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. Here are the best small business apps to consider that can help manage and organize your small business.
There are a lot of time management apps out there but Evernote comes out on top. Evernote is a place to record and save all notes, photos, thoughts 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 Business has all of the Evernote goodies as well as the availability to collaborate as a team along with central user administration. For a business, cost starts at $14.99 with a minimum of two users.
Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription service that brings together tools like Excel and Outlook with powerful cloud services like OneDrive and Microsoft Teams. With Office 365, you can create and share anywhere on any device. Prices range from $5 - $20 per month with an annual commitment.
This is a personal time management app for iPhones and Android that’s perfect for the person who can’t stay focused on tasks throughout the day. Wasting too much time on Facebook or surfing the web? My Minutes helps set time limits. Use the app to set a goal (for example, “Spend 30 minutes writing proposal”) and you’ll get an alert when the time is up.
Also included are daily starters, running notifications and motivational streaks that build up as you reach a goal. Currently only available for iPhones, the app is free through the AppStore.
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’s a time saver that makes collaboration easy.
Our team at SmartBiz Loans uses Slack in their San Francisco and Austin offices to stay in touch, get answers and collaborate.
Skype offers free audio and video calls along with messaging. You can download the app for free and start using it immediately with up to 25 people on group audio calls. For business, Skype users can hold online meetings, messaging, calls and video with up to 250 people along with Outlook scheduling. The chat feature works great to keep remote teams in touch.
Accounting, Billing and Payments
You’ve probably seen Square in action. The Square point of sale 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.
The app works on all devices and operating systems and is free with no sign up or monthly fees. Square does collect a percentage of each transaction with a variety of plans available for all business sizes.
Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)
Gusto is a web-based payroll processor. More than 20,000 small businesses use the startup’s cloud-based system to automate tax calculations and payroll payments. Visit the website for information on their pricing plans and sign up for one month free.
When you land on the Expensify website, the first thing you see reads "Expense reports that don't suck! Hassle-free expense reporting built for employees and loved by admins." That about sums it up. Expensify makes the entire expense process less painful. Link credit or debit cards and charges are directly posted to an expense report.
You can also just snap a photo of a receipt and Expensify extracts the needed info. Costing just $5 - $10 per active account, the app works on all phones and desktops. Request a demo 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. Learn more and create an account to get started.
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 best Salesforce apps here. Watch free demos here.
HubSpot 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. Sign up for a free demo here.
Choosing the Best Business App
There are a ton of options out there for small businesses. Fortunately, there are also plenty of review sites to help you find an app with the performance and features you need. Below are sites to check out when you’re looking for pros and cons. Check out PCMag.com and Capterra.com. Capterra has a star rating system with reviews from real users.