5 Unique Services That Help Keep Your Small Business On Track

Technology has made life easier for most people, providing conveniences without breaking the bank. Nowhere are those conveniences more clear than in the daily life of a small business owner, who is able to leverage technology to mimic the behavior of big business without the big-business budget.

But there are so many technology solutions to each daily activity, it’s hard to narrow down exactly which services are best for each function. Here are a few unique services that can help the busy small business owner be more productive on a daily basis.

Citi Bikes

Rolled out in New York City, with similar offerings around the country, bikes allow consumers to easily move about the city, relieving traffic while still letting pedestrians get from point A to point B efficiently. Recently, the company announced it would be renting helmets to go with those bicycles.

Although Citi Bikes are only available in New York City, similar offerings are available in many major cities around the country through B-Cycle. In cities where bicycle-sharing programs are available, residents and visitors can usually find them stationed at numerous locations around town. They can rent a bicycle ahead of time, show up at the location, and rent the bicycle with the swipe of a credit card. The bikes can be returned to any station, making it a great way to quickly and easily move around town.

Uber

If you either live in or regularly travel to a city where you rely on cab drivers to get you around, Uber is a service worth checking out. Instead of calling the local taxi company, you simply contact Uber through its mobile app, which then connects you with a reliable, affordable driver in the area. Instead of riding across town in an uncomfortable cab, you’ll be treated to a comfortable, enjoyable ride in a luxury car.

Currently, Uber is available in 22 cities with a $6 base fare and $12 minimum fare. Travelers can learn more about the company or make a reservation on the website or through the mobile app.

HomeAway

For business professionals who log hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles, life in a hotel room can be daunting. With HomeAway, those professionals have access to homes, condos, townhouses, and other specialized accommodations in an area. Instead of being couped up in a hotel room while you’re traveling, you could pinpoint a convenient home in an area and stay there each time. Because many HomeAway properties have washer/dryers, full kitchens, and other comforts of home, you’ll have a “home away from home” feeling as you return each night from a long day of meetings.

HomeAway also owns VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner), so if you don’t see a property that interests you on HomeAway, VRBO could be a great alternative. Be sure to read the reviews to make sure a property matches what the owner is saying about it.

Seamless

Whether you’re traveling or working in your office, every worker needs to eat. Seamless helps you find restaurants nearby that deliver, allowing you to order and pay directly on the app. For businesses, corporate accounts are available, giving authorized workers the ability to order using the corporate account wherever they are.

The bad news is that Seamless isn’t available everywhere, so unless you live somewhere like New York, San Francisco, or Seattle, you may want to enter your address information on the website before you download the app.

Fancy Hands

For everything else, there’s a virtual assistant. You can hand over your to-do list to Fancy Hands and they’ll take over, checking off each of those simple and mundane daily tasks you don’t have time to do. Currently a corporate version is in Beta that will allow each person in an organization to share the service. The corporate version of Fancy Hands will integrate with Cloud-based project management solution Basecamp.

Online solutions can make your life easier, freeing up your time so that you can concentrate on the task at hand. Each of these solutions is both affordable and accessible, so check them out and start saving time today.

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.