12 Small Business Apps to Try This Year

Small business owners wear many hats, often serving as accountant, marketer and service provider. Fortunately, they don’t have to look much further than their smartphones for effective tools to manage these tasks.

“If 2020 (and the COVID-19 pandemic) taught us anything, it’s that we need to be able to work anywhere,” says Shanna Tingom, financial advisor and co-founder of Heritage Financial Strategies in Gilbert, Arizona.

Business apps can make that possible and provide affordable solutions for payroll, time management, expense tracking and other needs. That makes them ideal for small companies that have limited resources.

“They often come at a very low cost,” says Emily Bibb, co-founder of Breef, an online platform that connects businesses to marketing and creative agencies. “(Apps) allow small businesses to do more with less.”

If you’re looking to give your business a boost in productivity, download these small business apps.

[READ: How to Start a Small Business.]

Business Apps for Collaboration

Collaboration is a key part of many businesses, and several small business apps make it easy for workers to locate information, track tasks and share ideas with the team. The following are among the top small business apps for collaboration and time management:

— Notion

— Trello

— KanbanFlow

1. Notion

Bibb calls Notion the “business bible” for Breef. It’s where her company houses everything from their employee handbook to their Google Docs. “It all lives in one workspace,” she says.

Notion can be customized to fit your needs, according to Bibb. Options include creating workflow calendars, a business wiki and project plans. The app also offers free templates that are designed around specific needs such as a company home, meeting notes or a content calendar.

Notion offers a free version for individuals to work with up to 10 guests, but for unlimited file uploads and the ability to collaborate with more people, small businesses will need a Plus account. That runs $8 per user per month when billed annually, or $10 per user per month when paid monthly. Larger business and enterprise plans are also available.

2. Trello

Trello is another popular app for teams that need to collaborate on projects. It allows businesses to create boards and checklists and assign team members to specific tasks. When those jobs are done, everyone else assigned to the project can be notified that it’s time to move on to the next step or task.

Trello offers a free version, but its more robust options provide more customization, additional security features and the ability to attach larger files. Pricing starts at $5 per user per month if billed annually for a standard plan, or $6 per month if billed monthly. Premium and Enterprise plans cost $10 or $17.50 per user per month, respectively, when billed annually.

3. KanbanFlow

With KanbanFlow, teams can quickly track progress on shared projects. Tasks can be assigned to workers and then moved from boards to indicate items that are upcoming or in progress. The app integrates a Pomodoro timer which is designed to boost productivity by prompting workers to take short breaks for every 25 minutes of work time.

A basic version of KanbanFlow is available for free. However, to access features such as a calendar, reports and integration with other apps, you’ll need the Premium service which costs $5 per user per month. There is a 10% discount when you pay per year.

[Read: 10 Small Business Tax Deductions]

Business Apps for Organization

To store documents and keep everything organized, business owners may find these apps helpful:

— Google One

— Sortly

4. Google One

Although not specifically marketed as a business app, Google One provides a single place to store documents and multimedia files and access them across multiple devices. The storage that comes with the Google One app can be used in Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. The app can automatically back up information on your phone as well.

Google One accounts that offer 15 gigabytes of space are free. The cost for 100 gigabytes of storage and the ability to share with five other people is usually $1.99 a month; a two terabyte plan costs $9.99 per month. Discounted pricing is available when paying annually. At the time of publishing, these plans are discounted to 49 cents per month for one month and $2.49 per month for one month.

5. Sortly

For organizations with an inventory, Sortly offers an easy way to track items and monitor stock levels. It will generate custom barcodes and QR codes and allow business owners to access inventory information from any device.

Sortly says its Ultra plan, which costs $59 per month and is billed yearly, is most popular. It allows up to 10,000 items, five user licenses and 25 custom fields. There is also a free version with limited capability. A free trial is available for paid plans.

Business Apps for Communication

Good communication is essential to an efficient workplace. These two apps make it easy to keep everyone in the loop:

— Slack

— Figma

6. Slack

Slack lets teams create channels that can support text, voice and video conversations. Participants can share files, search channel conversations and integrate other tools such as the customer service software Zendesk.

