Top Apps for Entrepreneurs in 2016

By Simon Scholten

In today’s world, technology is quickly evolving, and entrepreneurs and small business owners alike need to keep up with this change in order to stay ahead. Web- and phone-based apps provide the opportunity to streamline processes, manage different priorities, and ultimately save time and money. Here is a list of apps recommended by Northfield Enterprise Center for 2016:

  1. Evernote

Evernote allows the user to create separate digital notebooks where they can store information and media related to their company. This lets you to bypass the traditional paper-based file keeping and instead store business-related documents electronically. This saves space and creates an easily accessible record-keeping system.

  1. Free Wi-fi Finder

Throughout the day, internet access has become a necessity in order to stay in contact with others, research competition, or manage the daily operations of a small business. Free Wi-fi Finder brings up wi-fi hotspots near you where you can work on the go. This can help save time and prevent you from using up an entire month’s worth of data in one afternoon!

  1. Venmo

This app allows users to send cash, receive payments, and split bills electronically. Through Venmo, the user can engage in transactions entirely digitally without having to bring cash with them at all times, or even run to the bank at all.

  1. HumIn

Networking is crucial in any business, but especially for entrepreneurs and small business owners. HumIn records information regarding who you met with, the time, the location, and stores it in an easily accessible format.

  1. Mint

Budgeting is a reality for both businesses and individuals. Mint offers an easy-to-use interface to track expenses, revenue, and savings plans from your phone or tablet. This can help save time and space when dealing with finances.

  1. TrackMaven

Monitoring the competition can take up a large share of time when shifting between different information sources. Through TrackMaven, entrepreneurs and small-business owners can specify what types of market information they would like to know in order to simplify the information-gathering process.

  1. Letterspace

After a productive meeting, it’s always a good idea to take notes. However, this seems to be something that people constantly forget about. Letterspace provides a free organizational app to manage, arrange, and rearrange notes, making it an easy-to-edit tool for entrepreneurs.

  1. Flippa

This app provides a marketplace for web businesses, domain names, and smartphone apps. Flippa provides an easily accessible auction listing for those interested in buying or selling online goods.

  1. Pocket

This app works as a bookmarker for websites, articles, and online material. Pocket allows the user to save and store content for reading later, and once content is saved entrepreneurs can access it when offline as well.

  1. Google Drive

Google Drive has quickly become a must-have for entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to manage multiple documents, spreadsheets, or presentations. This app allows users to access the same document from multiple devices, and sharing with others is as easy as clicking a button. Additionally, changes can be made offline and the document will be updated once you are connected to the internet again.

Reason #1 to Use The Hired Hands Intern Program

Reason #1 to use the Hired Hands Intern














Cost of Hiring a Hired Hands Intern: 5 hours at $15 =$75

Increased Sales= $500

Return on Investment:  HUGE!

A few months ago, an artist came to us at the NEC and wanted to hire an intern to work on putting together an Etsy Store for him.  Our tech-savy intern got all of his work uploaded and onto Etsy, and in just a few weeks, he sold his first big sculpture.  Then, a month or so later, he sold another!!!

‘Without the intern’s help, I would still be trying to learn how to use Etsy.  It was so great to just hand over the project and let the intern work her magic!” – David A.,  Hired Hands Client

If you have an idea for a Hired Hand project, call Megan at 507-786-9065!

Give Thankfully

Written by Katelyn Regenscheid, St. Olaf intern

Sleigh bells ringing, hand print turkeys in store windows, and store “deals” everywhere you turn. In case you hadn’t heard, the holiday season is upon us. Holidays mean something different to everyone: a chance to reconnect with loved ones, beloved snowy traditions, consuming copious amounts of delicious food, and oftentimes presents.

Perhaps the most stressful aspect of the holidays is the purchasing and giving of presents. Oftentimes, the effort and money surrounding gift-giving creates a culture of anxiety rather than the intended mood of compassion and gratitude. Here’s a few tips on how to return gift-giving to being a pleasurable and meaningful experience.

GIVEUse your gifts: No, not regifting (though that isn’t the worst idea if you have received a fruitcake). Recognize your abilities and use them as a vehicle to give your loved one a meaningful present. If you enjoy wood carving, make an address plaque for a new home owner. If you are a photographer, find a creative or formal presentation of personal photography. Interior designers can find an antique mirror to replace a fading painting. Using your own skills and passions to create a present for a loved one shows your thoughtfulness and personal sentiments. And, it will be fun for you, too!

Consider their gifts: What does your loved one enjoy doing? What passion of theirs do you want to encourage? For aspiring soccer players, consider a replica of a ball from the World Cup. If they are an artist, purchase them an inspiration book or an idea journal. Encouraging someone’s passions shows your appreciation of their individuality and talents.

Give an experience: Sometimes the best gift isn’t a physical object, but an opportunity to experience something new. Indoor rock climbing, amusement parks, wine and painting shops, tickets to a show, and ski passes are all possibilities. Giving your loved one an experience is a wonderful opportunity for them to build the meaningful relationships in their lives. Spending time doing new things and being with others can be a much better experience than receiving a store-bought object.

Give to those who really need it: Remember that there are many people whose last concern this holiday season is whether Uncle Jerry will eat the last slice of pumpkin pie. Consider spending time this winter (and throughout the year) volunteering. You can donate time, physical abilities, money, clothing, toys, and much more to people in your community and around the world. Find a cause that you deem worthy, and be generous.

What meaningful gifts have you given or received? Share with a comment below!


Lady Boss

Written by Katelyn Regenscheid, St. Olaf intern

We Can Do ItIn recent years, several women have risen in the ranks of leadership and, quite frankly, rocked our worlds. Popular examples include songwriter, producer, and singer Taylor Swift as well as screenwriter, director, and producer Shonda Rhimes. In the business world, we see women like Natalie Massenet, the Founder and Executive Chairwoman of Net-a-Porter.

The stereotypes around females in leadership is that they are bossy and manipulative. For so long, our society perpetuated images of women that harm their potentials to lead. Today, the stories of misogyny and patriarchy are fewer and farther between than in years past. This is not to say that the job of feminism is done, but that things are definitely starting to change.

Campaigns such as Lean In and Ban Bossy work to create new images and perceptions of female leaders. By creating positive images of women in leadership and destigmatizing leadership qualities in women, these movements foster a more welcoming environment for potential female leadership.

In addition to popular campaigns, many universities and companies are developing and implementing female leadership development programs. On a larger scale, the concept of leadership itself is shifting to a paradigm that benefits women. Overall, the trend is positive, and people are excited. 

So, as times begin to change, I challenge you to reflect. Which female leaders inspire you? Who has contributed to your leadership development, and how did they do so? Please share your stories in the comments below!

Interested in a little more reading? Check out Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Powerful Women.