News Column

Mobile Business Apps Keep Owners, Customers in Touch

July 9, 2013

Jessaca Giglio

Shop Talk Editor Jessaca Giglio asked Raleigh, N.C., area small-business owners about their favorite mobile business applications. Here's what they said:

-- "Truxie allows me to view my favorite (trucks') calendars for the week," said Jessica McCarthy, co-owner of The Humble Pig, a Triangle food truck that sells barbecue, brisket, wings and tacos. "I no longer have to go through three or four steps of accessing my favorite trucks' (websites). I can click my Truxie app and click my favorite trucks' logo, and ? I've found their location in a matter of seconds. (It's) a one-stop shop for favorite food truck locations throughout the Triangle."

-- "When traveling as a small business owner, Uber provides the ability to make on-demand car service reservations within minutes and sends customers a text message when their transportation arrives," said Sue Harnett, founder and president of Replay Photos, a licensed photographic wall art business in Durham.

-- "Foursquare, which is a great way for businesses to engage with local customers with discounts or specials for 'checking in' and has a pretty fun built-in reward system with badges and a social feature," said Erick Kirks, president of Leapdog Marketing, an Internet marketing agency in Raleigh. "It's a good way to find local places to check out wherever you are."

-- "Hootsuite is all about staying connected with both current and potential clients," said Alejandra Scott and Louann Doran, co-owners of Mina's Studio, a salon and spa in Chapel Hill. "It serves as a way to ? receive feedback that is so valuable for staying on top of our clients' needs. (The app) makes it easy to stay connected and allows us to deliver information quickly to multiple social media outlets all at once."

-- "With 175 wholesale accounts, I use QuickBooks Mobile frequently to check on a customer's order, check their balance and, most importantly, to place a new store order for a customer when away from the office," said Judy Hill, owner of High Cotton, a men's apparel shop in downtown Raleigh.


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