It’s a question a lot of people are asking today: “Are there too many apps?”
For Forbes Contributing writer Brian Solis, the answer is a loud, explosive, resounding, “Yes!” He explains, “In such a cluttered space, even the best apps struggle to find an audience. And more so, understanding how and what users value in the best apps is also becoming increasingly difficult.”
While we can’t demystify the apps marketplace, we can explore the five hottest apps for small business owners and offer some insight into how they might help your small business grow.
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You can’t build a profitable business if you don’t keep track of your finances and make the adjustments needed to ensure that your accounts have strong, healthy balances at the end of each quarter.
The logic here is simple.
If you don’t know how your business is doing financially, then you run the risk of destroying your budget, or worse, running down your cash reserves before you have a chance to get your small business off the ground.
Therefore, you should monitor and track your accounts regularly to get a complete and accurate picture of your financial strength. The results could pay off big time in terms of growth.
Findings from the 2014 Spark Business® from Capital One® Growth Survey offer further insight: “More than half (53 percent) of fast-growth businesses say they review their expenses regularly, compared to just 41 percent of no-growth businesses.”
This is why apps like Expensify serve as an important financial tool for small business owners.
Expensify simplifies the expense reporting process, so small business owners like you can spend less time resolving accounting issues and more time supporting the needs of your clients and customers.
In 2016, PC Magazine enthused about the app, “Expensify streamlines data entry and automates the trivial pieces of expense tracking. It does a splendid job and is very affordable.”
Download the app and start managing your financial accounts and expenses from your preferred iOS or Android device.
For Online Faxing
eFax Mobile App
It may be hard to believe now, but in the 1970s, analog fax machines were in such high demand that practically every household and business in America had one.
Then came the 1990s.
Taking a gigantic leap away from the analog era, the ‘90s were all about cloud computing.
What’s interesting about cloud computing is that faxing became mobile with online fax service providers like eFax. This offered a more modern way to view, share and edit faxed documents without being tied down to a fax machine.
Since faxing is still widely used in many industries today, the eFax mobile app will come in handy. It’s free to download and is supported on iOS and Android devices. You can even use it to take photos of your documents with your phone's camera, and then send them as faxes – all without printing a single page.
For Time Management
Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Time is money!” Perhaps this is why keeping track of how you spend your day is so important to the small business owner. My Minutes is a “personal time-tracking app” that lets iPhone users increase their productivity by focusing on three key areas of time management:
- Time Budgeting – Set minimum and maximum time thresholds for everyday tasks, such as email or social media
- Repeating Tasks – Set reminders for when your tasks repeat
- Motivational Streaks – Keep track of your progress with actionable goals
What’s great about My Minutes is that the interface is very user friendly. In fact, users can quickly and easily switch from one project to the next or add new timers. There’s even an option to calculate total hours spent.
For example, if you’re concerned that you’re not spending enough time brand-building, then you may want to reexamine your weekly or monthly contributions to your social media pages, content creation process or newspaper writing. With My Minutes, you can be sure that you’re dedicating enough time to all your important tasks.
A Virtual Phone System
Being a small business owner often means wearing multiple hats at once. From handling persistent incoming calls with efficiency to seamlessly moving invoices from arrival to post, a great deal goes into running a small business.
The mistake many small business owners make is not having a reliable communications infrastructure in place to support the needs of their clients and customers.
But eVoice can change all that.
eVoice is a no-contract virtual phone system that lets you efficiently manage your calls from the road, at home or wherever you do business. With dozens of features, you can stay connected to your company wherever you are.
Acting as a full-time virtual receptionist, eVoice helps you to be responsive to the needs of your clients and customers, even when you’re away from your desk. What’s more, it lets you get by without hardware. This one virtual phone system allows you to perform a variety of functions, including:
- Welcoming callers to your company with a professional voicemail greeting
- Setting up extensions for the different departments and divisions in your company
- Routing after-hours calls to an auto attendant or external call center
From reducing hold times to seamlessly routing your callers to the correct extension, you can create a memorable customer experience the moment the line connects. Download the Android or iOS app and get started with a one month free trial.
Project Management Software
Dealing with the daily responsibility of running a small business can be challenging. But small business owners can drive organizational success by incorporating a highly scalable project management software program into their existing communications infrastructure.
Asana is a web and mobile app that connects your work across team members and projects. Serving as a bridge between ideation and execution, Asana lets you align your project management strategy with your project management goals. Common applications include:
- Planning and prioritizing your next project with a virtual calendar
- Assigning and tracking tickets and tasks
- Reporting progress updates
With Asana, you can spend more time getting things done and less time managing your projects.
The Best Apps for Your Small Business
With the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store offering an estimated 3.3 million and 2.2 million apps respectively (as of September 2017), it’s safe to say that there are a lot of apps out there!
What’s important is that you find an app that helps you to produce better, faster results in business. Whether you need help sending a document online, managing your time or tracking your expenses, a good app should support you in your efforts.