How Small Business Apps Can Benefit Your Business In 2021

By: Syeda Gul-e-Khansha

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Technology

time to read article12 minutes

article date Jun 24, 2021

Running small to medium-sized businesses and enterprises is not easy especially when you have to do everything manually from sorting mail to organization documents, updating the content calendar, and assigning support tickets to the relevant department. All of these tasks not only take resources but also result in delayed business functionality and hinder growth.

Are you in the middle of hunting for SaaS applications to automate your business process? Or you are just exploring your options and considering whether you need business automation or not? If so, then you will be surprised to know that according to the report published by Statista, the annual spending on IT has reached 24.7%. Moreover, in 2020, the market share reached 3.7 trillion USD and it was predicted to outgrow 4 trillion USD by the end of 2021.

The main reason behind this is SaaS applications require less maintenance and thus, companies won’t have to spend tons on IT anymore. On the other hand in McKinsey’s report, 40% of workers claimed that they spend a quarter of their week performing a recurring task, and with automation, they could save at least 6 to 7 hours a week.

The Best Small Business Apps and Tools in 2021

Here in this article, we have discussed small business apps that can help you boost efficiency, save time and human error.

Mail & Package Handling Applications

PackageX Mailroom

Download: Android | iOS

For small businesses, mail & package dispatch, sorting, holding and pick-up takes a lot of time, and room. For instance, you are running late to the office and the courier is at your office lobby, no one is there to pick the parcel up, and the courier returned. This just cost you valuable time. To reduce such hassle and confusion, the PackageX Mailroom a small business app comes in handy.

Specially designed to cater the needs of the mailroom and assist businesses in saving time. The best thing is, you can customize your mailroom, scale, and notify the progress of your package, from your palm. Mailroom Connect offers a range of features that can help the user to manage the packages.

The essential thing about mailroom is comprehensive security with full encryption. Additionally, the most important features of PackageX Mailroom are, it allows users to:

• Track package & mail location (both inbound & outbound)

• Sync delivery with local directory (reduce manual data entry & automate notification)

• Cloud-based application (save expense on hardware)

• Send photo notification (contactless delivery & pick-up)

• Scan 50 packages in one go

• Comprehensive data analytic & portable report

Accounting Applications for Small businesses

QuickBooks

Download: Android | iOS

Small businesses need comprehensive accounting support to deal with and track the source of income, expense, and earning. However, having limited recourses, hinder the process of smooth business operation.

Whether you are a small-scale bakery owner or medium-sized eCommerce store, etc. every SMBs have to face tuff time in managing the account, especially when you have to sort bestselling item for marketing. Moreover, adjusting your product prices based on your market share is daunting too.

Well, QuickBooks has a solution for you. It is one of the widely acclaimed accounting small business apps, designed to assist SMBs in their journey. From invoice automation to inventory management and automatic price adjustment, you will find all the basic features in it. And, the best part is, it can integrate with a lot of third-party applications. This makes QuickBooks a flexible accounting application for small and medium-scale businesses.

QuickBooks offers features to SMBs are:

  1. Invoicing automates the invoice and quotes generation. Moreover, you can customize the invoice and include details such as discount, offer, deals, and payment term while charging clients. To reduce manual efforts and errors, the system automatically saves dates and schedule to sends a reminder for invoice payment.

  2. Expenses allow the business to keep track of income and expenses in real-time.

  3. Cloud accounting is one of the best features for the business owners, especially for those who had to travel a lot and require quick access to their account on the go. Additionally, you can share and invite your accountant to audit or review your accounts. And the best thing is, you will get bank-level security.

  4. Inventory management is one of the most crucial things. Often businesses are caught up with order fulfillment so much, that they forget to keep track of inventory refills. Thus, this allows you to keep track of inventory, store and organize products based on image, category, and price, etc. Moreover, the inventory automatically sends a reminder when there is a need for restocking.

Xero

Download: Android | iOS

After completing 30 Days free trial you can decide the best plan that suits your business need. However, you can modify your plans to avail of optional add-ons “Claim Expense” and “Track Project.”

