{Business Tips} Top 5 Gadgets You Need for Your Business

I’m a totally tech junkie; if you were to rummage through my home you would think I was related to Inspector Gadget. The big joke is that soon I’ll be popping off my chuck taylors (old school for “sneakers”) to answer my phone.  I’m obsessed with new technology, a little vice that has helped me discover some some awesome gadgets that could help you run your business more efficiently and look “cool” while doing so.

Here are my Top 5 Gadgets that could make a difference in your business:

1. Square Credit Card Reader

By far one of my favorite gadgets.

“Square enables you to accept credit cards with just your phone or tablet. The app is free. The card reader is free. The fee is only 2.75% per swipe, with no monthly fees or commitments.”

This Square Credit Card reader gadget is awesome for vendor/craft fairs.  It does require you download the free Square App to your phone in order for it to work. You simply enter the amount of the transaction, swipe the buyers card, enter the buyers email address and a receipt is emailed to his/her account. There are no sign-up fees, no contracts, no monthly fees, no monthly card processing commitments. Making this an easy to get gadget.  Not only is it easy to use, its paperless – making this little gadget a great way to “green” your business as well.

Check Square out at http://squareup.com

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2. VuPoint Magic Wand.

I hate having to deal with paper things like paper receipts, business cards, and other collateral materials I receive on a daily basis drive me nutty.  The VuPoint Magic Wand is my second favorite gadget.  It’s a portable scanner that allows you to scan just about everything except a human face {I tried it, didn’t work}. I started scanning all my paperwork and later transferred it to my computer.  I had been playing around and tried scanning my daughter’s hair as she lay on the couch and to my surprise that had scanned with great details as well – imagine the possibilities.

Check out VuPoint Magic Wand on Amazon , you can also check it out on HSN .

 

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3. Dropbox

Now, this is not a physical gadget you carry with you; it’s in the “cloud”.  Dropbox is a virtual drive (storage space for your files) that allows you to access files you save from any computer or smart phone with Internet access. You can do some pretty awesome things with your Dropbox, for example, you can share files with a group of people or you can also use it to host your website {wink, wink}.  I use my Dropbox along with my VuPoint to store all of those files I scanned.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account get yours today!

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4. Google Voice

Google Voice gives you a free phone number for your business.  All you need is a Google account to get started.  Here’s what you get: one phone number, voicemail as email, free US long distance and the convenience of not having to list your personal phone number on your website and Etsy shop.

Additionally, you can post a neat little widget on your website that allows your clients to call you with their questions right over the Internet without having to physically dial your number, helping you kick your customer service efforts up a notch.

Get your Google Voice Phone Number now!

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5. QR Creator/Reader

Before sharing this little gem, I have to confess I’m obessesed with it.

Now, I see you scratching your head thinking “what the HECK is a QR reader?!?“  Let me start by explaining what’s a QR code.  QR is short for “Quick Response” and it’s basically a bar code and just like a bar code, it can contain information such as a URL, contact information, product information, and/or other data.  You’ve see one right here on the EcoEtsy Blog (see my picture on the right or just look on the left hand side of the blog) it’s the little black funky looking square.  This little black code box was first created by our smart Japanese neighbors; they used it to track vehicle manufacturing parts.

QR Codes are a fairly new technology that very few are using but it’s going to catch on quickly.  By next year, we will begin to see these little suckers everywhere. To read and store QR codes you do need a QR reader installed on your smart phone.  Once you download and install your app, launch it and try scanning the EcoEtsy QR code so you can get an idea of how it works. The potential uses of these little codes is yet to be discovered.

Check your iPhone, Android, & Blackberry app stores for free QR creator/reader apps.

I’ve only skimmed the Gadget market. If you have a cool and productive gadget you currently use and love, don’t keep it a secret – share it as a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

This post was written by

Myra @ HerbanLuxe – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.
Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

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About Myra @ HerbanLuxe

Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

Comments

  1. Wao !! Love those green valuable infos !! I’m using the QR creator and looking forward to use the Square credit card!! so cool!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. This has been a pleasure reading this. I have to go to bed but I can’t wait to read more tomorrow. The information here is amazing.

