25 Apps Small Businesses Need to Succeed

It doesn’t matter if the economy is good or bad; small business owners always need to be aware of new creative ways to run their business more efficiently.

It’s important for businesses both large and small to use innovation in technology to ensure success.  However, where large corporations always had the budget to pay for these innovations; small businesses couldn't afford that luxury. Until now.

Today, many small business entrepreneurs are turning to mobile applications to operate more efficiently and build a better business. Mobile applications are revolutionizing the way businesses operate because they are creating a more level playing field and an opportunity for small businesses to compete with larger sized companies.

Whether you are a current or future entrepreneur, check out this list of apps you can use to further optimize your business activities on the go and help you and your business continue to succeed no matter what the economy or "those other big guys" are doing.

Apps for Small Business Owners

Social Media

1.  Hootsuite 

Many small business owners struggle to find the time to manage their social media marketing efforts. This app allows users to manage social engagement with customers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare, all in one place. This means you save time by managing posts, messages, tweets and updates across multiple platforms from one easy location while on the go.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry

2.  LinkedIn 

Networking is a great way to find talented employees to bring into your business. Let’s say you meet someone outside of work that you may be interested in hiring. You can use this app to instantly look up their professional profile to learn more about them and see if they’re qualified for a position.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry - Windows

3.  Yelp 

While often used by customers to search for local businesses, this application is equally useful to small business owners for seeing what customers are saying about their business. Use this app on the go to keep up with customer reviews and address any potentially problematic comments before it impacts your business. You can also keep an eye on your competition’s reviews in order to identify business opportunities in areas that your customers care about, such as customer service, value or atmosphere.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry - Windows

4.  Instagram

Most small businesses don’t have the funds available for large marketing campaigns  but now they can use this app to instantly share photos highlighting products or services in an artistic way. Simply upload pictures on the go and make them unique with Instagram’s photo filters for instant marketing to share via your social media channels.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android

5.  Facebook Pages Manager

When owners choose to promote their business online, Facebook is often the number one site used to attract and engage with customers. This app allows users to manage their Facebook page and stay informed about customer interactions. Use this app on the go to always stay connected with your customers or to address immediate issues.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS

Productivity

6.  Hours Tracker

If you work as a self-employed contractor, it’s important it is to accurately track the amount of hours worked on each project. This app allows you to track your hours on the go with a start–and-stop feature that works by just tapping your finger on the screen. This enables you to not have to remember to log your hours at the end of the day, which can sometimes lead to errors.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS

7.  Trello

Business projects are complex and often require completing many different tasks at just the right time along the way. With this app you can create to-do lists, track the progress of projects and stay organized on the go. Keep your projects organized outside of the office by moving your “cards” to different “lists” as you complete them so you can easily manage your progress to get more things done.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android

8.  Pandora

As a business owner life can sometimes be stressful. And while that stress comes with the territory it is extremely important to relax every once in a while and refocus. This app allows you to listen to your favorite music while taking some time for yourself so you can come back to your business operations refreshed and ready to work.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry - Kindle

9.  Evernote

Business owners are always coming up with new ideas at random times. It’s important to be able to record these ideas wherever you are before they vanish. This app can help you by creating notes or voice memos no matter where you are so you can revisit them later in order to take full advantage of your great business ideas.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry - Windows

10.  iTalk Recorder

Have you ever left an important business meeting trying to remember the key points of the discussion? This app allows you to take full-length recordings and email them to yourself so you can review your conversation at a later time. Never again will you find yourself trying to remember what the other person said and what you were going to do next.