The app has become a daily part of many people’s routines, thanks in part to the move to remote work during the pandemic.

While there is a free basic version of Slack available, the Pro version costs $7.25 per month per user when billed annually, and a Business+ plan is $12.50 per user per month with annual payment. The Pro and Business versions come with added features such as external access to channels, added storage and unlimited message and file history.

7. Figma

Figma combines communication with collaboration and is a way to share ideas visually. It allows users to work on a project together and in real time using a virtual whiteboard. Known as FigJams, these whiteboards work side-by-side with Figma, which offers a variety of design tools.

“Figma has been an amazing resource for our team,” Bibb says. “It’s great if you’re brainstorming.”

A free Starter plan for the app includes the Figma editor and three collaborative design files. Unlimited Figma files are available with the Figma Professional plan, which is $12 per editor per month when billed annually. Those who only want FigJam for whiteboarding can get the Professional plan for $3 per editor per month when billed annually.

[READ: How Safe Are Budget Tracking Apps and Software?]

Business Apps for Cash Flow

Every small business needs a way to develop a budget and track its cash flow. The following are among the best business apps specializing in those services:

— QuickBooks

— FreshBooks

— Wave

8. QuickBooks

QuickBooks has long been considered the go-to accounting program for small and medium-sized businesses. Now, owners can easily use the program on their phone with the QuickBooks mobile app. The company notes that its Simple Start plan, which costs $15 per month, may be best for mobile users since all its features are available through the app.

In addition to managing cash flow, the Simple Start plan includes mileage tracking, receipt capture and e-commerce tools. Users can also calculate sales tax and prepare 1099 tax forms for contractors. QuickBooks plans with additional features are available for a higher monthly cost.

9. FreshBooks

Offering features such as invoicing, accounting and payments, FreshBooks is another convenient way to manage your cash flow. The service can also handle expenses, time tracking and project estimates. Meanwhile, its mobile app makes it easy to stay on top of finances across multiple devices and when working remotely.

A Lite version of FreshBooks, which includes five billable clients, is currently available for $9.50 per month for the first three months. The more popular Plus option runs $16.50 a month for the first three months and supports up to 50 billable clients. The regular price for these plans is $19 and $33 per month, respectively. All plans can be tried for free.

10. Wave

For a free small business accounting app, try Wave. The company has been in business since 2010 and offers unlimited income and expense tracking and unlimited invoicing. What’s more, Wave can send out billing reminders, run reports and accept credit card payments.

Wave also offers a Pro plan for $16 per month. It comes with a reduced cost for credit card payment processing and automations such as the auto-import of bank transactions. Payroll services start at an additional $20 per month.

Business Apps for Finances

While cash flow and budgeting apps can help companies track money, they may not be designed to process documentation, store receipts or take care of other human resources tasks. With the following small business apps, workers can seamlessly store and send information electronically:

— Gusto

— Xero

11. Gusto

If you’re looking for a platform that does more than track expenses, consider Gusto for payroll, time tracking, onboarding and more. While Gusto doesn’t have an app for these services, it’s mobile-friendly website can be used from your phone, tablet or other device. There is also a Gusto Wallet app which business owners can provide free to workers to help them spend and save smartly.

Pricing for Gusto starts at $40, plus $6 per person, per month.. This plan offers direct deposit for payroll, employee onboarding tools and workers’ compensation and health insurance administration. More comprehensive plans are available at a higher price point.

12. Xero

Xero is a comprehensive app that can handle a wide range of business financial needs. It tracks bills, simplifies employee expense claims, records data and generates reports. It can be used as an online filing system and has inventory management and invoicing capabilities as well.

Pricing starts at $6 a month for the Early plan, which is suitable for freelancers and new businesses. After four months, the price rises to $15 per month. The next tier — the Growing plan — costs $16.80 per month for four months, then rises to $42 per month, and includes the ability to send invoices and quotes. For full capabilities, businesses will need the Established plan, which costs $31.20 per month for four months and then increases to $78 per month.

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12 Small Business Apps to Try This Year originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 04/30/24: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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