The best apps for small businesses can increase productivity, automate administrative processes and generally make the life of a small business owner easier. Some of our favourites are listed below.
Best business apps for finance and accounting
Receipt Bank pulls real-time data from your receipts so you're always up to date. Accurate numbers and real-time visibility help you make better informed decisions about your business. It also simplifies the time-consuming, monotonous task of data entry so you can spend more time on actively making your business a success.
One of the biggest benefits of the Xero Accounting Software is that it provides a clear financial overview of your business. Since Xero is cloud-based, you can work from wherever you want, when you want, without having to be limited to a single PC. You can use Xero to track your business’ sales and expenses; view financial statements, such as profit and loss reports, pay your employees and vendors, track unpaid invoices and more. For small businesses, being able to view live financial reporting, on the go, can be a game-changer.
This app gives small-business owners and freelance workers a simple way to manage and track invoices. Freshbooks allows you create personalised, professional-looking invoices to match your business, automatically bill your clients for recurring invoices and accept credit cards on your mobile device. Other useful features include the ability to track and organise expenses from anywhere and create customisable business reports, such as profit and loss statements.
Best business apps for communication
With Slack's instant messaging platform, you can organise your team’s conversations into separate (private or public) channels, or send a direct message to a specific colleague. The app also makes it easy to drag, drop and share images, PDFs and other files right in the chat. This enables you to work on documents or in spreadsheets at the same time as other users, so all work can be done 'live'. It automatically indexes and archives any message, notification or file, and there’s no limit to how many users your business can add.
Microsoft Teams is is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and app integration. While many platforms used for workplace communications can provide overwhelming, Teams makes it easier for users to find the information that they are looking for.
Zoom is a popular HD video conferencing tool that can also be used to host webinars in place of in-person events or meetings. The free Zoom plan lets you host meetings for up to 40 minutes. Not only can you host video calls — you can also share screens, whiteboard, control screens remotely, and enjoy HD video and audio. Their premium plan allows you to invite up to 100 participants and host meetings for up to 24 hours. This helps you keep important client meetings going even if you, your team, and/or client has implemented alternative work arrangements.
Best business apps for time management
If you find you can’t stay focused on your most important tasks — or you’re wasting too much time on Facebook — My Minutes can help you stay grounded by setting goals, such as “spend only one hour checking email” or “work out for 30 minutes.” The app is available for iPhones only.
Toggl is an easy-to-use time tracking app that offers a handy overview of time spent on various tasks. It is web-based and also offers native apps for desktop, Android and iOS that sync together in real time. The tool can be used both online and offline. Toggl is popular among small businesses, consultants, and freelancers. It enables you to track the time spent on projects and evaluate productivity. Since Toggl is cloud-based, you can get started easily and quickly.
OmniFocus is a personal task manager that lets you create projects and tasks and organise them into to-do lists. OmniFocus syncs between your devices and works with iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watch.
Best business apps for mobile payment
This payment app is a good fit for businesses such as food trucks, beauty salons and retail shops. Its users get a small, portable card reader that attaches to a phone or another mobile device to take fast, convenient payments. Square also offers a point-of-sale system called Square Register for businesses with a brick-and-mortar store. Square’s point-of-sale app is compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Stripe was engineered to allow developers to accept payments in minutes, without the paperwork, fees and compliance which used to accompany such payments. Stripe users in the UK can accept the following debit and credit cards from customers in every country in 135 currencies: Visa, MasterCard, American Express.
PayPal reacted to the emergence of Square (above), by creating an app that allows businesses to attach PayPal’s card reader to a tablet or other device and use it as a portable register. The PayPal Here app is ideal for businesses that need to get paid on the go.
Best business apps for organisation
If your business is looking to improve its communication and collaboration, Asana could be a suitable tool for you. The web-based and mobile app lets you view all tasks and projects and follow progress on the Asana board, and you can share notes, upload files and communicate without having to rely on email. Asana also integrates with Google Drive and Dropbox to attach files, and with Slack for communication to post updates to a Slack messaging channel.
Trello is an easy-to-use project management app that tracks your team’s workflow. Each card you create on a Trello board represents an assignment or task. You can add members, comments, attachments, checklists, due dates, and labels and stickers to make the cards as descriptive as possible. Whenever you change a card, Trello notifies each member via email and on mobile devices.
Dropbox was founded in 2007 as a file-sharing service, but it has since evolved to improve collaboration. For example, you can comment on files added by your clients. Dropbox Paper enables your team and clients to work on documents together simultaneously. You can also assign tasks and to-do lists.
MailChimp helps you build and manage your mailing lists and easily create and send newsletters. You can also build and customise email templates and view performance reports about your emails. This information can help you send your customers more relevant emails.