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Online tools to make life easier

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The release of new applications for business, along with a boom in the usage of mobile devices, means new business owners can often be more productive while on the go.

From accounts and sales to storage and project management, small business apps can help your new business in multiple ways. However, the key is finding the diamonds in the rough that are best for your business.


Stay organised to get ahead

Being organised is crucial to the successful start-up of your business. There’s a range of apps available to help you stay on track, including:

  • Google Calendar – has a highly usable interface and is intuitive. It’s able to pull pictures and profiles of people you’re meeting from LinkedIn. Another similar alternative is UpTo Calendar.

  • Zoho – an array of apps to help your business get started and grow. Zoho Docs will help you manage and view your documents online. It’s a customer relationship management app that helps you build stronger relationships and improve your customer service, create online surveys and analyse your customers’ opinions to make better decisions and sell more.


Set up a mobile office

Your smartphone can be set up to be your mobile office. You can use it to:

  • Stay organised – using apps such as Evernote Business. These organisational apps are helpful for note taking and uploading information to the cloud, while being synched to your staff members’ devices.

  • Manage projects – apps like Trello Business Class and Wrike let you break a project into tasks, assign tasks to other staff, and store all documents and conversations with the tasks so that you can find them easily. You won't have to reply to emails or update several different spreadsheets.

  • Communicate – whether by standard phone call, text, or online video calling like Skype for Business or Zoom (there are plenty of options).

  • Track expenses – to save time, capture receipts and ensure your finances stay in order. Apps like Receipt Bank and Expensify allow you to achieve this.


Keep up-to-date with the best new business apps

Being aware of what new business apps are coming onto the market and whether they can be useful for your business is valuable.

The opportunities are limitless, but only if you or one of your staff regularly check out the best new business apps and test their usefulness.

Sign-up for MyBusiness Live to sign up for demos and free trials of these time saving and business development apps:

Managing Customers

  • Capsule – keep track of the people and companies they do business with, communications with them, opportunities in the pipeline, and what needs to be done and when.

  • Zendesk – a simple customer service platform

  • Exsalerate – a complete online CRM (web-based) solution allowing you to view reports and CRM information regarding your customers.


Back up your documents

Prevent the potential loss of important documents by employing the services of a secure document storage app. If you want to start out by using a simple system with some free storage space, look no further than:

  • Box – for many collaborative tools and file privacy control.

  • Google Drive – which is quick and easy to set up and get going.

  • Dropbox – another popular cloud storage app, predominantly due to its ease of use on both iOS and Android devices.


Market like a pro

Gaining new customers is going to be a major focus as you start up your business. Lessen your cost basis by creating your own professional-looking marketing materials.

Use image-editing apps like Adobe Photoshop Express which remains the leader of the pack with its ease of use. It’s a faster, touch-format version of its more complicated cousin.

If your business relies on excellent presentation of your products like a cake shop, for example, open a Pinterest account to visually display what you offer.


Sell

Leads are potential sales – so finding a useful lead tracking app that will manage your entire sales process in real time is important. These apps can help your business get to break-even point faster. They include:

  • Zendesk Sell – stream your contacts and sales into a mobile workflow. Base can improve your sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Apptivo – keep track of each contact with potential customers and set reminders if necessary. Apptivo syncs with the cloud to provide real time information.

  • Cin7 – provides end to end global supply chain integration and automation, enabling users to streamline and automate operations common to retail and wholesale.

Don’t forget how useful Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be for getting the word out there about your new business venture.


Keep on top of your employer responsibilities

Keep on top of your business accounts with apps like:

  • Xero – will help you reconcile accounts, send invoices and create expense claims from mobile devices. Xero also has some handy add-on business applications that complement its primary service.

  • QuickBooks Online – capture your expenses by scanning receipts, track hours and invoicing while on the run with this handy app.

  • MYOB – manage your cash flow, bills and payroll while collaborating with your accountant in the cloud.

  • Wave – an entry level accounting software provider ideal for the smaller business. Also take a look at Receipt Bank to eliminate data entry – it integrates with most accounting software providers.

You might decide to use new mobile technology within your business to make your working life (and the jobs of your employees) easier and more efficient.

Break your workday tasks down to see how mobile technology could help you complete each task more efficiently. For example, if you’re frequently away from the office, an app like Dropbox Business lets you collaborate no matter where you are.


Summary

There is an (almost) endless list of online tools and apps that will help you run your business better, faster and easier. The trick is deciding which ones.

Talk to other business owners and any industry contacts to find out which apps are the most relevant to your business. You can also browse the app marketplace inside MyBusiness Live to get a better idea of what's available.


This material is for general information only and the information displayed is not financial, legal or tax advice. The information displayed should not be relied on for any purpose and you should seek advice specific to your circumstances from your professional advisers. Neither BNZ nor any person involved in the preparation of the content accepts any liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance on, all or any part of the content.

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