Even when running a family business, no one wants to feel like their company was more innovative back when grandpa was running the place. With new technology emerging daily and new apps growing like virtual weeds on smartphone screens, it’s getting harder and harder to catch up.

From mobile loyalty cards, to social networking sites, to company blogs, to geolocation apps, and digital coupons that pop-up when customers are on-the-go, making sure you’re using apps that are leading the pack and popular with the most customers is important. Here are five easy steps that will ensure your company is always up to date with the latest in app development.

1. Take a step back and assess. Making a list of all applications currently being used by your company will allow you to determine whether there is overlap or crossover. Does one app provide a similar service to the other, and if so which app provides this service best and most efficiently, which is most popular? Because effort will be expended in maintaining these apps it’s essential to ensure that cost will equal benefit.

2. Once you’ve determined which apps should stay and which are superfluous, check all apps for potential upgrades or downloads that haven’t been completed by your company. This is an essential step. In order to keep up with ever evolving operating systems, apps are constantly being upgraded and improved upon.

3. Now that all the apps your company is using feel relevant and active, go to the one place where all things technological converge—the internet—and find some tech blogs to trust. This will probably be the most time consuming of the five steps, but its beauty is in its simplicity. Consolidating trustworthy tech news sources (there’s probably an app for that) into one location, even via browser bookmark, is a smart way to make sure your company stays ahead.

4. Do a quick web survey to see how well the tech sources ranked. Go to your browser’s search bar and type in: “five best customer apps” and then include the first three letters of the current month and year. Scoff if you wish, but this is an incredibly reliable way of determining what information other web-seekers are receiving. Keeping in step with the competition is worth the minor effort it requires.

5. Rest easy. Once you’ve accomplished these basic and easy steps, it’s okay to relax. The odds are low that grandpa’s tech skills would out shine yours, and the fact is that even companies that are behind the curve or whose apps are managed lackadaisically will survive. The wondrous thing about technology is that it’s never too late to learn it, and if an app becomes an overnight sensation, there’s no shame in joining the party a little late.

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