Looking for Useful Apps for UK Small Business Owners? We have Ten of them!
These days there is an app for just about everything a small business owner could possibly need. However, it can be quite a daunting task to actually sift through all these offerings to find those apps that are really going to be useful for you.
Here we have saved you a bit of legwork by sorting out what we consider to be genuinely useful apps for small business owners that are currently on the market. Some are free, some have free trial periods and then will cost money to keep using, and some are paid-for apps that we genuinely feel are worth the expense if they can be of use to you.
Many apps on the market can either save you time and help to boost your productivity, or they can be accessed and operated via smartphone so you don’t have to worry if you are spending a lot of time travelling or out and about for your business.
Easy payment apps
There are a good choice of payment apps for small businesses available and these offer a very reliable way for your business to receive payments. These suggestions have been tried and tested by business owners and you may well have used these yourself for completing transactions online:
Probably the most well-known payment provider online is PayPal. It is a widely recognised payments service that has been around for a long time, and is a very popular and trusted option with small businesses for that reason.
PayPal is free to use for most users, and small business owners can choose between a free option and a paid option for £20.00 per month. With the free option you can accept credit and debit cards, so this makes an ideal choice for sole traders who are just starting up and are operating on a very tight budget. You also get a PayPal checkout to use on your website that takes the buyer to their site to pay for your goods and services. With the paid-for version, you can actually use PayPal but get to keep payments running through your own site. There are also a host of extra features that are available to paid customers that can be very useful.
SagePay is another well-known name that has been around for a long time and is used by a lot of online businesses. The beauty of SagePay is that it offers both online and face-to-face payment options, as well as the ability to invoice your customers should that be a preferable way to bill customers.
Unlike PayPal, SagePay doesn’t offer a free version of it’s service. What you actually pay depends on which tools you need for your business as you pay for each tool separately. However, payments can range from a 0.59% transaction fee to £19.99 a month depending on how you use it. Keeping all of your payment solutions together sourced from one provider can help you to keep better track of your cashflow, so it can be useful when doing your bookkeeping and accounts.
This is a fantastic payment solution should your business take payments in person. Ideal if you want to offer your customers payment through credit and debit cards on the spot. The iZettle card readers sync with an app on your mobile device via Bluetooth, so you can complete transactions via your smartphone or tablet etc.
You can choose between a free and £20 a month payment option. The nice thing about the paid-for option is that you can personalise your sales reports for individual staff members so you can keep a track of how your staff are performing. The company are very user-friendly and offer evening and weekend support should you need it.
Productivity and organisational apps
It can be a difficult task to keep on top of all your jobs when you are running your own business. Keeping everything organised and on track it a chore all by itself, so making good use of these productivity and organisational apps can be a real life-saver!
Omnifocus 2 is a good tool if you need to do project management as part of your business processes. It is particularly useful for when you have a lot of stuff going on at once and need to keep organised. The system offers handy to-do list creation tools, mail drops, reminders and lots more.
Currently only available for Mac and iOS, you only need to pay a one-off fee of either £39.99 for the standard package or if you want more tools and options, they offer a pro-version for a one-off payment of £79.99 with free updates.
The Evernote app allows you to do such tasks as take web clippings, write notes and reminders, and create slide decks direct from your tablet or smartphone. It is handy while on the go because it syncs with your other devices and can be accessed from anywhere with a web connection.
While there is a free version for you to try out and use, you may want to take up the business version for more options and useful tools. The business version of Evernote has three pricing tiers to choose from depending on your needs, but you do get a free 30 day trial to test everything out before deciding if it works for you.
Clear by name and clear by nature. This app is simple to use and syncs with your smartphone framework. You can organise push notifications and simple to-do lists to help prompt you into action.
While there is no free version of Clear to try out first, the low one-off cost of £4.99 makes this an attractive app to use.
Small business owners have a lot to do and often struggle to find the time to secure customers and get them to return let alone finding time to dedicate to attracting new customers. There are a few handy apps that can help:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become so important to the success of small businesses in recent years. Nimble is a good customer relationship management app that can keep track of your customers and give you useful insights to help your marketing efforts. From pipeline management and email tracking to business insights, you get a powerful set of tools to help you to define your demographic and effectively market to them.
There is a 14 day free trial available so you can give Nimble a test run before deciding to purchase. Pricing starts from $22 a month after your 14 day free trial.
Facebook Pages Manager
We all realise just how powerful Facebook can be for relationship building and engaging directly with our customers. The new Facebook Marketplace feature offers small business an extra boost. However, keeping up with your Facebook commitments can be a time-drain, especially when you need to get other important business tasks done.
This is where Facebook Pages Manager comes in. Facebook created this to help busy business owners make the right connections and set up their public facing profile and information correctly for better customer engagement.
Salesforce has grown to become quite a prominent influencer and tech leader in recent years. Desk was created by Salesforce especially to help small business owners who are particularly time-poor and need to make sure their customers are being taken care of, especially when they are absent from their desk.
This tool comes with a free 14 trial to test out the system fully before committing yourself. If you like what you see, then pricing starts at around $20 per month. You can upgrade through a tiered pricing system depending on what extras you need to a complete service at $100 per month. Great for a solo entrepreneur who is starting out on a restricted budget but that needs something that can grow with their business and scale up their services alongside to meet your needs.
Google apps for small business owners
With millions of users worldwide, Google offer a whole suite of useful apps that are great for small business owners. One of the most attractive things about using Google apps is that you store all of your information on the cloud, so no matter where you are or what you are doing, you can easily access your documents that you started in the office and add, edit or share while away from your computer via your smartphone or tablet.
You can use their suite of apps completely free – a bonus for small business owners on a tight budget.
Because these are cloud-based apps, there is no risk of losing your precious data should your laptop break or get stolen. It also makes it easy to collaborate with co-workers or share with your clients as you can allow nominated people access to view or edit your documents.