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10 Cloud Apps To Help Your Business Get Through COVID-19

Cloud apps and add-ons are revolutionising business as we know it. With coronavirus lockdowns continually looming, business owners need all the help they can get with streamlining their current services and improving ways to reach new customers.

Wherever lockdowns have left your business, whether you’re still preparing to open your doors, starting to un-furlough staff or you’re (thankfully) already trading again, this could be a key opportunity to look at the apps and digital tools that can make your business more efficient.

Being a small business owner you have to wear many hats: accounting, sales, staff scheduling or HR, so finding good business apps to help make life a little easier might be just what you need.

How do you make the right app choices for your business?

Do your research. Remember, apps are only going to be effective if you’re using the ones that are a good fit for your business.

It can be time-consuming to trial multiple apps to find out if they’re right for you. This is where a lot of people get off the app train and stop in their quest looking for new business tools. But whatever you do, DO NOT SKIP THIS PART. It may be time-consuming, but worth it in the long run.

If you’re not sure where to start looking, do some digging. Look for apps that are task-specific or specifically designed for your industry and read user reviews on how they are rated. Join online groups and chat forums and ask questions to your peers about what apps are working for them and why.

This will give you an insight as to what’s hot, what’s not, and where to spend quality time in your research. Always, always, always, take advantage of free trial offers; most good software companies allow you to trial their product before committing to a purchase.

We could list popular platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for social media, or Zoom and Microsoft Teams for communication, but chances are if you’re running a business in 2020 you’re all over these options already.

Instead, we’ve done your digging for you and have researched and recommended 10 apps that cover key tasks and jobs that most businesses need help with today.

 

Twelve cloud app brand logos on white background

10 cloud apps for better business

1. A2X – E-commerce

The pandemic has seen many business owners pivot or remodel their businesses to continue to drive revenue, despite their physical shopfronts being closed. Many businesses have taken their products online and introduced an e-commerce element to their offering.

A2X is an easy way to make sense of your Amazon or Shopify financials. It was built especially for e-commerce businesses from those just starting out, up to larger multi-country, multi-currency sellers.

A2X company logo

A2X is the missing link between your e-commerce sales channels and your accounting software. No more headaches from having to manually reconcile hundreds of transactions from your shop to your accounting software because A2X will fetch them for you. It automatically matches sales from your shop to summarised entries in your accounting software making sure your numbers are accurate, reconciled and reflect what’s in your bank. Easy and powerful.

Free trial – Yes
Integrates with – Xero/QuickBooks Online/Amazon/Shopify

 

2. ServiceM8 – Invoicing and jobs for trades and service businesses

Keeping things organised in every aspect of your business is a tough job. From a first enquiry call through to sending a completed job invoice, there are many moving parts to keep track of. Meet ServiceM8. Everything about this app is designed to be helpful and make your life just that little bit easier.

ServiceM8 is an app that allows you to manage your jobs, staff and customers all in one place. It gives you a simple way to create professional invoices, receive payments and streamline your front-end job management.

ServiceM8 company logo

You can see real-time staff locations, manage team schedules and access customer and job details on-site. Forget losing an invoice or trying to find a pen ever again, just input everything directly into the app to securely store your data.

ServiceM8 allows you to check-in to a job so you’ll know how long you’ve been working, record on-site job tasks and checklists and you can even store photos and videos from the job for your records. After the job is complete, you can capture the client’s signature digitally on your company invoice and send it to them in real-time either by text or email. Then in just two taps, ServiceM8 allows you to send your invoice straight to your accounting platform which means your accounting is always up-to-date. The perfect teammate for construction and trades businesses.

Free trial – Yes, 14 days
Integrates with – Xero/QuickBooks Online/MYOB
Available on – Desktop/IOS

(Prefer Android integration? Check out Tradify)

 

3. Float – Cash flow forecasting and management

Do you have lots of ‘what if’ questions about the finances of your business that you’re not always sure how to answer?

