KUSA - 9NEWS Anchor Cheryl Preheim sat down with 9NEWS Tech Expert Scott Yates this week to talk about three local companies that help businesses improve how they present themselves to visitors entering salons, retail shops or offices.

Nearly every office or retail business needs to manage its reception area. Walk-in clients or deliveries often demand immediate attention, and a lack of that attention can make the difference between a successful business transaction and a frustrated lost customer.

But hiring a full-time person who only works for the few minutes each day when someone walks in can be prohibitively expensive.

That's why three local startups have built iPad-based apps to help businesses improve that crucial first touch, while saving money in the process.

The best funded and best known is iPad Receptionist, an app designed to help visitors or delivery personnel "check in" to a business. Depending on their size, companies can utilize the app's features to create anything from a simple visitor notification system designed to track your walk-in traffic to a fully customizable two-way communication system that even includes badge printing for visitor identification. Features like visitor badges and signature capture are vital to confirm visitors' identity and improve office security without the expense of a security guard and a receptionist.

LobbyLink offers an alternative focused on its simplicity as a way to attract small businesses. In fact, the app is entirely free for companies with two or fewer employees, functioning as a notification system that lets anyone registered in the system know when someone has arrived at the front door who needs attention.

Finally, Greetly is custom geared towards small business in the service industry like beauty salons, barbers, or nail salons. The concept behind the app is that it can ease the walk-in experience for people with appointments, and help turn visitors into customers.

Code with your Boulder Congressman

All three of the above startups have one thing in common: they relied on digital expertise to get off the ground. Entrepreneurs-to-be often have a great idea, but no way of executing it until they develop the necessary technical skills.

If you're one of those entrepreneurs, especially if you are a woman, you might want to check out Code with your Congressman, a special event hosted by the group known as "Girl Develop It" tonight at 5:30 p.m., at the offices of ZayoGroup in Boulder.

Congressman Jared Polis, co-chair and founder of the Congressional Caucus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will be the special guest at the event, and who knows? Maybe the coding lessons at the event will be vital for the next digital startup that will be featured in a future instalment of Tech Tuesday.

Each Tech Tuesday, Scott Yates showcases new and emerging companies that are doing great things in Colorado. This post was written by one of the freelance writers working with Scott's company, BlogMutt. Do you want to see your business featured in a future Tech Tuesday segment? The best way is to attend a tech event to pitch your business.

(© 2015 KUSA)