Apple’s iWork Or Microsoft Office 365
If your business primarily runs with iPhones, iPads and Macs, then iWork is a sensible choice. iWork includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps, and its Continuity feature – complete with revision tracking and collaboration tools – lets you work across your smartphone, tablet or desktop.
If, however, you rely on Microsoft Exchange to manage your email, calendar and contacts, then stumping up the cash for an Office 365 subscription would be the way to go. It not only provides mobile-optimised versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, but you also get 1TB of Cloud storage, Skype for Business (perfect for online meetings) and Yammer for in-house social networking.
There are still a surprising number of businesses that rely on faxes for communications. Thankfully, the eFax app (for Apple’s iOS or Android) saves you the trouble of having to drag out an old fax machine (or buy a new one), as it makes it simple to send and receive fax documents from your compatible mobile device. Helping to eliminate dedicated phone line charges and reducing paper and ink supplies. And because faxes are sent electronically, everything is automatically organised and saved, helping save time and effort when it comes to paperwork.
Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, locksmiths and lots of other tradies are switching to the GeoOp app to help streamline their work. Everything from job scheduling, quoting, invoicing and time tracking can be handled from a compatible mobile device. Automated features, including being able to create and assign jobs based on a worker’s location in near real-time, are genuine timesavers. Workers can also attach signatures and photos to a job, so they don’t have to return to the office to finish admin and can instead clock up more billable hours in a day.
What’s more, GeoOp integrates with Cloud accounting apps including Xero and FreshBooks.
FreshBooks Or QuickBooks
Keeping the books in order is usually one of the biggest pain points of running any small business. Thankfully, cloud-based accounting products can automate every aspect of your account keeping chores in a simple and easy-to-use manner.
If you’re a sole trader (a freelancer, consultant or trades professional), then look no further than FreshBooks. Simply enter a few details about your business and you’re up and running – ready to start sending invoices, quotes and to time-track projects.
If you have employees, then step up to QuickBooks, which has additional features including payroll management. Both FreshBooks and QuickBooks can automatically record expenses and paid invoices by matching relevant transactions from your bank account or credit card, so you’ll never have to manually record expenses or chase up invoices again.
Cloud storage services are a dime-a-dozen but only a few play well with the other apps you use every day. Box integrates with thousands of apps like Office 365 and Google Apps, as well as lesser known (but equally useful!) apps such as DocuSign. Other than sharing files, you can also create, edit and review documents with colleagues in real time from any compatible device.
Small business owners are always short of time, so it makes sense to outsource those tasks you can’t ever seem to get to. Yet finding the right help can sometimes be just as time consuming as doing the task yourself. Upwork (formerly known as oDesk) takes care of some of the legwork by letting you search, recruit and communicate instantly with available freelancers from right across the globe.
PayPal Here Or MYOB’s PayDirect
You can accept credit card payments from customers on the go by adding a card reader to your compatible smartphone or tablet set-up to work as an EFTPOS terminal. PayPal Here or MYOB’s PayDirect also let you avoid some of the monthly fees and long-term commitments that usually come with a bank’s EFTPOS terminals.
For small businesses thinking about an e-commerce presence, Neto is one platform that allows you to manage sales channels from one location. Build an online store - choosing from a variety of themes that can be customised - process sales at your physical store, and integrate eBay listings, all on the go.