You started your small business to do the work you love. You’re a chef, or a contractor, or a mechanic. You’re a dentist or a physician. A beauty expert, or a fitness center guru. No matter. As the business owner, you have to do a lot more than your first love. Especially if your staff is very small. For instance, you have to become savvy about small business loans. Money management is crucial to build your business, and small business loans can help with that.But there’s more to effectively managing your finances than knowing when to borrow. Regardless how great you are in your area of expertise, poor financial management can kill your business. Day-to-day bookkeeping and related tasks can be time-consuming. You may think they’re boring. But you have to stay on top of them.
The Simple Dollar says, “When you run a small business, you’re often pulled in several directions all at once. Not only are you in charge of everyday operations, but you must handle payroll, employee issues, and anything else that pops up. If the demands on your time feel overwhelming, take heart. There are thousands of productivity apps out there that can help you do everything from keep a neat to-do list to delegate tasks to employees and stay on top of your business expenses.”
Financial productivity is critical if you want your business to thrive. And I’ll bet your goal is to expand in the future. I recommend you focus on apps that boost your efficiency in:
- Accounting and finance – for easier money management
- Accepting payments – increasing efficiency here boosts and stabilizes your cash flow
- Tracking time – to bill clients, or to keep your team and yourself accountable
8 APPS TO CONSIDER
Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. So choose the ones that make the most sense for your type and size of business. I have listed them in alphabetical order.
- Why shouldn’t your business use coupons and get cash back for purchases, just like consumers? You’ll want to weigh the savings against time spent, but this could be another way to conserve cash.
- This super-easy-to-use app started as an invoicing software. It is constantly being upgraded and expanded, and the company offers quick, friendly support for questions. You can customize and schedule invoices, accept credit cards on a mobile device, track project time and cash flow, and create multiple customized reports to track and review financial details.
- Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll). Processing payroll and related taxes can be one of the biggest headaches for small business owners. Gusto automates it all for you. You can track vacation and sick time, and compute workers’ comp payments. You can also print required payroll forms.
- Just as its name implies, this app makes quick work of scanning and organizing all those pesky receipts. Invoices, too. You can create reports to track expense reports, business expenses, and taxes.
- PayPal and PayPal Here. With a business account, you can use PayPal to invoice customers, accept payments, and pay your business bills. PayPal Here is a card reader you can use to accept payments with mobile devices.
- QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online. This comprehensive accounting software lets you track sales and expenses, pay bills and handle payroll, and create a wide variety of reports to review financial details. QuickBooks integrates easily with everything from your bank account and business credit cards to Square and PayPal. QuickBooks Online is a mobile app that lets you see your financials on the go.
- The original card reader attachment, Square has become a staple for many small businesses. It is a great option if other payment systems are out of your price range. You can accept payments from any mobile device, without internet connection. And you can send receipts. Payments collected via Square arrive in your bank account the next day.
- This app is for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees. You can track sales and expenses, create and manage invoices and payments, handle payroll, and create accounting reports. This app also integrates with your bank accounts and PayPal.
Time is money. No one knows that better than small business owners. Adding time management apps can boost your productivity, too. Most project management apps also have time tracking components. When you’re more productive, your financial picture improves.
HUMANS CAN DO THINGS APPS CANNOT
There’s no app that can establish good credit for your small business. You have to do that “by hand.” One step at a time. Efficiently managing your finances will help your earn a great business credit score. Using apps to improve your financial productivity is one way to maintain your great credit score. That way, you can use small business loans efficiently, too. To handle sudden emergencies, or get thru an unexpected slump. When it’s time to upgrade, or add that second location you’ve dreamed of.
Using financial productivity apps is like having your own small business team of experts. You gain subject matter expertise. And you can be more efficient. But sometimes an app is not the answer. You need real people with experience and insight as well as knowledge.
United Capital Source is your “human app” when it comes to small business loans. We’re all about efficiency, because we know you’re short on time. And you might need money right away. More importantly, we’re all about your individual business, because that’s our business philosophy.
At United Capital Source, our company mission is to provide small and mid-size businesses across the country with access to flexible business funding options. We work with businesses who don’t necessarily fit the traditional bank and non-financial institution lending model. In other words, businesses like yours. Our entire philosophy is very different from other alternative lenders you might find. I invite you to read more about our culture and values here at UCS.