As a small business owner, we get hit from all sides, and on a daily basis. From emails to customer enquiries, from staffing issues to family matters. The long list of firefighting activities goes on!
Managing all this can be a juggle (and a struggle). Balls get dropped from time to time. Leveraging a variety of apps can really help keep these balls in play and keep your sanity intact.
What is an app?
An app is simply a piece of software that plugs into your computer or smartphone to improve its functionality. There is almost an app for everything and if there isn’t, there is big business around finding the next one. Some apps are free, some are paid. Some are great, others not so much. It can be a little bit of trial and error to find what works for you and your team.
Let’s look at some of our favourites:
Wunderlist (free & paid versions)
Wunderlist is a task management app. After trialing a couple of different task managers, we went with Wunderlist. We found it easy to organise tasks into folders and set calendar reminders. Tasks can have notes and files added to them, as well as be delegated to other team members. As an avid follower of GTD methodology, getting things off your mind and into a system fast is essential. Crucially, the smartphone app allows for a quick and easy transfer of notes and tasks to your inbox for processing. Check it out here.
Calendly (free & paid versions)
Calendly is a great little tool for appointment & meeting bookings. With an easy 10min set up, this app links directly with Google calendar and allows clients to book into predetermined slots in your calendar. It is also super easy for clients to book appointments, so this one is a win-win all around. Check it out here.
Loom (free & paid versions)
We have only discovered the joys of Loom in the last 6 months and we absolutely love it! Loom allows you to record your computer screen and share it to your clients as video content, complete with audio. We have found it super useful in explaining various aspects of graphic design and in particular, web design. It’s great for customer support videos, staff training videos and even as a sales tool. Check it out here.
Agile CRM (paid only versions)
This one is quite new to us, but it is showing great promise. Having a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) is super important for a business both large and small. There are lots of options out there… Capsule, Salesforce, Zoho to name a few. We are currently playing around with Agile CRM and can see good potential in this app. Existing customers are your greatest asset, and Agile allows you to automate your marketing to them with email templates, contact forms, triggers and newsletter campaigns. In addition to this, there is a support module to take your customer relationships to the next level. Check it out here.
Grammarly (free & paid versions)
As we see more and more of our communications go online, there has been a steady drop in standards of spelling and grammar on both a personal and professional level. Poorly written emails, marketing campaigns and social media posts are commonplace across all platforms. This is where Grammarly comes in. Once installed onto your computer, Grammarly acts as a spelling and grammar check for your online correspondence. It is small and just runs in the background of your day to day communications. An unsung hero, Grammarly saves us from spelling errors, both large and small on a daily basis! Check it out here.
Quotient (paid only versions)
Anyone who has done work with us in the past has no doubt come across this one. Quotient is our quoting software and we love it. Fully integrated with Xero, it enables our quotes to stand out from our competitors. On receiving a quote, our clients can pick and choose between options, edit their quantity and even ask questions, all directly on the quote page. Once accepted, the quote automatically appears in Xero as a draft invoice for processing. Check it out here.
These apps (and many others) help us on a daily basis to run our business, juggle balls and ensure the needs and expectations of our customers are met. Do you know of any other apps that you use and love? Get in touch and let us know!