By Charndré Emma Kippie
Getting a business off the ground and running is a daunting task all on its own. Now, factor in a virus that catapults society to ‘global pandemic’ status, and the task seems near impossible. These last two years have pushed businesses beyond their ‘safe’ boundaries and reinforced the need for improved organisational strategies and business processes.
It has never been more important to employ business management software than the times business owners find themselves in. These nifty advancements in app technology can assist businesses with avoiding common errors and breaking laws, improving employee efficiency and productivity, better communication between teams, and enhancing logistics.
Here is a list of the top 5 business apps that could take your company from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’:
Accounting & Finance
Keep your ducks in a row! With QuickBooks web-based accounting software, your small business will be able to keep its books up to date with a simple tap on any mobile device. Sounds crazy, right?
QuickBooks Online (founded by Scott Cook) delivers on its promise of providing ‘seriously easy accounting for small businesses’; the amazing integration between finance and technology allows you to track expenses, customise invoices, run reports and more – all in one place. This software is ideal for small or mid-sized businesses, in any industry, and even freelancers (it’s perfect for remote bookkeeping).
Quickbooks Online comes with free intuit mobile apps for Android and IOS devices.
The web-based system can be accessed from any web browser, and there are no installations or downloads necessary in order to utilise the software. Quickbooks users can even take photographs of bills and submit them as expense proofs. They may also opt to share this proof with the concerned stakeholders, as well as download and reconcile credit card transactions.
- Track VAT
- Download insights & reports
- Manage employees
- Track inventory
- Track projects & locations
- High costs incurred depending on the plan that works best for your business
- It may take some time for employees to get used to some of the changes from Quickbooks Desktop to Quickbooks online.
Founded in 2011, by Eric Yuan, the Zoom video conferencing software programme helps bring people together in a unified, frictionless environment. And with the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the company has been able to drive innovation of video communications, by including new solutions that are geared towards empowering the hybrid workforce.
Zoom has received much recognition for providing reliable communication services whilst powering even more productive workforces – allowing teams to get more done together. In 2020, the company was recognised as Frost & Sullivan’s Company of the Year, and won several Forbes Education Awards, as well.
In July 2021, the company launched its latest innovations, in response to the effects of Covid-19, namely Zoom Apps and Zoom Events. Zoom Apps cleverly embeds third-party apps within the Zoom Meetings and desktop client experience. This enhances productivity, collaboration, and entertainment for today’s hybrid workforce. Zoom Events, however, is an all-in-one platform for creating a wide range of interactive and immersive virtual events to reach and engage audiences.
- HD video, audio, collaboration & chats
- Rooms and Workspaces – power up your conference rooms with video
- Create full-featured, easy-to-use, engaging video webinars
- App Marketplace – with cool integrations and bots
- The mobile application does not display some of the features that are available on the desktop version.
- Paid plans have slightly higher pricing
- ‘Zoombombing’ & ‘Zoominvaders’ – unwanted individuals crashing a conference call
Customer Relationship Management
Started by Marc Benioff and Parker Harris, in 1999, Salesforce is a cloud-based software company based in the USA. It acts as a customer relationship management service, whilst also providing an innovative suite of enterprise applications geared towards enhancing customer service, marketing automation, application development and analytics.
Worth well over $120 billion, now, Salesforce brings companies and customers together, delivering personalised customer experiences using the integrated CRM platform called Salesforce Customer 360. This platform provides powerful, connected products for improving your marketing, sales, commerce, service, IT, and more.
By opting to invest in your company and employing the services of Salesforce, you’re not just buying a CRM platform; you’re joining an inclusive community of over 10 million innovators, disruptors, and community shapers. You are also afforded the opportunity to make use of the free online learning option called Trailhead – adopting skills to improve your company and your employees’ careers.
- Cloud-Native Platform
- Lead Registration and Rules-Based Lead Scoring
- Collaborative Forecasting
- Workflow and Approval Automation
- 24/7 Support and Configuration Services
- You could lose track of all the regular (costly) customisations and add-ons
- Limited Technical Support
This nifty tool was initially launched 10 years ago at a TechCrunch event, by Fog Creek founder Joel Spolsky. Trello is a web-based, organisational application that is a subsidiary of the developer known as Atlassian. It acts as the ultimate project management tool, allowing teams to set up a board in seconds, automate tasks, and collaborate from anywhere – even via any mobile device.
Organisation gets ‘visual’ with Trello, which has gained more than 4.6 million registered users — with one million monthly active users — turning their projects into visual boards using its cloud-based software.
Now, under the wing of CEO Michael Pryor, Trello offers a Kanban look and feel where you get a real-time view on all work coming in, in process, and being signed off. The streamlined app is also available for both iOS and Android devices, and allows you to share files with your team members, instantly.
- Attractive user interface
- Different cards for each aspect of a project
- Can be integrated with other apps
- Makes transparency and accountability between team members effortless
- Trello doesn’t natively offer support for calendar integration
- Keyboard shortcuts and keyboard productivity usage is limited
- Low storage limit
Time Tracking & Team Updates
Teamdeck is a time tracking and resource scheduling tool for companies that want to assist their teams with planning and measure their work effectively – on a daily basis. It is a truly employee-friendly tool, allowing all employees (not just managers) to track their time management and give other team members an indication of their availability – directly from one app. On top of that, the Teamdeck dashboard gives team members valuable information regarding their work patterns.
The app’s resource scheduling option gives an incredible view of the available resources in a calendar view, and team members can also edit their individual bookings. Employees can also use one-click time tracking to record the time spent on each project. These time entries may then also be automatically converted into timesheets which will hold accurate records concerning employees’ invoiceable hours.
Teamdeck is, basically, a one-stop shop for streamlined resource management. However, it also has functionality for Leave Management. Employees can request days off and holidays directly from the app. Managers will then receive these requests and manage them within Teamdeck, as well. People who work remotely or on a part-time basis can also inform their supervisors about their exact availability.
- Offers a free plan for early stage startups (up to 6 people)
- Measure employee performance
- Forecast your company’s recruitment needs
- Costs for full feature Business Plan
- The tool may lag sometimes
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