The Best Apps for 5 Essential Small Business Functions

Smartphones are perhaps one of the most important tools a small business owner has. Thanks to the power of technology, you can now access and manage pretty much every aspect of your business via a tap on your phone.

Businessman using business apps

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Running a business is hard, and you need all the help you can get. There are a wide variety of apps that help you get things done and keep track of the important stuff.

Here are the 5 categories in which small business owners need great apps, in no particular order.

Productivity

Your time is valuable, and it has many demands on it. Productivity apps help you schedule your day as well as other aspects of your business. While Google Calendar works well, it can get a bit rigid.

For business owners on the go, Todoist is perhaps the best goal-oriented scheduling software out there. You can set weekly, monthly, and daily goals and measure progress towards those goals via tasks completed. It connects to your email as well, which is essential if you want to integrate information from your inbox with goal progress.

Evernote is a slightly different app. While it isn’t goal-oriented, it helps you organize your information in one easy place, preventing you from having to open multiple tabs or images at once.

Finance

All banks and credit card providers have apps these days and it’s a no-brainer for you to download and use them. You’ll be able to view your cash balances and credit limits on the go.

It’s a good idea to connect these apps to Quickbooks. You can scan receipts on the go and reconcile them to expenses on your bank statements. This makes accounting for costs simple and at month-end or quarter-end, preparing a statement of accounts becomes simple.

Every business needs an invoicing app, and Wave is perhaps the best solution out there. Best of all, it’s free and integrates with your bank account. This makes following up on payments easy via automation.

Time Clocking

Tracking employee hours is critical for small businesses. Unfortunately, most businesses resort to installing expensive hardware on-premises and instruct their employees to clock in and out repeatedly. The problem is that in the rush of work-related tasks, employees forget to clock in or out.

The solution is to use a simple to use app that makes it easy to track time worked. Deputy is one of the best time clock apps that not only makes it easy for employees to clock in, but also provides a GPS stamp that attaches itself to the clock-in or clock-out record.

The app also incorporates facial recognition software which leaves a verifiable audit trail for employers to verify. As a result, processing payroll becomes simple since managers can bulk approve and export timesheets from within Deputy.

COVID-19 has changed the way we think about establishing contact. Deputy incorporates a health check module that tracks every employee for symptoms and prevents employees from clocking in if they display them. In addition, employees can check in at fixed points in the workplace via a tablet that has Deputy’s app.

Facial recognition software automatically records clock-in or out time, and employees don’t have to establish physical contact or download the app on their phones, should they so choose. Combine all of these features with employee time analytics and integration with payroll software, and Deputy is a no-brainer for small business owners.

Communication

A large number of workspaces are going remote these days. As a result, communication has become challenging. While Zoom is great for meetings, it isn’t a real-time communication solution. Traditional solutions such as IM or chat that come bundled with email software are expensive and typically suited for enterprises.

Therefore, Slack is the best app for small business owners. While it’s merely a chat enabler on the surface, you can customize it endlessly and use it to automate administrative tasks. Thanks to its collaboration modules, your team can communicate via live video or chat and create separate workspaces to record collateral.

Best of all, Slack’s free version provides small businesses with a ton of options, and more often than not, you’ll find that you won’t need to use the paid version.

Marketing

Let’s face it, consumers are increasingly online these days. To reach them, you need to master the art of digital marketing. There are a large number of apps out there that can help you schedule your posts in advance and engage with your customers.

Later is a great tool for Instagram. Clarabridge is a tool for more complex businesses. It lets you monitor social media chatter about your brand. Hootsuite helps you manage all of your social media profiles on one platform and allows you to schedule posts in advance.

Many Apps, One Goal

As a small business owner, your time is in high demand. Use these apps to simplify your day, and you’ll find more time to focus on the thing that really matters: Your business.

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