If you’re a busy small business owner, you probably have limited time to scour the Internet for the latest apps. We’ve done the browsing for you! From payroll to communication, here are some of the best apps to consider that may help you manage, organize, and grow your small business.
There are a lot of time management apps out there, but Evernote is a perennial favorite. Evernote is a place to record and save all notes, schedules, photos, projects, and anything else you can upload. Everything is saved in the cloud so your data can be accessed from your phone, computer, or tablet. The basic app is free and includes key features like task lists, idea sharing, and synching.
Evernote Teams has all of the Evernote goodies as well as the availability to collaborate as a team for projects and inspiration. Each team member manages their own notes, tasks and schedules in one place and controls what is shared. Evernote also integrates with Slack, Microsoft 365, and Google Workspace.
Evernote Teams is $24.99 per month, per user after a one-month free trial.
Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based subscription service that brings together tools like Word, Excel, and Outlook with powerful cloud services like OneDrive and Microsoft Teams. With 365, you can create and share anywhere on any device.
Prices range from $6 - $22 per user per month with an annual commitment. A free one-month trial is available.
Google Workspace (formerly Google Suite®) is a popular alternative to Microsoft 365 and offers many similar features and tools, including Gmail for business email, Docs, Sheets, video conferencing, and Drive for cloud storage and file sharing. Google Workspace gives your team all the tools they need to collaborate and get more work done.
Prices range from $6 - $18 per user per month with an annual commitment. A free 14-day trial is available.
The name “Slack” is an acronym for "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge". Slack is a multi-channel app that organizes messaging, tools and files for your whole team. It makes communication easier for teams to stay organized, save time and get more done.
Our team at SmartBiz uses Slack in their San Francisco and Austin offices to stay in touch, get answers and collaborate.
The basic plan is free, or you can upgrade for $7.25 - $12 per month, per user for additional features.
Zoom became a household name during the pandemic when many of us began working remotely. You can download the app for free and start using it immediately. Zoom’s AIp-powered platform offers free audio and video calls for up to 40 minutes with up to 100 people joining the meeting.
You can also upgrade for $149 - $250 per year, per user for additional features, including longer meetings.
Accounting, Billing, and Payments
You’ve probably seen Square in action. The Square point of sale (POS) payment app uses a small, portable credit card and debit card reader attached to a mobile phone. It’s a super-fast and convenient way to perform payment transactions wherever you are. The app works on all devices and operating systems and is free with no sign up or monthly fees.
Square Plus offers advanced features designed specifically for restaurants, retailers, or appointment-based businesses for $29 per month. Square does collect a percentage of each transaction with a variety of plans available for all business sizes.
Gusto is a web-based payroll processor providing the payroll, benefits, and HR tools your business needs all in one place. More than 300,000 small businesses use the startup’s cloud-based system to automate tax calculations (and file them!) and payroll payments. According to the 2022 TechValidate Survey, businesses save 13 minutes each time they run payroll with Gusto compared to their previous payroll provider.
Pricing begins at $40 per month for automatic payroll features and benefits integration. A one month free trial is available.
Expensify is a simple spend management app for expenses and receipts. With Expensify, you can track expenses, scan receipts, submit hassle-free expense reports, pay bills, and generate vendor invoices. Accounts come with the free Expensify Card, a business credit card that automatically imports and accounts for your company’s expenses. Expensify makes the entire expense process less painful for employees and admins.
The basic plan is free or additional features are available for $5 - $10 per user, per month. The app works on all phones and desktops. Request a demo or sign up for a free plan on their website.
If you have nine or fewer employees, Wave might be the best fit for your accounting needs. Wave is an easy-to-use accounting software platform built for small businesses, independent contractors, and sole proprietors. You can track sales and expenses, send invoices and customer payments, pay employees, scan receipts, and generate accounting reports.
Wave is free to use.
Xero is another accounting software option for small businesses, accountants, and bookkeepers. You can pay bills, manage spending and create expense reports, track projects, accept payments, and even use Xero for file storage, inventory management, and contact management. Xero also integrates with Gusto Payroll software.
Pricing ranges from $13 - $70 per month. You can set up a free 30-day trial on their website.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Salesforce is a CRM platform. Small businesses can manage all sales, marketing, and customer communications in one place. The reason for its popularity? Users have the ability to completely customize the experience through third party apps. Small Business Trends outlines the 35 best Salesforce apps here. Salesforce is also leading the way with trusted AI, helping you connect with your customers in a whole new way.
Their website offers a free demo as well as a free trial.
HubSpot, an alternative to Salesforce, is an easy-to-use and intuitive platform promoted as an all-in-one solution. The inbound marketing software helps elevate your brand online, convert website traffic into leads and customers then optimize based on results. Tools for search engine optimization (SEO), content management, and social media management help your company get found online.
The HubSpot blog is known for providing solid business tips. There are free tools available, or more robust features with different plan levels. Sign up for a free demo here.
Choosing the best business app
There are many app options out there for small businesses. When choosing an app for a business solution, it’s important to consider how the app can help you, save you time, increase productivity, or improve communication. Consider who will be using the app and where they will be accessing it. Apps should be easy to use and simple to get started with.
Fortunately, there are plenty of review sites to help you find an app with the performance and features you need. Check out PCMag.com® and Capterra.com® to learn more about which apps might fit your business needs.