Small business owners should have all the tools they need to help their business succeed at their fingertips. And since you have a lot of banking, budgeting, accounting, and operations tasks to do, every little bit of automation helps.
Apps can help with this. Some of the most popular business apps have high monthly costs, but there are also a lot of options that are free.
There are what seems like an endless number of business apps out there, but if you want to save money, you should check to see if a free app will do the job before buying a paid one. The right business apps can make your life so much easier, from making it easier for your team to talk to each other to helping you keep track of your budget.
You can eventually pay for more features and options, but for now, here are 11 free apps that every small business owner should get as soon as possible.
There are a lot of mobile apps that say they will let you make free video calls, but few are as complete and easy to use as Skype.
Many small business owners use contractors and consultants who are far away, and video meetings can make it much easier to talk to them. Small businesses can stay in touch with people all over the world using Skype's HD video, screen sharing (which is useful for giving presentations), and call recording.
Skype calls between Skype users are free, and you can get Skype for Business for a small monthly fee as part of Microsoft Office 365.
Slack is at the front of the new wave of apps for work communication and getting things done.
Use Slack to send messages to individuals, groups, or larger "channels" instead of flooding employee inboxes with every idea and whim or dealing with the frustration of manually adding email addresses to an urgent update.
Slack also lets you connect to other workflow apps and make video calls.
Even though the paid versions of the app are more powerful, the free version has a lot to offer small businesses.
The iCall call recorder from Apple is one of the best phone call recorder apps for daily life. With iCall, you can easily record both outgoing and incoming calls and listen to them anywhere, at any time. With iCall, you can easily record phone calls and use them later with just one tap. iCall is one amongst the best business apps for recording phone calls. Business people, teachers, and anyone else who wants to keep important information safe will find it very useful.
It's only natural to have a great idea and forget to write it down or meet a great new contact and forget to get their contact information. This is especially true for small business owners, who have a lot of tasks and goals to accomplish every day and don't have much time to think about the little things.
The free version of Evernote is one of the best note-taking apps out there. It can help you record, organize, and share all your ideas with your team. This free app lets you share your notes and keep track of your to-do lists across devices.
Even better, the free version syncs with the voice assistant on your phone, so you can dictate notes on the go.
Mint is the best-known name in budget management, and it's a free app and easy to use. This is good, because budgeting is an important part of running a small business that is often overlooked.
It can be hard to keep track of your one-time fees, ongoing fixed and variable fees, surprise costs, and everything else. Usually, if you don't do this, your business will either succeed or fail.
If you know your budget well, you can give your team the occasional perk, like a holiday party, and you'll have a better idea of whether you'll need more money to keep things moving and growing.
Wave is another free app that helps small business owners with budgeting and accounting. It also has some other cool money-related features you might like.
Wave lets users make and send personalized, professional invoices in any currency. They can also quickly turn estimates into invoices once they have been approved.
Wave lets you connect as many banks and credit cards as you want, keep track of your income and expenses, and scan as many receipts as you want, even when you're not online.
If you like what you see, you can charge a fee to take credit card and bank payments and handle payroll.
If you're lucky, you might be able to travel a bit while running your business. But if you do a lot, you may find it hard to keep track of all your tickets, confirmation emails, receipts, and plans.
TripIt is an app that is amongst the best business apps that helps you plan your trips, sync your calendars, and let people who matter know where you're going.
You can try out the Pro version for free, which gives you access to travel perks like notifications about your preferred seat and information about exclusive airport lounges. It also keeps you up to date on any possible flight refunds.
When I Work is an app that lets you schedule your employees and talk to them at the same time. This keeps everyone on the same page.
Scheduling hourly employees can take hours each week, and problems can arise when someone asks for time off, a shift opens up, or an employee says they worked more than they were paid for.
Use a digital schedule that anyone can check at any time through an app to keep yourself and your employees on track. All of this is free if you have 75 employees or less.
One of the most important things a small business owner needs to do well is learn how to manage their time well. Toggl is a time-tracking app that helps business owners be more productive, learn more about how they spend their time, and make reports that show what they've learned.
You can set up "idle detectors" or reminders so that you don't forget important data. Timer can also be started and stopped from more than one device.
The Basic plan is good for small teams and has good features like a Pomodoro timer and integrations with tools like Basecamp, Asana, Github, and Freshbooks that help with workflow and productivity.
You might be happy with your business banking solution, or you might be constantly hit with unexpected fees or feel bogged down by products you don't need and slow mobile sites.
Simple is a well-known bank for small businesses. It offers an FDIC-insured checking account with no minimum balance or hidden fees.
They even have a large number of ATMs across the country that don't charge fees. The app and account are both free.
Scanning documents feels like an old way of doing business. We do so much with our phones these days that it seems like scanning should be one of them.
With an app like Genius Scan, you can take a picture of any document you need to send (receipts, contracts, employee onboarding forms, etc.) and easily export it as a JPEG or PDF.
Genius Sign, a sister app for iOS that lets you sign or make notes on these documents with your finger, costs a small amount.
Having those good business apps that can help your business are a must. But if they are free and easy to use then they can really elevate your day to day business dealings like the iCall call recorder app.