If you’re running a small business, you could probably use some help in organizing your many processes. How do you manage your scheduling? Is your team able to communicate effectively? For many of the tasks you face every day, there are apps that can help you along – from managing your calendar to managing your finances. Here are our picks in each category.
YouCanBookMe is a free app and service that allows anyone from customers to employees to book an appointment on your calendar. Instead of the time-consuming back and forth’s, you simply connect and sync it with your calendar and only share the times you want with your customers – they book straight into your calendar. Customers get their own notifications, reminders, calendar invites and more.
Once you’ve scheduled an appointment, use UberConference to have a virtual meeting. UberConference is a “visual audio conferencing system” where callers see an avatar of the other participants in their mobile browser or from their desktop client. It is not a video conferencing system, although when used in conjunction with Google Hangouts live video conferencing is available. The advantage of this, other than the fact that it’s free, is that users don’t need a PIN, and can even call in using a phone without the visual component. You can share screens, chat and upload documents.
You’ve landed the deal, and now have a project to manage. Basecamp is a great app that allows you to fully manage projects from your phone or other device. From adding and assigning to-dos to communicating with the team, you can keep track of everything relating to projects in one easy to access location. With Basecamp, you pay per project instead of per user — users are unlimited. Plans start at $20 per month for 10 projects and go up to $150 a month for unlimited projects.
As you’re working with your team, you’ll want an app that can help you communicate with them as a group, or individually. Slack is the app for that! You can organize your team conversations in open channels. Make a channel for a project, a topic, a team or for whatever else you might need. Everyone has a transparent view of all that’s going on. For sensitive information, create private channels and invite a few team members, or have private conversations as direct messages.
Of course, you’re in business to make money. Accept payments on the go with Square, an app that lets customers pay right into your phone. You don’t have to be connected to the Internet, you can use email or text messages to send receipts, and the system can even allow customers to leave a tip of 15%, 20% or 25%. There is no monthly fee; instead, you’ll pay 2.75% of each transaction.
Of course, we know you’ll want to discover more apps that fit your business’ unique needs. These five apps will work simply to help you get you started on the road to simplifying your small business processes.