Small businesses are in a vulnerable position this year. Many businesses have been closed due to the pandemic coupled with stringent social distancing measures. But all hope is not lost. Small businesses that have learned to adapt are still surviving. Surprisingly, some are even thriving amid the crisis.
Most businesses have moved their businesses online to keep operating. Small business owners need online tools to help them in problem-solving, managing employees, contacting customers, digital marketing, finance management, and the like.
Owners of small businesses are searching for ways to increase productivity as they compete with industry giants, often with fewer resources and workforce.
And despite the pandemic, customers still deserve the best customer experience. The best small business apps can help you achieve this.
The best small business apps help boost productivity and make your life as a small business owner more efficient and comfortable. There is an application for nearly everything these days, including organising ideas to sending invoices to tracking time and creating a job schedule and so much more.
Here are 7 apps that can help small businesses be productive.
7 Apps Small Businesses Must Have
There are many various office software solutions, but despite the fierce competition, Microsoft’s Office 365, now known as Microsoft 365, is still the leading suite and must-have for small business and rates as our best small business software.
Microsoft 365 includes three major office software applications that you’ll need: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. OneDrive is also available for cloud-based storage as part of a service that is worth having, mainly if you already use another cloud provider, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Keeping the data safe is essential and there is no harm in several backup options.
Then there are other software applications included in Microsoft 365, such as Outlook, Publisher, and Access.
Trusted by more than 8,000 companies, Connecteam offers a full service to manage your workforce securely in one app. From getting hired to correspondence, to time tracking, task distribution, and operating procedures, Connecteam has everything. Employees are more productive, stay updated, and you’re well aware of what’s happening daily with your team.
It has an employee time clock to track working hours with a GPS time stamp, as well as checklists, forms, workflows, procedures, and schedules that can be accessed online.
Internal communication tools include flexible messaging options for private or group chats, in-app employee directory, live polling quick channel notifications, surveys, suggestion box, video sharing, pictures and GIFs, and more.
Develop professional courses for quick employee training and onboarding, add policy options for reading & signing, create a searchable library, perform quizzes, and more.
QuickBooks can do everything from tax accounting and payroll, profit analysis, and inventory management, depending on the version you pay for.
Whether you have a startup or a thriving company, QuickBooks Online has a version and price point that fits your requirements.
And whatever version you want, you will have access to the QuickBooks mobile accounting application, where you can generate invoices, log miles, and manage expenditures on the go.
Wave is a completely free accounting software system that allows users access to a cloud-based platform for mobile invoicing and receipts. Understand and manage your income and expenses. Track everything and connect to other items like billing, sales, and invoicing. Everything is programmed in a complete package.
Wave accounting software is great for startup businesses. It provides paid add-ons for payment and payroll that enable you to expand the app’s features as your business is growing.
RingCentral Office is a cloud-based phone system created for business services that can be used on several browsers and platforms like Windows PC, Apple iPad, or Android smartphone.
Plans start from 2-10 users, which includes call management and phone system administration and phone rental options for conference phones and office desks.
The higher-priced plans are best for businesses, though, because of the comprehensive set of features that are vital to any modern phone service.
UCaaS is integrating all the various communications channels on a single unified network. Businesses depended on vast hardware in the past, but developments in digital technology led to touchless solutions such as this.
CCaaS allows companies to start a virtual contact center using cloud software. As with other (SaaS) networks, this has revolutionized business telecom companies, as services previously available only to big enterprises are now available to small businesses as well.
Who does not know PayPal these days? It’s one of today’s safest and most popular cashless payment solutions. Millions of people and businesses use it worldwide. Their Personal program allows sending and receiving money from friends and family. In their Business program, you get paid directly on your website or app, shop, on the go, by email, or via phone. About 19 million stores accept PayPal, so you need to add this as a payment system on your website or app as well.
For PayPal’s business plan, you can get paid online or in-person, get electronic invoicing, personalized checkout, or on-the-go card reader purchases. You can handle your regular business needs, including monitoring payments.
Expensify can be very useful in organizing the finances. They can check receipts and monitor workplace expenditures easily and on-the-go, whether you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone. Additionally, Expensify can work with QuickBooks, Xero, and other small business applications.
Perform one-click receipt scanning to manage expenses efficiently. Users can take a picture of their expenses, and Expensify immediately submits a one-click expense report.
The app also has next-day reimbursement where rapid reimbursements can be issued to an employee’s bank account within 24 hours after the approval of reports, using ACH direct deposit.
Automatic approval workflows allow admins to modify expenditure policies and rules so that Expensify will flag expenses requiring further review.
Automatic accounting sync can also synchronize any changes made to Expensify’s accounting system in real-time. It secures that the company’s finances remain transparent, making audits and tax payment light and easy.
Conclusion: Keep Your Business Alive
In this time, where small businesses need all the help they can get, it is vital to have business tools that can help make jobs easier. Tools such as apps can streamline operations to boost the efficiency and profitability of the business.
Since businesses are also migrating online, you need to make sure your business is secured, and data management is also protected. It is your responsibility to keep your consumer’s trust, and the first thing is to keep their data secure from malware attacks and data breaches.
As Jack Ma of Alibaba says, “for people in business, 2020 is really just a year for staying alive… If you can stay alive, then you would have made a profit already.”
So, for small businesses, find every way you can to stay afloat and even thrive amid this crisis. As we wait for the coming of the “new normal,” be ready to adjust and adapt to whatever changes are coming. As for now, it is best to start shifting your operations online, so whatever new normal awaits your business, your business will continue to succeed and be profitable.
Mayleen Meñez worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion, she devoted 15 years in NGO and community development work, where she experienced being a coordinator and teacher, travelling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia. She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.