In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Michael Mayday has compiled a great list of small business apps you can use to make your business more automated and productive. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!
Running a small businesses is no simple task. Fortunately, technology is there to help us. We’ve gone out and gathered a few of the best applications and programs (in no particular order) to help run your small business. Don’t stress when you can simplify and organize with these great tools:
Dropbox Business: Dropbox is the standard when it comes to storing files on the cloud — and now it caters to small and medium businesses. That’s right, you can securely view and share important files almost instantaneously with coworkers across the globe. Dropbox’s business model is scaleable to the number of employees, so be sure to check out their quote tool here. Currently, 50 employees will run a business a $6,420 monthly bill. Works on any operating system. Free trial. (All Devices, Free and Paid)
Asana: Asana is a cloud-based task management tool for team projects. The application allows managers to assign tasks to individuals, upload documents, schedule due dates, and tag elements among other things. It’s a great web-application with a fluid feel, but it does require an Internet connection to use — so if you’ll be working without a connection, you may want to consider an alternative. Asana is free for teams up to 30 people. Pricing starts at $300 a month for teams of 50. (All Devices, Free and Paid).
Expensify: Expensify is the go-to business expense application for mobile phones. It’s a phenomenal application, which consolidates the process of making an expense report by tracking purchases made over your credit card and bank accounts. Don’t want to enter that information, or you made a cash purchase? Take a photo of the receipt and Expensify will do the work. The application also tracks travel expenses through GPS or odometer entries. Just this week, they even added capabilities for invoicing and bill processing, both handy features for anyone who regularly sends or receives invoices. Expensify is free for individuals (though it micro-charges for using its receipt feature over 10 times) and costs $5 to $10 per active account for team and corporate users. (iOS, Web, Free and Paid).
Zenpayroll: Zenpayroll is a cloud-based payroll service which streamlines the payroll process for employers. The paperless service automatically takes care of all payroll taxes and reporting, and allows employees access to their pay-stubs and history. Zenpayroll works securely on any device (mobile, computer, or tablet), and eases the process of payroll for those who have other things to worry about. Zenpayroll charges a $25 base fee, $4 for the first ten employees in the system, and $2 for every employee added per month. (All Devices, $25 base fee)
Mailbox: Mailbox is the much-hyped zero-inbox service promising to help you “put email in its place.” And it delivers. The application streamlines email by making it easy to mark mail as read, organize into lists, or defer reading emails to a later date. There are, however, drawbacks: currently the service only works with Gmail accounts, and the application is limited to the iOS ecosystem, though plans to bring the service to other devices and and email providers are in the works. (iOS, Free).
Pramata: Pramata is a contract management program that provides insight into information buried in major contracts, acquisitions, and regulations. It also provides risk assessments to your businesses. Its insights can help to cut down on resources and keep people from poring over documents for hours. It’s an enterprise-level product, which scales to business. (Call for Quote).
30/30: 30/30 is a productivity and task management application in the form of a simple timer. The application allows you to create task lists, set time limits for each task, adjust timers through gestures, sync lists and create notifications. If you have a lot of small tasks to do and not a lot of time to do them in, 30/30 will help keep you focused and on track. (iOS, Free).
Neverlate: Neverlate is a calendar application for the businessperson on the go. The application tracks when and where all of your meetings and events are and then reminds you when you need to leave to make an appointment on time (it also tracks traffic, so if there’s an issue, you’ll know). The application integrates with your LinkedIn and Evernote accounts, allowing you to keep track of relevant attendees and notes to any event you’re attending. (iOS, free).
Tripit: Tripit is the default application for the frequent traveler. The application manages all of your travel information, even if arrangements are made through multiple sites, from departures to directions to the airport and even the weather. But that’s not all; you can also book reservations and tickets to various restaurants and venues straight from the application. Tripit has free, pro ($49 a year), and business (starting at $29 a month) plans. (iOS, Web, Free and Paid).
PayPal: PayPal is the go-to e-commerce site to pay, and get paid, for services purchased online. The secure web application lets you link your service to your credit card, debit card, and bank accounts to pay or transfer money anywhere in the world. The service gives businesses more control over how they accept secure payments and checkouts. PayPal is also expanding into the store front with its native iPad application, allowing businesses to use an iPad, and PayPal’s card reader, as a register on-the-go. PayPal is free, but also provides more options for its Advanced and Pro services ($5 and $30 per month, respectively. (iOS, Web, Free and Paid).
Quickbooks Pro 2013: Quickbooks is Intuit’s popular small businesses accounting program. As far as digital accounting goes, it’s the standard. The application allows businesses to manage and pay bills, create reports, track inventory, create tax forms, track employee time, and pretty much everything else a business would ever need. But that convenience comes at a price: $249.95 for the program and another $329 for Intuit’s payroll service. (PC & Mac, $249.95 for basic program).
OmniFocus: OmniFocus is a multi-platform to-do task/thought manager for Mac and iOS. The application shines in its mobile variations — tagging tasks and reminders to geolocation data. The applications allow users to see what’s due in the future, review what’s been done and sync across its various versions. The drawback: the prices for its desktop, mobile, and tablet vary and aren’t cheap. The desktop application comes in at $79.99 alone. The iPad ($39.99) and iPhone ($19.99) versions aren’t either. (Mac & iOS, $19.99 to $79.99).
