Technology

20 Entrepreneurs Explain Their Favorite Apps to Use for Their Business

Business as usual is no longer business as usual. Things have changed and a lot of it has to do with the smartphone. According to mobiThinking, there are over one billion smartphones in use around the world. This means there are even more apps in the Play Store and the App Store and on these one billion devices. For entrepreneurs and business owners, business has become more mobile and more fast. Entrepreneurs use apps to accept payments, scan business cards and more.

Rescue a CEO asked some entrepreneurs what phone apps they use that are best for their business.

#1-Canva

Photo Credit: Mildred Hooks

As the founder of a growing practice that provides professional and management training, HR consulting, and executive coaching, I am always thinking of content ideas. My favorite business app these days is Canva. In just a few minutes, I am able to create and convey the messaging that I’d like to convey with visuals that represent my brand. The app is very intuitive, and it offers the ability to collaborate with my graphic designer. There are times when I will start a project as a rough sketch and then send her the link to go in and finalize it. I love having that kind of power, and at this stage in the game, that’s very important to me. I need to have a hand in telling my own story.

Thanks to Mildred Hooks, People Optimum Consulting, LLC!


#2- Slack

Photo Credit: Steven Millstein

It has been a gamechanger for our improving communication and our productivity. We’ve managed to greatly reduce our meetings and our internal emails as with Slack we simply message each other. It’s great how it integrates with many of our other apps too like Dropbox and Google Drive. One of the features I really love is that it has a Search function whereby messages, files, and people are all searchable which really does save us a lot of time.

Thanks to Steven Millstein, CreditRepairExpert!


#3- LinkedIn

Photo Credit: Bharat Parmar

I use this application for networking, lead generation, motivation and inspiration for running business. The app helps me to reach like-minded entrepreneurs and get connected with them for business generation. I also reach out to professionals who post their requirements. Many companies post their regular activities, events, accomplishments and other news about the company. I also follow these with an objective to learn something useful that can be implemented in my organization as well.

Thanks to Bharat Parmar, iFour Technolab Pvt Ltd.!


#4- Trello

Photo Credit: Joe Beluza

Trello for my business as this is easier for me to communicate with teammates, assign task, fix deadlines, monitor task, track accomplished task and delegate task. I have been using this for 5 years now, it’s reliable, effective and trustworthy as all details are saved on the application which makes it easier for you go back to check incase anything is missed.

Thanks to Joe Beluza, Swiss Cuban Cigars!


#5- Tidio

Photo Credit: Jeff Moriarty

Tidio, which is a chat app. We have used live chat on our website for a couple years, but the Tidio phone app is so easy to use and manage. We are able to set up open/closing hours. So anytime a chat comes in during open hours, we get a notification on our phone and we can chat right back and forth with the customer. It’s helped close a ton of sales for us. And during closing times, we get an email notification of a chat, and can easily email them back a response. Ease of use and how it has increased sales makes it a great app for business.

Thanks to Jeff Moriarty, Moriarty’s Gem Art!


#6- Two apps

Photo Credit: Simon Nowak

The first one is Trello. I use it mainly to organize my teamwork etc. It is basically a digital whiteboard where you can stick notes, each one as a task for you and your team. Sticky notes can have photos, attachments, documents and a place to comment. You can do everything on your smartphone, and can access it from any computer through the web. I cannot imagine working without Trello know. I even use it when I organize my travels, shopping lists, etc! The second one is more unusual, its name is Habitica. I use it to organize my personal life and to create everyday habits, like reading some amount of pages or working out in the gym before work. Habitica is a game that gamifies your life by giving you in-game rewards for your real-life tasks. Sounds easy, but this app can really help you in improving yourself, believe me.

Thanks to Simon Nowak, Authority Dental!


#7- QuickBooks

Photo Credit: Tan Ah Long

I recommend all businesses or even new start-ups to use QuickBooks. It helps our team to track the numbers that are flowing in and out of your business, telling you what’s working, what’s not, what’s increasing, and what is decreasing. Follow up payments are important as your business needs cash flow. QuickBooks will send an automatic reminder email on the due date for unpaid invoices.