    Thanks!

  3. Thanks Myra! I just signed up for my Square & am headed off to sign up for my Google Voice. I’ve been using DropBox for about a year & just love it. I also use CrashPlan to automatically backup my computer.

  4. By far this is the best business tips ever, that Square Reader alone just made my heart race a little bit! Once we’re in AZ I’m going to start looking into TONS of fairs so this is going to come in very handy. And I totally literally lol’d at you trying to use the wand on someone’s face :-) Great post thanks!

    • I’m flattered. I’ll be writing up on more gadgets and services that can help me everyone more productive. AND, I did try to scan my daughter’s face, but only scanning her hair worked.

      Additionally, I’ll be posting up a YouTube video on a few of the items I write about.

  5. Thanks for some great ideas to add to my “gadget bag.” Square is great for on the road credit card processing, but I learned the hard way that you won’t be able to capture customer info (not even names!) through Square. So you may want to have a separate sign up list if you want to gather that data.

  6. I just saw your post and I wanted to show you my project I have up on kickstarter. I am working on a way to make qr codes a tool for everyone to use. Check it out:

    http://kck.st/m3r5X8

  7. I just had so many “Ah Ha Moments” after reading that article! These are some crazy awesome devices. . . is it greedy of me to say I want them all? :) Thanks for the technology updates, it’s difficult to even keep up with them at times.

  8. No no, it’s not available in Switzerland… I’m calling the google engineers right now ;) ))

  9. Woooow !!!!
    Hope I can have google voice in Europe !!!
    Thank you so much for this great post :) )

  10. With google voice choose a good number because it looks like it costs money to change it and then make sure you set your call schedule so your phone isn’t ringing at night. I guess I’ll see if it generates telemarketers.

    • Great Advice on Google Voice. I have my Google Voice number forwarded to my phone. If I’m in a place where I can answer, I do, otherwise it goes to voicemail.

  11. Wow- great post Myra- I just got a phone number through google phone with my own area code and then 800-CORK now how cool is that! Great for wholesale customers.

  12. Thanks Myra! I hadn’t heard of Google Voice! Need to try out that QR reader. fun!

  13. Great post Myra. I have square-up and love it. I just got a drpbox account so have not yet had a chance to discover the possibilities. Google voice sounds too good to be true!

    • I love my Square-up as well. I keep all my product photos in my dropbox as well as paperwork I don’t want to lose. I don’t keep anything important on my laptop just in case it dies or gets stolen. As for Google Voice, I swear by it. I’ve been using it since it was introduced in 2009. Give it a try.

    • Hey everyone thanks for reading and leaving your comments. Would love to hear what gadgets you are addicted to.

  14. Great tips Myra…I love that Square and will be looking into that when I’m ready to start doing fair/shows!

    For anyone that does graphic work or has their entire business relying on their photos/scans, I recommend Carbonite. Even though I had 2 backup hard drives, I also live in wildfire country so a fire could wipe out everything I’ve done with my photography and paintings. I use the scans of my originals to make all my merchandise, so if I lost those scans, my business would come to a screeching halt. I love that Carbonite is working all the time, constantly pulling data from my computer and constantly updating/backing up files and that gives me piece of mind. It’s $60/year or $140 for 3 years and in my mind, well worth it!

    Thanks for the great tips and sharing all your recommended gadgets!
    Jennifer :)

    • Thanks for sharing the info on Carbonite. I’ve looked into it myself but i LOVE FREE, so I haven’t made the jump to it as of yet. But I see the value it offers anyone who relies on their electronic files.

  15. Wowzza! I’m afraid this is all moving too quickly for me. Our Tracfone & Netbook have become dinosaurs. Thanks for the fabulous tech updates!

    • Hey no one is knocking either the Tracfone or the Netbook, if it works for you – awesome. We all engage in technology at different levels and we adopt their use at different times. You fall within the tech conservatives – which isn’t a bad place to be.