This list is personal. It is a sample of tools to save time, stress and cash. Some are old favourites recently revamped, some local apps that we know and trust, and some ‘take the world by storm’ global apps that should not be be ignored.
This app from the USA has recently become a big player. Slack is said to be the fastest growing business app in history. What’s it about? Sharing. Slack creates alignment and shared understanding in your team making everyone more productive and just a little bit happier (hopefully). And yes, there is an unlimited free version suitable for small teams. Have a look at www.slack.com and join the other millions already using it.
Another app growing fast for good reason. Stripe builds powerful and flexible tools for internet commerce. Locally, its getting raved about as a smart build, simple and flexible to use. I’m sold. Common uses are a subscription service, on demand marketplace, e-commerce store, or crowd funding. Used by hundreds of thousands of businesses across over 25 countires. Check it out here at www.stripe.com.
A Paymark New Zealand offering that might suit you depending on how you like to keep track of expenses. PayPR is a world first, built to integrate with your Xero to manage business expenses. It works with around 75% of transactions processed in New Zealand and brings the receipt straight to your phone ready for you to code. No need to go Digital – Paper – Digital it’s a direct route – you just need to have your smart phone within a couple of metres range of the eftos machine you are paying at. Check out www.paypr.co.nz.
KeePassDroid is a password manager for Android. Recommended to by our local and very trustworthy and knowlegable IT provider (http://www.omninet.co.nz). It’s a locker app to keep all your sensitive information like log in details and serial numbers. Very practical. You can also export to new devices. It’s simple, it works and it’s completely free. Find it in the PlayStore.
Known for being one of the simplest CRM’s to learn, and with an excellent Xero integration (thanks to the Australasian founder), Insightly has pushed up it’s positions in my book with a major release a couple of months ago. Better reporting, and a slick looking new user interface are just two of the new features. It’s not free but it is one of the most cost effective CRMs if you are wanting automation as well as more common lead management, pipelines, contacts, mail templates etc. www.insightly.com
Another local product from our own home town of Tauranga. Started by a couple of enterprising plumbers a few years back Fergus has continued to invest in development and has a reputation for strong support. We have come to like it more and more over time, as do others for it’s user friendly appearance, ease of use and practical features. It’s not just effective job management for Plumbers and Sparkies but also suitable for quite a lot of other tradies and contractors. Works pretty well with Xero too. So if you’re spending a lot of time keeping track of who’s doing what, and when, and working out whether it’s all worthwhile or not (!) could be worth a look. We are partners and support it. http://www.fergusapp.com
Another app to automate data entry of invoices and receipts. Haven’t had a lot of experience with this one yet, but we are checking it out. It just keeps popping up in expert blogs as being a good solution where advanced functionality is needed. Based on what we can see, it looks like a pumped up version of Receipt-Bank. Yes, it may be a bit more pricy but if you need advanced features like processing of individual invoice lines that Receiptbank can’t do automatically, it could be a real beauty for your business. Also has some neat features to stay in touch with clients. http://www.datamolino.com
A new release from Xero for tracking time and expenses against individual projects. This one’s been in the pipeline for a while and just newly released. Yes, it’s cheap and cheerful but could be a very cost effective solution if you’re a small business just needing simple functionality to keep track of time and disbursements on your Projects. No doubt new features will be added over time. Might still be a little early for me (I like to wait a bit until there have been adjustments from initial user feedback), but if you’re hanging out for a easy solution then it’s all good news. Xero Projects now appears as a tab in your Xero. Contact the subscriber to activate it.