Essential Applications to Use for Your Small Business

Essential Applications to Use for Your Small Business

18th November 2020 0 By Jamie Francis

You often wear a lot of hats as a small business owner. You don’t have the money or resources to hire people for some of your administrative tasks just yet. As such, you need to take them on yourself. For now, you’re your company’s accountant, human resource and recruiting specialist, payroll officer, and more. Unless you have the education or experience, however, you can’t do all of them efficiently.

This is where business computer programs and applications come in. These pieces of software allow you to streamline your different small business processes, from computing benefit deductions to employee collaboration.

You name it, there are multiple apps for it. The question is which ones offer the best value and features for small businesses like yours.

Here are great applications that provide both.

Productivity: Google Docs/Workspace

For the longest time, Microsoft Office had a firm hold on the productivity suite market. When Google released its own suite in 2006, however, people saw it as a worthy competitor to Office. It offered a free, web-based word processing app known as Google Docs. It wasn’t as powerful as MS Word at the time, so Office had the upper hand.

When Google started offering cloud storage and collaboration solutions, however, its suite started to become popular not just for personal but also for business use. It also released Sheets (spreadsheet), Slides (presentation), Keep (notes), Chat and Calendar all for free. 

Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive and its other applications are free to use for anyone with an account. Its 15 GB of cloud storage per user and collaborations are already available with the free version. This is great if you only have a few people on your team. 

If you want to have a personalized email for your organization, however, you need to upgrade to a Google Workspace plan. The cheapest one, known as the business starter plan is currently on sale for $4.20 per user per month. Apart from a personalized email address, it also provides a sizeable boost to Google Drive capacity for every user (from 15 GB to 30 GB), 100 participant video meetings, advanced security and management controls, and standard support from Google’s staff. You can upgrade your plan to meet the needs of your growing business. 

Communication: Slack

Sometimes, it’s better to send an email than to set up a whole meeting. And if the matter is urgent, it’s better to say it through an instant message instead of an email. If you want an IM app, you want it to have security, archiving and monitoring capabilities. After all, government regulators require you to keep records of your business data, from customer information to employee messages, for a few years. 

Slack provides both features while also offering a seamless, clean, and fast messaging experience. The app complies with FINRA, HIPAA and GDPR regulations and has multiple security certifications. This is because it has advanced encryption and authentication capabilities.

You can be sure that what you say within your workspace stays within your workspace. It also has archiving features that make it easy for you to keep records of old conversations, in case you need them for litigation. The app can be accessed through a desktop program, a web application, a mobile application, and a wearable technology application, so you can get and send updates anytime and from anywhere. 

Accounting: Freshbooks and Quickbooks

Payroll and invoices can be frustrating and tedious if you’re doing it all yourself. It can also be confusing if you don’t have any experience in computing them. Fortunately, accounting apps like Quickbooks and Freshbooks don’t need an accounting degree for you to make full use of them.

You can create professional digital invoices through a template and send them to your customers through the app. They also have payroll features that automatically pay employees once payday comes in. These apps automatically deduct taxes and benefits, too. No more forgotten payments to your vendors and tax collectors. 

If you run an e-commerce site, accounting is a breeze, as they offer integration features with platforms like Shopify, Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce, and more. Both apps require paid subscriptions, but they also offer free trials. They feature comprehensive tutorial videos that help you master everything, from basic to advanced features, as well. 

If you run a small business, you need all the help you can get with your administrative tasks. These applications have innovative features like automation and cloud storage that make managing your business easier. With these apps on your side, you’ll have more time to focus on what matters the most: improving your core business.