Sure, being an entrepreneur has its rewards; it is, after all, why you signed up, right? But the daily challenges of running your own business can be overwhelming too. Every success comes with another pressure to perform, from managing another client or account, scheduling another business trip, or even hiring a helping hand. These are all things that give cause to celebrate your growing business venture, but they also create another stress that can seem unmanageable without the proper tools to organize your achievements.
The problem becomes, with the abundance of apps and gadgets available on the market to assist you, which ones to choose. Certainly, some are better than others, and what works for one company, may not be at all helpful to accommodate your specific needs.
Don’t sweat; you probably have cause enough to do that without worrying about which technologies are worth your investment.
We already know you work hard; here’s a list of apps to get you working “smart”:
Manage Finances with Wave:
Wave (waveapps.com) is an accounting and finance platform specifically designed to help the small business owner.
How’s that, exactly? Wave’s invoicing and accounting software is entirely, 100% free; their credit card processing and bank processing services are competitive in price, and are calculated on a pay-as-you-go plan. That means no long contracts or commitments.
Wave helps you track your business’ income and expenses, and get you ready for tax time. Invoicing is customized and user-friendly; with features like recurring billing and automatic payment reminders, you can rest easy knowing that a small fraction of your to-do list is taken care of, come the end of the month.
The fact that invoices and payment information are automatically synced just means another checkmark on your bookkeeping responsibilities.
As your business grows, you’ll need to consider hiring some help. Wave can help with payroll too.
Boasting over three million satisfied clients, with over $200 billion in expenses and income tracked, and $20 billion in invoices sent annually since 2010, Wave is a one-stop-shop for all of your business’ finance needs.
Get Organized with Asana:
Whether you’re a believer in the teamwork mentality to get things done, or you prefer to work alone, as an entrepreneur you know that no man is an island (despite the wise words of Simon and Garfunkel). Being a part of a group project can be daunting, especially when your teammates are unable to coordinate sit-down, face-to-face time to keep the machinations running flawlessly to meet a deadline. Add in hindrances like geographic location and differing time zones, and you could be waiting days for a response to an email you needed yesterday.
Drumroll please… Asana (asana.com) is a web and app based project management tool that allows teammates to coordinate on assignments and deadlines seamlessly. From the most immediate details to the big picture, all aspects of the project are tracked with over 100 of the most popular integrated programs, including Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Microsoft Office 365 to name a few.
Asana allows you to micromanage and map out every aspect of the project, organizing every minute detail in one easy location. It keeps the lines of communication wide open between teammates and offers a visual for every stage of the game.
Asana has some impressive customers that back their product…if it’s good enough for NASA, it might be worth investigating. Added bonus? The premium price tag is only $9.99USD/month for every teammate on the project.
Track your Dollars and Cents with Expensify:
As an entrepreneur, these two words most likely cause an understandable amount of anxiety, and may even cause you to unconsciously cringe: Business Expenses. No doubt, a necessary evil, but the thought of losing a receipt, or an incredibly high-ticketed item being slapped onto a credit card are the things that, for small business owners, nightmares are made of.
Expensify (expensify.com) wants to alleviate that stress, claiming that by using their app, expense reports take as much as 83% less time. Sweet deal, right?
Here’s the lowdown: Instead of cramming a whole bunch of receipts into your wallet, some of which will surely be lost before they make their way to accounting, all you need to do is snap a picture. The “SmartScan” will automatically pull all the numbers from the receipt, read and code it to an expense report, which can then be automatically submitted, approved, and even reimbursed.
There are over 4.5 million users and more than 300,000 companies, including OnePlan Business Centres, that trust Expensify to help conduct their business. Reimbursing millions of dollars every day and processing billions every year, the proof is in the proverbial pudding, as they say.
It’s nice to have a world of choice, but with the surplus of technological resources available to help you stay focused on what’s important, it’s essential to remember what you need and why you need it, or you could end up with an excess of fancy (and expensive) toys you’ll likely never use. Advice? Test the waters; most apps offer a trial opportunity to try their product before committing to anything.
It has never been easier to work smart; just be sure to get educated before you do.