From those offering feedback on business ideas to money management advice and point-of-sale software, here are some of the best apps on the market to keep you connected.
1. Best for seeking expert advice
How do you know if you have a killer idea? It can be expensive to hire a consultant. Flare, an app supported by GoDaddy, instantly allows users to get feedback on their business ideas from experts.
It works a little like Tinder – users swipe left or right if they like or dislike an idea. It’s easy to ask questions on the app too, and you get instant responses.
2. To find investors
There are plenty of apps out there that help fledgling businesses connect to potential investors. OurCrowd is a stand-out one, as it vets and selects different opportunities so you can be sure of genuine investment and a quality product in return for your investment.
Managed by a team of seasoned investment professionals and led by entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd invests its own capital and provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, and assigns industry experts as mentors.
3. When you need to manage cash flow
Banking can be the bane of an entrepreneur’s life – but understanding tax, pay and profit is necessary for any business to take off. A good banking app is essential.
Dan Posner, director of product at Barclays Business says: “There are lots of apps on the market that will help you do this, but you won’t go far wrong with any of the biggest book-keeping apps in the market: FreeAgent, QuickBooks, Sage and Xero. They all have different tiered packages to suit businesses of all sizes. Make sure you also download your bank’s online business banking app too.”
4. Intuit Quickbooks
Another decent cash flow app for start-ups. It allows entrepreneurs to access cash flow and profit and loss statements instantly and in real time, helping them keep an eye on what’s going in and out and to make fast business decisions.
5. For when you need to keep learning
If only there was somewhere you could store all those articles you wanted to read but never had time for. Thankfully, Pocket enables users to do just that. Simply save a feature to the app offline, or instantly share with colleagues. Erik Fairbairn, CEO of POD Point, swears by it: “We are always learning and we love to share information. The ability to bookmark articles to call back on is great.”
6. Best for those looking to sell
Designed with pop-up retailers and start-ups in mind, Vend is a cloud-based point-of-sale software. It’s ideal for entrepreneurs looking to sell their products for the first time and provides them with the kind of technology that typically only large retailers have access to.
It’s affordable, and is paid for using a monthly subscription service. Most importantly, it’s portable – it can be loaded onto an iPad, phone, PC or Mac, and taken from stall to stall.
7. For when you want to stay on top of tax
It’s one thing getting your finances and cash flow under control. It’s another being prepared for the taxman. Receipt Bank is a great tool that allows you to scan all your receipts, meaning you avoid having to manually enter them.
It works in tangent with your online accounting software. Daniel Keighron-Foster, MD at Steamhaus, uses it with Xero to keep on top of all the fiddly admin tasks that go with every business.
8. When you need to book an office
NOMAD is a lifesaver when you’re on the hunt for office space. Using the Nomad app or website, users can search by specific criteria, including location, budget and facilities.
Even better, the service caters to the current needs of entrepreneurs, including providing opportunities to tap into like-minded networks. A networking and location app rolled into the one? Ideal.
For more information, visit bt.com/connectedbusiness