Overview of smartphone apps for business
Many of these apps complement full desktop or cloud versions, while others are standalone products available for free or a small charge. Also, some offer similar features, such as Xero and Quickbooks, so your choice will depend on which program you’re currently using. Here’s an overview of the 18 smartphone apps that can help you run your business:
|Tool||Key Value Proposition||Business Function||Type of Business|
|Google Analytics||Stay on top of key marketing metrics of your website.||Marketing.||Businesses that want to analyse their website traffic.|
|SEMrush||Analyse your organic website traffic and find opportunities for improvement.||SEO marketing.||Businesses that want to improve website search rankings.|
|Mailchimp Marketing & CRM||Set up, send and analyse email marketing campaigns.||Email marketing.||Businesses that use email marketing.|
|Canva||Create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content.||Graphic design.||SMEs that want to create their own graphics.|
|Slack||Instant messaging for team collaboration.||Communication.||Businesses that have collaborating teams.|
|Hello Sign||Scan, edit and sign documents on your smartphone.||Administration.||Businesses that regularly sign documentation on the go.|
|Zoom Cloud Meetings||Video conferencing, online meetings and group messaging.||Communication.||Businesses that meet online with teams and clients.|
|Google Drive||Cloud file storage to collaborate and access documents from any smartphone, tablet or computer.||Information management and collaboration.||Businesses that collaborate on documents.|
|Dropbox||Back up documents, presentations, photos and videos. Share and access files stored on any of your computers or mobile devices.||Information management and collaboration.||Businesses that send large documents.|
|Trello||A project management tool to create to-do lists, visualise projects with cards, and create due dates that build momentum.||Project management.||Businesses with teams that collaborate on projects.|
|Asana||A tool to capture tasks, to-dos, reminders, and ideas, and stay on top of work.||Project management.||Businesses with teams that collaborate on projects.|
|Google Calendar||Calendar for scheduling events and tasks. Hangout feature for online meetings.||Time management and collaboration.||Businesses that want to coordinate calendars and set up meetings.|
|Xero||Complete bookkeeping and reporting solution including invoicing and expenses management.||Bookkeeping, invoicing and reporting.||Businesses that need remote bookkeeping solutions.|
|Quickbooks||Complete bookkeeping and reporting solution including invoicing and expenses management.||Bookkeeping, invoicing and reporting.||Businesses that need remote bookkeeping solutions.|
|Expensify||Track your receipts and manage personal and business expenses on the go.||Expense management.||Businesses that need to manage expenses receipts.|
|Buffer Publish||Create, schedule, plan, publish, monitor, and engage in social media.||Social media management.||Businesses that use social media.|
|Hootsuite||Create, schedule, plan, publish, monitor, and engage in social media.||Social media management.||Businesses that use social media.|
|Square Pos||Processes payments using a credit card reader. Features include inventory management, customer directories, and sales reports.||Payment processing and administration.||Retail and food businesses that need remote payment solutions.|
If you use Google Analytics on your desktop or laptop to analyse your website traffic, the Google Analytics mobile app will enable you to view key metrics on the go, such as when people are visiting your site and what keywords they’re using to find you. In addition to monitoring real-time data, you can build your own reports with any combination of metrics, dimensions and segments that you are interested in. You can also save any reports to your dashboard so that you can easily come back to view them.
If you’re in e-commerce, if you have an online presence, or if Google is one of the ways you acquire new customers, then you’ll know how important it is to improve your website rankings for keywords on Google. SEMRush enables you to quickly check your top keyword rankings. You can also or use advanced filters to get the particular data you need. You can track what your keyword Google’s top 3, 10, 20, or 100 results. With the app, you can forecast your website’s growth trend for visibility, traffic, and average position.
Mailchimp Marketing & CRM
Mailchimp Marketing & CRM (customer relationship management) offers a range of tools for reporting and analytics, email marketing campaigns, contact management, tracking sales tracking, creating brand content, managing Facebook ads and newsletters. The Mailchimp app helps you grow your audience wherever you are. You can create marketing campaigns on the go, instantly view performance reports, and receive alerts about sales and audience activity.
Canva makes it simple to create impressive designs with your photos and videos, even if you don’t have design experience. Whether you want to create an Instagram story or create a logo, you can do with a Canva app. You can create designs from scratch or use one of 60,000 templates. Easily edit photos to apply filters, change brightness and more. You can also add text to photos for social media posts or newsletters, and create marketing materials such as brochures, presentations and posters.
Slack is a powerful app to improve communication and collaboration to achieve more, whether on a computer, tablet or smartphone. It enables you to gain momentum on projects by bringing people, conversations, tools, and information together. The app enables you to communicate with your team and organise conversations by subjects, projects, teams and other factors. You can message or call individuals, share and edit documents, and search past conversations and files in the central knowledge base.
