The way we view work has changed hugely in the last few years, with everyone keen to do their own thing, start a business or simply become the ‘next big thing’ online.
Either way, there’s a shift to self-employment and being your own boss and being able to work from just about any location. With flexibility in mind, what are the best apps you can use on your smartphone to start and maintain your new business?
If your new business consists of a team and you want to streamline communication, important for working remotely, you need to have effortless communication channels – Slack enables you to collaborate with your colleagues, especially when you’re on the move. Download the app and you can access various channels, DM’s and get notifications when there are important messages for you to see, which means you can jump into communication when you’re needed and not at other times. Slack integrates with several external services as well.
Using Slack, you will be able to keep all your communication in one place, with real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams. Effectively, all your team’s communication available in one place and you can easily search through all communication on the go. Need an answer to a previous question asked by another team member? Slack might have it archived.
Another essential collaboration tool, from which you can connect several devices and synchronise data, is Dropbox.
Dropbox is an online sharing site that enables you to select the files you want to share and synchronise with other users, then simply upload them to the remote site. That bit is done automatically and every time someone edits your files, you receive the updated version automatically. Versioning will stop work being overwritten, so you can quickly revert back to a previous revision when necessary.
You can just use Dropbox on a personal level, too. If you own a desktop computer at home, use another at work and a laptop when you’re away from the office, simply use Dropbox to synchronise your important files across each machine. You can also access your Dropbox files from the web, if you need access from a temporary host PC.
Next up, we’d recommend an organisation tool. Running a business is difficult enough, but missing deadlines or payments can result in the difference between your business succeeding or failing. A decent organisation tool can make sure you keep on track and be reminded of a forthcoming task.
For organising your business life, we recommend Things. It makes running your day much easier. Simply add the tasks you have coming up and Things will notify you at the start of the day on the forthcoming tasks you need to complete through the day. Once complete, mark off the task and move on to the next.
Although there are no task collaboration tools (Things is strictly a personal organiser), the cloud-based system enables you to keep your data synchronised across your devices, so your Mac and iPhone will be in sync with the current daily ‘to do’ items. There’s even Apple Watch support for notifications on the move.
While there are many many positives for starting your own business, one of the biggest negatives is conducting your own tax return and keeping on top of your expenses. But fret not, there are apps to help with that too! One of our favourites comes from Quickbooks.
It is perfect for a sole-proprietor, for many reasons. One of these being the fact that it has a solution to the age-old self-employed problem of mixing your business and personal transactions interchangeably. The app will also help you estimate and pay your taxes, which will definitely help you come tax time every quarter.
The app also enables you to track miles driven for business meetings and create car-related expenses accordingly, essential if you are contracting and need to make a claim.
Once you are finished entering your data, you can export your transactions and create and print reports. You can also download them as a CSV file so you can access them later. The app also enables you to create three types of reports: profit and loss, tax summary as a PDF and a detailed tax breakdown in an Excel spreadsheet. The app costs $10 a month, but the time you save on taxes will make it worth it.
There you have it, these four apps will help you get your new venture off the drawing board and maintained successfully.