It’s never easy to be an entrepreneur and manage a small business. While you’ll certainly appreciate the job of going after your dreams, managing your own schedule and building something that has no ceiling, there will be times that you’ll curse the 24/7 workload, the massive level of responsibility and the unpredictable nature of the business world. That’s certainly no reason to remain an employee, and the economic recession has proven that long-term jobs are no more comfortable or predictable than anything else. But one thing you had at that huge company was a team to carry the load. You may not have that within your small business. Luckily, you’ve got easy access to technology that can support you as if you had your own massive accounting and IT departments. You cannot forgo responsible financial management for your small business, so check out these fantastic apps to help you handle the complicated tasks in the year ahead.
First of all, check out Expensify. The savvy business owner puts a ton of care and attention into managing expenses, which then pays off with a reduced tax bill or a hefty return. But how to manage all of those receipts in an organized way? After all, chances are accounting isn’t your core competency. Use Expensify on your mobile device and the entire process is simple. You actually just take a photo of each receipt you want to claim as a business expense, and Expensify logs the data and converts it into a report perfectly organized for your tax preparation or financial planning. It’s free for an individual to use, and will save you hours and loads of stress.
If you have a retail business, check out InDinero. You download the app and set it to log into all of your business credit card and bank accounts. Basically once it connects all the dots you’ll have a visual representation of your current financial situation. That’s a snapshot of how much you are spending versus what you are taking in, broken down by category. And the most amazing part is that it can actually make forecasts based on your current situation. It will also help you develop budgets off those forecasts, so you can get a handle on out of control expenses before they sink your small business.
Do you have a business with a lot of clients? If so, you probably spend a great deal of time developing and tracking invoices. Cut out the agony of this mundane task with FreshBooks. Basically this app automates some of the elements of generating, designing, tracking and delivering invoices, helping you keep tabs on everything in a quick and easy manner. It’s also a great infrastructure you can use on top of other services. For example, it integrates with InDinero and Expensify, so you can have one, fully-linked system.
Is your business structured around an online storefront or e-commerce site? In that case, chances are you deal with coupons fairly often. This is hugely important if your business has some subscription element. Netflix and Hulu built successful businesses on this model, partially by providing current customers coupons and discounts for encouraging friends and family to sign up. So if you would like some assistance with incentives for your online customers, check out Chargify. Basically, it comes with a dashboard to help you organize current coupons or deals as well as create new ones. You’ll be able to manage deadlines and the renewal information for everyone who takes advantage, so you’ll never get caught off guard again. And hopefully you won’t need to take a dollars direct finance deal to float your next month’s rent because you forgot about the thousand ‘buy one, get one free’ coupons you gave away.