Thanks to Tan Ah Long, Kudos CAS Consultants Pte Ltd!


#8-Evernote

Photo Credit: Will Bachman

Ever written some notes and then had trouble finding them later? Or read a great article online and then months later spent 15 minutes trying to find it? Evernote solves those problems – it is my go-to note-taking and information bank. When I’m on a call, I take notes in Evernote on my iPad, and then those notes sync to the cloud – available on all my devices. When I come across an article or web page I may want to refer to again, clicking the Chrome plugin saves all the content of that page to my Evernote account – so even if that website is taken offline, I’ll still have the content. These examples just scratch the surface – there are whole podcasts and blogs and books devoted to how to get the most out of this indispensable tool.

Thanks to Will Bachman, Umbrex!


#9-Incomes vs. Expenses

As a business owner, we aim to keep our expenses low and our revenue high. In order to keep track of that, we use an app for our business called Incomes vs. Expenses. It’s a great way for us to quickly document how much we are spending on supplies each month as well as how much revenue we receive online and at pop up shops.

Thanks to Tyrone and Lakia Pearson, 1133 Candles!


#10-Databox

Photo Credit: David Sandy

When it comes to analyzing data for your business, it can be difficult to pull all of the data sets together and sort through everything. Databox is my favorite business app that solves this problem and allows you to integrate all of your software tools into a single dashboard. This provides a great way to quickly gather real-time updates on the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business. Everything from Google Analytics, Salesforce, Hubspot, Zapier, and more are available to integrate with a single click. Plus, there are hundreds of custom dashboard templates and reports you can use immediately.

Thanks to David Sandy


#11-Microsoft Teams

Photo Credit: Peter Woods

Microsoft Teams is the only app we use inside our business since it can give us the combined functions of Skype and Slack. We use Teams to communicate through chat, either as a group chat or private to an individual, and we can share any apps from Microsoft like excel, word, PowerPoint, videos etc. We can even use it as a video call or voice call anytime needed. One thing is a standout for me above the rest using Teams, that is we can go back to discussion threads or folders as long as it is shared to our network anytime.

Thanks to Peter Woods, Woods and Day Solicitors!


#12- Basecamp

Photo Credit: Brandon Foster

It is my all in one app when it comes to managing workflow. Unlike other apps, it does not only let me add to-do tasks for my team but comes with additional features for communication and efficient workflow as well. It contains a communication option, documents, and images bank for storing data, a calendar, and a recurring check-in system. These features keep the whole team on the same page. I started it from a free version but switched to its paid one recently.

Thanks to Brandon Foster, ShutterTalk!


#13-Calendly

Photo Credit: Jake Hay

Calendly is an amazing business app that has been incredibly helpful for my team and me when scheduling meetings and phone calls. It is easy to use and has made my scheduling so simple without constant back-and-forth emails discussing availability. All I have to do is send my link with my available time slots open, and whoever I’m trying to meet with can schedule themselves for the time that works best for both of us. What I think really makes this app great is that my entire team can schedule and host group meetings, phone calls or training sessions with ease.

Thanks to Jake Hay, PopShorts!


#14- Insightly

Photo Credit: Victor Bailey

It is a CRM app to align all customers’ records and activities related to our services. It is almost an all-purpose tool for initial businesses like us. It is a practical customer relationship tool that helps our business to improve communication with clients. It provides us a record for customers’ engagement, their needs, and priorities. The tool is competent enough to engage customers for complete sales cycles. It segments the audience, delivers the right content to the right audience, keeps all records from marketing, sales, delivery, and customer relationship. It also aids integration with other management tools that make it more beneficial.

