As a small business owner, you think YOU have a busy holiday season. Just imagine what it’s like for Santa! He’s one small business owner with a huge December “to do” list:
Maintain and data mine a world-class database for a thorough naughty-nice analysis
- Manage his global supply chain for materials and inventory for over one million gifts
- Supervise and lead a small (and I do mean small) army of elfin production workers
- Fulfill orders for an entire year in a single 24-hour period
- Rely on one lean delivery team of 12 dedicated reindeer.
Whoo! Santa’s Christmas Eve feat is truly remarkable.
Not that Santa rests the other 364 days a year. Santa’s presenting at conferences (his keynote on increasing elf workplace diversity received a standing ovation at this year’s Society of Human Resource Management conference cutting deals with suppliers (Santa only buys fair-trade, naturally). In his spare time, Santa is a regular at virtually every classic sleigh show (he’s an avid collector).
How does Santa do it? Technology. Today, Santa can run almost his entire business from his smartphone. He depends on small business apps to run his empire from the North Pole or wherever he travels.
As a small business person, you can learn a lot from this wildly successful, world-renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist.
What are the apps that Santa relies on to run his small business?
Asana: Santa needs to be able to manage his projects and teams while away from the workshop. He easily collaborates without hundreds of emails back and forth with this handy project management tool.
Dropbox: Santa shares, stores, and backups all his documents and data– including children’s wish lists, accessing everything from any device.
Quickbooks Online: Yes, Santa needs money too (all those elves on payroll). Santa uses Quickbooks, now in the Online version — sends invoices, tracks time, pays bills, runs payroll, and more.
What’s App: Santa is a global power texter and likes to keep in touch. He texts Mrs. Claus, the elves, and now even his reindeer (always cutting edge, Santa’s equipped his reindeer with GoogleGlass).
WordPress: Santa runs his entire website and manages his blog (his posts on how motivating children are particularly popular) – all on the go with this powerful tool.
MailChimp: Santa has the ultimate seasonal business, so he doesn’t want people to forget him the rest of the year. He writes and sends a regular email newsletter – using this handy newsletter tool.
Hootsuite. Santa rocks social media! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even LinkedIn – he’s there. How does he have the time? He uses Hootsuite to manage his social media accounts in one place. Santa can even bulk upload or schedule posts in advance.
Evernote: If you’re wildly creative and productive like Santa, you need to capture your ideas, store your research, and find your images and documents quickly. With Evernote, the days of scribbling ideas on cookie-crumb-encrusted napkins are over.
Waze. Santa doesn’t battle traffic in the air on Christmas Eve, but during the rest of the year, he drives more often than he flies. Waze gets him real-time directions to his destination. It updates constantly and can direct around accidents and get Santa to his meetings on time.
Wi-Fi Finder. Santa needs to stay in touch wherever he goes – but he would never steal your Wi-Fi when he comes down your chimney. Instead, Wi-Fi Finder helps Santa find hotspots when he needs one, listing public hotspots.
Click here for Android
Click here for iPhone
Spotify: How do you think Santa stays alert on his 24-hour journey around the globe? He needs upbeat music. He plugs his smartphone into his sleigh speakers, opens Spotify, and blares his favorite hard rock Christmas carols.
NORAD: Mrs. Claus likes to keep track of Santa’s whereabouts (she trusts him, but you never know…) On Christmas Eve, she uses a free app from the North American Aerospace Defense Command which shows Santa’s progress around the world.
My Fitness Pal: Try as she may, Mrs. Claus simply cannot get Santa on the Paleo diet—or any other diet for that matter. She was, however, able to convince him to use this app to track how much he’s moving and how much he’s moving (not just sitting in the sleigh) on this popular app.
This article originally ran in USAToday on December 12, 2014: