Business Apps for the Entrepreneur: Taxes, Time Management, Publicity & More

In 2019, I’m not certain it’s even possible to run a business without using a few essential apps. The broad range of functionality iPhone and iPad apps offer improve a myriad of problems and daily tasks, including automating email, keeping all of your projects organized, building your brand, creating stunning promotional images, sending out invoices, and much more. From the more practical apps that help you with time management and taxes to the creative-but-essential apps that allow you to cultivate your company’s presence on the web and across social media, this list will be helpful to budding entrepreneurs across the board. My two personal favorites are Over, for creating promotional photos, and Trello, for staying on top of all the work small business owners need to do.

Related: Best Productivity Apps: Top Picks from the iPhone Life Team

Unsplash (Free)

Every business needs high-quality, stunning images. There are lots of great stock photo memberships out there that you can buy, but the unique thing about Unsplash is that every single image is completely free to use. All photos are not only free to use but free to use however you want. It’s always appreciated when you give credit to the photographer, but there are no royalty fees or copyright infringements—Unsplash is 100 percent free to use. Sound too good to be true? In this rare case, it isn’t. Unsplash allows anyone to create a profile (web only, not yet available in-app) and begin sharing photos, which means there are a hell of a lot of photos available and they are truly beautiful, covering more genres than could ever be named in one article. Definitely download the app and check Unsplash out online too.

 

Mailchimp (Free)

For online businesses, a strong opt-in offer that collects emails is a must. Your email list is one of the only audiences you truly ‘own,’ unlike followers on a social media platform. MailChimp makes it easy to get started with email marketing and automation because it’s completely free when you have less than 2,000 subscribers, which is perfect for the entrepreneur that’s just starting out. I’ve used MailChimp on and off for at least four years; it’s incredibly easy to use, it seamlessly integrates with the top website platforms (such as Squarespace and WordPress), and the company consistently adds new features for top-notch email automation and sales funnels.

 

SEO Edge ($2.99/3 months)

SEO is important. The good news? It’s not nearly as difficult as the experts would have you believe. Indeed, I highly recommend reading SEO is Not Hard by Austen Allred (published on Medium’s website) to help squelch those fears. SEO Edge is an app that allows you to track keywords and competition, similarly to how plenty of people watch the stock market. With SEO Edge, you can create profiles for websites, including your own. Then you can add keywords and see how that website ranks on Google for that keyword. In my mind, the best way to use this app would be to have your own website with the keywords you want to rank for; as well as profiles for the sites you consider close competitors with the same keywords. This way you can see where they rank and figure out why they may have a better ranking than you (time on page, authority, backlinks, keyword density, etc.). Any SEO software worth its weight will allow you to do something like this too (and much more), but the convenience of being able to track keywords and do SEO research from your iPhone is fantastic.

 

Trello (Free)

Trello allows you to take the long list of to-dos and larger projects swimming around in your brain and file them into designated boards that make it much easier to stay organized and on schedule. A Trello Board is simply a folder for your company or a specific project therein. Once you open the Board, you can create several labeled Lists of to-dos, reminders, blog post ideas, etc. For each item on a list, you add cards. Each card can have a due date, notes, multiple members working on it, attachments, comments, and more. So not only can an individual use Trello to stay organized, a team of people can use Trello to remain on task while communicating what needs to be done, what’s being worked on, and what’s finished.

 

Over (Free)

      When it comes to creating promotional materials, whether for social media, email funnels, or your website in general, Over is an incredible tool. I highly recommend using Unsplash to find your background photos and Over to add text, graphics, and pizazz to your marketing materials. Over is available on both iPhone and iPad, which makes it perfect for both larger projects with a lot of planning and evaluation, as well as the quick image you need to create on the walk from the coffee shop to the train station. For businesses that come to depend on Over, the Pro version of the app is a must-have. With the Pro version, you have access to all of the graphics and fonts your brand could possibly desire.

       

      QuickBooks Self-Employed ($4.99/month)

      For the business that’s just sprouting its wings, why not use the most affordable version of QuickBooks: QuickBooks Self-Employed. For only five dollars a month, you can use this app to keep track of both profit and expenses. You can add to each category manually or link the bank accounts you use for your business to the app, which allows you to easily review purchases and either exclude or include each in the expenses and profit categories. You can even create invoices for clients from right within the app and email them the bill. Plus, use the app to keep track of business spending and deductions for tax season. Speaking of taxes, for an added seven dollars a month, you can choose the Tax Bundle subscription, which makes it easy to file annual taxes, make year-round payments, and generally be and stay prepared for tax season.

       

      HoursTracker (Free)

      When you work for someone else, you usually have a set schedule you can rely on. You know what hours you’re going to work and when your shift is over, you’re done with work. But entrepreneurs are known for overworking themselves to the point that it’s not actually helping the business. That’s why you need HoursTracker. Set your hourly rate and start the clock—track how much you’re working and the rate you deserve to be making. This will allow you to see where you need more balance in your life and will also make it clear how much to pay yourself for the month. It may seem obvious to some, but a lot of new business owners have to face the fact that profit and income are different. When you’re paying yourself, it’s important to treat yourself like an employee, so you’re earning what you deserve while also not overpaying yourself and hurting the business. Using HoursTracker is one way to ensure you’re treating your employees, your clients, and yourself fairly.

       

      UNUM (Free)

      The tricky thing about social media is that (often) we’re accustomed to using it for entertainment. It takes a complete shift in our perspective to begin using social media as the business and brand-building tool it is. Which means, like many other aspects of business, we need to create a strategy, test it out, and make tweaks for improvement all along the way. UNUM is a free app that makes planning your Instagram feed super easy. Your Instagram needs to tell the story of your brand using color, images, and captions. But posting daily without having a plan is an unsustainable, exhausting way to use social media for business. Plus, planning out your feed will allow you to get a feeling for your own brand. Trust me, planning is your friend!

      Get Your Business Up & Running 

      Marie Forleo’s B-School ($2000)

      This is an unconventional product to feature, since it’s truly an online course. However, for any service-based or online business, B-School is a priceless investment. Marie Forleo and her team host the course once a year; but if you’ve paid once, you’ve paid for a lifetime. Which means that as the course is updated over the years, you’ll have access to the resources therein forever. I took this course three years ago; what I learned was so thoroughly absorbed by my brain that it feels like a second language. With six modules, B-School covers your Profit Plan, Website, Communication, List Building, Offerings, and Marketing, plus incredible bonuses. Is it way out of your budget? Marie also offers free scholarships to the program each year, so it’s worth subscribing to her mailing list if you want to know when and how to submit.

      Top image credit: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

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        Conner Carey's picture

        Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.