Multigenerational family businesses have a great responsibility in preserving their heritage and legacy. However, it is equally important to look to the future and remain informed about fast-paced changes new technologies are triggering and how they are affecting strategies for growth. To this effect we have launched the section “Family Business Tech Talk” which is going to be dedicated to exploring how family businesses can integrate new technologies to their advantage, which family companies have already done so successfully, who is innovating in technology and why we need to care.
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In our first edition of the Family Business Tech Talk, we wanted to bring you something you could integrate swiftly into your daily lives. Something that is only a “tap” away. We have reviewed five mobile and tablet applications, which might be useful to you and your family when dealing with work and private life.
5 Great Apps for your Family Business
Family business members frequently hit the road for work-related trips, and though many are masters of travel, managing expenses can be a headache. Enter Expensify, an app that keeps track of your business expenses and mileage, while letting you scan and upload receipts. Users can even file receipts by trip and submit expense reports to employers with the click of a button. For family business members, transparency and expense accountability is crucial, and Expensify is there to help!
Family members all have unique roles and specialized duties in the business, but there is a genuine need to stay connected to the family. Cozi is an app that acts as a central hub that keeps all family members updated with the latest schedules and activities. It allows everyone to manage appointments and activities with a shared calendar, as well as organize and update shopping and to-do lists. Cozi even has a group journal where you can record important family events, and receive a weekly email that lists everyone’s upcoming agenda.
For the family business, the heritage and culture of the family is one of the greatest assets at its disposal. However, many family members lack the time and resources to learn more about their origins. This is where Ancestry can help. Ancestry sifts through billions of documents to discover stories, photos, and historical records and compiles your family tree, giving you a complete overview of your family’s unique story. With Ancestry, you can inherit and carry on your family’s proud legacy.
Business meetings with outsiders can often be a daunting task especially for the less experienced members of the family. Refresh can help you make a great impression by arming you with in-depth information about the person you are meeting. By syncing seamlessly with services such as Gmail, Facebook, and LinkedIn, Refresh creates a complete profile of your contact based on past interactions with them, and even gives you new information about them based on their social media profiles. For family members new to the business world, Refresh can help make a lasting impression in business meetings and develop great contacts.
Team instant messaging apps such as Skype can be useful tools for instant feedback between family members and other employees. However, those apps never provided a truly collaborative work environment. Slack solves this problem by keeping everyone’s messages and files in one place including everything from Twitter, Dropbox, Google Docs, Asana, and dozens of other services. By acting as a real-time communication hub for messaging, file sharing, and archiving, sharing information amongst the team becomes much easier, allowing your family business to focus on the things that matter.
Tharawat Magazine, Issue 25, 2015