10 of the Best Business Apps for StartUps

by Chris Sheedy
Posted: November 18, 2015

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Want to save time and energy with a smart bunch of business apps for startups? Are you already a solopreneuer or just keen to kick off your own venture? Here are 10 of the best for business startups and their road to success.

 

Meet up anywhere

Slack 

No matter where you, your team or prospective clients are located, meetings and ongoing conversations just got a whole lot easier. Marketed as “team communication for the 21st century”, Slack offers private chat rooms that can be used for meetings, ongoing discussions, document sharing, image sharing and more. These rooms can be set up for people in specific departments or regions, and be completely private or open to anybody in the business.

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, desktop app, desktop browser

Price: free to US$15 per user/month [Enterprise package due in early 2016]

Email’s champion chimp

Mailchimp 

If you’re keen to build a loyal customer base you’ll want to connect with them in a way that’s engaging and professional. MailChimp’s drag-and-drop email designer creates great-looking emails with powerful marketing automation – you can send batches of emails according to your customers’ past behaviour and preferences. Once the email campaign is done, MailChimp also offers analytics so you know what’s working and what is not.

Platforms: desktop browser, iOS, Android

Price: free for up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month [larger packages up to US$35 per month plus subscription]

Travel itinerary whiz

TripIt 

Organising and managing travel can suck up a ridiculous amount of time, and that’s where TripIt comes in. Just forward your travel plans (emails from airlines, confirmations from hotels etc) by email to TripIt and the app will consolidate them into an itinerary. It will offer directions to airports and hotels, weather reports and more. It’s like having a personal travel assistant.

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, desktop browser

Price: free to US$49.08/year

Note-syncing king

Evernote 

Starting up a business is about taking advantage of inspiration, feedback, collaboration and innovation. Sadly, this doesn’t all arrive at once or in an easily digestible format. Evernote has become the king of the note-syncing castle thanks to its ability to gather all of your ideas, documents and images across all of your devices, in a way that is easy to access and share. It allows you to have everything you need at hand, anywhere.

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10, desktop app

Price: free to US$56.99/year [Evernote Premium]

Receipts wrangler

Shoeboxed

Nothing says ‘wasting time’ for a business owner quite like hours spent entering receipts into accounting software, or filing business documents. The Shoeboxed service lets you either snap images of your receipts, or simply send a monthly batch of paper receipts and documents, and then they take it from there. A split from its US parent company in mid-2015 means Shoeboxed can now focus on local tax and reporting requirements in Australia. The business now meets Australian Taxation Office reporting conditions and plays nicely with accounting services MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks, Reckon and more.

Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop browser

Price: $16.95/mth to $249.95/mth

Point-of-sale in your pocket

Square Register

Last year’s entry into Australia by Square Register was big news for what it promised rather than delivered. Small retailers usually have to shell out for cash register systems. Now they can see a future in which they do it all on a smartphone/tablet. A cloud-based app that turns your tablet into a point-of-sale terminal, Square Register currently processes card payments only in the US, Japan and Canada, but in Australia it offers various valuable back-end analytics such as sales tracking, inventory reporting and online ordering. Card payment processing is likely to arrive soon.

Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop browser

Price: currently free

More productive brainstorming

MindMeister 

Mind mapping is all about organising your thoughts, whether it’s to describe the relationships of pages on your new website, produce a detailed analysis of your customer segments or put together an organisation chart. MindMeister is a simple-to-use but powerful mind mapping software that syncs between desktop browser and mobile devices.

Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop browser

Price: free to US$90 per user/six months

Messaging without SMS

WhatsApp 

Social messaging service WhatsApp has become enormously popular thanks to its ability to roam freely across platforms. Easier and quicker than emails and more visually rich than a phone call, WhatsApp messages also cut SMS costs making them a canny way to communicate with busy clients or colleagues. And when a voice call is needed, WhatsApp routes the call via your internet connection rather than your plan’s voice minutes, which could save cash.

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry

Price: free

The EA with AI

Clara Labs 

Launched late in 2015, Clara is a truly ‘virtual’ virtual assistant, a completely artificially intelligent employee who schedules your meetings, saving that often frustrating time you’d usually spend going back and forth to figure out a time that suits everybody. Clara’s artificial intelligence is so convincing, users say, that recipients don’t realise they are not dealing with a human.

Platforms: desktop browser and via email

Price: US$49 to US$499 per user/month

Focus boost

Focus@Will 

There will always be days when you feel as if you have achieved nothing, then you sit down for an hour of power-working. The focus@will app helps you crack on by delivering instrumental tunes proven by neuroscientists to increase your attention span, focus and productivity up to fourfold. Feel the beat!

Platforms: iOS, Android, desktop

Price: US$4.17/month to US$299.99 for a lifetime membership

Want to learn more business tips and trends? Check out our guide to careers in business

 

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Chris Sheedy

Chris Sheedy

is the Director of The Hard Word, one of Australia's leading professional writing businesses. He has been deeply involved in the magazine, book, publicity, print and electronic media industries for 20 years. Having worked in Sydney, New York City and London, Sheedy now supplies services such as freelance journalism, professional writing, corporate writing, PR management and media consulting.

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