Running a small business is more complex than ever. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps to help. Discover the best apps for your small business or start-up, from networking platforms to accounting tools.
1. Avast Business Antivirus Pro
As a business owner, you’ll be using dozens of apps and programs that hold sensitive information. From customer payment details to employee contracts, Avast Business Antivirus Pro helps keep fraudsters at bay.
In a world of multiple cyber threats, give your company robust security with an app to protect against harmful viruses, spy programs and spam emails.
- £26.79 for a one-year plan.
- £40.19 for a two-year plan.
- £48.23 for a three-year plan.
Alternatives: McAfee Endpoint Security and Norton Small Business.
If you have little or no accounting experience, the QuickBooks app could help. QuickBooks is accounting software that helps you track all your business’ finances. That’s everything from sales, expenses, profit and loss reports to invoices.
QuickBooks collects information from your apps and keeps you on top of your accounts. Connect QuickBooks to your online banking, receipts, payment accounts, etc., and the app will update your company’s books.
From helping with your company’s taxes to your payroll, using QuickBooks can save you around eight hours per week in administrative tasks.
- £12 per month for a Simple Start account.
- £20 per month for an Essentials account.
- £30 per month for a Plus account.
Alternatives: Xero, Sage and Bonsai.
If you have trouble keeping track of tasks, you need a project management app. Trello simplifies team tasks with its board and card system.
Say your team is baking a cake, with Trello you can create a board called “Chocolate cake”. You can then add separate cards for the “Shopping”, “Whisking”, “Baking” and “Icing” stages. Whenever a team member completes a task, assign the project to the next employee, and Trello will notify them with an update.
You can set deadlines and reminders for every stage of the project, meaning you’re never left in the dark. Once a project is complete, label it as ‘Done’ and move on.
Sign up for a free Trello account and benefit from:
- 10 boards per team.
- Unlimited cards.
- Unlimited lists.
- 10 MB per file attachment.
- £10 per month for Trello Business Class.
- £13 per month for Trello Enterprise.
Alternatives: JIRA, Monday and Asana.
4. Uber for Business
When you register for a free Uber for Business account, it’s like registering for three apps in one. That’s because you can order taxis, meals and parcels of up to 22.5kg for your team. Need everything in one place? No problem. Take advantage of easy-to-manage team accounts and monthly billing.
From staff meals to client pick-ups, Uber for Business is like having a personal assistant in your back pocket.
Alternative: Deliveroo for Business
Whether you’re back from annual leave or lunch, you’ve always got mail. Let’s be honest, most of it belongs in a ‘read later ’ folder. The aptly named Sanebox app sorts out your emails based on your past behaviour.
Simply download the app and enter your email address and password. The Sanebox bot will get to work analysing your inbox history. While important emails are left in your inbox, ‘distractions’ are moved to a ‘SaneLater’ folder.
The bots learn which emails matter to you and which ones don’t. If it’s ever incorrect, no problem. Simply move emails to where they belong and Sanebox will remember.
Alternatives: Front and Agile CRM
£4.95 per month
If you’re wondering how your team can make better use of their time, you need RescueTime.
See exactly where your time goes, block your worst distractions, and get suggestions on how to improve your workflow. RescueTime automatically records the time you spend on apps, websites, even specific documents.
Get even more from RescueTime with its in-app courses. Learn the secrets of successful business people, develop better working habits, and reclaim over two hours a day.
- Free for RescueTime Lite.
- £8.49 per month or £55.17 per year for RescueTime Premium.
Covid-19 means our reliance on video conferencing apps has skyrocketed. From checking in on family to working remotely, apps like Zoom have brought us closer when we need to stay apart.
For businesses, the evolution of video apps means you can collaborate in real-time with developers in Bali or translators in Tokyo. Simply send your contacts an invite link and use it to dial into the video call.
For start-ups, the aptly named Zoom Free account gives you unlimited video calls. The only caveat is that there’s a 40-minute cap on all video calls and a 100-participant limit.
If you need recordings of important meetings, Zoom’s cloud feature (paid subscriptions only) records and stores unlimited video calls. Never miss out on key insights from meetings and presentations again.
