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4 Apps Every Small Business Owner Needs

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Running a small business takes much time and dedication. All entrepreneurs have had days when they thought about giving up their small business dreams and accepting a 9-to-5 job. By adding the following four apps to your mobile devices, you’ll gain an advantage that helps you improve productivity and make your company successful.

MailChimp

4 Apps Every Small Business Owner Needs 1

Operating systems: Android and iOS

Price: Free for basic services with up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 monthly emails

MailChimp gives you email marketing tools that will help you grow your business. Once you get MailChimp, you can create customized emails and newsletters that keep you in contact with customers. You don’t need any design skills to make beautiful messages, either, since MailChimp’s drag-and-drop templates make it easy to create attractive emails that will look great on any device.

While emails designed with MailChimp look good on most devices, you’ll get better results by creating your messages on a tablet with a high-definition screen. For example, the Apple iPad Pro with its 9.7-inch Retina display can allow you to easily use MailChimp’s templates. In addition, you also get the benefit of the T-Mobile network so that you don’t lose your internet connection while designing messages.

MailChimp also gives you strong analytic features so you can see how people interact with your emails. Over time, you’ll learn what your readers want to see, and you can adjust your approach to keep them interested.

You can use MailChimp at all stages of your business’s growth, and new businesses can typically use it for free. As your audience grows, MailChimp scales with your business so that you only pay for the services you need.

Slack

Operating systems: Android and iOS

Price: Prices range from free to $15 per month

Email is the most common way for employees to communicate, but email is an inefficient option that you don’t have to use anymore. Slack gives you and your employees a simplified way to communicate with each other. Instead of sending emails back and forth, you can put all of your messaging in the Slack dashboard. Slack will also let you create channels so that you can keep your conversations organized.

If you need to send sensitive messages to members of your team, you can create private channels that let people read or send messages only after they’ve been invited.

Slack has three pricing plans. The free plan has enough features for most small businesses. As your company grows, you might want to upgrade to a standard ($8 per active user, per month) or plus ($15 per active user, per month) plan. Choosing to pay annually instead of monthly lowers the price by about 17 percent.

Square

Operating systems: Android and iOS

Price: 2.75 percent processing fee for swiped transactions and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for manually entered transactions

Square gives you a simple, affordable way to collect credit card payments from your customers, even when you’re not in the store. When you sign up for Square, you get a credit card reader that connects to your smartphone or tablet. Once you have the app installed, you can swipe credit cards at festivals, farmers’ markets, and other events.

Square is free to use, but the company collects a processing fee for each transaction. You may also need to buy a Square Reader if you want to accept EMV chip–enabled credit cards. The basic Square Reader, however, is free.

RescueTime

Operating system: Android

Price: Free

Improving your productivity will help you build a successful small business. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize how much time they waste online. RescueTime keeps a log of your online and app activities so that you can discover where you waste the most time.

RescueTime generates reports so that you can track your productivity over time. Setting goals enables you to easily focus on work that matters to your business instead of spending time with apps and websites that don’t contribute to your success.

Don’t let long hours stifle your small business dreams. Put the tools presented above to work so you can pull ahead of the competition.

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