In seconds, it seems, the word “uber” has expanded from a brand (taxis, driven by freelancers, accessible via a simple smartphone app) into a business model. An increasing number of app based services now let you get things done from anywhere: your office, the road, even a vacation. Need an emergency power cord—or IT help or even an adviser—for an out-of-town presentation? Just let your fingers do the walking—on a series of apps that make business easier for entrepreneurs.
If you’re on the go, you probably don’t have the time to hunt for an empty box and packing tape and stand in line at FedEx. New smartphone apps Shipster and Shyp will send a courier to you—whether you’re sitting in your office or at a coffee shop—within 20 minutes, then box your item and send it on its way. Shyp offers its service in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and San Francisco, while Shipster serves New York City and San Francisco (and also does crosstown delivery).
You’re out of town, and a worker walks off the job unexpectedly at your restaurant (or your warehouse … or your infotech startup) 150 miles away. Wonolo lets you post your empty job and find a temporary fill-in within 10 minutes, tapping into a pool of prescreened contractors. You pick what you’ll pay, and Wonolo charges a 25% finder’s fee. The service is now available in Los Angeles and San Francisco and should be expanding to five more cities this year.
If your computer crashes when you’re on the road (or even at home), apps can provide a nearly instant lifeline. Boomtown will connect you via video within a minute to an IT expert who will use your phone’s camera to remotely help with point-of- sale hardware, broadband, or computer software. The cost: $1 a minute. (If necessary, Boomtown will dispatch a technician on-site within four hours.) Geekatoo offers $99 monthly subscriptions for small businesses that guarantee 10 on-site visits and provide unlimited remote help from 6,800 tech specialists across the country. They can show up at your office within 24 hours, or if you book an on-call geek (for a product launch or big project), they can arrive within 30 minutes.
Don’t have time to pick up an extension cord before a big client presentation? An app called Postmates will send a courier to pick it up and deliver it wherever you might be, even in the parking lot of a client’s office. Postmates has 10,000 contractors on call in 24 metro areas who can deliver items within an hour for a $5 to $20 fee, plus tip.
Clarity aims to be a sounding board for entrepreneurs who need help on a business problem fast. The app lets you search more than 10,000 vetted experts and request a conference call at prices ranging from $1 to $161 per minute. You can also post or browse questions and answers free and participate in video events on various topics with other entrepreneurs.
A version of this article appears in the June 15, 2015 issue of Fortune magazine with the headline ‘Yes, There’s an Uber for That’.