Uncovering the 11 Best Apps for Your Small Business

Life as a small business owner is as hectic and fast-paced as it is exhilarating. Each small win often comes only after a healthy dose of blood, sweat, and tears. If you’re at the helm of a small business, you know how many different tasks there are to juggle, and keeping all the balls in the air is no small challenge. As the one in charge of a small business, you may find yourself wearing many hats and needing to understand how to do many different jobs.

While you are happy to give your heart and soul to your small business, there are days when you may feel overwhelmed by your seemingly endless to-do list of complex jobs that range all the way from marketing to handling invoices and expenses. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. There are tools available to help you lighten your load, avoid burnout, and rise to peak levels of productivity. Some of those tools come in the form of small business apps.

“There’s an app for that,” has grown from a cute phrase to a very near reality. Today, you can find an app for just about every business process you can name. But with so many apps available, many of which perform the same function, it can be difficult to determine exactly which ones are ideal for your unique business. Perhaps you already use apps for small business. Whatever the case may be, there are a few steps you’ll want to follow to ensure you’re maximizing efficiency and using the best apps for small business owners.

Use these steps to determine the best apps for your small business.

Step 1: Understand your pain points.
Step 2: Evaluate the apps you are already using.
Step 3: Consider alternatives.
Step 4: Get to know the best apps for small business.
Step 5: Implement and tweak.

Step 1: Understand your pain points.

Take a minute to determine the main concerns that keep you up at night. It shouldn’t take long. Is there anything causing you a headache that could be improved by an app? Are there, for instance, any tasks that you do manually that could be automated to free up time? This is a considerable pain point for many small and medium-sized businesses, as a hefty 53% of SMB owners and leaders say excessive time spent on manual work hinders their ability to win deals. What about IT? Research shows that 48% of small businesses manage IT in-house but do not have a dedicated IT team. Take a quick mental inventory of how much time you spend each day on different tasks and areas of your business and make a list of the activities that take the most time. Once you understand where you’re losing valuable time, you’ll want to look at the apps you’re currently using.

Step 2: Evaluate the apps you’re already using.

It’s likely you’re already using some apps to keep your small business going. Many small businesses do. In fact, 78% of growing SMBs use more than one app to run their business. Take a minute to list all of the apps you’re currently using. Be honest with yourself as you carefully examine each app on the list to determine if it helps you run your business, or if it just adds extra steps and clutters up your processes. You may find that some of your current apps are unnecessary. Perhaps the funds spent on certain apps might be better used elsewhere. Maybe there’s one single app that could do the job of two or three of your existing apps. In any case, taking some time to determine where you stand regarding your current apps will help you cut the fat, run a leaner operation, and enhance productivity.

Step 3: Consider alternatives.

Each year, new apps are released that are aimed at helping simplify or automate processes and increase business efficiency. The old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality may not necessarily be the best when it comes to selecting apps to run your small business. While your current apps might not be broken, it’s possible they may be inferior to newer apps that have come on the market — apps that your competition may be using to get ahead. You don’t need to change apps just because others are doing it, but if you do notice trends in the types of apps your competition uses, it may be wise to do some due diligence. Taking some time to evaluate whether there are more robust or efficient options available never hurts, and switching things up might be just what it takes to spark productivity.

Step 4: Get to know the best apps for small business.

Once you’ve taken an honest look at your pain points, evaluated your current app portfolio, and opened your mind to some alternatives, it’s time to take a deeper look into the best apps for small business. What are they and are you using them? It’s important to know what’s out there so you don’t let opportunities for a better-run business pass you by.

The best apps for small business are the ones that also integrate with your CRM platform. Available on AppExchange, here are some of the best small business apps.

11 of the Best Apps for Small Business:

  1. CalendarAnything
  2. Evernote for Salesforce
  3. Pardot
  4. Qualtrics
  5. GoToMeeting
  6. TaskRay
  7. Smartsheet
  8. Conga Composer
  9. Sage Business Cloud Financials
  10. DocuSign
  11. Done

CalendarAnything

The first step to being successful as a small business owner is to manage your time well. CalendarAnything by Silverline is an app that enables you to do just that. It’s a highly customizable tool that allows you to schedule and manage marketing campaigns, plan projects, and more. CalendarAnything can integrate with Salesforce and is available on mobile.

Evernote for Salesforce

Keeping good notes is key to staying organized. With Evernote for Salesforce, you can easily keep track of all of your notes and search them instantly, even if they are handwritten. Record and recall important information in a flash with Evernote for Salesforce.

Pardot

Finding the right marketing automation solution is critical if you want to take your small business to the next level. Pardot is a marketing automation tool that helps you find and nurture leads, convert more customers, and maximize your ROI. Pardot integrates with Salesforce CRM and bridges the gap between sales and marketing with robust lead scoring and tracking.

Qualtrics

Understanding customers is paramount to the success of your small business. The Qualtrics Customer Experience Integration app enables you to use workflow rules to automate customer touchpoints and surveys and collect actionable data. Improving customer experience and qualifying more leads is simple with Qualtrics.

GoToMeeting

Meeting with potential clients and customers is important. Hold quick and effective online meetings with your leads and contacts through GoToMeeting. One of the leading online meeting providers, GoToMeeting offers fast and reliable screen sharing and HD video conferencing so you can share presentations or easily demo your product.

TaskRay

For small businesses, customer onboarding is an area of constant concern. TaskRay, built on the Customer 360 Platform, is a solution designed to onboard and report on new customers. It also works well for project management and project automation.

Smartsheet

Your small business needs a way to get work done efficiently. Smartsheet is one of the best apps for doing just that. It enables users to easily track, automate, and report on work. The Smartsheet for Salesforce Connector gives teams real-time visibility into Salesforce data through a two-way data synchronization.

Conga Composer

Generating documents like quotes, proposals, contracts, or reports can be time-consuming. The Conga Composer saves you time and makes creating documents simple and painless. It pulls data directly from Salesforce and generates documents in many different formats so you can get the document type suited to your needs.

Sage Business Cloud Financials

To scale quickly and safely, you need to understand your company’s financials. Sage Business Cloud Financials enables you to see your critical financial data all in one place. It also integrates with customer data from Sales Cloud to give you a holistic customer view and help you improve your business.

DocuSign

Getting agreements signed is a matter of high importance, but it can be a hassle without the right solution. DocuSign is an industry-leading solution that results in faster and easier agreements and faster close times on deals.

Done

Your to-do list is long and constantly growing. Keep it organized with an app like Done. This app enables you to easily manage tasks and activities, and manage and collaborate on projects.

Step 5: Implement and tweak.

After evaluating your needs and taking time to explore some of the best apps for small business, it’s time to implement the best solutions you find. You may find a number of apps that will enhance your small business. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the features each app offers and implement them one at a time. Don’t be afraid to regularly reevaluate the apps you use. With the right apps on your side, you’ll find more joy in the journey as you build your small business.

Questions? We’ll put you on the right path.

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