Tap for Growth: 21 Business Apps to Help Small Businesses in 2016

Business.com / Technology / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Technology has ushered-in a handful of apps that are being used widely to make general operations in small business really easy.

We cannot deny the fact that technology is moving incredibly fast in terms of growth. Not so long ago, the larger part of business operations demanded manual input.

This is no longer the case. Technology has ushered-in a handful of apps that are being used widely to make general operations in business really easy.

If you have been ragging behind, it is about time you embraced such apps. This is the only sure-way of beating the stiff competition in the market and making the most out of your ventures.

Some of the applications are meant for smartphones while others are meant for computers. Others are versatile enough such that they can be used on both computers and smartphones.

Let’s have a close look at several categories of apps, best known for their ability to make businesses flourish in different aspects:

Related Article: 13 Best Apps for Solving Everyday Business Challenges

Social Media spelled out in magazine cut-outs stuck to a cork board with thumbtacks

Social Business Apps

Social networks have gone a long way in boosting the performance of different businesses across the globe. Statistics indicate that the largest percentage of people in the world use social media at one point or the other.

Business owners should therefore take advantage of social media and use it to reach their potential clients. Here are some of the social apps that are considered ideal for any business:

WhatsApp

Out of the many messaging apps, WhatsApp leads in a couple of ways especially for those in business. First, the app gives room for free messaging. This means that you are spared the cost of messaging.  Moreover, instant dissemination of messages is assured.

Secondly, you can create a WhatsApp group for your clients and any other person who has interest in what your business offers. That way, the burden of forwarding a single message to each client at a time is lifted.

Thirdly, you can make free audio calls using WhatsApp. In fact, there are rumors that a video-call feature will be integrated on WhatsApp soon. Direct contact with your clients is therefore made easy, thanks to WhatsApp.

Vine

As a businessperson, you should go to any extent to ensure that you get the best returns in the end. Video demos are always considered a very effective way of marketing products.

If you do not have funds to air ads on television or any other live media, you can always use Vine to achieve your marketing goal. How? Vine allows you to upload short videos, which are then shared among your followers.

All you need is to create a video that is very clear, and one that communicates your message in the best way.

You can as well create pictures that communicate your business interests and upload them on Vine. With a large number of followers, you have the assurance that Vine will work well in marketing your products.

Related Article: 9 Most Effective Apps for Internal Communication

Instagram

While most people think that Instagram is all about fun with photos, others see it as a great marketing tool for their businesses. Consider a case where you have uploaded your business flyers to Instagram.

You can even go ahead and upload photos of the products that your business deals with. Such cases only mean that your business will garner more clients. You can simply download the Instagram App to your smartphone for free and use it to the advantage of your business.

Twitter

You can place your business on top of the game with the help of Twitter. Some people may wonder how this is possible.

The trending feature on Twitter is meant to help people search for topics that tend to dominate others. Such topics are traced with the help of hashtags.

Your job is to download a Twitter App for free and install it either on your smartphone or computer. You should then do your research and identify the hashtags that are trending in your business niche and use them accordingly.

Several tweets with powerful hashtags everyday are enough to market your business effectively.

Facebook

Facebook still stands as the fastest growing and most dominating social site. Both online and offline businesses have already endorsed Facebook as a prime tool for marketing and selling their products.

The introduction of the Facebook App came as a point of convenience especially for those who are business oriented. With the app, it is easy (by far) to post details of your business without necessarily loading your timeline through a web browser.

The best part is that you will be constantly receiving messages, comments, or any other notification based on your previous posts on the same app.

To-Do Apps

There is great need to ensure that all operations in your business are done in an organized and timely manner. Technology has brought forth some apps that are considered best in helping businesspersons organize their activities efficiently.

Needless to say, it is through organized operations that goals in any business are achieved easily. Some of the best To-Do Apps include:

CheckMark 

The app allows you to set reminders of upcoming events based on time, location, contacts, and even your favorites. You will therefore be receiving reminders of the upcoming event or activity with regard to the criterion you have selected.

For instance, you can set a remainder based on location. Anytime your smartphone detects that you are close to that particular location, a notification will come up reminding you of the scheduled event in that particular area. You can download the app as little as $5.

To Do List written on notepad next to a pair of glasses, coffee cup and cell phone on a table.

Fantastical

Mac users can consider Fantastical for scheduling upcoming events. The best thing about this app is that you can opt to speak or type details of the upcoming event.

The former is always considered better than the latter. Needless to say, speaking is easier than typing. Upon feeding the event details, the app will schedule everything for you and send occasional reminders with regard to the upcoming event.

Evernote

It is a note taking app meant for Android, Blackberry and Mac users. The app has features that give room for typed and spoken notes. Aside from that, the app is able to save all your notes for as long as you wish.

All you have to do is schedule dates for a certain event and save them in your Evernote app whereby you can retrieve the details at your convenience. You can even set event reminders on the same app.

Related Article: Mobile App Marketing: How Apps Contribute to the Consumer Journey

Financial And Billing Apps

Your business will, of course, need financial regulations and general billing. This is where financial and billing apps come in. They are the kind of apps that are used in helping business operators calculate figures, prepare financial documents, and perform other billing activities flawlessly.

