Run a Business from Your iPhone: The Best Apps

Tuesday Oct 20th 2009 by Troy Dreier
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The entrepreneur who ran a business completely from his iPhone talks about the apps he used. Plus: a list of the essential business iPhone apps.

Amos Winbush credits his iPhone with both starting his business and keeping it running.

He got the idea for his company, CyberSynchs, when his iPhone crashed. He lost a lot of data and that gave him an idea for a universal cloud backup service that works with any device. If not for a faulty iPhone, he wouldn't have had the idea.

But his iPhone redeemed itself. As he launched his company and traveled around meeting with possible investors and partners, he discovered that he could run his company using just his iPhone.

With the iPhone's built-in functionality and a few well-chosen apps, he could hold meetings, keep in touch with business contacts, and keep a close eye on his bank account.

Winbush's background isn't in coding, it’s in the music business where he was a singer and songwriter. He came up with the idea for CyberSynchs in June, 2008, a less than ideal time to start a company considering what was going on with the economy.

He spent his first two months researching the topic and learning from experts in the field. With little more than a good idea and entrepreneurial passion, he was able to attract a chief technology officer in August. Together, they launched the company in November.

Attending tech meet-ups and presentations in New York City, Winbush's determination paid off when his young company landed a partnership with Sun Microsystems. While he was running across the country building his business, he relied on his iPhone far more than any computer.

"Every meeting I've ever had until August, 2009, was on my iPhone," Winbush says.

So far, his work is paying off. In addition to the Sun partnership, CyberSynchs has a partnership with Samsung and is currently in talks with Microsoft.

And naturally, the company's own iPhone app will be available soon. It's currently going through the App Store approval process. Winbush has an office now, and a staff of 10, but he still relies on his iPhone.

"You don't need a lot of people, but you need the right people and the right technology and determination," Winbush says.

The Entrepreneur's Essential iPhone App List

Thinking of starting your own business? The following is a list of apps that Amos Winbush used when starting CyberSynchs, plus other apps that a young entrepreneur should have on hand.

Financial iPhone Apps

One of the most useful things you can do on your iPhone is monitor your finances, Winbush found.

business iphone apps

Bank of America – Mobile Banking (free): Bank of America customers can use this to check balances, pay bills, and transfer funds.

BillTracker ($1.99): Manage your bills and their due dates in one calendar view.

Chase Mobile (free): Chase Online customers can use this app to pay bills, get account balance information, and see their transaction history.

Citi Mobile (free): Citibank customers can get access to their financial information on-the-go.

DailyFinance (free): This AOL app gives you free access to real-time stock information and lets you track multiple portfolios.

Expense Tracker – Spending ($2.99): See how much money you're spending by the day, week, month, or year.

Mint.com Personal Finance (free): Sign up for an account on Mint.com and you can use this app to track your personal finances.

Next Page: more iPhone apps for business users

Mobile Banking on AT&T (free): If you're a customer of U.S. Bank, Citi Cards, SunTrust, Regions, or USAA, you can use this app to view your account balances and pay bills.

Quicken Online Mobile (free): Take control of your finances with the best-selling personal finance software.

Social Networking iPhone Apps

Is social networking important when building a business? You bet it is. Winbush relied heavily on Facebook, for example, to keep in touch with clients and partners.

business iphone apps

AIM ($2.99): The top instant messaging client now offers push notifications, so you'll see when you get a message even if the app isn't running.

Facebook (free): Stay connected with friends and colleagues with the current top social network.

Linked In (free): Tap into your professional network wherever you go. You can view contact or biographical info, or search for a contact.

Loopt (free): This visual social networking app lets you see on a map where your contacts are.

Skype (free): Make free Skype-to-Skype calls and discounted calls to landlines and mobile phones.

Tweetie 2 ($2.99): The current top Twitter app, Tweetie 2 offers an attractive interface and a host of advanced features.

Business Building iPhone Apps

You can monitor a variety of advanced business-building tools from your iPhone.

business iphone apps

Analytics Agent Pro ($2.99): View and manage your Google Analytics data.

Entrepreneur ($4.99): Follow the steps in this app to raise venture capital for a start up.

SEO Search Ranking ($1.99): Monitor your site's search engine rankings for various keywords.

Sign Here ($4.99): The templates in this app let you create and sign business documents from your iPhone.

Venture Cap Pro ($2.99): This financial app will help you with complex formulas on growth equity and venture capital analysis.

Office Tools iPhone Apps

Flying across the country? Who needs a laptop when you've got an iPhone and these office apps.

Cisco WebEx Meeting Center (free): Use this app to attend, schedule, start, and cancel WebEx meetings.

iTalk Recorder Premium ($1.99): This voice recorder is ad-free, and it lets you choose from three recording levels and append a new session to an existing recording.

PDF Reader Pro Edition ($1.99): This powerful PDF reader offers landscape mode, the ability to jump to a page, and bookmarking.

QuickOffice Mobile Office Suite ($9.99): Get more done away from the office: this portable version does almost everything your desktop office suite can do.

Scanner Pro ($6.99): Your iPhone becomes a portable scanner with this app. It can even handle multi-page documents.

business iphone apps

Amos Winbush, founder of CyberSynchs

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