by Simon Barbaro
The Small Business Apps I could never manage without
If you haven’t noticed already, our lives are slowly being managed by apps. The Google Play store alone has over 3 million apps. I dare say, how useful many of these apps are could be debated.
But every so often I’ll come across an app I don’t know how I ever managed without. For me, these are the small business apps that define how we work. And the best ones – well, they have helped increase productivity, generate business, and breakthrough barriers that commonly hold small businesses back.
So, what makes these apps so great? Before jumping in and download any app that’s recommended to me (and I suggest you do the same), here’re some essential factors I like to consider:
Ease – Not all employees will be tech-savvy. It must be user friendly and make the whole process easier. If they dump the app in the ‘too-hard basket’, it will likely be misused or never used at all.
Adaptability – Is the app easy to implement, does it integrate with our systems, and will it work with current business processes and other tools used?
Time – Probably the most crucial factor for a small business – Will the app save time? If an app saves 15 minutes, twice a day, every day – We’ve just saved over 100 hours a year! That time can then be used to build the business, take on more clients and in turn, make more money.
Worth – What’s it worth to the business? Not to be confused with cost. If the time saved outweighs the costs involved, then even the most expensive app can be well worth it in the long run.
Tip: I always look for apps that have excellent support and an abundance of training videos. You’ll find the more popular an app, the more YouTube videos, chat forums and troubleshooting help out there.
Now, let me take you through what I consider to be my Top 5 Small Business Apps that I use daily.
If you’re a business that relies on bookings and meetings, you’ll want Calendly.
Zoom consultation with multiple team members – In-office meeting to sign papers – A hair appointment with the next available staff member. Calendly has it sorted.
With it, you can create a fully customised booking ‘event’ for every occasion. Then it’s as simple as sending the event link or integrating it into your website for clients to book directly into your calendar.
The best thing, it syncs with your current calendar system automatically blocking out times around your schedule and preventing double bookings.
Other features: Custom events, private meetings, team syncing, payments, cancellation policies, one-off appointments, reminders.
I’m a big believer that communication is one of the most critical factors within a business. More so now as many employees find themselves working from various locations.
Explaining something over email or phone can be difficult. Showing is much better than telling.
Loom solves this problem. It allows you to record your screen and voice, then share it with anyone via a link. Yep, it’s that simple. But what makes it so powerful is how you use it. Here are just some of the possibilities:
- Create video recordings for training purposes or show colleagues how to follow a company process.
- Give updates on projects while running through the visuals and ask for feedback.
- Record and report troubleshooting problems for external IT departments or support.
- Record blogs and business updates and share through social media.
Other features: Categorise and save videos to the cloud, access team content, video editing, free version available.
There are two great reasons for using this password management tool.
Firstly, no more post-it notes or hidden notepads with forgotten passwords. Remember just one password to access them all. Store your passwords, payment cards, notes, bank details and more. And like most other apps, it integrates with your web browser, making the sign-in almost instantaneous.
Secondly, it’s incredibly secure! Something every small business should consider. Share information with your team and set rules; including 2 Factor Authentication, hidden passwords and access restrictions.
Other features: Free version available, password generator, password strength checks, excellent support team.
Tip: Some apps have different user levels with additional features. Some will even allow a manager to sign up for a paid version, while others can make the most out of the free version.
Probably not one most small businesses would consider. But with the rise of social media and many companies moving to online tools, good copywriting has become essential.
This isn’t just a spellcheck app either; no – it’s much more. The AI for copywriting has improved dramatically over the years. Grammarly will help you write better copy by setting the correct tone, restructuring confusing sentences, and making suggestions to create more engaging text.
If you’ve ever tried to write copy for your business, you’ll understand it can be frustrating and time-consuming. Make the most of Grammarly; it will be your new copywriting best friend.
Other features: Works with your web-browser, plagiarism detection, grammar explanations, language settings.
This is THE app for small businesses. HubDoc can not only save you time but will keep your accountant happy. Very Happy!
Think of every receipt, invoice, bill and statement traversing through your business. Now, instead of a shoebox filled with papers, every transaction can be captured, documented, and organised to the cloud.
It’s simple too. Save paper receipts with your phone’s camera using HubDoc’s mobile app. No manual data entry either. HubDoc captures all relevant information, including date, invoice number and GST.
As for online documents, that’s even easier. Send any digital document straight to your personal HubDoc email address to be captured in the same way.
What makes this one of the best apps for small businesses is the ability to integrate and share data with accounting software such as Xero and QuickBooks.
Other Features: Cloud storage, automatic data retrieval, mobile app, accountant access.
While this is my list of Top 5 Apps for Small Businesses that I use, there are plenty of others that deserve a mention.
If there are any apps your small business can’t do without, I’d love to hear about them. I’d be happy to share my experiences with these or any other apps we use. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook and leave a message.
The information (including taxation) is general in nature and may not be relevant to your individual circumstances. You should refrain from doing anything in reliance on this information without first obtaining suitable professional advice.
You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before deciding to acquire a product.