By Ashley Cummings
Mobile applications are changing the face of business. They’re becoming more prevalent and more powerful and, most importantly, can help your business run more smoothly. Want to improve daily operations? Organize your ideas? Manage travel expenses? There’s literally an app for that.
As a small business owner, the more you can automate tasks, stay organized, and streamline your processes, the more efficient and productive your business will become. Thankfully, there are a ton of apps on the market to help — in addition to DreamHost’s managed hosting plans, of course.
Here are the top 25 great business apps that small business owners need in 2017.
Cloud Computing Apps
Running a small business usually requires delegating tasks to several talented people — think designers, copywriters, project managers, your significant other. If you don’t have the right tools to keep everyone on the same page, it’s easy to miscommunicate. The following apps will help you share files, organize ideas, and stay up-to-date on your team’s work.
1. G Suite
G Suite lets you port files among PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Google Drive comes with 5GB of free cloud storage. And it allows you to create docs, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and more.
- Offers a popular set of intelligent business apps
- Stops the need to use different apps for basic business functions
- Provides professional and free business email
2. Dropbox Business
Dropbox Business is a cloud computing app that allows you to sync files and folders across various platforms. The mobile app gives you access to all your files on the go and offers plans for really small businesses — we’re talking just three users.
- Offers cloud storage of all important files
- Prevents lost files
- Provides flexible storage plans
Price: Starts at $12.50/month
3. Microsoft SkyDrive
Microsoft SkyDrive allows cloud storage and file sharing through synced folders. You can view and edit SkyDrive files from any smartphone or tablet with the SkyDrive mobile app. Though it works for both Macs and PCs, additional services like settings backup and automatic photo upload are reserved for Windows 8 and Windows Phone users.
- Offers convenient file sharing
- Stops lost folders and files
- Provides easy collaboration tools
Price: Starts at $5/month
The right apps can reduce costs and help your business grow. Here’s how to choose the best cloud applications.
Unifyle is a cloud storage management solution that pairs with other storage services like DropBox, SugarSync, Access Box, and more. It also organizes email from different providers, allowing you to view, send, and search across accounts.
- Pairs with top-of-the-line apps
- Stops security breaches
- Provides virtual file management
Evernote can help you capture and remember all the brilliant ideas you come up with while on the move. It’s available on multiple platforms and allows you to store your ideas by voice, text, or photo. You can search your notes by keywords and tags.
- Offers quick Google sign-in
- Stops you from losing your best ideas
- Provides on-the-go note taking
DocuSign allows you to easily collect signatures online or via a mobile device. This is the perfect tool for collecting necessary information from clients and remote employees.
- Offers rapid app development
- Stops inconvenience of collecting signatures in person
- Provides powerful integrations with Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, and more
Price: Starts at $10/month
7. Polaris Office
Polaris Office is a good mobile alternative to Apple’s iWork suite or Microsoft’s Office Suite for spreadsheets and docs. It allows you to read and edit docs via the mobile app.
- Offers outstanding compatibility to view and edit all documents
- Stops increase on costs related to purchasing an office suite
- Provides mobile and desktop access
8. SOS Online Backup
SOS Online Backup automatically backs up your files online and provides military-grade encryption.
- Offers secure online backup
- Stops loss of files
- Provides 100 percent privacy
Price: Starting at $4.99/month
Cloud Computing apps truly are the way of the future when it comes to making sure your team has secure access to the right information.
Want to safeguard your website from hackers and creeps? Here are 13 of the best security plugins.
Whether you’ve got a team of part-time workers or remote freelancers, it’s vital to have a way to stay connected. Here are some of the top tools to make virtual communication easy.
Slack is one of the most popular communication apps on the market. With Slack, you can create different communication channels, send group messages, and even break off into one-off meetings within a slack channel.
- Offers easy communication between teams
- Stops confusion among team members
- Provides targeted channel communications
Fuze is a great app for times when a simple chat isn’t enough. Fuze is a video conferencing tool that works across all platforms and devices. No matter where anyone is on your team, they can hop on Fuze and make it to your meeting on time.
- Offers user training and materials
- Stops remote employees from missing meetings
- Provides “go-live” transition support
Price: Contact Fuze for more information
Skype is a trusty app for simplifying team communication. Skype allows you to chat with team members from any location. And since the app is so popular, you can rest assured that your team members and clients will know how to use it.
- Offers trustworthy calling, chatting, and video conferencing
- Stops loss of easy collaboration
- Provides free calls to friends
Of course, you could just pick up the phone to sync with your team members and clients, but if you really want to stay connected, these platforms make it easy to build open communication right into your workflow.
Small businesses — even ones with a local clientele — need to be online. Here are six reasons why.
As a small business, the last thing you want to do come tax time is scramble around looking for crumpled receipts. Make sure you invest in one of the following finance apps. You’ll be glad you did come April 15.
