The Top 8 Small Business Apps for 2020
For small businesses, keeping operations efficient and productive at a minimal cost is a first priority. This means every expedient that can promote growth and cut costs at the same time can make all the difference. In the digital age, these godsends frequently come in the form of mobile or desktop applications, which are increasing at an exponential rate. The market for apps is accessible and extremely competitive, which lowers prices and drives innovativeness. Apps can provide a wide range of advantageous services for enterprises.
- Finance and accounting
- Project management
- Human resources
- Time management
- Customer Relationship Management
- Job scheduling
Small businesses are usually more receptive to applications that are affordable, easy to use, and which can help to scale the business. It is also preferable if an app has excellent customer service, no commitment is necessary and there are immediate returns on investment.
In addition to fast and effective apps, small businesses in London can be assisted by external IT consultants. For all matters relating to computing, finding one of the top London IT consultancies can help small enterprises to grow and scale.
Square is a point-of-sale app that allows businesses to accept credit and debit card payments from customers and clients through the use of a smartphone. The app uses a tiny magstripe reader that attaches to phones, and which the company mails to users once they sign up to the service. This turns a device into a mobile and easy-to-use POS reader. The app also provides sales data and analytics, it allows you to send online invoices and marketing emails to customers, and manage employees and locations. Square is free with a £19 charge for the card reader, with additional charges for employee permissions.
A New Zealand company with more than 1.5 million subscribers around the world, Xero is particularly useful for day-to-day small business accounting processes. This can include sending invoices, creating expense claims or categorising and importing all bank transactions. Everything can be saved to a cloud account and accessed on mobile devices, making your financial data easily accessible. The app integrates with more than 700 useful business apps, such as PayPal. Xero offers a 30-day free trial, then three different plans priced at £5, £12 or £15 per month.
Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is an emerging technology that is beginning to have a considerable impact on the business world. This allows us to process and transcribe speech or conversations as they are taking place, distinguishing between different speakers and even adding punctuation. The technology is still in development, but it has so far proven to be extremely effective in recording meetings and interviews, or for dictating an email without the need for taking notes. Once speech has been recorded it can be edited in the app, and shared with Google or Zoom accounts. Otter has a free plan, and a paid plan that allows extra minutes of transcription.
Toggl is a time tracking app that helps small businesses to increase productivity by making efficiencies and inefficiencies clear, and showing what works best. This app is perfect for freelancers, teams and agencies. It is a web-based tool that can run in a browser, as a browser extension or through the mobile app. Toggl breaks down data, numbers and statistics and presents it all in a format that is clear and easy to understand. With the Toggl Button browser extension there are more than 80 time tracking tools. The app has a generous free plan or a paid plan that begins at £6 per month.
While YouTube overwhelmingly dominates the online audiovisual market, Vimeo can offer an option that may be more suitable for small enterprises. A new project is called Vimeo Create, and this provides tools that are aimed at helping business marketing and using video in marketing and social media platforms. This includes the use of professional templates. Vimeo has a limited free plan, with paid plans starting from £6 per month. A free trial is also available.
For small businesses, Workday is a human resources and finance app that enables the making of better, informed decisions. Various processes can be tracked and managed more easily, and employees can be better engaged. The app can handle HR tasks like recruiting, onboarding, performance management, time and attendance, as well as benefits management. It is also useful for payroll and talent management, and it has a self-service portal. However, it does not offer a free trial, nor a free plan. Plans are priced at £75 per year per user.
Asana is a project management app that boasts an excellent combination of features and functionality. It allows users to create projects, set targets and follow them through every stage. Multiple boards can be created and tasks can be divided by project or department. There are also team calendars and project timelines, which can help to visualise the progress of projects. Asana can be integrated with popular applications, such as Google Drive, Microsoft Teams and Slack. A free plan is available, and paid plans begin from £8.50 per month, with a free 30-day trial.
For keeping all of your social network channels organised, Hootsuite is a social management system with wide-ranging functionality. It enables users to view streams across different networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, create or reply to posts. It is also possible to monitor all comments about your brand and respond directly. All social media needs can be managed in one platform, and the app also integrates with a wide selection of software, from Mailchimp to Vimeo. There is no free plan, but plans begin from £20 per month and a free 30-day trial is available.
The implementation of a new app into a business practice can impact a business by helping it to become more streamlined, efficient and productive. However, this is a project that needs to be carefully planned, trialled and integrated into the business strategy, or the results could be more disruptive than beneficial.