Thanks to mobile technology, professionals are now free to leave the building, moving from one meeting to the next while still staying in touch with co-workers and clients.

For small business owners, it’s important to be able to resolve any issues that arise during the day. With important team members no longer right outside your office door, this means smartphones and other connected mobile devices become your business’s lifeline. Each device must be equipped with the tools your team members will need to connect, share files, and manage processes while on the go.

Which apps are best for a small business? Here are a few basics that can help professionals in all industries communicate, get reimbursed, and access files.

File and document management

If you’ve ever received a last-minute call from a team member in need of a file for a presentation, you know the importance of file access. While small smartphone screens aren’t ideal for working with documents, there are apps available that can help your employees access, edit, and view files using iOS and Android devices. If Microsoft Office is your primary environment, Microsoft Office Mobile is a free solution that can give employees limited rights to the files they need on either a smartphone or tablet. Another very reliable and popular solution is DropBox. This cloud storage solution allows you to store and share any type of file in the cloud, so it can be accessed anywhere and on any type device that has an Internet connection.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The most important aspects of any business is the customer. The ability to manage your relationship with your customers is essential regardless of whether you are sitting behind your desk or out hitting the streets. The ability to see and access important data, including contact information and sales history, provides your mobile team with a huge advantage and more opportunities to grow. Many CRM programs now have mobile applications that allow you to access customer information and histories that exist in your database. Salesforce, Infusionsoft, SugarCRM, and Zoho CRM all provide mobile CRM solutions.

Social media dashboards

Social media is an important part of growing your business, whether you’re promoting a new product release or making valuable connections in the community. Keeping track of four or five separate accounts can be cumbersome, especially with all of your other duties. By using a social media dashboard, you can use one interface to post a single message across multiple platforms at once. Some popular social media management solutions are HootSuite, Buffer, and SproutSocial. Another great advantage of these dashboards is that some allow you to view messages and comments from your customers, allowing you to engage and interact in real time. This is an effective way of providing additional customer service and letting your customers know that you care about what they have to say. As you move through your day, you can access your dashboard from your mobile devices to easily respond to any comments.

To remain competitive, small businesses must remain constantly connected. With a mobile device containing the best productivity apps, professionals can move from the office, to home, to a client’s conference room, without clients and colleagues ever realizing they aren’t seated behind a desk.