Procurement · 14 October 2016

The best business apps for small companies: Part 1 Collaboration

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What are the best business apps for entrepreneurs and small business owners?
In the first of a series, published quarterly on Business Advice and showcasing the latest and greatest apps available to small businesses, we identify the best business apps for helping owners manage collaboration.

Finding the time to do all the things asked of you, often all at once, can be tricky for any company owner.

Those at new ventures are asked to handle everything, from basic accounting to employee disputes, whilst ensuring at the same time that business keeps ticking over and customers remain satisfied.

There are, however, an increasing number of apps that now make aspects of running a new firm that little bit easier.

Many are industry-specific, and whichever app you find most useful as a business owner may depend on the market or sector you operate in. Yet there are many that strive to make day-to-day operations simpler, regardless of product or service.

Business Advice has put together a list of its best business apps for entrepreneurs to improve collaboration between owners, managers and staff alike.

Evernote

evernote-3Turning eight years old in 2016, Evernote is the self-styled workplace for your life’s work. it’s fast-growing user base is now well over 100m.

What is it?

The app organises content and files of all types, making them accessible in one space. it’s designed for on-the-go note-taking, allowing users to create notes? out of text, webpages, photographs, voice memos or handwritten information. By creating notebooks, business owners can organise company information according to topic, or department.

Why should I use it?

Payroll information can be organised separately to insurance documents, for example. Receipts, bills and business cards can be scanned and saved via Evernote’s camera tool, and its checklist and reminders function enables managers to see and tick off daily tasks once completed.

In this list of best business apps, It can take the hassle away from accounting, and in addition is integrated with cloud-based accounting platform Xero, a popular small business accountancy app.

How much will it cost?

The basic version is free, and appropriate for individuals and smaller groups. For 30 a year, Evernote Plus enables greater upload capacity, offline functions and syncing with an unlimited number of devices. Newly-launched Evernote Business offers further team and admin features for 10 a month per user.?

Slack?

slack-app-1Collaboration tool Slack has amassed more than two million users since its launch in 2013 and has disrupted the market for co-working technology.

What is it?

Essentially, Slack is an instant messaging platform, but with certain features that make it most useful for collaborative small teams. Co-workers can create channels? to separate group chats by task, department or topic, with an invite-only option for sharing sensitive information.

All types of file can be shared via Slack, whether they’re images, PDFs, spreadsheets, Dropbox or Google Docs, and its indexing system enables users to search for key files and information quickly.

Why should I use it?

Slack stands out as a productivity app because of its integration. It has dozens of integration partners which owners regularly use, including Google Drive, MailChimp and Twitter. You can therefore use Slack to keep all notifications, from accounting to sales to social media, in one place, where teams can search, share, discuss and plan.

How much will it cost?

Slack’s so-called free to use forever? pricing structure means small companies are unlikely ever to need to pay anything. Certain functions are available on a price per-user basis.

Pocket

pocketFounded in 2007, Pocket has become a world leading ‘save-for-later? tool, helping both businesses and individuals be more productive. So far, the best business apps inclusion has over 22m users.

What is it?

Pocket lets users save articles, videos, documents and many other file types found via the internet, or other apps like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, in one location. The files can then be viewed anywhere, on any personal device, without needing an internet connection.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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