The Best Apps to Transform You Into a Productive Small-Busin…

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As a small business owner, you need to wear a lot of hats. Accountant, social media consultant, marketing manager, customer service specialist — the list is long. Luckily there are hundreds of apps to help you become a better entrepreneur, and lighten the load just a little. We picked out five of the best apps for small business owners, some are well known, some you might have never heard of. Most of these tools are free for personal use and offer a business plan at a small monthly fee.

1. Get hyper-organized with Evernote

Evernote allows you to keep all your notes in an organized place. You can clip pieces of information from the web, tag them for easy searching and embedding pictures, tables, audio and video. This tool allows you to access your business content wherever you are, on all your devices.

How to use it:

  • Organize company information into separate notebooks (e.g. Business docs, coupons, flyers, insurance info, receipts and expenses) and share them with team members.
  • Use the Evernote camera to scan and save bills and receipts to keep track of your expenses.
  • Create a central repository for ideas and marketing tools by saving reviews, tweets and flyers. You can draw on these when crafting new strategies and materials.

2. Become a financial whiz with Wave

Wave is an accounting software made specifically for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees. It’s the accounting service for non-accountants! It lets businesses easily track sales and expenses, manage invoices, pay employees, scan receipts and generate reports. They have several different apps to cover every aspect of small business accounting.

How to use it:

  • Fully customize your expense/income categories and get a charted overview.
  • Take a picture of your receipts and turn them into complete accounting transactions.
  • Automatically generate accounting reports, like P&L, sales tax reports, balance sheets etc.
  • Invite the people you trust, like business partners, assistants and accounting professionals, to help you manage books.

3. Don’t waste another minute with Toggle

Toggle is the simplest time tracker, designed to help you get things done. With one click, the timer tracks where every second of your time is going. You can track projects, view graphs, export timesheets and sync your output with several other project management apps.

How to use it:

  • Log your hours and learn where you actually spend time. Get an overview of the hours spent on different tasks and projects.
  • Estimate project timelines and keep track of your progress with the Project Dashboards. Uncover which tasks take the most time and how profitable your projects and clients really are.
  • Easily see what your team is working on in real time and find your most productive team members.

4. Make payments easy with Square

Square is perfect for businesses who depend on point-of-sale purchases, but have a limited budget for payment systems. You’ve probably come across Square already with its easy card-reader that can be plugged into a smartphone or tablet. It will allow you to scan payment cards and process the payments just like the big POS systems (all without the need for an internet connection).   

How to use it:

  • Allow your customers to easily leave a tip, with the preset 15 percent, 20 percent, 25 percent tip buttons (or with a customized amount).
  • Store payment details for your regular customers. You can now change them at the tap of a button and save time at checkout.
  • Use Square’s Point of Sale app for inventory management, customer directories and digital receipts.

5. Outsource tasks with Upwork

Upwork is the ultimate tool for small businesses with even smaller teams. Don’t have a graphic designer? Or a content writer? Or a mobile developer? Upwork allows you to hire freelancers by posting a job on their platform. You will be matched with the right freelancer for the job. As Upwork CEO, Stephane Kasriel, says “hiring freelancers allows businesses access to sharply-honed skills that simply aren’t available elsewhere.”

How to use it:

  • Browse freelancer profiles, reviews and proposals, then interview top candidates. Hire the best fit for you and begin your project immediately.
  • Use the Upwork platform to chat, share files and collaborate from your phone.
  • Make payments through Upwork, so you only pay for work you authorize.

Even though a small business owner needs to be able to wear many hats, rest assured that you don’t need to be an expert in everything. With these mobile apps, your small business will be ready for anything that gets thrown its way. And it can all be done on-the-go, which is exactly where entrepreneur and small business owners are.


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