Unlike in the past when such tasks could be done manually, things have changed today. Here are the key billing and financing apps that you should consider:

Expensify

The primary role of this app is to log expenses, manage reports, and also capture images of different receipts. Companies that operate on corporate accounts are considered a perfect match for this app.

If you must know, Expensify has other additional features that can facilitate easy and smooth preparation and storage of financial data and reports. The app is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry and it is usually free of charge.

Square Register

If your business works more with credit cards, this is the app that you should consider installing on your smartphone or tablet.  Square register allows you to accept credit cards with a very friendly swiping fee of 2.75 percent. Most business owners consider this app ideal since it does not limit them to liquid cash transactions only.

Spendbook 

Looking for the easiest way to monitor your income and track your expenses? Spendbook is the app you should get. It is fully compatible with iOS devices. With this app, you can tell how much you have spent within a certain duration.

As a matter of fact, users can add pictures of items bought (alongside their receipts) into this app and use the information to calculate overall expenses. You can also tell how much you have earned using the same app.

In short, Spendbook gives you a clear picture of your financial behavior. It is a perfect app for both big and small businesses and also for personal use.

man at desk on laptop with cup of black coffee in hand.

FreshBooks 

Professionalism in any business is definitely something worth embracing. This covers even the financial documents that you present to your clients and other involved parties.

The kind of invoices you present to your clients greatly communicates your image. To create professional and appealing invoices, you will require the FreshBooks app.

It has all the features that can enhance the appearance of your invoices. What’s more, the app is also able to set up a reliable credit card payment system. This, we must agree, is a perfect app for both small and large businesses.

FreeAgent

It is an advanced version of apps that are used in creating professional invoices, tracking of expenses, chasing particular payments, and many other things.

The best of all is that FreeAgent performs all its roles from an intuitive interface. One more thing, accuracy is fully assured for FreeAgent users. This is made possible by the Time Tracking feature the app has. FreeAgent is able to record the specific time that certain data was fed.

QuickBooks 

Quickbooks app allows you to perform accounting, billing, and invoicing tasks online. All features in that regard are integrated under one app.

For businesses that deal more with online banking and wire services, Quickbooks is the ultimate app in handling the respective data. Notably, you can download all details created using the app and print out hard copies.

Xero

Accounts management in both small and large businesses has never been this easy, thanks to Xero. It is among the most efficient yet sophisticated apps that are designed to manage accounts in a flawless manner.

Xero has the capacity to import financial data into its database and later link everything to the respective accounting transactions. In the end, you will be able to have a clear and precise view of all your accounting transactions. Xero is considered ideal for large businesses.

Scanning and Printing Apps

Sometimes you might require hard copies of important documents in your business. Better still, you might want to transform hardcopy documents into softcopy.

Either way, printing and scanning is something that cannot be overlooked in any business. Thankfully, new apps have been introduced to enable computer and smartphone users to scan and print documents conveniently. Here are some:

CamScanner 

It is easy to turn your smartphone into a scanner with the help of CamScanner. It is designed to scan and turn hardcopy documents into softcopy.

As long as your smartphone has a high quality camera, you can be assured of clear and high quality scans. You can use the app to scan receipts, invoices, quotes, business cards, and other documents.

HP ePrint

You can use your smartphone to print important documents with the help of HP ePrint. This is an app that is designed for android and iOS users. It does not matter if you are close to your printer or not.

All you need is a Wi-Fi signal to link your phone with the printer. Documents are sent to the printer through Wi-Fi, after which a hardcopy is created.

drawing of cell phone printing wirelessly to a printer.

PrintBot

It is a perfect printing app for android users. One of the prime advantages about PrintBot is that it supports more than 2,800 models of printers. Moreover, the same app is able to print different file types including PDF and Jpeg images, and many more.

Basically, its versatility is the core reason why most people prefer it over others.

Epson iPrint

The benefit of using Epson iPrint is that it is compatible with all android devices and it has the capacity to print a wide variety of document types.

The downside is that Epson iPrint is restricted to Epson printers only. This means that businesses that use other models of printers cannot benefit from this app.

Business Apps

It goes without saying that security is imperative for any business, especially if it is anything that has to do with critical data. Here are some apps that you can use to beef up virtual security in your business:

Bizness Apps

Bizness Apps is an affordable way for any small business to easily build a mobile app for their customers. You can enable a loyalty program, mobile food ordering system, geo-location messaging, and more.

Two pairs of hands; one holding mobile phone and pointing.

LastPass

There is great need to have secure passwords to your computer, smartphone, or any other crucial information storage device. Instead of using a common password all over, you can use LastPass to generate new and secure passwords.

The app will even go a step further to store your passwords and retrieve them automatically when needed.

Call Blocker

This is a free app that works well for any businessperson who wishes to keep his personal phone number private. You can lock away unwanted callers and respond to them using an auto-text. The app also has the capacity to back-up your contact list for future reference.

 

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