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20 must-have small business mobile apps

The right tools can help you manage and grow your small business.

Updated

If you’re looking for a way to make everyday business management tasks quicker and more convenient, there’s an app for that. Whether you’re sending invoices or filing important documents, you’ll be able to find a smartphone feature to stay on top of those essential but time-consuming duties.

Here are 20 of the top apps for small businesses.

Accounting apps

QuickBooksQuickBooks

Cost. Starting at $12 a month.

Why do I need it? If managing business accounts is the bane of your existence, this handy app can make it much easier. QuickBooks allows you to send and track invoices on the go, view profit and loss reports, capture photos of receipts and more. Your data is automatically synced across all devices, so you can always keep track of your finances and your business’s overall performance.

You can download the Quickbooks app on iOS and Android.

Xero logoXero Accounting

Cost. Starting at $9 a month.

Why do I need it? Xero is a mobile accounting app with a range of tools to assist small business owners in managing their finances. It allows you to view your account balances and outstanding invoices, settle bank transactions, send invoices on the go and monitor your cashflow in real time. A very handy resource if you’re strapped for time.

The Xero app is available for download on iOS and Android.

expensifyExpensify

Cost. Starting at $4.99 a month.

Why do I need it? Managing your business expenses can be time consuming and confusing. Expensify makes staying organized easier by letting you quickly and easily upload receipts to capture expenses on the go. Using OCR SmartScan, it automatically reads and imports essential receipt details before categorizing and compiling these into expense reports. Mileage and time-tracking features are also included.

You can download Expensify for iOS or Android.

Invoice by wave logoInvoice by Wave

Cost. Starting at $0.

Why do I need it? This is ideal if you’re looking for an app to create and send invoices easily. Send customized, professional invoices straight from your phone and receive notifications when you’ve been paid. You can also track and duplicate previous invoices with the tap of a button.

Download the Invoice by Wave app for iOS and Android.

File sharing, storage and organization apps

DropboxDropbox mobile app logo

Cost. Business plans start at $12.50/user/month.

Why do I need it? One of the most useful cloud storage and file sharing tools around. Simply install Dropbox on your phone and all other devices while it automatically syncs documents, images and videos across every platform. The latest version of any file you create is always available, it’s easy to use and could save you a whole lot of stress.

Download Dropbox for iOS and android.

google-drive-logoGoogle Drive

Cost. Free for up to 15GB of storage.

Why do I need it? Google Drive is another secure online file storage and sharing option. It holds all your business files in one place and allows you to access these from any device. Added sharing settings let you control who can view and edit documents, so it’s easy to collaborate with your staff or clients.

You can download Google Drive for iOS and Android.

Evernote logoEvernote

Cost. Starting at $0.

Why do I need it? Evernote is a great app for any small business owner who needs help staying organized. Essentially a digital file cabinet, it captures all your important business notes, to-do lists, images, videos and web pages in the one place. Everything you store is then synced across all your devices, so it’s always accessible.

You can download Evernote for iOS and Android.

TripIt logoTripIt

Cost. Starting at $0.

Why do I need it? Organizing a business trip and keeping track of flight confirmations, hotel reservations and transport arrangements can be overwhelming. TripIt combines all your important travel documents and discrete trip details into one comprehensive itinerary. You can access this at any time and easily share it with anyone.

You can try TripIt today by downloading it on iOS or Android.

HelloSign-logoHelloSign

Cost. Starting at $0.

Why do I need it? Signing important business documents when you’re constantly on the go can be a hassle. Instead of printing, signing, scanning and emailing paperwork, HelloSign offers a straightforward way to send and receive contracts to make the process easier. This app allows you to scan documents or import PDF files using your phone, create a realistic signature with your fingertip and submit the signed document via email.

HelloSign is available on iOS and Android.

Communication apps

Slack

Cost. Starting at $6.67/user/month when billed annually.

Why do I need it? Tired of multiple, back-and-forth email chains with your staff? Slack can save time and increase productivity with real-time communication and collaboration for you and your team. There are several options available to provide easy and efficient communication including direct messages, private channels and group chats. The search function helps you find specific information easily and a drag-and-drop feature allows for file sharing.

You can start using Slack on iOS and Android.

homebase-logoHomebase

Cost. Starting at $0.

Why do I need it? Coordinating your own work schedule with those of your staff can be difficult for any small business owner. With the Homebase mobile app you can build a schedule for yourself or an employee, track the hours worked and calculate your business’s labor costs as you go. Coworkers can also trade shifts and chat with one another.

Homebase is available on iOS and Android.

ClickMeeting logoClickMeeting

Cost. Starting at $25/month when billed annually.

Why do I need it? ClickMeeting’s extremely useful app takes videoconferencing to the next level. Easily schedule live webinars, synchronize meetings with your calendar, stream media and meet with up to 25 people or present to up to 5,000 people. You can also record and store events for future reference.

