Small business owners have it hard, juggling tasks such as conceptualizing ideas, handling paperwork, and talking to customers, not to mention handling the daily activities of the enterprise itself. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and, if you’re like many small businesses, not a whole lot of people to help you out. You may even be a one-man operation.

If you find yourself in this situation, you probably feel lost amid the hundreds of tasks and problems you have to deal with every day. Thankfully, the advent of new technologies has introduced a slew of apps specifically designed for productivity, time efficiency, and cost savings.

These business apps are not only useful, they can also help you grow your business by freeing up time you would otherwise spend on tedious tasks. After all, no one should spend half a day doing something like payroll, not when you have an app that can do it in less than half the time for you.

But which apps are we talking about here? Both the App Store on iOS and Play Store on Android have millions of apps, so you’re probably wondering where to start. I’ve compiled a list of eight fantastic apps, sorted into four categories for your convenience, to help you get started.

Finance and Accounting

1. QuickBooks Accounting

A trusted name in business accounting software, the QuickBooks Accounting app snags a 4.3 and 4.9 user review score on the Play Store and App Store, respectively.

QuickBooks Accounting is an all-in-one app that grants users access to numerous accounting functions. It lets you track expenses, accept payments, send estimates, sales receipts, and invoices, view profits, and scan loss and balance sheets among others.

The app’s base version will set you back $15 per month—this version already prints checks and integrates with banks. More premium versions range from $35 to $50 per month, giving you access to more advanced features like payment scheduling and tracking of inventory.

2. Invoice by Wave

If you’re on a budget or want to use cheaper alternatives in the accounting app world, Invoice by Wave is the way to go.

Simple to navigate and even simpler to use, this app’s core features include invoicing, expense monitoring, scanning receipts, integration with your bank accounts, and integration with payment options like PayPal.

The best part? Invoice by Wave is free. To access additional features like premium customer support, you’ll have to spend a bit of cash—the starting price is $20 per month.

Work Communication

3. Slack

Among work communication apps, Slack is a favorite of many users, who praise it for is simple and thoughtful interface, as well as collaborative features. With Slack, there’ll be no slacking off for sure.

Slack streamlines how your team members communicate and collaborate with one another. You can build chat groups for various departments or projects, instead of having to message every single employee via SMS or email. You can also make video calls using Slack.

The app’s Lite version is totally free while the upgraded version starts at $8 per month.

4. Basecamp

Basecamp is a top-rated app designed for project management and internal communication in your business. In Basecamp, you can centralize all your business’ means of communication. You can create tasks and assign deadlines for employees, oversee a project’s progress through timelines and calendars, design automated check-in questions that make for quicker team updates, and share files among others.

Basecamp, however, doesn’t come cheap, setting you back $99 per month. But if yours is a growing business, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.

5. Flock

Slack competitor Flock is solid business communication and group collaboration tool for teams. In 2018, the app introduced two new features, Smart Channels and Guest Accounts, which the company said are designed to make teams more efficient.

Smart Channels simplifies team collaboration, especially between Flock group admins and members, standing out as the first team messenger of its kind to automate channel creation and management based on user-specific fields. On the other hand, Guest Accounts is a useful feature that lets team bring in guest users—useful for creative agencies that need to bring clients in for feedback or regular communication.

Time Management and Productivity

6. RescueTime

Have problems managing your time as a business owner? RescueTime is there to the rescue.

This time management and productivity app helps set your priorities straight and holds you accountable for time. RescueTime tracks how much time you spend in certain applications and websites and allows you to create productivity goals. The premium plan can even block sites, track your offline activities, or notify you if you’re taking up too much time with one app or website.

RescueTime’s basic plan is absolutely free, while the premium plan charges $9 per month. It is only available in the App Store, however.

7. Toggl

Toggl is all about hassle-free time tracking for your team—the kind that actually helps you instead of annoying everyone. The app offers project or client tracking, graph viewing, and timesheets exporting. It even allows you to link to a handful of project management apps to maximize efficiency.

Toggl is free for teams of five users or fewer. The Pro version caters to unlimited users and contains additional features for a monthly fee of 5 per user.


8. TransferWise

For small businesses with remote workers needing a quick and affordable cross-border payment solution, TransferWise has you covered.

TransferWise for Business offers low-fee one-off transfers and borderless accounts, helping your company grow into a truly international enterprise. Beloved by regular consumers for its competitive conversion rates and low transfer fees, TransferWise now extends these benefits to businesses.

The tool also offers a Borderless Account feature, which allows small businesses to receive payments in three major currencies and transfer money in more than 50 currencies.

Marketing and Branding

9. Hootsuite

Up your social media game with Hootsuite, a must-have app for every modern marketer. With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts across multiple social media sites and have it published automatically. More than that, you have access to cloud-stored content, can appoint certain employees to check and approve content, track crucial metrics, and connect with some of the best analytics apps.

Hootsuite’s plans start at $19 per month and go up to $599 for the full premium experience. You can also request custom plans according to your organization’s size and specific needs.

10. MailChimp

When you want to maximize the mailing aspect of marketing, MailChimp is your trump card.

Featuring a simple and intuitive interface, MailChimp lets create and forward professional emails and newsletters designed to match your brand’s image. You can also get sales alerts, track key metrics, check customer behavior, and study performance reports, all of which gives you the information to track your email campaign’s performance.

MailChimp has a free plan designed for “businesses that are just getting started.” For additional support, you can pony up to the $9.99 Essentials Plan and the $14.99 Standard Plan.

So, there you have it, 10 apps designed to help you save time and money, allowing you to focus your energy and resources on growing your company. Although this list is by no means comprehensive, thsey should offer any business owner a solid starting point to be productive, efficient, and cost-effective.