Empire Collective Consulting
My 5 Favourite Apps for Small Business Owners
Hi friends! Today we’re going to chat about my favourite apps for managing your business, especially if you are a small team, freelancer or solo entrepreneur! Since starting Empire Collective in July 2019, I have learned through trial and error (some big time errors!) the processes that work for me and my business.
I am an operations-focused person - I love managing the administrative aspects of my business and establishing new workflows. What I don’t love is spending a ton of money on softwares or apps to help manage my day-to-day operations.
To help my fellow entrepreneurs, I’ve rounded up my top 5 favourite FREE (or almost free) apps to hack your small business productivity.
I’m going to be honest, keeping track of invoices is not my favourite thing to do. I don’t think it’s a favourite thing to do for many small business owners!. Thankfully, I found WAVE and it has definitely changed my life. WAVE’s invoicing software is easy-to-use and highly customizable for any business need.
WAVE is a Canadian company (yay!) that offers accounting, invoicing, payroll and payment solutions for businesses. I use WAVE to bill all my clients - the invoicing software is free with low fees for credit and bank payments. I also recommend the recurring invoice function to save you time month over month.
Cost: Plans range from $0 - $20 (CAD) a month. Credit card processing fees are 2.9 - 3.4 % + $0.30 per transaction and 1% for bank payments (EFT).
For me, planning my Instagram content is one of the best parts of being a small business owner. There is nothing I love more than creating a solid content calendar for Empire Collective. But for some, this task can seem overwhelming and downright cumbersome. Enter one of my favourite apps - Planoly!
With Planoly, you can visually plan and schedule your content for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. With handy scheduling functions, Planoly simplifies your social media content strategy. Planoly also has a great feature called sellit which converts your social media content into a virtual storefront - no need for a website!
Cost: Plans range from $0 - $23+ (USD) a month
Calendly is a recent find for me and was recommended by a client! It’s quickly becoming one of my favourites because it helps to simplify the back and forth needed to confirm a time for a call or virtual meeting.
Calendly allows clients or coworkers to book meetings directly in your calendar during available times that you set. Their automated calendar features help to sync and take ownership of your calendar - a lifesaver when you’re a small business owner or freelancer!
Cost: Plans range from $0 - $12 (USD) a month.
For anyone that knows me, you know my love for Google Drive runs deep. The Google Suite platform is unparalleled in the world of cloud document management software. I work exclusively in Google Drive and I can speak from experience that Google’s integration really does make my business run more smoothly and efficiently. I love that I can access my files from any computer and their mobile Drive app is user friendly and easy to use.
I live and breathe by my to-do lists. Normally I am a classic pen and paper type of planner, but recently I found Trello and I love it! Trello is a project management software that enables you to create boards, lists and cards to organize your projects in a fun way! This software is perfect for small teams or projects where you are working with freelancers or agencies.
What are your favourite apps to hack productivity? I’d love to know!