The kinds of apps, both mobile and web-based, that are of utmost importance to the regular consumer are not necessarily the same kinds of apps for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Sure, fitness trackers and health apps are great for individuals, but from the perspective of a business, apps need to offer more a more direct return on investment. Business owners want to see a positive impact on productivity, efficiency and the bottom line.
If you are an entrepreneur or a startup and you’re looking for better ways to communicate with your team, manage your projects, and boost your profits, you’ll want to consider adding some of these apps to your arsenal of tools.
Wunderlist for Business
Individuals have many options for to-do lists, including Google Keep and Remember the Milk, but these may not be the best apps for entrepreneurs or for more business-oriented purposes. Instead, it may be a better idea to look into Wunderlist, which is offered both as a basic app and as a premium business edition.
What’s great here is that the to-do lists do not need to exist in isolation. They are easily shared between team members, ensuring that everyone is on the same page with what needs to be done. The lists synchronize automatically as the items get added, removed, updated or completed. With the business edition, tasks can be delegated and broken down into subtasks too. Wunderlist for Business has a monthly fee of $4.99 per user.
When you leverage the Pomodoro Technique with kanban boards, you can keep close tabs on exactly how you’re spending your time. For an even more streamlined approach, there is Toggl. With a single click, you can track how you are spending every second of the work day.
The self-monitoring aspect helps to boost productivity, while the time-logging is perfect for tracking billable hours. If you have multiple projects on the go with multiple clients, this is a great way to know exactly how much time is being spent on each. Time sheets are easily exported and the data can be presented in graphical form too. Up to five users are free with Toggl; beyond that, the Pro version can be had for $5 per month per user.
There are many different project management apps available for entrepreneurs and small businesses. One of the best is Trello, which is particularly popular because it is so easy to use and it is also incredibly robust. Trello boards are very visual by nature, making it easy for you to create as many lists as you need, moving the cards between them as your project continues to progress.
If this sounds like a kanban board, that’s because Trello effectively works in that way. Better still, each “card” that you have in the system is more than just a digital sticky note. You can build up each card with file attachments and checklists, assigning the card to the appropriate team member along the way. Trello for business is $3.75 each month for each user.
If you’re looking for a different way to communicate between team members, Slack is a fascinating option. It’s not an email replacement nor is it an instant messenger. Instead, you create different channels for the conversations you want to have. In this way, you can think of it as an internal bulletin board or forum.
Everyone who needs to stay on top of a certain topic, like a particular project, can opt into notifications for that channel. The conversation is organic, searchable, and can be easily filtered too. Get the answers and responses you want quickly and effectively. Slack is free for basic use with unlimited users, while a more advanced version is available starting at just under $7 per user per month.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a mainstay for businesses of practically all sizes. It helps you to stay on top of everything to do with that customer, from a cold lead to negotiations to closing the sale. The challenge is keeping all of that information as up to date as possible.
In a world increasingly dominated by social media, Nimble could be among the best CRM apps for entrepreneurs and businesses with a social media slant. Nimble is able to pull contact information from your customer’s online profiles, automatically updating the information for you. It’ll integrate with a variety of services you may already be using too. The business plan is $15 per month per user.
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