Do you worry that your business will run out of cash before the end of each month or if you have enough money in your business to cover your bills? Do you understand if you can afford to bring employees back from furlough?

You might not realise that these questions can be answered by a cash flow forecast.

When people think of ‘cash flow’, they usually picture accountants and bookkeepers with endlessly complicated spreadsheets, not a neat, easy-to-use app like Float.

Float cash flow brand logo blue ship with float in text in blue colour

Float is an award-winning cash flow forecasting platform that helps you understand how much cash you’ll have in the future with easy-to-understand, real-time cash flow forecasts. It connects quickly and securely to your accounting software and offers a detailed onboarding process to get you set-up and ready to forecast.

Float shows you what cash is coming in and going out of your business and what bills and invoices might be overdue so you can take action ahead of time to avoid bumps in your cash flow. It also offers a powerful scenario planning feature for you to create, tweak and compare multiple ‘what if’ questions so you can make confident financial decisions for your business. Float will only ever pull your data in one direction from your accounting software so your accounting data is always secure.

Particularly during the pandemic, cash flow has been an important topic for business owners, and with Float, you don’t need to be a financial genius to get a handle on your cash. It’s an intuitive, flexible platform that’s simple and user-friendly to use yourself, or together with your accountant. As a business owner, having a clear insight into your past, present and future cash is the most powerful planning tool you can have up your sleeve.

Float is a very welcome topic to start any business’ cash flow conversation.

Free trial – Yes, 14 days
Integrates with – Xero/QuickBooks Online/FreeAgent

 

4. Receipt Bank – Paperless bookkeeping and invoice processing

Sorting through huge piles of receipts and invoices at the end of the month isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. But what if you could scrap your paperwork altogether?

Receipt Bank is a simple, paperless bookkeeping app that streamlines keeping track of your bills and invoices. No more holding onto receipts because Receipt Bank gives you easy automation for collecting, processing and publishing receipts by digitising them ready for reconciliation.

Receipt Bank company logo in dark orange colour

Take a picture of your receipt or invoice, let the app turn it into data and feed it straight into your accounting software. You can bin (or better, recycle!) your physical copy knowing all of your data is stored securely in the app. You can easily export or share your data from the app with your accountant too.

Receipt Bank can save you hours of paperwork so you can spend more time focusing on other things in your business. Work smarter, not harder.

Free trial – Yes, 14 days
Integrates with – Xero/QuickBooks Online/FreeAgent/Sage
Available on – Desktop/IOS/Android

 

5. GoCardless – Making Direct Debit payments online

Chasing up late payments is frustrating, and not getting paid at all is a nightmare. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about these anymore with GoCardless.

GoCardless is an app that makes it easy to automatically collect and reconcile invoice payments from customers worldwide, via bank debit (known as Direct Debit in many countries such as the UK, and ACH debit in the US).

GoCardless company logo in dark blue colour

Why use GoCardless? Boost your cash flow and make it more stable and predictable, eliminate the costs associated with chasing up late payments, and give your customers a smoother payment experience that doesn’t require them manually transferring you funds (or you chasing them up about it).

GoCardless is super simple for you to set up. Once it is, your customers just need to fill out a short form online that authorises you to collect payment from their bank account on invoice due dates. Then you can both sit back and wave goodbye to all the hassles of payments.

Free trial – Yes
Integrates with – Xero/QuickBooks Online/Sage50/FreeAgent

 

6.  OneSaas – Multi-app connectivity

Conversations work better when everyone’s on the same page, don’t they?

OneSaas is the hub that connects all of your business apps, including your accounting software, and makes sure they’re all having the right conversations. The app is designed to support workflows that start with a transaction: that could be a sale, an order, an invoice or a quote.

OneSaas company logo in black and blue colours

OneSaas is entirely customisable based on how you want to set it up: you choose your app workflows based on your business needs. You can sync the integration frequency and starting dates and let OneSaas do the automation for you.

Workflow diagram from app connectivity company

Their app integration list is impressive, with platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, Salesforce, Zoho, MailChimp, Etsy and Amazon.

