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There’s An App For That! The Best Business Apps for Entrepreneurs

On July 29th, 2022, I was excited to present in partnership with:

Our topic was There’s an Appl For That!: The Best Business Apps for Entrepreneurs. The full slide deck is below, along with some condensed notes.

Why are Apps important to your Business?

Apps are now as necessary to running your business as pen & paper. Back in the day (before our time,) people had filing cabinets, typewriters, and rolodex’s. Now, all of that information is in your pocket. Plus, they can be fun, we promise!

Best Marketing Apps for Entrepreneurs

  • LinkedIn:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: A great app for connecting with potential customers/clients, keeping your audience updated with everything going on at your business, and finding new talent at your business.
  • Instagram:
    • Cost:
    • Best Practices: Instagram is the home for more than just images. It’s now reels, IGTV, stories, and shopping. Make sure you’re resharing any UGC (user generated content) on your profiles.
  • Facebook:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Make your company page, and considering boosting posts. At this point, remember that Facebook tends to be an older audience.
  • Twitter:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Use Twitter as more of a conversation than simply posting. Remember to retweet and reshare!
  • TikTok:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Be candid and be on camera. TikTok is a great platform for presenting the people behind your business. Feel free to share your TikToks across Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts for greater awareness.
  • Google Ads Keyword Planner:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Utilize to identify which keywords your audiences are using to search for you, or what your competitors consider valuable and worth bidding on with Google Ads.
  • Moz Pro:
    • Cost: $99+ / Month
    • Best Practices: Track your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings, and the number of links that you have. This is also a great complement to the keyword research you do in the Google Ads Keyword Planner.
  • Yoast:
    • Cost: Free for basic, $99 for premium
    • Best Practices: If your website is built on WordPress, you’ll want to install Yoast SEO as one of your first plug-ins. It’ll give you a checklist of things to confirm so that your content is optimized for Google and other search engines.
  • Google Analytics:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: It’s not enough to simply install Google Analytics onto your website, you’ll also want to set up goals. Keeping an eye on your goals, and also your acquisition report, will let you know what’s working and what’s not.
  • Mailchimp:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Always be growing your email list, and engaging with them. Make sure to segment your audiences, and your content, so that you’re sending interesting content to a very specific target of your entire customer list. Sending emails on a consistent basis, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, will keep your business top of mind for your customer.
  • Canva:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Utilize the templates for quick design work. If you’re working on Canva lots, make sure to upload your brand kit so you can have your fonts and colors at-hand at all times.

Best Accounting Apps for Entrepreneurs

  • Wave:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Wave is great for solo-preneurs, and businesses selling services. However, it does have a 1% invoice cost, so it can get expensive fast for growing companies.
  • Xero:
    • Cost: $12 / month
    • Best Practices: Xero is a great choice for growing, or inventory businesses. They have lots of reminders, because an invoice is only good if it’s getting paid.
  • QuickBooks Online:
    • Cost: $12.50 / month (and increases fast)
    • Best Practices: QuickBooks is great for growing small businesses, but it can be complicated so make sure you’re trained on the platform.

Productivity Tools for Yourself

  • Asana:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Utilize the calendar tool to help you organize projects over time. Make sure that you creat projects as well that keep all team members on the same page. Lastly, integrate with other apps that are discussed in this article like Google Drive and HubSpot to make your interactions more seamless between the tools.
  • Calendly:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Allows you to let clients to set meetings around your schedule, without having to play phone tag. As your team grows, you can use the round-robin feature to schedule meetings evenly between your team.

BEST APPS FOR HIRING FOR ENTREPRENEURS

  • Craigslist:
    • Cost: ~ $25 / Job
    • Best Practices: Be descriptive in your job titles, and use photos so you don’t look like a scammer.
  • Monster:
    • Cost: Free with premium upcharges.
    • Best Practices: Monster is a great place to post jobs with a premium subscription…so just make sure you cancel that subscription before you get charged.
  • Glassdoor:
    • Cost: ~ $150 / job.
    • Best Practices: Get positive reviews for your business before you start promoting your jobs on the platform.

Best Team Productivity Apps for Entrepreneurs:

  • Slack:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Slack is like the instant messenger or MSN chat that you may remember from the 90s, but superpowered. You can create endless channels to help your team communicate with each other from client communications to fun meme sharing channels. We recommend grouping similar channels so they’re easy to find, using private Slack channels for confidential information, and utilizing Slack’s app directory to connect other platforms and tools like templates, Google Drive, HubSpot, Asana, and More.
  • Google Workspace:
    • Cost: $6 – $18 / user / month
    • Best Practices: Collaborate with your team across their apps. If you want extra-credit, make sure to get really, really good at Sheets formulas.
  • Harvest:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Use to get a better sense of how your time is being spent while growing your business, or to ensure that your contractors are working the hours you need them to work to be profitable.

Best Business Development Apps for Entrepreneurs

  • HubSpot’s Make My Persona App
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Identify who your target audience is, then use those findings to better target your ideal audience. You may find that your organization has multiple personas to target – that’s not unusual. Keep different tactics in mind for different audiences.
  • HubSpot
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: It’s a lot easier to keep records of all your leads in one place, rather than scrolling through your rolodex on your desk. Not only can it tell you when to reach back out to your leads, but it can organize correspondence between everyone on your team, and track your team’s sales.
    • Extra tips for utilizing HubSpot’s Sales CRM:
      • Organize all your contacts in HubSpot, including phone numbers and email addresses. HubSpot provides extensions for Google WorkSpace or Microsoft Office 365 so that your emails can be automatically tracked and logged.
      • Crafting a deals pipeline will let you understand the potential revenue coming in, as well as identify if any potential business is taking too long to close and might require an executive check-in.
      • If you aren’t using Asana or another project management tool, you can use HubSpot’s tasks.
      • Lastly, templates are a great way to make frequent emails that you send as easy as two clicks, rather than typing them out again and again.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator:
    • Cost: $79.99 / month / user
    • Best Practices: Go far beyond LinkedIn’s free search tool. easily identify users who fall under your audience personas, build custom lists based on those similar to folks you previously interacted with, and reach out to them via LinkedIn’s InMail system.

Best Social Media Management Apps for Entrepreneurs

  • Later:
    • Cost: Free
    • Best Practices: Later’s a great tool for scheduling social media posts, or getting posts across platforms easily. If you’re not ready for a freelancer or an agency, considering using Later to make your social media better.

Our Recommended Next Steps:

Pick just one app to implement next week – especially if it’s a a free app. Once you have that app implemented, try adding one app from each section of the presentation for the weeks following.

Interested in having Online Optimism speak at your next conference? You can find more information on our Press page.

A women typing on a laptopFurther information about this presentation:

Growth-oriented entrepreneurs are always exploring new and innovate ways to increase customer satisfaction and improve internal efficiency and productivity for long term sustainability and profitability. With increased competition, workforce challenges, and ever-changing market dynamics, entrepreneurs must understand the importance of utilizing the latest, most effective technologies in increasing efficiency and boosting customer interactions.

During this webinar, participants will learn how to determine what key processes they need to focus on improving within their businesses. This session will also address the following questions :

  • Why is it so important to use apps and other software in running my business?
  • What are some of the best apps available for various business processes?
  • How do I go about assessing which app is best for my business?
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