Fantastical: Fantastical is a web and iOS-based personal assistant calendar, which cuts down on the tedium of entering events. The system’s “natural language engine” will cut out the important information you put in (groceries at 2 p.m. on Tuesday) and put them in their respective places. It keeps track of any tasks you need to do, and syncs across iCalendar, Outlook, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar…pretty much every calendar system you can think of. It also syncs between its iOS ($4.99) and desktop ($19.99) applications. (iOS, Mac, $4.99 and $19.99)
Polaris Office: Polaris Office helps to manage Microsoft office files from the road, and works as an alternative to Apple’s iWork suite. It allows mobile users to edit, create, and sync Microsoft Office files from the field. There are a few variations of the suite, but the iOS version ($12.99) won PCMag’s Editor’s Choice awards. The benefits of the iOS version: one payment covers both iPhone and iPad versions. (iOS ($12.99), Android (Free)).
Bento 4: Bento 4 is a personal database product for the iOS and Mac ecosystems. The highly-flexible system helps users to keep track, organize, and keep up to date with contacts, projects, events, clients, lists, inventory etc. The desktop application ($49.00) also syncs with its iPhone ($4.99) and iPad ($9.99) counterparts. (iOS, Mac).
Couple: While not exactly intended for business use, Couple is a great solution to a problem faced by all small business owners – neglecting personal relationships. It’s a free app that helps couples communicate, even when both are on-the-go. Save pictures and notes from past dates or inside jokes as “Moments” to remember later. You can also schedule dates or important events (like anniversaries) and Couple will send you a reminder so you don’t forget to head to dinner or grab a gift. Other features like a “thumbkiss” and sketches help couples feel close wherever they may be. (iPhone, iPad, Android, Free)
Evernote: Evernote is an essential application for syncing notes across mobile and desktop, and it’s a great solution for small businesses to organize and keep track of notes, deals, and advice. That’s right, the Business Premium model helps search shared business notebooks for the tips and tricks of your trade. Evernote provides 2 GB to upload and organize your notes per employee, per month. The Business Premium model, charging $10 an employee per month, can also sync to your personal Evernote account. Evernote if available on nearly every device out there and comes in free and paid flavors. (iOS, Android, PC, Mac, free and $10 per employee per month).
inDinero: inDinero is a small business accounting tool that streamlines all money matters into a single space. InDinero funnels information from bank accounts and credit cards to help users keep track of payroll, benefits, and data. No more entering numbers into your books because inDinero does it for you. Each business is unique, so inDinero scales its prices accordingly. Plans range from $499 to $5,000 a month, depending on your business needs. (Web, $499 and Up).
Square: Square is the application sweeping food trucks, vendors, and businesses on-the-go across the nation. It’s probably already made an appearance in your town already, and it’s a pretty simple concept: Square provides you with a free card reader to scan transactions and you pay either a flat fee of $275 a month, or 2.75 percent of each swipe. Deposits usually take a day, and you’ll get free analytical tools to accompany your application. (iOS, $275 or fee per swipe).
Skype: When it comes to video chatting, Skype is the standard. The Voice Over Internet Protocol system helps to keep people from across the world keep in touch whether its face-to-face video conferences, or a phone call. Best of all: the application is free for general use. If you’d like to upgrade, Skype’s business product allow face-to-face calls with three or more people at the same time, file sharing, and instant messaging for a nominal fee. (All devices, Premium accounts start at $4.99 a month, Call for a business Quote).
Go to Meeting: Go to Meeting is a web conferencing solution for your hands out in the field. The application, working across nearly all devices, allows you to setup and execute a meeting of up to 25 people with high definition video conferencing. You can change the presenter of the meeting and share screens so everyone is on the same page. $49 a month or $468 for a whole year. (PC, Mac, iOS, Android).
Boxmeup: Boxmeup is a web-application that organizes and tracks various packages or containers. Simply place a container, and its contents, into the system and you’re done. The system allows you to print QR code labels to place on your containers so you can scan and discover what’s in a given box at a later date. If you’re ever looking for a particular item, simply pull it up and find it on Boxmeup. (Web, Android, Free).
Pushover: Pushover is a simple messaging solution for those who carry more than one phone, but can never keep track of who messaged what and on which phone. The system sends push messages to any smartphone, and places messages in its client. A great solution to a unique problem. (iOS, Android, Free).
Clear: Clear a simple, and stylish, gesture-based to-do application for the iOS and Macintosh ecosystems. The beauty of Clear is in its design: simply pull down on a list to add an item, or pinch to add a task, and swipe a task to remove it from your list. The application supports multiple lists and syncs between its desktop and iOS versions. No gimmicks, no confusion. ($6.99 for desktop, $1.99 for iOS).
Addappt: Addappt is an-up-to-date contact application for the iOS ecosystem. The application keeps tabs on your business contacts and, if they’re participating in the service, updates their contact information as it changes. You can place contacts into different groups and message them en mass, if you so choose. The application also keeps track of their local time so you’ll know when you can call them. (iOS, Free).
Image: Sean MacEntee / Flickr source