If you’re already app-savvy and using apps and add-ons for your business, then OneSaas is definitely a tool to explore. Who doesn’t want seamless, multi-app, integration automation!

Free trial – Yes, 7 days
Accounting integration – Xero/QuickBooks Online/MYOB/SageAccounting/Saasu/Freshbooks

 

7. BambooHR – HR and payroll

Every small business needs an HR presence. But that doesn’t have to mean hiring an extra person to do it or outsourcing to an external firm, it just means choosing the right platform to connect your business with. Hiring, employment law and dealing with employee files and wellbeing is a big job for a business owner, so how do you manage your HR on a small business budget?

BambooHR company logo in green colour

BambooHR is an HR tool that keeps all of your employee information in a single, secure database. It allows you to manage your workforce data, streamline your hiring process and make your onboarding experience a great one for new employees. BambooHR makes it easy for you to track your team’s hours, time off, and makes running payroll a simple and easy process.

BambooHR also gives you the ability to create a culture of company support for your team. As a business owner, this app gives you the tools to monitor and document employee performance and offer personal or team development.

The partner integration list for BambooHR is extensive and their pricing is based entirely on the needs of your business. You can get a free price quote on sign up.

Free trial – Yes
Available on – Desktop/IOS/Android

 

8. Mention – Social media marketing

Do you know what makes your customers tick? Are you tuned in to what they think about your brand – or do you want to find out?

Mention is a social media marketing app that keeps you connected with your customers. It allows you to keep track of what’s being said about your business online and on social media.

Mention company logo in blue and charcoal colour

If you’re not listening to your customers, you’re never going to know what they need and how to improve your relationship with them. Mention helps you respond to @’s, reply to any queries and alerts you to positive mentions of your brand across every platform you use in real-time.

Mention can give you detailed insights into what content is performing best and on which platforms, giving you the opportunity to create new content based on actual data. You can even schedule and publish posts all from inside the app too. Pretty nifty.

Keep an eye on what your competitors are up to, and never miss a word about your brand ever again. Your reputation is everything! A powerful tool for agencies and social media marketing businesses.

Free trial – Yes, 14 days
Available on – Desktop/IOS/Android

 

9. TimeCamp – Time tracking and project management

Keeping on top of all the moving parts of your business can be challenging and managing your team’s performance over different projects can be more than a big headache. Whether you run an agency, a startup or you’re a freelancer, time management is key to running your business effectively.

TimeCamp company logo in black and blue colours

TimeCamp is your very own project manager that allows you to access the important data about your projects, all in one place. No more having to enter manual data from attendance checklists or budgeting spreadsheets, TimeCamp will automate that for you, meaning you can spend more time focusing on work and less time keeping track of productivity.

With TimeCamp, you can monitor what integrated apps your team are using and encourage them to self-manage their work time directly from their computers so you are always on the same page without micromanaging their time.

Timecamp integrates with over 100 popular work management tools including Slack, Trello, Asana and Salesforce, and also has its own Google Chrome extension.

Free trial – Yes
Integrates with – Xero/QuickBooks Online
Available on – Desktop/IOS/Android

 

10. Capterra – App comparison

Ok, so this one isn’t technically an app but it’s a valuable addition to this list to get you started in finding the best apps and add-ons for your business.

Capterra company logo

Capterra is an app comparison website that allows you to compare up to four apps at a time so you can review their features. No having to flick between windows trying to analyse your research, Capterra will display them side by side on the screen and even email you your comparisons. It provides you with genuine user reviews, detailed descriptions of each app, what kind of companies or industries use them and outlines pricing and free trial offers. A great place to start your app journey.

Free to use
Available on – Desktop

 

‘Appy days! (Sorry…)

 

If you’re looking for COVID-19 resources for your business, go to our COVID-19 Support & Resources hub.

 

Further reading:

Why Is Cash Flow Important To A Small Business?

Stevie Watson

How many open tabs is too many? Creates the content. Is all about the content. Senior Content Marketer at Float 🤓