Starting a new business can be a rewarding adventure. That said, entrepreneurs are faced with hundreds of tasks as they endeavour to gather and manage resources whilst trying to maintain communication with clients and team members, reach new clients, manage accounts and so much more. So here are five apps (some also platforms) that enable you as an entrepreneurs to better manage time, control finances, boost productivity and much more.
Related: 15 Steps to start a business
You’ve likely got a LinkedIn account but if you haven’t here’s why you should have one. Entrepreneurs can use LinkedIn to search for investors, partners or prospective employees/customers based on factors including qualifications, industry, experience and much more. In particularly, there is no better platform than LinkedIn for generating leads for your business or recruiting talent (this is because LinkedIn is used by the majority of professionals worldwide, especially in tech).
So why should you download the Linkedin app? Aside from allowing you to do everything you can on the web platform, the application is much faster and more intuitive when it comes to searching for and adding connections. The app ends up being a massive time saver, this coupled with the fact more and more businesses/entrepreneurs are using it for messaging means you can quickly respond to messages on your phone.
Like many early-stage entrepreneurs, your likely targeting a global market even if you’re starting out by focusing on the UK domestic market. To avoid cutting yourself off from international opportunities you need to ability to engage with prospective international customers or partners from the get-go. However, building these types of relationships takes time-consuming conversations, which if you’re not careful can lead to extremely expensive phone bills (phone companies often gauge customers to make long distance calls especially from mobile).
So how do communicate with prospective international customers/partners? Although Skype is arguably one of the oldest tech companies (now owned by Microsoft), its product offering of low-cost VOIP calling to any number foreign or domestic is arguably now an essential part of an entrepreneurs international conversations. Why download the Skype app? It allows you to make international calls on the go at a low cost; you can also pay to get a fixed number which funnels calls directly to your skype (good if you want to reduce your businesses utilities bills and want to appear to have a traditional number without the associated cost of receiving an international call).
You can also use Skype to record important meetings via video or audio. Each chat session is also stored, meaning if you’ve been instant messaging that you can take notes of the key points of the conversation. Additionally, screen sharing makes it easy to collaborate on projects and plans with clients and multiple team members.
Now to a pure application! Wunderlist is a popular to-do list app for a good reason. It offers more than a simple to-do checks off the list. This app allows you to handle with ease both small and large tasks. If you’re working in a team, you can also assign tasks to team members and set due dates where reminders will alert users about the approaching deadline (enabling team members to stay on schedule and allowing you to track). Alongside the above Wunderlist has some equally useful features:
- Push, email and in-app notifications alert the team of any changes to a project or task.
- Keep all communication in one central place, allowing the team to refer back to them, when necessary.
- Tags not only add more context to to-do items but also create a handy search feature.
- Folders are a great way to keep everything organised and accessible. The larger the project, the more this feature will come in handy!
- Mail, print and share lists add functionality
Wunderlist is also fantastic on the go as it makes sure that every idea is captured in an easy and retrievable note form (avoiding that moment of trying to find inspiration when your back in the office). On a final note the app is universal so that you can use it on any platform!
Social media is a vital component of any modern entrepreneurs marketing plan; this is especially true for startup/ early-stage tech companies who typically focus on building large social followings (because it’s mostly free).
However, when it comes to managing social media marketing and profiles on the many social media platforms there are, businesses often fall and fail to engage or provide interesting and relevant content consistently.
So how do you manage your company’s social presence for consistency without going crazy? That’s where Buffer comes in allowing you to easily schedule all of your social activity in advance, allowing you to set aside a specific time to schedule content each week. Users can also schedule posts to appear at specific times and reply to potential or current customers, while tracking responses.
The Buffer mobile application (on Android and IOS) is particularly useful as it allows to coordinate your social media marketing while on the go, allowing you to use the otherwise unproductive time travelling between locations to expand your business.
When it comes to managing money it’s often one of the areas that entrepreneurs catastrophically fail especially at an early stage. This mismanagement of money (usually out of control expenses) can be a major problem for any fledgeling business.
This is where Mint comes in, allowing you to create budgets and manage expenses in one simple app that’s easy to use. It offers a single platform that displays how much money is available, plus what is due and when – enabling entrepreneurs to better manage finances anywhere at any time. Additionally, the app features:
- Bill reminders prevent late or missed payments.
- Setting a warning for low funds
- Alerts users whenever large or suspicious transactions occur (so you can notify the bank)
- Check your credit score
- Investment tracking and more
It’s important to note that MINT operates on 256-bit encryption, you should always make sure that apps deal with sensitive information such as finances have at minimum industry standard security!
So that’s it for awesome apps entrepreneurs shouldn’t live without. If your now bored of apps that will make you more efficient and productive, you can checkout Surfshark VPN and download here.