They say it takes a village to raise a child, but for moms who are also entrepreneurs, balancing both full-time jobs also requires a smartphone, says Michelle Girasole. A mother of two teenagers, Girasole juggles raising her family with managing both a small business consulting practice and Fresh Rebellion, an online retail store.
“My apps are my power boosters,” she says. “They maximize my potential.”
If you’re looking for your own power boost, check out these apps that can help mom entrepreneurs—or any busy entrepreneur—with various work and family tasks:
Check out these apps that can help mom entrepreneurs—or any busy entrepreneur—with various work and family tasks.
Girasole uses the video conferencing app Zoom to conduct training sessions with her sales team in Hawaii, connect with her business partners in California and hold client meetings from wherever she happens to be—on a 20-day business trip to the West Coast, working from home in Rhode Island or checking in from the coffee shop on the corner. “You can host up to 100 participants at once with a super-smooth interface,” she says. “Having that face-to-face connection is very powerful.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, can’t live without her reminders and to-do lists, but sticky notes just weren’t cutting it. Now she uses SaneBox to manage both her inbox and her workflow. The app lets users set up separate folders for different groups, then “learns” which incoming email belongs where. That means junk never gets stacked up in her inbox, and she can get to the less important emails on her own time. Sansevieri also uses it to send herself reminders. For example, if her website developer is supposed to follow up in three days, she has SaneBox resend the note three days later. “It can also alert you to emails that haven’t been responded to because, by some magical way, the system knows when you’re waiting on a response,” she says.
Social media scheduling
Savvy entrepreneurs leverage social media to connect directly with their target customers, but writing and posting regularly on a blog can be a huge time suck for moms trying to get their businesses off the ground. Maryna Shkvorets, founder of online retailer Mars & Stars Baby, uses Planoly to plan, manage and schedule her Instagram posts and Tailwind for her Pinterest followers. Shkvorets uses her blogs on parenting, pregnancy and traveling with kids to attract traffic to her website. “That’s really the only place I get customers,” she says. “These apps let me set it and forget it.”
There are dozens of grocery delivery apps out there, but the one app Katie Moseman can’t live without is the Walmart Grocery app. “I’ve found grocery delivery services to be too expensive to use regularly, but Walmart’s grocery pickup is completely free, and the prices are exactly the same as the prices in-store,” she says. Moseman, author of the I Hate Vegetables Cookbook and professional food photographer, estimates she saves at least two hours a week using the app. “An extra two hours means I can be more flexible with how I allocate my time between business tasks, family time and ‘me’ time,” she says.
To-do list making
The app Wunderlist was made for small business owners who are obsessed with making lists, says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com. It helps you plan everything, from your work week to a Target run to family vacation. It also lets you share lists, assign to-dos and set due dates and reminders. “You never miss a deadline and always stay on track with tasks that still need to be completed,” Sweeney says.
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