There are plenty of expense trackers out there, and Expensify is one of the simplest. It keeps track of expenses and mileage via multiple platforms. Receipts can be scanned and uploaded. Expenses can be submitted to employers by a click of a button. It can also read and import expenses from a linked bank account or credit card.
- Offers top-notch integrations
- Stops confusion at tax time
- Provides help with expense tracking across several industries
Price: Contact Expensify for more information
13. Abukai Expense
With Abukai Expenses, you just snap a photo of your receipts with a smartphone, and the info gets entered into the app’s interface. You can also take a photo of a map or itinerary to calculate and report mileage.
- Offers easy record-keeping of receipts
- Stops messy receipt tracking
- Provides multiple expense tracking at one time
InDinero syncs with bank accounts and credit cards to predict future cash flow based on current trends and past expenses.
- Offers excellent bookkeeping services
- Stops the need to invest big in bookkeepers
- Provides tax services for small businesses
Price: Starts at $295/month
15. Time Doctor
Time Doctor tracks billable hours, workers’ time on the clock, and on projects. The app estimates that it can increase your workplace productivity by 22 percent.
- Offers screenshot monitoring
- Stops payroll confusions
- Provides powerful reporting tools
Price: $9.99/user per month
If it’s your goal to get your finances in order before Uncle Sam comes calling next April, these apps can help.
Travel and On-the-Go Networking Apps
As a small business owner, chances are you find yourself on the road (or up in the air) more often than you imagined when you first started your business. Travel is expensive, and it can be difficult to stay on top of all the details. Unless you have the right apps to help you, that is.
TripIt allows travelers to keep business trip arrangements, itineraries, and information together all in one location, including meeting times and flights details. It also corrals weather forecasts, maps, and directions.
- Offers a master itinerary for every trip
- Stops travel hiccups
- Provides access plans from anywhere on any device
No more carrying stacks of business cards. Inigo is a networking app that allows you to create and share a virtual business card by tapping your smartphone with someone else’s.
- Offers easy sharing of business cards
- Stops business cards from getting lost
- Provides a real-time networking solution
When it comes to business travel and networking on-the-go, you can either fly by the seat of your pants or download these apps. We know which option we’d prefer.
Do you find you need help with daily business operations? You’ll be happy to know there are several apps on the market to help automate your processes and stay organized.
Vivial is a business marketing app. Vivial allows users to build online branding through social media, websites, local directories, and email newsletters. The service also automatically updates the Google Places listings for brick-and-mortar business users.
- Offers easy website optimization
- Provides local search optimization
Price: Contact Vivial for more information
Asana is a collaborative information manager that’s way easier to use than the standard — and more complex — project management tool. It allows users to manage both work and personal projects in one intuitive interface.
- Offers easy collaboration
- Stops miscommunication on task due dates
- Provides project management tools
Square allows businesses to take credit card payments through mobile devices and charges no start-up or monthly fees. Instead, it simply takes 2.75 percent of each transaction.
- Offers credit card processing from anywhere
- Stops the need for cash-only
- Provides free reader
Price: 2.75 percent of each transaction
21. LogMeIn Ignition
- Offers 1 TB file storage
- Stops loss of administrative functions
- Provides remote printing
Price: $249.99/year for two computers
22. KoolSpan TrustCall
KoolSpan TrustCall is a smartphone app that encrypts phone calls and text messages without the need to buy custom devices.
- Offers encrypted phone calls
- Stops security breaches
- Provides encrypted messaging
Price: Contact KoolSpan for more information
Podium is a marketing tool that can help you collect online reviews and testimonials through text messaging. After all, the more people who are talking positively about your business, the more customers will come your way.
- Offers easy Google review collection tool
- Stops disruptions in review collection methods
- Provides access to leaving reviews through text messaging
Price: Contact Podium for more information
Don’t let your operations slip through the cracks. Instead, invest in the right tools to keep your business on the track.
Email marketing yields the highest return on investment of any other marketing effort. In fact, some reports indicate a $44 return for every $1 spent on email marketing. As such, it’s important to make sure you have the right tools for the job.
24. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor is an email marketing tool that will help you build your subscriber list, create beautiful email templates, and automate your marketing messages. Campaign Monitor also integrates with other business softwares like SalesForce and GetFeedback.
- Offers email automation
- Stops gaps in data collection with excellent reporting
- Provides proven template design
MailChimp is similar to Campaign Monitor in that it helps you easily boost your subscriber list, send out messages, automate your email campaigns, and create beautiful newsletters. MailChimp also has excellent e-commerce integrations like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and more.
- Offers drag-and-drop email building
- Stops companies from losing touch with subscribers
- Provides email marketing automation
If your email marketing game is tired, use one of these apps to start growing your subscriber list with a regular newsletter.
The Ultimate Small-Biz Helper
As you invest in products that will help you operate your business more effectively, don’t forget our DreamPress plans, fully-managed WordPress hosting solutions that will keep your website running with a 100% uptime guarantee.
Ready to power your website with DreamPress? Start living the dream today!
— Contributions from Kristi Arnold