What is one mobile app that specifically helps entrepreneurs doing international business?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
WhatsApp is a seamless instant messaging/text messaging platform on your phone that allows you to send unlimited messages to any of your contacts FOR FREE, regardless of where they live. It is hugely important to be able to reach out to my employees working abroad quickly and cheaply at any moment’s notice. Email is great, but this is ideal for quick questions that need immediate responses.
2. Doing Business
The Doing Business site and its companion app have been excellent resources for getting quick comparison facts about various countries. These not only provide great information to help you decide where and how to set up an international business, but also a context when talking to customers in day-to-day business and sales.
3. HKTDC Mobile
HKTDC Mobile offers information and resources for international buyers and vendors on a wide variety of topics, including establishing business connections, international market data and a high-quality sourcing platform.
Box is an awesome B2B product that allows you to create, edit and share files with a very secure backbone. When you are working with international partners, Box enables you to not only collaborate, but the mobile app also makes it very easy for you to pull up any type of marketing or sales file you might need to close a deal.
Sometimes I have to travel out of the country to attend conferences and various events. I often find out about these opportunities at the last minute, and because I do not have a formal travel agent, I use Skyscanner to quickly search my potential flights among over a dozen airlines all at once based on my desired departure and return times. I can then book my flight right in the app itself.
With RingCentral, I can pick up all of my voicemails and make free U.S. calls within the iPhone app while I’m connected to Wi-Fi and abroad. Also, when I call from the app, it shows our U.S. office number, so I can do business from anywhere.
7. Google Translate
I was recently in Hong Kong, Taipei, China and Shenzhen, China. Because of the language barriers, it’s immensely helpful to have a quick translation app. Google Translate is perfect because after it does the translation, you can flip your phone and it will display the phrase as large as possible (like a notecard).
GroupMe is great whenever I go to conferences or need to stay in touch with my staff for emergencies. I love how easy it is to create groups and get notifications, regardless of whether I’m on a data plan.
Similar to an entreprise-level Box or DropBox, Egnyte has better drive-mapping (for multiple offices’ access to large files) and additional features that have helped us collaborate with multiple offices worldwide. Not to mention it allows me to access everything I have remotely through my local drive.
When working internationally, it’s not human capital that you have to worry about — it’s the mileage capital on your company’s contribution margin. Priceline.com’s “Name Your Own Price” feature works, whether it be China or Canada. Every time I travel, I stay at a solid three-star hotel for $60 per night; however, last time I brought my family along to stay in a beautiful four-star for $130.
Using the Skype app on your smartphone is an easy way to limit international phone bills, stay in touch via video and be available to your customers when they need you to be. Since the calls, video conferencing and chats are integrated into one stream, your relationships with clients become more of an ongoing conversation and less oriented around formal, periodic calls.