Among many accounting small business apps, Xero never seizes to excite. It aims to empower SMBs with efficient accounting, therefore in addition to basic features such as invoice management and handling, inventory management, reporting, and claim expenses, Xero offers bank connection. This feature lets you connect your bank account with Xero and provide a holistic view of income, comprehensive & detailed report on accounts, unlimited users access, purchase order management and automatic sale tax calculation.

However, small businesses have to deal with a lot more and some of the basic needs include timely bill payment, employee claim expense management, payroll account handling, and online payment. Well, the best thing is, Xero offers all of these features. It is a cloud-based application that you can operate virtually from any device. You can even ask your accountant and bookkeeper to collaborate and manage your account anytime, and from anywhere, with secure access. Moreover, it comes with 24/7 support.

Marketing Applications

HubSpot

Download: Android| iOS

In 2021, small businesses have to face many challenges; the top of the list is customer attraction and retention. This is made difficult when millions of options surround your customer.

In such a situation, only a better and value customer experience can save your day. And, to assist small businesses, HubSpot offers a lot of tools. Hold on! Start-ups and businesses with no experience can avail of the free version and upgrade it to a regular plan as they grow.
Notable features of HubSpot are:

  1. Marketing Hub. It provides all the right tools to businesses that can be utilized to attract customers with the help of useful content. The analytics gathered on customers can be used to tailor campaigns and to send personalized messages to lead. Moreover, businesses can automate the marketing strategy and save time.

  2. Sale Hub is another useful feature of HubSpot. It empowers the sales team to automate the sale process, and utilize their time into lead conversion. Additionally, HubSpot offer tool that sales team can use to engage and guide lead into promoter and thus, helps business grow through the word of mouth.

  3. Service Hub lets the business owners and managers listen and resolve the problems of their customers in a timely and efficient manner. Simultaneously, Operation Hub gathers customer data cleanse it and synchronize it with marketing and sale department to be used.

  4. HubSpot CRM is one of the most essential tools of HubSpot. The entire features, we have just mentioned above, cannot function in isolation. With the help of HubSpot CRM, all can be integrated into one platform, for businesses to have a holistic view. For marketers, it provides SEO recommendations and multiple templates to customize the message and campaigns to match business needs.

Customer Support

Freshdesk

Download: Android | iOS

Unlike in the past, customers nowadays look for instant support and if a business failed to provide a quality experience then customers will never return and spread the words about worst experience, like fire. To reduce such risk the Freshdesk application works wonders for SMBs. It offers complete solutions in the form of ticket management, team collaboration, service automation, a self-service portal, Omni-channel support, and a secure platform.

The best thing about the Freshdesk is, it allows the support team to provide contextual support to the customers. The dashboard brings customer queries from all channels e.g., social media, email, chat, phone, what’s app, and website to one platform. Thus, makes ticket sorting, assigning, and tracking easier. Moreover, it prevents support team collision by providing timely notification.

Meeting and Collaboration Small Business Apps

Google Meet

Download: Android | iOS

For efficient business management, your teams must stay connected with each other, only then you can achieve the new heights of better customer experience. Among many applications, we have selected Google Meet. It offers three plans, first is Google Meet, a free meeting application, which lets you communicate with your team and allows only 100 participants in a 60-minute session. Unlike Google Meet, it allows 24 hours group meeting length and up to 150 participants, along with 24/7 online support.

Loom

Download: Android | iOS

Similarly, to Google Meet, we have found another application called Loom. A video messaging tool that allows one to record video, microphone, and desktop simultaneously. The basic package is free. Furthermore, Loom allows its user to send video messages, especially when the calendar does not line up or when you are too tired to type. You can send visual feedback on design and even record short appreciation messages for your teammates and employee. This visual communication helps the employee in connecting with each other more efficiently. Moreover, you can take as many takes as you want and send the one that resonates with your personality. Thus, the loom has acquired a second place on our radar for meeting and collaboration small business apps.

Human Resource

Gusto

Download: Not Available

Human Resource management is one of the most important departments of any business. It is responsible for hiring valuable resources, paying them, and providing value. What if, we told you that you can manage the complex operation of employee onboarding, benefits allocation, payment, and support from one platform? Yes, you can, with Gusto.

