Apps That Make Doing Business Easier

There is certainly no shortage of business tools to maximize bookkeeping, marketing, time management, payment-taking, and organizing.  Plus, there are so many apps out there that it’s not exactly a picnic to choose which is best for the job.  So let’s take a look at some.

For bookkeeping, businesses will want to streamline all possible financial tasks and always have a clear picture of financial status.  QuickBooks is an accounting software that tracks multiple transaction types.  Business owners can track every transaction, view P &L statements, pay vendors and employees and more.  It will connect to numerous accounts like PayPal, your bank, credit cards and more.  A nice feature for tracking expenses is you can take a photo of the receipt with a phone and upload it. That’s a nice time saver.   The Gusto app is built for company payroll, benefits and tax.  It also reports newly hired employees to the government for you.  It facilitates tax filings, worker’s compensation payments and more.  Freshbooks is handy for tracking invoices for small-business owners and freelancers. It will also do automatic billing and recurring billing, accept credit card payments, organize and track expenses and create P & L statements.   If you have nine or fewer employees, consider using Wave.  It tracks sales and expenses, manages customer payments and invoices with general accounting features.  As you can see, there are many apps and choosing may be confusing.  Be sure the app you choose can do everything you need before deciding on your final choice.

When it comes to marketing apps, they are generally either apps to help manage several social media accounts, project apps where you create a daily checklist of things to do or apps from specific well-known businesses such as LinkedIn and the like.  For scheduling social posts at specific times, buffer is a good choice.  If you want to know your analytics of your posts, PixxFly will tell you. Knowing your analytics can guide you to better marketing.   Hootsuite is a good management tool with analytic tools as well.  There is one marketing app that’s in a different category altogether called WallaZoom.  Known as the “local business search engine that shops for you”, it was made to connect local merchants to their customers.  Once a merchant advertises a sale or special deal, their customers know about it in eight seconds.   Customers can also search their community for sales and deals.  If they don’t find what they want, WallaZoom will keep an eye out for them with a click of a button.  It’s a smart tool for small businesses because it creates instant and direct contact with their patrons for a low flat monthly fee.  Plus, it helps towns and cities keep money in their community because it gives the community’s businesses an upper hand to sell to their citizens first before consumers buy outside of the community.

Since time management is so crucial in business, there are several apps for organizing schedules to keep focused on what matters most.   Rescuetime tracks the amount of time you have spent with websites and applications and will send you reports showing this.  It’s like a snapshot of how you spent your day.  If you’re not good at keeping daily logs, this might be a boon for you.  Interestingly, if you have trouble wasting time on websites (i.e. social media), an app called My Minutes will help you curb that appetite with setting time goals.  Tripit helps you with travel plans and consolidates all details into a master itinerary.  When travel is purchased the buyer forwards the emails to Tripit and the app handles it from there.

For taking payments, you probably already guessed who the main players are.  Naturally, PayPal is well known. They recently created a credit card reader that one can attach to a phone to swipe a card for a transaction.  The card reader was an answer to their competitor named Square who had a card reader when they emerged. The merchant fees for both are reasonably close in amounts.  Square however offers a stand for contactless and chip payment when payments are done with tap, dip or swipe.  They also have a register that businesses can buy to use for point of sale purchasing.

Lastly, there are apps for organizing.   They help one stay on top of errands and tasks at work.   Asana helps businesses improve communication and collaboration.  It’s web-based with the app where one can view tasks, projects and progress.  Notes and files can be shared and there is no need for emails as communication can be done through the app.  Proven is an app that helps businesses with sporadic hiring needs because it helps keep track of applicants, follow ups and more. Evernote lets the user sync notes throughout mobile and desktop devices.   All the devices can access it for reminders and ideas.  If you have a team you need to keep organized then consider Trello.   You can create a card on the Trello board which is a representation of a task or assignment. You can add several things such as comments, due dates, members and checklists.

As you can see, there seems to be an app for nearly any purpose you can think of.  Some of the apps overlap in purpose and one may find that useful.  On the other hand, you may prefer an app that specializes in your needs.  One of the tricks to picking the app you need is to read about it and research comments from actual users.  Often what seems like a good fit at first later becomes a frustration.   Thus, take your time and research what makes sense for you or you will spend more time changing to another app.


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