Price: Free and Premium Versions
Platform(s): iOS

Financial

11.  Expensify

Keeping track of expenses is something many new owners in fast paced industries struggle with upon starting their business. Use this app to track your mileage, food and other expenses on the go. This way you can build expense reports later and not have to worry about saving all of those receipts because you can take a picture of them to create digital copies.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry - WebOS

12.  PayPal

Depending on the needs of your business, you may need a variety of different ways to accept payment for your product or services. Download this app so you can accept payments or transfer funds no matter where you conduct your business.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry

13.  Mint

For small business owners, personal and business finances will often go hand in hand.  Use this app to track, budget and manage your accounts all in one place. It will also help to have a clearer picture of your personal finances to help you avoid late fees, remember to pay bills on time and check account balances.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android

14.  Square

In a world where cash is considered king, consumers using credits cards is on the rise.  With this app you will sign up to receive your credit card reader so you can accept cash or credit payments from your customers. What is unique about this system is that it’s mobile and instead of monthly processing fees, there is a small percentage fee charged for each transaction processed.

Price: Free to Download
Platform(s): iOS - Android

15.  QuickBooks

To save on expenses many small business owners choose to complete all of the accounting work for their business themselves by purchasing a software package such as QuickBooks. With this application you can sync the app with your computer software to manage customer invoices, complete billing and organize expenses as you receive them to avoid the dreaded stack of paperwork that you would otherwise have to tackle on your day off.

Price: Free to Download
Platform(s): iOS - Android

Information Management

16.  CamCard

As a business own you are constantly meeting new people and collecting their business cards.  Instead of storing those cards in your desk or wallet, download this app to simply snap a picture of the card. It will save the information to a contacts list.

Price: $2.99
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry

17.  Google Drive

As an owner you will need to organize, securely store and access key pieces of information for your business at a variety of different times. Use this app to view, edit, and store your saved documents on the go with this cloud-based system. An added bonus is that Google gives 5GB of free storage.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android

18.  iFax

In business you need a variety of different pieces of technology to conduct business. While the use of a fax machine can be a necessity, it’s often used either all the time or on very rare occasions. With this app you no longer need to depend on a machine and landline. Use this app to have your own incoming fax number to be able send or receive faxes for a small charge all from your mobile device at anytime no matter if you use it a lot or very little.

Price: Free with In-App Purchases
Platform(s): iOS - Android

19.  Delivery Status Touch

Product and inventory management can be a huge part of running your small business. Use this app to keep track of any packages you are waiting to arrive from many of the different shipping companies. Use it anywhere you are to keep business running as smoothly as possible.

Price: $4.99
Platform(s): iOS

20.  1Password

Security is of the upmost importance in managing your business. It can be difficult to remember all your login information, passwords, credit card numbers or membership IDs. With this app you can securely store all of this information on your mobile device, and be able to access it whenever it’s needed by just remembering one password to access the app.

Price: $9.99
Platform(s): iOS - Android

Miscellaneous

21.  Quickoffice

Only within the past few years has technology allowed small business owners to bring their office along with them wherever they go.  No matter if you are traveling cross country or just down the street for a meeting with your banker, you can use this app to create, edit, and view your Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets on the go, without bringing your computer along.

Price: $19.99
Platform(s): iOS - Android

22.  Skype

Businesses today are able to personally connect with their partners, vendors and customers from all over the world. Nothing is better for a business relationship than face time. This app allows you to use voice or video calls for free to better connect with others as you grow your business.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - Windows

23.  Google Search

When running a small business unforeseen problems are bound to happen and you need to find solutions to them as soon as possible. With this app you have access to the master problem solver Google no matter where you may be. Just run a search to get immediate answers without even typing it in because you can use the voice search function!

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android - BlackBerry

24.  Google Analytics

These days many small businesses are dependent on a website to attract customers. By using this app you can see real time statistics such as current site visitors and other performance reports at any time on the go from your mobile device. You can even set up goal alerts to know exactly when you business reaches new milestones!

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android

25.  Google Calendar

Staying organized and remembering important dates is extremely important for small businesses. Use this app to create events such as sales meetings, payment deadlines and other events that are important to your business. And because this is an app from Google it is integrated into the other Google products that you may already use such as Gmail and Google+.

Price: Free
Platform(s): iOS - Android

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Grant Tilus is an Associate Inbound Marketing Manager for Collegis Education who writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College with the aim to inspire, motivate and inform current and prospective students in a positive way.

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