The best thing about the gusto application is, it is designed to provide a complete HR solution to SMBs. From comprehensive support to certified HR professionals, you will a lot more. Some noteworthy features of Gusto include:

  1. Hiring And Onboarding. This is one of the most essential features of Gusto, especially for remote businesses. This is design to handle everything ranging from candidate sorting to sending customize offer letters and set customer checklist for onboarding. Besides, signing and storing documents have never been easy. Moreover, it empowers new employees to set up the system with few clicks.

  2. Payroll Solution. With Gusto now you can automatically file your payroll and taxes. Unlike in the past, now you just need to click few buttons and your employees will be paid. Moreover, you can automate this process for recurring payouts. The best part is, it can integrate with QuickBooks, Xero, Clover, and Trainual application, etc. to make your accounts transparent and compliant.

  3. Insurance And Benefits. From a single application, you can manage and set up benefits for your employee from medical to dental and vision, from short term to long term and health reimbursements, Gusto can handle everything.

Project Management Application

Asana

Download: Android | iOS

While running a business, small scale, or large-scale enterprise, you have to complete a number of tasks. Managing a lot of tasks, keeping track of each task’s progress is seems impossible when you have a lot of departments, and, while running a business remotely. To assist such businesses, Asana has so much to offer.

It is a complete project management tool that allows businesses to create custom project boards. You can even set milestones and deadlines to guide employees. Moreover, you can even assign custom deadlines with time, attachments, and project briefs. In Asana you can set custom rules to automate important actions. From content management to workflow and calendar, you can do everything, with the help of Asana.

Designing Application

Sketch

Download: iOS

One of the most powerful applications that empower freelancers, businesses in creating customize logos, icons, plugins, integrations, and so much more. The best about this application is you can collaborate with others and ask for comments. Moreover, you can even bring in guests and avail shared libraries. Hence, the collaboration features, and open access to libraries has made Sketch one of the best small business apps on our list of designing applications.

Hold on! The best part is the avail 30 days free trial and there is no need to disclose credit card information. For business use, you must contact sketch.com and negotiate the package price and features as per your requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are business apps?

Business applications are any kind of small business apps (cloud or premise-based application) that are used by businesses either to automate recurring tasks or to manage project. Such applications are categorized into two types. The first one is, cloud-based, such application does not require any hardware setup, maintenance, and update. Just login and avail access to thousands of applications. The second is premise-based. Such applications require complete hardware and equipment setup. Further, cloud-based applications are divided into three types, including IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service). This distinction is made on the basis of their usage and functionality.

Q.What app do I use to start a business?

Based on operations, functionality, and price, the first application on our recommendation list is HubSpot. It contains free CRM. Moreover, the basic and freemium versions contain Marketing-Hub, Service-Hub, and Support-Hub solutions that can help small businesses with foolproof starts. For accounts management, QuickBooks holds second place on our radar, because it provides complete bookkeeping, accounts solutions. In the third place, we have Google Meet because it offers up to 60-minute free video calling, a must-have for businesses in 2021. Lastly, to eliminate the worries of delayed & failed mail and packages delivery, we recommend PackageX Mailroom. The reason behind is, you can re-direct any mail to an alternate address or appoint pick-up person, within few click.

Q. What software do small businesses use? Businesses nowadays are using SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS applications or software. The major reason behind the adaptation of cloud application is it requires no maintenance and setup cost. Comparatively to the premise or on-site application, using cloud application reduces the annual spending on IT, up to 24%.

Cloud-based business software is used to automate accounting, billing, database, inventory, and project management. Some widely used cloud-based applications include QuickBooks, HubSpot CRM, PackageX Mailroom, Gusto, Xero, etc.

For small businesses, managing resources and minimizing expenditures are extremely important, especially in the start-up phase. The notable thing here is the need to adopt automation and reduce manual efforts required for recurring tasks. It helps you reduce manual efforts and save time, utilizing small business apps for every task can do wonders for your business. Moreover, small business apps equip your employee with cutting-edge technology that assists them in achieving a decade-long goal in a matter of years.

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