apps_simplify_small_business

If you own a small business, chances are there’s a lot on your plate. Since you’re wearing 11 hats as a small business owner, it’s wise to work smarter, not harder, at managing your business. These 11 apps help you do just that so that you can get back to doing what you do best, actually providing services you’re passionate about to customers you care about. Here are the top ten apps your business needs to streamline your management processes:

Expenses

1. Expensify is a free app that enables small business owners to keep track of all their expenses, mileage, and billable time. With its easy-to-use interface, one can simply scan and input receipts, or even sync it up with a credit card to record all purchases. Plus, the app will automatically review and approve all expenses, and can even integrate into various accounting platforms. In a nutshell, it’s a must-have in your business routine.

2. Shoeboxed is another expense-tracking app that is perfect for capturing receipts and filing them for reimbursement or as deductibles. It’s especially apt for business travelers on the road who need to capture and categorize business expenses quickly and properly. They even offer a feature for mailing in receipts, which they will then send you back as an itemized list of all your expenses in a digital file format. And unlike other receipt-tracking apps, this one lets users to store business cards and save them as contacts.

Time Tracking

3. Toggl let’s let you log every second of where your time is going with just one click. It’s perfect for small business owners who need to track billable hours for multiple employees, as well as projects and clients. You can even view graphs, export timesheets, and sync your numbers with other project management apps. If you want, the app will also show you where your hours are going so you can schedule a better work/life balance.

4. If you need to track business mileage, MileIQ is a budget-friendly, no-frills app that will get the job done well. It allows you to categorize a trip as personal or professional with a single swipe (think Tinder for trips!) and offers a secure cloud sync to track your history, as well report generation.

5. Along that same vein, Carmax offers an app for users to keep track of routine maintenance without having to lift a finger. Car depreciation and maintenance are tax deductible for small business owners and keeping up to date on your oil changes and tire rotations will only extend the life of your business vehicle. This app will ping you when your vehicle needs a routine checkup.

Accepting Payment

6. If your business depends on point-of-sale purchases but you have a limited budget, Square is the perfect go-to. With the use of its easy card-reader that plugs into your smartphone or tablet, you can easily scan payment cards and process the transaction just like all the bigger POS systems at more established retailers. As an added bonus, you don’t even need to be connected to the internet to use it. The system also lets you use email or text messages to send receipts and asks customers to leave a tip if need be.

7. Similar to Square, PayPal Here allows you to use a small card reader with your mobile phone or tablet to accept payments. Unlike its competitor though, it also lets you process checks, electronic invoices, and payments from a customer’s existing PayPal account.

Team Communication

8. Communication is key for any profitable small business, and Slack is one of the most popular tools for ensuring that success. You can create separate channels based on conversation themes, use tags to notify different users to keep things extra organized, as well as share files and images. The app also allows for easy filtering and searching so you can go back and find a conversation later whenever you need.

9. Many apps have tried (and failed) to knock off Skype and it’s amazing video conferencing abilities. Competitors simply cannot replicate it’s easy-to-use system. You can use the app to video or voice call anyone in the world, even as many as 25 people at a time. In addition to that, you can send videos, photos, and files of any size, share your computer screen with others, and send texts or voice messages.

Accounting

10. Quickbooks is an oldie, but a goodie. It was originally released in the 1980s and still proves to be a staple for business owners of all kinds. Now in its latest form, Quickbooks Online, your business can use it’s cloud-based service to keep track of all your expenses and sales for easy accounting and cash-flow management. It’s so caught up with the times that you can even send invoices and accept payments on your phone. There is also a freelance option with specific features for independent workers and self-employed consultants. Plus, when tax season is around the corner, you can provide your account with secure access.

Sam Casteris is a content writer who works 100% remotely in Phoenix, AZ. She operates a one-person LLC and knows all about the struggle between running a business and actually getting her writing done. Follow her work here, and reach out if you’re in need of creative content to attracts visitors to your site.

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