7 Apps Small Business Owners Must Have

18 Aug, 2016 / Comments: Comments Off on 7 Apps Small Business Owners Must Have / By

When it comes to running your business, there are always problems to solve and new tasks to complete. Whether you are paying employees or charging customers, staying organized and efficient is easier when using a helpful mobile or desktop application. Owners are now able to enhance their workflow with apps that enable the charting of new ideas, enhancing communications, and improving customer service. Here are the top seven apps small business owners must have.


1. QuickBooks

Finances can be difficult for small business owners, including sales, payroll, company expenses, invoicing, and more. QuickBooks Online is the leading financial toolbox that can be easily accessed on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device through the QuickBooks application. QuickBooks utilizes top grade accounting software to keep your business financially organized and running smoothly. As a small business owner, you can determine your growth through an array of reports on QuickBooks that track profits and losses, monthly sales statements, all paid and unpaid invoices. Once you download the app, you can quickly link any business accounts such as bank cards or PayPal.  QuickBooks also allows you to upload and file receipts to make life easier during tax season. You can try QuickBooks for free for 30 days. Premium plans differ in features based on business size and range from $10-$40 per month.


2.  Clear

Clear is an easy-to-use task management application that specializes in the mobile industry, having a simple and efficient interface. Owners can set up lists, create tasks, manage reminders and more. Schedules for your company are highly organized and customizable to allow you to stay on top of a daily, weekly, and monthly calendar. Clear uses a gesture based design that lets you put the most productivity in your day without pestering you. When you download on iOS devices, Clear connects directly to iCloud to backup important data to prevent any lost info about or concerning your business. Get Clear for just $5 on your mobile or $10 for your desktop.


3.  Skype

The gold medal for communication applications goes to Skype. Business owners can carry out important video conferences, share media, and hold employee meetings through either Skype’s basic or business plans. Although the basic is free of charge to use, the business plan through Skype can connect up to 250 different Skype users, 10 times the amount of the basic plan. Regardless of how large your workforce is; Skype is perfect for staying connected while on business trips or with international employees. Skype’s business plan starts at $5 per month per user.


4.  Helpshift

When running a business, it is vital to maintain strong customer support in order to ensure a great experience and that your customers return to your business. Although smaller businesses are able nurture customer relationships, it can still be a challenge to answer all questions or comments. Helpshift is a two-way SMS application that allows you to send texts back and forth with customers. Not only does Helpshift reduce the number of issue tickets that may cost your company, but it also vastly improves technical support to raise your business’ reviews online.


5.  Pocket

Small businesses often require a lot of online research whether it be for new ideas or for cutting costs. However, organizing future projects and helpful resources is especially difficult on a mobile device. Pocket is the perfect app to organize and piece together information found while researching the web. Pocket also brings a professional aesthetic to the table so your project managers or fellow employees can easily follow your notes. Re-read any past saved articles, videos, or documents that do not even need an Internet connection to pull up on Pocket. The most intriguing pro for Pocket is that it is completely free.


6.  Asana

Asana is the top notch online work desk that allows owners and employees to control all things business in one place. A simple and elegant interface makes it easy to share files and assign team members’ tasks. Asana notifies team members via email and texts to keep all employees in the loop. The best part about Asana is its ability to work with a variety of other helpful programs like Adobe, Google Docs, Zendesk, and WordPress. The basic version of Asana is free for up to 15 team members.


7.  Square

Square is a revolutionary payment tool that allows customers to pay via card with the Square swipe device and app. The device plugs into a mobile or tablet and can operate offline for point-of-sale purchases. Send receipts as texts or by email. There is a 2.75% charge with every transaction but no monthly fee.

William Mahnic
William Mahnic is a Finance Professor at Case Western University and has spent more than 20 years in the finance industry before becoming a professor. Mahnic has appeared as a commentator on both TV and radio talk shows including NPR, Crain's Cleveland Business, WKYC 3 and The Washington Post. He has been interviewed in BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times.

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