Starting any business always has its difficulties, particularly when it comes to managing different aspects of the business as a first-time small business owner.
However, the growing era of technology means that there are several useful apps available to minimise the work you have to do. From remote collaboration to account and social media management, a number of these apps are at your service for free.
It's a good idea to consider what areas of the business can easily be simplified or automated with such tools so that you can find the right apps for you.
These are some of the best accounting software tools to choose from.
Evernote is a multi-device collaboration app that aims to encourage the sharing of ideas, documents and photos. Users can create shared documents that can easily be edited by all staff simultaneously. Evernote offers time-tracking functionality to map productivity and exploit areas of under-use.
HelloSign makes handling contracts effortless, allowing you to review and sign agreements from the palm of your hand. It's a powerful e-signing solution, which is security-proofed and allows much faster document workflows.
Download HelloSign here.
Salesforce1 can be an indispensable tool for business, acting as a central platform where information from marketing, sales, customer service and business analysis converges.
It means that all your customer information is in one place (on your phone!), allowing you to more effectively build a customer-centric business. You also have access to a full range of Salesforce apps and third party integrations.
For the vast majority of companies today, strong social media engagement is a must for brand building. But manning the various channels and keeping them all updated and in sync can be a challenge.
That's where Buffer comes in, keeping you on top of all of the social channels your business needs, and allowing you to schedule content as desired. It also provides useful metrics to track the engagement each post earns.
Quip is a team-based collaboration and organisational app that offers chat, docs, task lists, and spreadsheets all in one place. It's essentially lots of different 'apps' in one with offline support extended to all its functions.
Download Quip from Google Play
As the name suggests, ExpenseBot keeps track of receipts and mileage logs. Users can take photos of paper receipts and ExpenseBot will add the date, amount and a name. Travel logs are also available for managing productivity and billable hours.
Nuzzel is a great way of finding interesting stories and news from your Facebook and Twitter feeds. It integrates both social profiles and delivers the information it thinks you'll find interesting. This is a great app to use while commuting to stay on top of current industry news.
You can also use Pocket to save any interesting articles or links to, to check up on later.
Slack is a great messaging app that enables teams to internally chat without using emails or large email threads for relatively quick questions.
Private messaging groups can also be created for circulating sensitive information and multi-channel chats can be created too, so separate group chats for, say, marketing, sales or support teams can be made.
Todo offers shareable and fully editable to-do lists that are ideal for collaborative work. This app provides colour coded tags, time and location details, Siri integration and space for additional notes. While a simple concept, this app hosts a quick and easy way to promote team-based organisation throughout your startup.
Download Todo on iTunes here.
Trello is essentially a work and life planner and project management tool. With Trello, users can create boards and invite co-workers to interact and edit documents, customise workflows and add and assign tasks. In addition, users can upload photos and videos, attach files and add editable checklists.
On 2 March 2016 WhatsApp launched 'Documents' to its instant messaging service, enabling users to send and receive PDFs. Given most of us are familiar with WhatsApp's user interface, this is an easy and reliable way to transport documents around a small yet growing startup team.