I’ve had the joy of working with some really fantastic business owners in my time at Mosher’s Business Support, and now as a freelancer I’m learning so much about automating business processes and making it easier for myself. What’s brilliant is that so many of the vital apps in my business are free or ridiculously cheap! So in the interest of helping out future business owners, here’s my top 5 of must-have apps:
I honestly don’t know how I functioned without cloud storage. How great is it to create a PDF on a desktop computer and view it on your phone or iPad at a meeting? Dropbox for Business is only $13 (AUD) a month and provides a terabyte of storage. The free version provides 8GB of storage, so if you’re just getting started, try out the free version and see how you go.
Another amazing free service with premium features, MailChimp is vital for maintaining a mailing list and sending out gorgeous HTML styled newsletter emails. MailChimp was especially useful for managing a contact list for my local community theatre – as people booked for plays, we’d add them to that list and then we could send night-before information and review requests at the touch of a button.
It’s hard to go past WordPress as a fantastic way to build a website, but still keep complete control. If you’re a beginner it’s not hard to install a theme and away you go, and if you’re confident with HTML and CSS, you can start playing around with customisations. And, the ultimate perk – it’s free!
4. Wave Accounting
Programs like MYOB and QuickBooks are fantastic if you have payroll to manage, but if you’re a sole trader or just starting out, Wave is an amazing option. It’s free, and it comes with an app, so you can take payments on the go (using Stripe) and record invoices on your phone to work with later on a computer. I’m a little addicted to their pie charts and graphs!
I think I need to sign up for an affiliate fee for Zapier – I can’t stop talking about it! Zapier is an incredible piece of software that transmits data between apps. For example, you could set up a ‘Zap’ so that every time someone buys an item from your WordPress online store, it automatically adds them to a MailChimp newsletter list – leaving you time to create gorgeous newsletters and increase the chance of repeat sales. And yes – it’s free (with premium versions).
What app or piece of software is your must-have for business?
image credit: kaboompics.com (another great free source, this time for stock photography!)