As a small business owner, we understand that to succeed, your team with a dream needs to be able to convert sweat equity and elbow grease into results. One of the biggest challenges small business owners face is how to do all that needs to be done when there are never enough hours in the day.
That’s why we’re providing you with one great shortcut: to help you do more with less, we’ve put together a list of the top 20 software applications to automate business processes, save time, increase productivity and stay focused on the most valuable activities.
Software for Productivity
Evernote– A simple note-taking app that syncs across your devices and allows you to store all your important information in one place. Small business owners are exceptionally busy in their personal and professional lives, and Evernote can hold your personal to-do lists, appointments and calendars so you don’t miss that important sales meeting. It’s the ultimate personal organizational tool for busy people.
OmniFocus– OmniFocus takes a three-tier approach to managing your productivity. First, it captures information that’s important to you – everything from brainstorming to dates and times of important deadlines or appointments. Second, it organizes the data and helps you prioritize your time. Finally, the app allows you to upload your information onto the cloud, where it syncs to all of your devices and can be accessed at any time.
RescueTime– Small business owners need effective time management to get lots done, and RescueTime can help by giving you insight into where your time really goes throughout the day. The app works with Mac, PC, and Linux, and will send you reports and data detailing how your time was spent during the workday. Use it as a benchmark to increase your focus and productivity.
Trello– Ideal for small organizations with hard-working people that wear many hats, Trello is an organizational app that works like a team task-board. Users can create tasks, break them down into steps and assign steps to individual team members. Trello promotes productivity by helping you maintain a real-time visualization of what’s been finished already, what’s going on right now, and what new tasks and deadlines are approaching for your company.
Software for Communications
Slack– Slack is the ultimate instant messaging platform for small businesses and start-up companies. Create a channel, invite team members, organize them by department or use direct messaging to communicate individually with your team members. Slack also supports file sharing, integration with Google Docs, numerous other apps, and of course, Emojis.
Skype– Thanks to its global popularity and ease of use, Skype is a favorite tool in the world of business. The world’s most popular video-conferencing platform allows you to get up to 25 people on the same conference call, share your screen for presentations, transfer files, and more.
HootSuite– This app allows small businesses to schedule social media posts on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram and more. With HootSuite, you can listen to social media and get involved in emerging conversations in your niche, helping to grow your followers and position you as an authority. HootSuite saves you time by letting you schedule posts in advance, so you’re not constantly having to push your brand on social media.
Software for Human Resources
Goodhire– This application helps your company screen employees as part of the hiring process by providing criminal background checks, skill assessments, credit checks, identity verification and even education and degree verification – all directly from your smartphone. Goodhire makes it easy to ensure that your prospective hire is the real deal before you offer them employment.
GoCo– GoCo is an all-in-one human resources platform that combines multiple functionalities to help streamline HR processes and reduce the amount of paperwork that crosses your desk. With GoCo, you’ll benefit from features like employee on-boarding and off-boarding, document management, time-tracking, and compliance and benefits management. You can also integrate GoCo with your payroll and accounting systems for even more automation.
Proven– If you’re ready to expand, Proven helps you organize your hiring by deploying all of your available job listings to multiple online job boards from one central location. You can also sort applicants into bins for follow-up, and keep track of your interactions as you search for the best new addition to your company.
Software for Accounting and Finance
Gusto– If you’re starting to hire employees, you need to start using Gusto. Formerly known as ZenPayroll, this app streamlines payroll, tax and benefits processes while keeping you compliant with government regulations, making it a must-have app for any small business. Gusto automatically reports your new hires to the government, handles local, state and federal tax filings, automates payroll deductions and e-mails pay stubs to your employees.
Quickbooks– Quickbooks is an integrated accounting solution that can streamline your financial data tracking in revolutionary ways. The application takes input from bank accounts, PayPal accounts and other sources and uses it to track your company’s financial health on an ongoing basis. You can view sales and expenses, manage invoices, pay employees and vendors. And Quickbooks makes tax time a breeze by storing your all your revenue and expenses information in one place.
Software for Payment Support
Square – If your business is still in its early stages, Square represents a low-cost, easily accessible payment processing option that allows you to process credit card transactions using your smartphone. Square is an essential product and service combination for early-stage businesses looking to quickly expand their payment acceptance capabilities.
Paypal – The secure payment processor, Paypal allows businesses to securely make and accept payments worldwide. The platform also builds its own mobile POS called “Paypal Here“, a credit/debit card reader that lets you accept payments while on the go, track cash, send invoices and more, all for an affordable fee structure.
Software for Sales, Marketing & PR
Salesforce CRM– Salesforce is the industry-leading CRM tool for businesses of every size due to benefits like its feature-rich platform, and the “Predictable Revenue” book, which explains how brand new companies that have never sold before can fill their sales funnel, build a pipeline and master the sales process. Salesforce offers the best support for integration with appointment scheduling and is a solution that can grow with your business.
ACR– You’ll have to check your local laws for whether you can use this little Android application, which automatically records phone calls on the devices where you install it. That means you can record your sales calls and review them later on, pick apart how you can overcome objections and use those insights to convert the next prospect into a business partner.
TimeTrade – A great sales team creates its own opportunities, but what if sales appointments just appeared in your calendar? TimeTrade is an automated appointment booking application that allows prospects to book appointments directly onto your calendar using links from your website or social media accounts. This makes it super convenient for interested prospects to reach out to your team members and can generate a steady stream of warm prospects for you to sell to.
Haro– Haro – an acronym for Helping a Reporter Out – is a service that connects small businesses with reporters that are looking for a new story to cover. This service helps small businesses connect with high-profile journalists, which can help generate much-needed PR for growing companies.
Software for Customer Service
InterCom – Small businesses that operate primarily on the internet or through a website can use Intercom to add live chat functionality to their websites, enabling them to interact directly with customers who are browsing, offering customer support and education while receiving feedback on products and services.
Mail Chimp – As you gain customers, you’ll need a way to stay in touch with them, communicating news about your company and the latest deals and offers. Mail Chimp lets you organize and store your own mailing lists and provides you with templates that you can use to quickly create e-mail newsletters for your customers. Mail Chimp is the best way to keep track of, and communicate with, the people who matter: your customers!
We hope you’ll take advantage of our list of software applications that can help you accomplish more with your small business. Let us know how these applications are working for you!