Most photographers would be well aware of the tremendous advantages smart phones offer for businesses that are mobile, high-pressure and fluid. There are 100’s of iPhone apps out there to help you take pictures; they can measure light, tell you when the sun rises and calculate the depth of field. But there is also a whole host of other Apps out there which can help you run your business more efficiently.
The following apps are the ones we have found most helpful in our own business:
1. Cash Flow Forecast Pro –£0.59
Poor cash flow management is one of the primary reasons that businesses fail. With this simple app you can keep an eye on your cash flow and manage your money more effectively. Just key in your upcoming expenses and expected income and it will project how much money you have on any given date. You can add one off expenses to see how they will affect your overall cash flow in future months, allowing you to determine the best time to purchase that new lens you have been eying off.
2. Contacts Journal – £2.99
This contacts relationship manager app is essential for any photographer who is serious about building ongoing relationships with their clients. You can record all their contact details, take notes on conversations you have, record important dates and keep a to-do list for each client. Whether it is remembering to send their proofs on time or sending a wedding couple one year anniversary card, it will help you take your relationship with your customers to the next level.
3. Clockin –Free
Perfect for anyone who wants to record how long they are spending on a particular job. If you are working on an hour by hour basis you can easily record your times. Otherwise it is a great tool if you are looking at reviewing your prices and workload. By recording the exact amount of time you spend on each wedding you can get a better idea of what to charge and how many job you can take on.
4. Evernote – Free
This app allows you to combine voice recording, photos and text to make sure you can keep track of all your thoughts and ideas when you are on the run. Whether you just need to write yourself a reminder or you want to capture something that will give you inspiration later, you can keep track of it all and make sure you never forget another idea!
5. Tumblr – Free
If you are thinking about setting up a blog or find that you just never have time to maintain one this could be the ideal app for you. You simply set up a Tumblr microblog then use this app to quickly and easily upload text and photos. It has been specifically designed to be quick and easy to use so you never fall behind again.
6. VNC Viewer – £5.99
We have all had that moment when we set off for to meet a customer and realize that we forgot to print off their address. With VNC viewer you can instantly fix this. This app allows you to log into your computer through your iPhone so you can look up a clients address, check your calendar so you can book in clients then and there or access important company documents.
7. Iprocrastinate – £0.59
A fantastic app for organizing all your tasks and appointments. You can sort them by their subject, due date or importance, and break complex tasks down into more manageable jobs. It is perfect for organizing both your busy work and social life in one place to make sure you never miss a deadline.
Although a smart phone cannot entirely replace the infrastructure of a dedicated office, many non-photographic tools exist to make your business significantly more efficient.
Hannah Tovey is the director of Brilliant Prints UK – one of Britain’s finest canvas printers. Every day she works closely with some of the more than 2000 professional photographers that use her services.