- £0.00 per month for Zoom Free.
- £11.99 for Zoom Pro.
- £15.99 for Zoom Business and Zoom Enterprise.
Alternatives: Google Meets, Skype and WhatsApp
Need a freelancer for your business? Look no further than Azimo’s guide on how to find the perfect freelance talent.
With workplace messages crossing multiple teams and channels, they can be difficult to separate. You may want to avoid sending emails when a simple thumbs-up will do.
Slack is perfect for quick and discreet conversations that don’t interrupt your team’s workflow.
It’s easy to drag, drop and share files in various chat groups and private discussions. Plus, archived messages make it easy for you to find old conversations and notifications.
- £5.25 per month for a Standard account.
- £9.75 for a Plus account.
- Enterprise Gold (price on enquiry).
Alternatives: Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Ryver.
9. Google Analytics
If your business has a website, then you need Google Analytics (GA). Unlike bricks and mortar businesses, GA tracks how customers are finding your business online.
Study customer behaviour by measuring how users interact with your brand.
If you’re looking to get a data-driven edge over your competition, make business decisions using Google Analytics.
Free for GA ‘Freemium”
Smartlook and Heap.
If you need a versatile way to take card payments, you need iZettle. Keep your sales ticking over by processing card payments anywhere.
All you need is an external card reader (iZettle also sells its own version) and a WiFi connection.
If you need to take payments from the comfort of your office, the iZettle app is compatible with several popular online selling platforms. Simply create your e-commerce store and add iZettle as your online payment option.
Although iZettle is free to download, the card reader costs around £29. There’s also a 1.75% to 2.5% transaction fee applied to each sale.
Shopify POS and Toast.
Dropbox is a file-sharing app that lets you store and share your files in the cloud. Save attachments on one device and access them on-the-go.
Every file you ‘drop’ in Dropbox automatically syncs with all connected devices, making it ideal for sharing documents with remote contractors.
Dropbox helps keep your team on the same page by tracking every file update. So whenever your freelancer in Thailand edits a shared document, all team members will automatically receive an update about the change.
- Free for a Basic account.
- £12 per month for a Standard account.
- £18 per month for an Advanced account.
Alternatives: Sync, Google Drive and OneDrive.
For businesses of all sizes, LinkedIn may be the most important social network.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site designed to help individuals and businesses make connections, promote their services and share their experiences.
Whether you’re releasing a new product or expanding to a new region, share your news on LinkedIn. Use a free account to try out the service, create a network, join groups and follow similar companies.
In return, a LinkedIn account makes your company more visible to people searching for businesses like yours. According to LinkedIn, 80% of business to business leads come via their platform.
- £0 for a basic LinkedIn account.
- Around £22 per month for Premium Career.
- Around £44 per month for Premium Business.
- Around £58 per month for Sales Navigator Pro.
- Around £88 per month for Recruiter Lite.
Alternatives: AngelList, The Dots and Goodwall.
Social media can play a big part in your marketing strategy. Managing your social accounts can add to your already busy schedule. That’s where Buffer comes in.
With this free app, you can schedule posts and track their performance across multiple accounts. While the free version is great for small businesses, the paid plans let you connect more accounts and schedule more posts as your company grows.
- Individual plan: Free for one account per platform.
- Awesome plan: Starting from £7.06/month and up to 10 social accounts.
- Business plan: Starting from £35.29/month and 25 social accounts.
Perkbox is a platform created to support a healthy work-life balance. From discounts, i.e. perks, on everything from groceries to wellbeing services, the Perkbox app is an excellent way of boosting team morale.
Browse and redeem your perks on the go, recognise your teammates, and quickly respond to company surveys.
Even better, Perkbox has now partnered with payment management app Zip to offer a new ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ feature. If you’re thinking of making a big purchase, spread the cost and pay at your convenience.
- Dependant on number of employees.
15. Azimo Business
With fair exchange rates and fees starting as low as £0.99p, Azimo Business keeps your costs down when sending payments overseas. Companies that use Azimo Business save up to 75% compared to PayPal and high street banks.