Operating a business requires many hats. Most small business owners attempt to wear as many of these hats as possible in order to reduce operating expenses (ie., having to pay employees to do these basic tasks). With smartphone technology, mobile apps, and ‘the cloud,’ it is becoming easier to streamline some of these processes.

To be more efficient means a business could save a tremendous amount of money through the years and that could lead to more lucrative investment opportunities. The right combination of apps, effective use of those apps, security programs, and even Internet browsers, can be a boon to most small businesses.

We’ve put together a list of the top 25 apps specifically designed for small businesses that can help them run more efficiently.

We’re broken these into main categories, such as:

  • Finance and Accounting
  • Project Management
  • Business Productivity
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Email Marketing
  • Security and Data Backup
  • Social Media Management
  • Internet Security
  • Time/Travel Management
  • Payment Options
  • General Benefits

Finance and Accounting

Intuit Quickbooks Online – Managing invoices, payments, payroll, inventory, and much more are all streamlined with Quickbooks. The quintessential powerhouse program for bookkeeping and record keeping, it’s perfect for businesses of any size, especially when using the online version ‘in the cloud,’ which offers a more robust and cost-effective option than its closest competitors.

Freshbooks – Making the process of invoicing simpler for the average freelancing professional or small business, Freshbooks offers an easy-to-use online feature that means you could rely on it, even when traveling.

Project Management

Basecamp – Taking on a new project can be difficult, especially with so many different people working on various components. Basecamp allows your team to be spread out wherever they are and still function like a smooth unit.

Trello – Managing teams is made easier with Trello. It is a visual project management tool that can help you break down larger goals into more manageable tasks that are easier to keep track of.

Business Productivity

Todoist – When you don’t know how to accomplish more each day, Todoist is the answer. It’s a powerful productivity tool that can be learned quite easily.

Evernote – Keeping track of various tasks can be difficult, especially when you have dozens upon dozens every day. Evernote puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to easily enter information, track it, and have quick access whenever you need it.

Polaris Office – With Polaris Office, you will be able to edit, create, and sync all Microsoft Office files on any device, no matter where you are. This is great for employees or business leaders who are constantly on the go.

Collaboration

Dropbox – Sharing files can be an integral component of keeping track of various projects and helping team members collaborate. Dropbox is one of the quintessential tools businesses today rely on for staying connected, sharing documents, files, pictures, videos, and more.

Slack – Slack is an enabler for companies to collaborate more effectively, especially when they have remote employees or freelancers. You can search, archive, and chat in real time.

Communication

Gmail – Google’s Gmail service is a great asset for small businesses. In fact, 92% of small companies and startup businesses rely on Gmail for email hosting.

Outlook – Of course, Outlook is one of the kings of email. With Outlook, you can have access to a calendar, task manager, journal, notetaking, contact manager, and even web browsing capabilities.

Addappt – If your main contacts, including business associates, partners, and maybe even some family and friends, also use Addappt, they can update their contact information whenever it needs updating, thus taking a great burden off your shoulders.

Email Marketing

MailChimp – Email marketing is vital to many businesses today, and MailChimp is one of the leaders. It’s completely free for up to 500 subscribers and that still includes basic marketing features.

Crashplan – Backing up your files and other data can be essential. Doing so in the cloud is commonplace today and Crashplan helps to keep your data safe.

Security and Data Backup

iDrive – Basic 5 GB of backup storage is free with iDrive and it’s available on PC, Mac, and Android devices.

McAfee – Avoiding viruses, malware, and even adware can not only keep your business from being taken off-line, but also protect your valuable investment in this small business. McAfee is one of the leaders.

Social Media Management

Hootsuite – Managing all of your social media outlets in one place would be great, wouldn’t it? HootSuite allows you to do that. It makes it easy to keep track of every social media page you have, schedule posts, reply to comments, and much more.

Sprout Social – This robust social media management platform can help you find potential leads, analyze whether it’s going to be worth the investment, and even manage your social media content across multiple platforms.

Internet Security

NordVPN – A Virtual Private Network helps to protect your personal information, reduce spam, and protect vital aspects of your business. NordVPN is a must-have for those who understand the value of these VPNs.

HotSpot Shield – Another great VPN service is HotSpot Shield. With powerful encryption, it offers protection across all of the devices you use for your business, no matter where you are.

Time/Travel Management

Clear – Time management is one of the most overwhelming issues many small business owners face. Clear makes it easy to separate lists, schedules, and reminders to keep on top of daily tasks.

OmniFocus – If you have a lot of projects and deadlines, OmniFocus makes it easy to keep track of them, thus reducing the risk of missed deadlines.

Tripit – For those small business owners who have to travel a lot, Tripit consolidates travel plans into an easy to use app that can be synced up across multiple devices.

Payment Options

PayPal – Sending invoices, managing invoices, receiving payments, and much more are made easy with the PayPal app. Some features will even allow you to accept payments directly by swiping a credit card into your device.

Square – An alternative to PayPal is Square. It’s great for retail businesses and provides a small, portable card reader that can easily attach to just about any smartphone or other mobile device.

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