Small business owners wear a lot of hats. On any given day, the average small business owner is responsible for managing a number of different projects and tasks that all compete for their time—sales, marketing, HR, customer service, payroll, building employee schedules, product fulfillment…you get the idea. If you’re an owner of a business, managing all of these tasks at once can be difficult and stressful if you haven’t yet put certain processes in place or taken advantage of certain tools. In this post, we’re highlighting 18 small business apps that can save you time, make your job easier, and make your business better.
Click the logos below to learn more about each app:
What makes it great: Xero is a super simple and convenient way for small businesses to take care of accounting. Their clean and user-friendly interface gives business owners the ability to easily log in and work from any Mac, PC, tablet or phone.
Case Study: Watch how Xero helped this retail business.
What makes it great: Zenpayroll makes it easy for small business owners to pay their small team of employees. Their paperless system is also accessible from any device, it’s secure, and it’s robust.
Case Study: Read how Zenpayroll helped this small business owner.
What makes it great: Infusionsoft automates systems that most small business owners don’t have time to manage on a day-to-day basis. The software gives owners and teams the ability to easily and quickly manage contacts, build effective lead generation campaigns, and close more sales.
Case Study: Learn how Infusionsoft helped boost revenue for this business owner.
4. Team Communication
What makes it great: Hipchat is great for small business teams—remote or on location—that need a way to easily communicate throughout the day. It offers private chat group capabilities, file-sharing, video chatting, and more. It’s even accessible from any computer or mobile device.
Case Study: See how Hipchat is helping this company improve communication.
Name: Google Analytics
What makes it great: Google Analytics is a fantasic (and free) way for businesses to learn more about their customers, their online properties, their content, their products, and more. It’s fairly easy to use, extremely customizable, and accessible anytime.
Case Study: See how Google Analytics helped businesses act on insights.
6. Social Advertising
Name: Facebook Ads
What makes it great: Facebook Ads allow businesses to better target prospective customers on the site and increase traffic to their own website and product pages. Business owners can easily set up campaigns that align with their budgets.
Case Study: Learn how Facebook Ads have helped these businesses.
7. Project Management
What makes it great: Basecamp can signficantly reduce the amount of time it takes small business owners and teams to search through email inboxes for threads about ongoing projects. It allows for simple project management and includes the ability for users to upload files, assign to-do’s, communicate with clients, and more.
Case Study: See how Basecamp helped KEEN Footware.
What makes it great: Snagajob focuses specifically on helping hourly workers find the best jobs out there. Their system makes it easy for employees and employers to connect.
Case Study: Read about how Snagajob helped a handful of Popeye’s locations find the right employees.
What makes it great: The beautifully-designed, cloud-based POS software from Vend makes managing business easy for any small business owner. Vend is mobile, which is great for teams that spend most of their time on the floor interacting with and helping potential customers.
Case Study: See how Vend is helping these companies.
Name: Bamboo HR
What makes it great: Bamboo eliminates a small business owner’s dependency on ugly, time-consuming spreadsheets, and instead gives them an online solution that acts as their centralized employee database.
Case Study: See how Bamboo HR helped 99Designs.
11. Help Desk
What makes it great: Zendesk is helping make customer service an easier-to-manage priority for small business owners. The online software allows for real-time communication, useful insights, and brand customization.
Case Study: See how Box uses Zendesk.
12. Employee Scheduling
Name: When I Work Scheduling
What makes it great: When I Work simplifies employee scheduling and communication by using an innovative blend of collaborative communication technologies, including the web, mobile apps, text messaging, social media, and email. When I Work’s incredibly simple interface and intelligent communication platform saves time and money while reducing absenteeism and improving employee accountability.
Case Study: See how When I Work Scheduling has helped businesses in a handful of industries.
13. Employee Time Clock
Name: When I Work Attendance
What makes it great: When I Work Attendance offers an employee time clock thats a better way for small business owners to track time & attendance with their employees. Small business owners can use a desktop, laptop or tablet as their fixed clock in terminal — or give your employees the option to clock in from their iPhone or Android.
Case Study: Coming soon!
14. Social Media Management
What makes it great: Buffer takes social media management to the next level for small business owners. It offers custom scheduling, useful analytics, and convenient mobile apps.
Case Study: See how Buffer helps About.com.
15. Employee Engagement
What makes it great: TINYpulse allows small business owners to easily gather anonymous feedback from their team to reveal insights, trends, and opportunities to improve retention, culture, and results.
Case Study: See how TINYpulse is helping this small business.
16. File Storage
What makes it great: Dropbox makes it easy for small businesses to store and share files and information across entire teams and departments.
Case Study: See how Dropbox helped Refinery29.
17. Cloud Backup
What makes it great: Small business owners can use Crashplan to conveniently and safely backup files and access them from the cloud using any device.
Case Study: See how Crashplan helped the IT team at Augsburg College.
18. Business Intelligence
What makes it great: GoodData is a business intelligence platform that can help small business owners turn underperforming data into overachieving intelligence. The platform is convenient, user-friendly, and very visual.
Case Study: See how GoodData is helping businesses all around the world.
By putting the right apps like the ones mentioned above in place, small business owners can spend less time worrying about the day-to-day—like filling out Excel documents or searching for email threads—and more time on the bigger picture—like improving products and services, finding the right talent, interacting with customers, and boosting profits.
What other apps do you use to save time, increase productivity, improve products, etc.? Leave a comment for us below.