Thursday, October 16, 2014

Top 10 time saving apps for business owners

 Seb Dean from The Imaginaire Web Design for the writes:  When it comes to running a business, especially in the early stages, you’re likely to be absolutely swamped with trying to stay in control of all areas of the business. Covering sales, fulfilment of orders, working with suppliers, billing and all of the other areas is commonplace and just thinking about it is enough to give you a headache! Luckily, those clever tech kids have been hard at work to help automate a lot of the processes and save you time. Here are The London Economic’s top 10 time saving apps for business owners:

1.     Quickbooks

Paid: Available on Desktop, Android and iPhone
Quickbooks is an accounting SaaS (Software as a Service) product. It allows you to automate the whole of your financial record keeping and also billing. This app is fantastic for new businesses, particularly those that offer a monthly service where the same sort of fee will be charged on a monthly basis. Quickbooks allows you to set up contacts within companies that you work with and then assign a monthly invoice to be sent to their email – meaning you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve invoiced your clients each month, it’s all automated.

2.     Bitrix24

Free: Available on Desktop, Android and iPhone
Developing a steady stream of customers for your business is about building a sales process throughout your organisation that takes a systematic approach to the key areas of sales: prospecting, quoting, the sales meeting, closing and retention. Bitrix24 is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that allows you to keep track of any prospects that enter your sales funnel, which stage they are at in the sales process and any sales that you’ve made. The software also allows you to keep notes on each contact within a company, so you can pick up your next conversation where you left off.

3.     Mailchimp

Free: Available on Desktop, Android and iPhone
Mailchimp allows you to automate your email marketing, meaning you can stay in touch with your customers and potential customers without having to set aside time to do so. You can group your customers and prospects into separate lists based on which stage of the sales process they’re at and send emails tailored to them.

4.     Hootsuite

Free: Available on Desktop, Android and iPhone
Hootsuite is a fantastic tool for growing your social media following across platforms. To build a good audience across social media takes a lot of time and, as a business owner, it can be pretty difficult to dedicate enough time to it. Hootsuite allows you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts, meaning that you can set aside an hour or two of your week to work out exactly what you want to push out there and when you’d like to post, you can then schedule all of the posts in and Hootsuite will do the rest!


Free: Available on Android and iPhone is a to-do list app which allows you to add tasks as you think of them and then add them to a specific day. The app will then remind you on the day that the task is due. also has the great functionality of reminding you at 9am to plan your day, something that we’re all guilty of neglecting.

6.     Cal

Free: Available on Android and iPhone
Made by the same people that made, Cal is a calendar app that allows you to pull data from a range of sources such as Google Calendars, Outlook Calendars and your to-do list. It has a very nicely designed interface and can remind you when you’re on-the-go about where you need to be and when.

7.     Google Analytics Automated Reports

Free: Available on Android and iPhone
Your website is a key part of your success as a business and monitoring its performance is vital. Most people use Google Analytics to see how many people have visited their website and the activity of website visitors. What a lot of people don’t realise though is that Google Analytics can run automated reports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and email them straight to you.
This is great, it means you can schedule a report to run and see how your website is progressing over time, without having to take the time to log in to analytics. When you’re on the main view of your analytics account, simply click the email button (see screenshot below).
Then you just type in the email that you’d like to send the report to, change the attachments setting from CSV to PDF, select how often you’d like the report to run and on which day you’d like it to be sent then, hey presto, automated reports!

8.     Basecamp

Paid: Available on Desktop, Android and iPhone
Basecamp is one of the best project management tools out there and is a fantastic way to collaborate with your staff, particularly if you utilise freelance staff at different stages of a project. The app allows you to communicate seamlessly and allocate workload, meaning you can delegate more effectively.

9.     Google Apps for Business

Paid: Available on Desktop, Android and iPhone
As an alternative to Outlook, we love Google Apps for business. It allows you to use your own company email addresses (e.g. and you can then share and create documents ‘in the cloud’. What this means is that you can have a centrally located source for all of your files which members of your company can edit.
We also love the way that Google Apps can link in to other apps (such as, Cal and Bitrix24) to increase the level of automation in your company!


Free: Available on Android and iPhone
Rapportive is a tool which links in with your Gmail account and searches for key information about people that you’re going to email. As a sales tool, this is excellent. When you type in their email address, rapportive will pull up their social media profiles and other information in a sidebar, meaning you can tailor your email to them more effectively. Rapportive can really help in the early stages of talking to a prospective customer.
Hopefully this article has been helpful to you as a business owner and will free up some of your time which will allow you to focus on growing your business instead of working within it – this is also known as the holy grail!
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