Episode 8: My Favourite Business Apps
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
This week, we continued on with Part 2 of My Favourite Apps – the business edition! Episode 7 covered My Favourite Personal Apps, and I encourage you to watch that video first!
Just like last week, I broke the apps down into 4 categories:
1. WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT
· Things 3: We’ve already gone into quite a bit of detail on this app in last week’s episode, but I do use it for work as well. I put in calendar items for clients who need reminder e-mails for certain deadlines, and I use the app to track conversations and file-touches on each client file. The app is cloud-based so if I lose my phone or it gets destroyed, I can always access it later.
· For project management that your team can collaborate on, I mentioned Asana or Trello. These both also have the additional functionality that you can add specific templates for workflows in, so if there’s a task you do in business over and over again, (i.e. client onboarding e-mail), you can create workflows within the app so that all of your team members are doing it the same way every time. They both have a free version and thenthe exact same priced tiers after that, so I recommend trialing them both and seeing which one works best for you and your team.
· Cloud-based file sharing options: G-drive, Dropbox: I use both of these to share files securely back and forth between my clients, but they could also be a really useful resource for teams. You get more space for free with G-drive at 15GB (Dropbox is only 2GB for free), and you can upgrade both of them anytime.
· Quickbooks Online: So much more than an accounting software. You can use this app to budget, to take and store photos of receipts, as a client contact centre, invoicing, payroll, inventory management.
I am fully certified in both the Online and Desktop versions of Quickbooks and have been working with Intuit for about 15 years and I can say with confidence that it is one of the most user-friendly apps there are for small business. You can add an accountant into the app so they can jump in anytime and see any problems that you’re having or to print your reports. Did you know I offer QBO training as a service?
There are several tiers of QBO that you can purchase. At the minimum, I would recommend the Essentials version of the program, which is normally $27/month, but the referral link above will get you 50% off for the first 6 months.
If you need inventory or budgeting capabilities for your business, you will need the Plus version which is normally $40/month or $20 with the discount.
The discount is not contingent on you working with me!
· Hubdoc: I am also certified and a partner with Hubdoc. This is an app that fetches online statements and bills. So if you hate having to gather all of your documents for your bookkeeper or accountant at tax time, you will LOVE this.
The pricing for Hubdoc is $25/month after your free 30 day trial. As a partner, I have an opportunity to give 5 clients a free 6 month trial, but the account must be linked with mine, so it is contingent on us working together. Please contact me if you would like more information.
· For payroll, I recommend Wagepoint through QBO, but Wagepoint actually also has a stand-alone option as well for the same price - $20/pay period + $2 per employee. Wagepoint offers direct deposit, T4 and Record of Employment creation, and amazing support. For the stand-alone Wagepoint account, here's a 10% off code, no strings attached.
· Also in the payroll category is T-sheets. I am working on getting certified on this software currently, so I don’t have any partnership with them yet, but it's a great app for:
o Tracking your employee’s time for payroll
o GPS tracking, so you can locate your employees and send them to the nearest job site
o Tracking billable time, so if you just want to be able to track what client you’re working on and bill them accordingly,
o Scheduling shifts
o Reporting for payroll and accounting
It’s free for just 1 user, and then goes up depending on how many employees you want using it – if you have under 100 employees, it’s $25/month. There’s a free trial as well, and it integrates with QBO, Xero, and Sage.
· MileIQ: For all of your kilometer tracking needs. If you’re wondering why you would want to track kilometers, check out episode 3 about vehicle expenses. MileIQ tracks 40 drives for free per month, or you can pay $60/year and get unlimited tracking and reports. They also offer a team program so if you have employees that drive for work, you can get a group discount.
· For a social media management solution, Hootsuite or Buffer both allow you to create and schedule social media content and have different levels of analytics available. They both have free trials, so test them out and see what you like!
· Mailchimp is an e-mail marketing software - build your list, use templates that are proven to work, and plan out social media posts. I’m fairly new to this service, but I am using the free version (email lists under 2,000 and 12,000 emails per month, which is obviously more than enough for me), and I'm enjoying it so far!
· Canada Post Snap Ad Mail is direct mailing from Canada Post, which enables you to send out print marketing to either targeted neighborhoods, postal codes, or demographics (i.e. family with children). There are a ton of options and tiers to this so listing a price isn't possible, but check out the online tool, or you can always hire a service to do it all for you from the design, to the printing to the mailing. Please let me know if you’d like a recommendation on somebody to help you with that.
· Canva is a free app (with upgrades available) for graphic design of basically any digital or print media you can think of.
4. CONTINUING EDUCATION AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
· Futurpreneur Business Plan Writer is a free and really easy tool to help you write a business plan.