Thanks to Victor Bailey


#15- Toggl

Photo Credit: Malte Scholz

When I found out about the concept of time tracking, I hated the idea. Who would willingly track time for things they do every day? Then I tried it out and found out what the fuss is all about. Toggl lets me track the time for my most common daily tasks. Once I started tracking time, I found out that some tasks took a lot of time but gave little in return. I spent 10 hours every week on unnecessary team meetings that I hated so I cut down the time in half, which was a decision that everyone loved. Moreover, Toggl helps me stay on track of freelancers and contractors. When someone does design work for me, for example, I just tell them to start the Toggl timer every time when they start working. That way, they can bill me more accurately and I can pay them more easily.

Thanks to Malte Scholz, Airfocus!


#16- Asana

Photo Credit: Renjit Philip

After playing around with spreadsheets and Trello, we settled on Asana as our primary project management tool. It is available as an app on Apple and Android phones. The app’s website says that “Asana gives you everything you need to stay in sync, hit deadlines, and reach your goals..” It’s got a nice and clean interface from the primary calendar to the timeline look. I also secretly like it for the quirky animal (Unicorns and narwhals!) that float by when a task is completed. It gives us visibility on tasks to the entire team and helps people follow tasks that they are interested in. You can try it for free before committing. It offers Google SSO integration, and this is useful because we have GSuite. You can potentially do away with email & meetings requests if you choose to. There are some great project management templates to help any team get started. Cost: starts from 9.99 per user per month (annual billing). It is one of my favourite business apps as it just gets our entire team more productive!

Thanks to Renjit Philip, Explain.Care Inc.!


#17- Intercom

Photo Credit: Adam Hempenstall

The way it lets us communicate with our website visitors and customers is absolutely seamless. Sure, there are other apps in the market that do a similar job, but nowhere near the functionality that Intercom offers. No matter how many people you have in your sales or customer support team, you can use Intercom together for getting in touch with interested customers. There’s been a lot of discussion about Intercom lately in entrepreneur circles because of their pricing. The truth is, their current price (over $800 per month) is steep, but if you use the product for what it’s intended, the return on investment is right there.

Thanks to Adam Hempenstall, Better Proposals!


#18-Google Analytics

Photo Credit: Matt Tutt

My favorite business app has to be Google Analytics – it helps to ensure that I can keep track of my client’s digital performance on a regular basis wherever I am. With the app I can pull up info on any one of my clients and see custom dashboard reports I’d created – showing me traffic data vs a predefined period, sales and revenue data, and any other custom goals I may have created. As someone that provides digital consultancy services to a variety of clients I need to ensure I can keep tabs on their performance at any moment – allowing me to act as required to keep their organic search or paid search campaigns on track.

Thanks to Matt Tutt


#19-Vacation Tracker

Photo Credit: Jovan Milenkovic

We are a small startup, and we have to ensure there’s always somebody who can cover the workload when our in-house employees and remote employees are on vacation. Furthermore, because we work in a hectic environment, we need to ensure that our employees are not burned out and performing at top levels throughout the week. Vacation Tracker enables us to track employees’ leave quickly and effortlessly. Employees can schedule leave just by typing /vacation in their Slack account, while employers can easily see and ensure there’s no overlapping when it comes to holidays and days off. Using Vacation Tracker helped us maintain a stable productivity level, engagement, and quality work among our employees and enabled all of us to go on vacations without co-workers calling us in the office.

Thanks to Jovan Milenkovic, KommandoTech!


#20- Several apps

My first choice would be Evernote. With this app, you can glue bits and pieces of information from the web, tag them for easy searching, and change any of them by adding to it, condensing it, or embedding pictures, tables, audio, video, etc. All of that is free in the basic version. Evernote also has a business version that costs $12 per user, per month with several added features including administrator controls and unlimited space for uploads. Gusto app helps in making your company’s payroll, tax and benefits process more efficient. It also handles new-hire reporting and all local, state and federal tax filings; automates deductions for benefits and workers’ comp payments; and emails digital pay stubs to employees. RescueTime is for those who have a fear of wasting too much time on digital distractions and social media like Facebook, Twitter, or online shopping. This app breaks down where you spend your time by application and website and lets you set productivity goals. A premium version even lets you block certain sites, track offline activity, or set notifications.

Thanks to Jennifer Will, Etia!


What’s your favorite business app? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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