Online tools to make life easier

From accounts and sales to storage and project management, small business apps can help your new business in multiple ways.

Stay organized to get ahead

Being organized is crucial to the successful start-up of your business. There’s a range of apps available to help you stay on track, including:

  • Google Calendar – has a highly usable interface and is intuitive. It’s able to pull pictures and profiles of people you’re meeting from LinkedIn. Another similar alternative is UpTo Calendar.
  • Zoho – an array of apps to help your business get started and grow. Zoho Docs will help you manage and view your documents online. It’s a customer relationship management app that helps you build stronger relationships and improve your customer service, create online surveys and analyze your customers’ opinions to make better decisions and sell more.

Do some research to determine what’s out there and best suited to your business and the way you work.

Set up a mobile office

Your smartphone can be set up to be your mobile office. You can use it to:

  • Stay organized – using apps such as Evernote Business. These organizational apps are helpful for note-taking and uploading information to the cloud while being synced to your staff members’ devices.
  • Manage projects – apps like Trello Business Class and Wrike let you break a project into tasks, assign tasks to other staff, and store all documents and conversations with the tasks so that you can find them easily. You won't have to reply to emails or update several different spreadsheets.
  • Communicate – whether by standard phone call, text, or online video calling like Skype for Business or Zoom (there are plenty of options).
  • Track expenses – to save time, capture receipts and ensure your finances stay in order. Apps like Receipt Bank and Expensify allow you to achieve this.

Keep up to date with the best new business apps

Being aware of what new business apps are coming onto the market and whether they can be useful for your business is valuable.

The opportunities are limitless, but only if you or one of your staff regularly check out the best new business apps and test their usefulness.

Managing Customers

CapsuleCRM – keep track of the people and companies they do business with, communications with them, opportunities in the pipeline, and what needs to be done and when.

Zendesk – simple customer service platform

Exsalerate – a complete online CRM (web-based) solution allowing you to view reports and CRM information regarding your customers.

Back up your documents

Prevent the potential loss of important documents by employing the services of a secure document storage app. If you want to start out by using a simple system with some free storage space, look no further than:

  • Box – for many collaborative tools and file privacy control.
  • Google Drive – which is quick and easy to set up and get going.
  • Dropbox – another popular cloud storage app, predominantly due to its ease of use on both iOS and Android devices.

Market like a pro

Gaining new customers is going to be a major focus as you start up your business. Lessen your cost basis by creating your own professional-looking marketing materials.

Use image-editing apps like:

  • Adobe Photoshop Express – which remains the leader of the pack with its ease of use. It’s a faster, touch-format version of its more complicated cousin.
  • Snapseed – makes it easy to manipulate images with color and exposure enhancements, effects and filters. With a simple touch, you can edit and retouch your business images.

If your business relies on the excellent presentation of your products like a cake shop, for example, open a Pinterest account to visually display what you offer.

Sell

Leads are potential sales – so finding a useful lead tracking app that will manage your entire sales process in real-time is important. These apps can help your business get to break-even point faster. They include:

  • Base – stream your contacts and sales into a mobile workflow. Base can improve your sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Apptivo – keep track of each contact with potential customers and set reminders if necessary. Apptivo synchs with the cloud to provide real-time information.
  • Cin7 – provides end to end global supply chain integration and automation, enabling users to streamline and automate operations common to retail and wholesale.
  • Google analytics – measure sales traffic and conversions.

Don’t forget how useful Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be for getting the word out there about your new business venture.

Keep on top of your employer responsibilities

Keep on top of your business accounts with apps like:

  • Xero – will help you reconcile accounts, send invoices and create expense claims from mobile devices. Xero also has some handy add-on business applications that complement its primary service.
  • Quickbooks Online – capture your expenses by scanning receipts, track hours and invoicing while on the run with this handy app.
  • WAVE – an entry-level accounting software provider ideal for the smaller business.

You might decide to use new mobile technology within your business to make your working life (and the jobs of your employees) easier and more efficient.

Break your workday tasks down to see how mobile technology could help you complete each task more efficiently. For example, if you’re frequently away from the office, an app like Dropbox Business lets you collaborate no matter where you are.

Find what works for your business

There is an (almost) endless list of online tools and apps that will help you run your business better, faster and easier. The trick is deciding which ones. Talk to other business owners and any industry contacts to find out which apps are the most relevant to your business.

  • List all the apps you use now and see if any can be amalgamated. Often one app will do many things and as new apps get released, they often solve multiple problems
  • Check your app payment plans in case the cost has dropped
  • Check app features in case there is a new release and you haven’t been upgraded
  • Ask other small business owners what apps they use to identify apps you can use to improve your productivity, especially industry-specific apps
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Disclaimer

For informational purposes only. There is NO WARRANTY, expressed or implied, for the accuracy of this information or its applicability to your financial situation. Please consult your financial and/or tax advisor. Full legal disclaimer