Ever since the legacy office was disrupted by mobile and B.Y.O devices flooded the workplace, app development’s principal aim has been rebuilding the office – on your phone.
It must be said: most entrepreneurs are innately skewed towards mobile apps. When time is critical – and portfolios and their tasks are numerous – mobile apps have found some of their greatest application in the hands (or on the phones) of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
Startups, too, have embraced mobile apps as basic business tools. If you ask a reputable IT support outfit like Computers In The City what their percentage of mobile app support is compared to overall office tech issues, they’ll confirm it’s become almost the default call.
Here are seven of the best phone apps for businesses large and small. The best apps have a basic functionality that includes all the essentials, allowing for greater use at scale once your business grows. These apps truly benefit small and large companies because they’ve enabled a set of core functions to allow a similar experience across the commercial spectrum.
Monday.com has made a meal of time and task management and their associated needs. Additionally, it’s highly interactive and visually appealing. The app is an aid to business process mapping and costing, and – while it can’t do the work for you – it’s unambiguous about what happened when, where, and how much it cost at any stage of a project.
That said, besides facilitating workflows through a visual ‘master plan’ that captures it all in one place, many tasks can be put on autopilot. The platform is open to integration with personal favourite tools, too.
Needing no introduction, Microsoft 365 remains a default app for millions all over the world. Universally used, four big tickets come with the app; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and cloud backup OneDrive.
It’s hard to avoid with such an essential basic composition, and Microsoft is still trading on its successful entrenchment of Word and Excel as basic business tools that were developed decades ago.
A synced online backup has saved many business owners from disaster, and even if you employ other cloud facilities, it’s worthwhile doubling up on OneDrive.
Previously Microsoft Office, Microsoft 365 is a fundamental platform in the sense that it offers a suite of useful tools for the daily grind. It’s success and value show in that most people don’t even distinguish between “computing” and Microsoft anymore – everyone uses this app, and for obvious reasons.
It has competitors, it’s true, but there always seems to be issues with file conversions, or absent familiar features with other apps and – like Bill or hate him – Microsoft 365 remains the king of essential apps.
Avast Business Antivirus Pro
Not so long ago, it seemed as if the top antivirus would always be McAfee. While McAfee still ranks as one of the world’s best antivirus software, Avast Business Antivirus Pro has a serious claim to the throne.
Where McAfee boasts very few false positives, a file shredder, and is great at protecting your ID online, Avast appears more skillful at online malware detection, protects your webcam and inhibits ransomware attacks, and also has a great sandbox for handling dubious packages.
Taken as a whole, Avast is a more practical protection for modern business – with no disrespect to McAfee – and their free version isn’t bad, either. Businesses should use the Pro version, however－comprehensive protection is needed for commercial conduct, as there’s far too much at stake.
With Zoom and Microsoft Teams all the rage these days, RingCentral Office is often overlooked as a business communications system. It has enterprise-grade voice, text, fax, and conferencing-stroke-collaboration capabilities, and has hit a sweet spot for millions of users the world over.
Coming as a Service (aaS), RingCentral Office is bought, installed, and managed online, and allows for fluid comms between multiple locations, people and devices easily. You use, and the cloud manages everything else.
For many years, QuickBooks has been the preferred small business accounting package, and – in fairness – it did evolve to greater application over that time.
However, FreshBooks is better suited to startups, while QuickBooks is geared towards businesses that sell products. While QuickBooks is highly scalable and many accounting types know it and prefer it, FreshBooks is far more intuitive with greater ease of use, especially when the entrepreneur is still the bookkeeper.
FreshBooks has straddled the world stage because it’s also incredibly easy to integrate with other tools. Indeed, the company has an integration library that makes CRM functions seamless and synced. It has a strong affinity for Capsule, AgileCRM, and HubSpot.
Considered the accounting app for freelancers, FreshBooks is meeting modern startup needs head on. Cloud-based and uncomplicated for non-accounting types, FreshBooks is a better QuickBooks for most small, modern startups.
Asana is project management software that, in the words of the company itself, moves “from the small stuff to the big picture,” and “organizes work so teams know what to do, why it matters, and how to get it done.”
But that’s not the real value of this software.
As any decent UX designer will tell you, an app’s value lies in a muted ease of use, which indicates that designers have done their job well. Asana is such an app – simple in presentation, but detailed enough to scale with any project.
The app lets you generate reminders and to-do lists, dates and timelines, instructions and collegial intel – all in one place. You can share images directly from apps like Google Drive, and one of the app’s main focuses is on tracking and reporting.
HubSpot Marketing Hub
Now a household name, HubSpot is a diverse and incredibly valuable platform – hence its dominant position in content marketing and CRM.
A content management and marketing tool (including social media management), HubSpot might be outdone on occasion on individual points by competitors focused solely on a particular functionality, but as a suite of tools with marketing savvy, it’s hard to beat.
Very welcoming towards startups and small-scale entrepreneurs, the HubSpot Marketing Hub simplifies their forays into the market and ensures campaigns have consistency, while following strong Inbound Marketing principles. In short, it’s a must-have not only for small business and mobile activity, but rather the baseline app for proactive businesses.
Mobile Business Apps Can Help Your SME Succeed
If you’re a small to medium-sized business owner – or would like to become one in the near future – these seven phone apps are sure to help get your business started on the right foot.