Start using ClickMeeting on iOS and Android.

DeputyDeputy mobile app logo

Cost. Starting at $2.50/user/month.

Why do I need it? Another time-saving app to stay organized, Deputy offers a fast and easy way to create rosters for your employees. You can schedule shifts, make group announcements, integrate rosters with other software like QuickBooks and notify staff when they’re working via email, SMS and push notifications. An automatic feature reminds employees of their shift on the morning they’re due to work, ensuring you and your team are always on the same page.

You can download Deputy on iOS and Android.

Payment processing apps

Square logoSquare Point of Sale

Cost. The app is free. Payment processing is 2.6% + 10¢ per tapped, dipped or swiped transaction.

Why do I need it? Does your small business accept mobile and credit card payments? This free point-of-sale app allows you to facilitate tap-and-go cards and mobile payments, such as Apple Pay, and simultaneously keep track of sales and inventory. Simply install the Square Point of Sale app on your smartphone or tablet and pair it with a Square contactless and chip reader or a Square chip card reader.

You can download Square Point of Sale on iOS and Android. For more information, read our review.

Paypal logoPayPal Here

Cost. The app is free. Payment processing costs vary based on the type of payment.

  • 2.7% per US card swipe
  • 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed-in card transaction
  • 2.9% + $0.30 per invoice
  • 1.5% per cross-border transfer

Why do I need it? PayPal Here uses a small card reader near your smartphone to accept card payments. You’re also able to invoice customers straight from your mobile, itemize orders and process full or partial refunds.

Download PayPal Here for iOS or Android.

Compare other payment processors

If accepting payments is a major part of your business, it’s a good idea to compare processors to find the best deal. While Square and PayPal are two of the most well-known providers, there are many other options available.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Contract required? Prices start at Processing time High-risk merchants accepted?
Chase Merchant Services
No
2.6% + 10¢ per swiped credit card
Next day when you deposit into a Chase business checking account
No
Accept, process and deposit customer payments in your store, online or on-the-go.
Fattmerchant
No
$99/month + interchange + 8¢/transaction
Next day for qualified businesses
No
Businesses that process more than $10,000 monthly can save with Fattmerchant's interchange+ pricing.
Square
No
2.6% + 10¢ for payment processing, POS software included
Next day
No
Square is a one-stop shop with both e-commerce and in-person solutions.
Helcim
No
0.10% + $0.10 per transaction
Two business days
No
Conveniently packaged into three service tiers for in-person and online sales.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Social media management apps

hootsuite-logoHootSuite

Cost. Starting at $29/month when billed annually.

Why do I need it? An organized social media strategy is crucial to online success. This is where HootSuite can help — it’s the most popular social media management app worldwide allowing you to share and schedule posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. The AutoSchedule feature saves time by spreading content over a number of days, while the analytics tools help you track the success of your social media strategy.

Try HootSuite on iOS and Android.

sprout-logoSprout Social

Cost. Starting at $99/user/month.

Why do I need it? The companion app for Sprout Social account holders helps you manage your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles and posts. You can view and respond to messages, compose a post or schedule future posts and share content from your feeds. Access extensive analytics tools on the go and find ways to engage with your customers through social media.

Download Sprout Social for iOS and Android.

Other useful small business apps

Canva logoCanva

Cost. Starting at $0.

Why do I need it? This app helps you harness your creative power if you need to assume the role of graphic designer. Canva is an Australian design and photo editing app specializing in social media posts and banners, blog posts, thank you cards, invitations, posters, flyers, business cards, logos and more. With hundreds of design templates to choose from, you can use your own photos or shop from a library of over one million images. Add a professional touch to your business without paying a premium price.

Download Canva for iOS and Android.

SurveyMonkey logoSurveyMonkey

Cost. Starting at $0.

Why do I need it? Want to know what your customers or staff really think about your business? Find out with the SurveyMonkey app and create a survey from scratch or using a template to send off via email, text or social media. You can filter, compare and analyze the survey results as they arrive in real time. The data is then displayed in convenient charts and tables to help you better understand the results and what they mean for your small business.

Download SurveyMonkey on your iOS or Android smartphone.

Mailchimp logoMailChimp

Cost. Free

Why do I need it? Email marketing is an effective and affordable way for your business to stay in touch with its customers. With the MailChimp app installed on your smartphone, you can manage your email marketing strategy whenever and wherever you want. Start and build a customer database, track subscriber activity, preview drafts of upcoming campaigns, check out reports and a whole lot more. By monitoring trends in customer engagement and campaign success, you’ll be well-placed to continue growing your business.

You can download MailChimp on iOS or Android.

Bottom line

While no single smartphone app can tell you how to run a small business, there are a stack that can help you save time and money every day. Check out these 20 apps at Google Play or Apple’s App Store and start increasing your productivity and profits. And for even more tools to help you accept payments and build an online store, compare merchant services.

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