Now you can scan, edit and sign documents on your smartphone. You don’t need to print, sign and scan a document. With this app, you import a PDF from email or Google Drive or take a photo of the document. You create a realistic signature with your finger and apply it to the document. Then you can email the signed document to the intended recipients.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, Zoom has become a household name. It enables you to stay connected wherever you go – start or join a meeting with video, clear audio, instant screen sharing, and cross-platform instant messaging. With Zoom Cloud Meetings you can start or join a meeting instantly, stay connected with instant messaging, and view or present from your phone.
With this app, you can have all your files within reach from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. All your files in Google Drive, including documents, PDFs, photos and videos – are backed up safely in the cloud where you can quickly find and access them. You can easily invite people to collaborate on projects to view, edit and comment on documents.
With Dropbox, you can access your cloud content and traditional files together in one place and access them from your phone. It makes it easy to collaborate and share your files, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint files, and Dropbox Paper docs. It also provides access to important files even when you are not connected to the internet. A handy document scanner makes it easy to turn documents, receipts, whiteboards and notes into PDFs.
Project and time management
Trello is a project management tool to help you organise any aspect of your work and life. Whether you’re planning a new website, developing a new product, or planning a company off-site, you can customise Trello to meet your needs.
With Trello, you can create to-do lists, visualise projects with cards, and create due dates that build momentum to get more work done. Stay organized anywhere by turning on notifications and staying informed when cards are assigned, updated, and completed. Trello also works offline, so you can add information to boards and cards, and it will be synced when you are back online.
Another option for project management, Asana enables you to quickly capture tasks, to-dos, reminders, and ideas, and stay on top of your work wherever you are. You can get updates from team members, organise your work tasks and projects, or manage your daily to-do list. As a collaborative tool, you can share announcements with your team members, ask questions about projects, or comment on a task.
This app will help you plan and maximise your time each day, whether you’re using it for business or personal events. If you use Gmail, your events – such as travel reservations and restaurant bookings – are automatically added to your calendar. The app makes it easy to create events and invite attendees, and switch between day, week and month views. It’s easy to set up virtual meetings using the Google Hangout features. You can even include personal goals – such as ‘exercise three times per week – and Google Calendar will automatically schedule time for them.
Bookkeeping and accounting
As the companion to the desktop version, this app makes it easy to keep track of your finances when you’re out of the office. Stay up-to-date with unpaid and overdue invoices, bank account balances, profit and loss, cash flow, bank reconciliation, accounts payable, quotes, contacts and more. Although not as powerful as the desktop version, you can still cover the basics on your phone. Tradespeople and others who are mobile can create invoices anywhere. With reporting on the go, you can access bank account balances, profit and loss and cash flow statements, accounts receivable and payable, and more.
Like the Xero app, the Quickbooks smartphone app gives you access to important financial information about your business. It gives you instant access to customer information and enables you to send invoices, capture photos of expense receipts, add notes, create invoices, view reports and more. Data is automatically synced across your computer and mobile devices.
This app makes it easy to track your receipts and manage personal and business expenses on the go. You simply take a photo of your receipt and Expensify automatically transcribes the information. It can categorise and code each receipt, and automatically submit expenses for approval and reimbursement. It integrates with popular accounting programs including Xero and Quickbooks. For freelancers and small businesses, it’s a helpful tool to track and automate expense management.
Using social media to keep in touch with your customers and promote your business can be time consuming. Fortunately, several tools are available to automate your social media campaigns. Research by Invesp revealed that marketing automation drives a 14.5 per cent increase in sales productivity and reduces marketing overheads by 12.2 per cent. Here are two solutions that have smartphone apps:
If your business is active on social media, Buffer helps you build your brand and grow your audience by maintaining a consistent presence on social media. Buffer Publish is an intuitive social media planning and scheduling tool used by marketers to plan and share to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Features make it possible to customise images for each social media platform and preview your Instagram grid.
With Hootsuite, you can stay connected with social media audiences. The app provides the tools to create, schedule, plan, publish, monitor, and engage with your social media audiences anywhere from your smartphone. You get incoming messages from various social networks in one feed, so you can stay informed and provide timely responses.
If you accept credit card payments for retail transactions, Square is a free point-of-sale app that processes payments using a credit card reader and your phone or tablet. Other Square POS features include inventory management, customer directories, and sales reports that assist retailers in managing their business. The app and card reader are free but there is a flat fee of 2.75% on the amount of the transaction. Additional hardware can be purchased and advanced features are available for a fee. Square POS is especially suitable for cafes, startups, food trucks, market vendors and sole traders.