Tech Essentials: 5 apps for small business owners in Singapore

Whether you’re running a small business alone or managing a team of five, the to-do list often feels never-ending. Enter the help of technology, which not only helps boost productivity but can magically shrink your to-do list. The best part about these apps is it reduces the need for hiring in the early stages, which can run up overheads significantly. Keep things lean and easy with the help of these apps:

For small business accounting: Wave
Built specifically for small businesses, independent contractors, freelancers, and sole proprietors, Wave allows businesses to manage and send invoices, track sales and expenses, and even keeps a record of scanned receipts. Its infrastructure is robust enough for small businesses but not overly complicated for those who can’t get their head around numbers. Their invoice templates and automatic reminders are also a godsend for those who have clients who need multiple reminders before settling payment. They even accept credit card payment (3.4% +$0.50 transaction fee).

For email marketing: MailChimp
Building a database is essential to any business, but having the ability to send out up to 12,000 emails a month for free (if your database is under 2,000 subscribers) is a huge bonus when you’re just starting out. MailChimp is a user-friendly platform that allows you to easily design and customise newsletter templates. You can also build and manage mailing lists as well as understand how your newsletters are doing via performance reports. Post-newsletter analytics are important to have as they allow you to understand what sort of content your audience wants to be receiving. Pricing is tiered after 2,000 subscribers.

For social media: Buffer
If you manage multiple social media platforms for your business and fall into accidentally long hiatuses from posting because you can’t afford the time to post on a daily basis, know that you’re not alone. Also know there is a solution: Buffer, which is used mainly to schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook (both personal profiles and business pages), LinkedIn profiles and pages, Google+, and Instagram. While social media content should be time-sensitive and current, not all of us can afford that luxury, and Buffer ensures your essential platforms stay active with up-to-date information without that daily maintenance.

For communication and task management: Slack
Slack is often the easy answer for those who are email averse and need a central communication tool. It’s best for small businesses with team members working from home or handling multiple projects as it consolidates communication and even integrates with other essential apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, MailChimp, and Twitter. Open channels allow everyone on the team to view transparent communication, while private channels cater for sensitive information. Slack is also available on iOS and Android so you’re able to work on the go.

For total file management: Dropbox
An oldie but a goodie. Every business needs cloud storage to manage their files, and Dropbox is our preferred cloud storage platform for several reasons. First, it works seamlessly across Android, iOS, PCs, and Macs. The simple drag and drop feature of moving and organising files is user-intuitive, and syncing is automatic and quick. While there is a storage limit for free usage (2GB), you can easily earn up to 16GB of free storage by watching tutorials, turning on features, and even through referrals.

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