself looks extremely efficient, practical and simple to use - receipts are captured and then discarded while their record is easily accessible and exportable in the cloud-based storage system; expenses can be submitted in an intuitively simple way; approval flows are straightforward and logical to set up; and policies are quick to establish or amend.

But what's also very attractive is ExpenseIn's pricing system, which, especially with the annual payment plan, is tremendously competitive, with costs close to half of those of some main competitors.

So taking into account the breadth and depth of ExpenseIn's features, simple yet thorough setup and pricing, we at Geekanoids really can't wait for its November release.

What Is Inventory Management Software?

As any new business grows, one can quickly find that sales, orders and deliveries become too much to handle with a simple spreadsheet. Sooner or later you need a more advanced system to keep track of what comes in and goes out - which is where inventory management systems (IMS) come into play.

There are a number of IMS to choose from and finding the right option for your business depends on a range of factors, namely, the size of your business, how much stock you typically have coming in and going out on a daily basis, your current IT network, and your budget.

What does inventory management software do?

Inventory management software is an application that helps you keep on top of your stock by tracking sales, orders and even material costs (for service-based businesses). The concept is quite simple: You never want to run out of stock, or order more than you need. However, in practice this can be much tougher than it sounds when you have surprise bulk orders, supplier issues or defect products come in.

Inventory management software means you always know what you have in stock, what is coming in, and what is going out. Let’s say your customer makes a bulk order for your biggest selling product. You don’t want to accept the order and then have to explain to your customer that you don’t have enough in stock. Or, worse, sell to another customer in the meantime after the goods have already been paid for.

With inventory management software you know exactly what stock you have on premises and when the next order is due. You can also set items aside as they’re sold, so you never have to worry about running out or selling the same product twice.

How to choose the right software

The right inventory management software for your business depends on your specific needs as a company. There is a wide range of free and paid options available, each with a variety of features to help you keep on track.

Some accounting packages like Quickbooks include inventory management features, while dedicated inventory applications like Inventory Pro focus entirely on your in-store stock. More advanced systems often include barcode/RFID scanning, custom pricing models and transfer management - but how useful these are depends on the nature of your business.

It’s not just about features when it comes to inventory management software, and just like any application, you’ll want a fine balance between features and efficiency. The whole point of this software is to avoid mistakes with your inventory so you don’t want a confusing or difficult system. And when you do run into difficulties you want to know you have a good support team available 24/7.

A system for every budget

With a wealth of inventory management software options available there is a package for just about every budget. The most expensive option isn’t always the best so check independent reviews before you commit to buy. And if you’re on a tight budget, just remember that investing more now could save you more in the future.

Foursquare gives business owners their own app to manage specials, track customer visits Mobile

Foursquare just recently tweaked its privacy policy to share more user information with local businesses, and it looks like it's already putting some of that data to use in a new app now that the policy has gone into effect. Launched today for the iPhone and iPod touch, Foursquare for Business is just that -- an app designed for business owners instead of customers. In addition to letting managers upload new photos and refresh their specials regularly, it'll also give them a peek into customer activity at their business (or businesses), including information on check-ins and the ability to keep an eye on their top customers. As Foursquare notes in its privacy policy, though, you can opt out of having that check-in information visible to businesses in the app's privacy settings.

[Source: Engadget]


An online video documentary series to shine a light on the UK startup scene and inspire other young entrepreneurs, through one entrepreneur's story of trying to launch his business in the capital.

Suitcase Startup is a documentary series following what it truly takes to get a business off the ground, from marketing on a tight budget to building a team, raising finance and launching, Suitcase Startup is the story of the entrepreneur’s journey, of trying to make a dream, a reality.

Chris Bradley is the first-time entrepreneur under the spotlight, and he’s inviting anyone with an interest in the startup scene to come along for the ride over the next four months, through 8 episodes appearing on The Next Web, each covering the blood sweat and tears involved as he attempts to take his startup, Publicate, from a bedroom in North Wales to London – with no office, no accommodation and no money. He does, however, have a suitcase. Will it be enough?

This is evidently a story that is aching to be told as the project has attracted major sponsors, Rackspace The Open Cloud Company , Natwest and 99designs, many partners have also come forward to help Chris on his journey; Smarta, Newspepper, 1000 heads, Startup Stay, Chesamel and Pensar IT.

In this time of economic recession and employment uncertainty, starting up has never seemed so attractive. With UK unemployment figures reaching 7.7% (2.49 million), the idea of striking out solo is becoming more and more popular with 25,026 new businesses registered in the UK in the last month alone. (as of 24th Jan 2013)

It is irrefutable - entrepreneurship is a movement, and one the government is finally getting behind. With the new start-up loans scheme in force and new tax relief schemes for investors, the thinking goes that startups are one way out of the country’s recession.

The success stories splashed across the media depict companies with a handful of staff being acquired for millions – it’s enough to make anyone want to start a business. The tales that aren’t told however, are those of the thousands of startups that fail every month and the one in three that will fall flat within a few years, the story that needs to be told, is about the journey involved, success or failure, and what lessons this journey can teach.

About Chris

A South African born Brit, Chris (29) came up with the idea for Publicate during his career working for the world's second largest LCD manufacturer, spending 4 years in Amsterdam and 2 years in Taiwan. For as long as he can remember, Chris has wanted to be an entrepreneur and is now following his dream, but the journey has only just begun...

Facebook Nearby helps you discover your friends' hangouts, view local business ratings

You've probably managed to track down another app or two that accomplishes the same, or maybe you have no interest in a ratings-driven discovery platform at all -- either way, Facebook's decided to tap your smartphone's GPS yet again, offering up recommended venues through an updated Nearby. The new section lets you identify local establishments that your e-buds have checked into or liked. Businesses are sorted by category, so you can find a cozy coffee shop on a rainy day with ease, or stumble upon a neighborhood dog park that a special friend happens to frequent with her pooch. Perhaps most intriguing, however, is the suggestion that Facebook may "add places info from third party services in the near future," perhaps making the app a one-stop shop for all your cafe/club/shop/hotel-searching needs. You may already have a "Nearby" tab in your Android or iOS app -- Facebook has confirmed that the new tool will rollout beginning today.

[Source: Engadget]

Skype announces new 'In the Workplace' platform for small businesses

Skype has made itself present in many different areas around the globe, but the Microsoft-owned service is now looking to enter (and hopefully be a part of) a more business-oriented field. With the launch of its newfangled, adequately-named In the Workplace platform, Skype says it's hoping to keep small businesses connected and help them grow by giving them a free platform where they can easily communicate with potential customers, partners and even suppliers. According to Skype, this novel service has been tested in beta form for nearly six months now, and today it's officially opening its virtual doors to all business owners that are interested in giving it a go -- the link to sign up can be found down below.

[Source: Engadget]

Kodak to sell the film business that made it so famous

Kodak is selling off its renowned film arm in order to revive its moribund fortunes. It'll join sales of the company's patent portfolioonline gallery, commercial scanning, photo kiosk and theme park businesses so it can concentrate on a not-yet successful printer enterprise. It needs to raise more than $660 million to pay back creditors before it can emerge from Chapter 11, which it aims to do early next year -- but not in any form that we're likely to recognize.

[Source: Engadget]