8 Apps and Features That Small Business Owners Must Know – Despite the fact that SMEs contribute a great deal to Nigeria’s economy, account for 48% of the country’s national GDP, 96% of businesses and 84% of employment in the country, there are still some challenges associated with startups in Nigeria.
The good news however, is that there are some SME-friendly tools and solutions, which when put to use can alleviate some of the issues that young entrepreneurs encounter in the course of starting their small businesses.
Below, we are going to discuss seven apps and features that can be of great help to small business owners and help them in their day to day dealings.
Wave is an app which offers great assistance through providing access to accounting solutions. With the Wave app, you can create invoices, track transactions, as well as log in customer/vendor accounting details.
Other things that you can do with Wave include tracking income and expenses, receiving payments as well as setting up automatic payments reminders.
So you see that you must not have a masters in accounting to stay on top of things and be in charge of everything accounting where your business is involved.
More good news is that the app is free, however they charge a considerable amount if you want to make use of their premium-tier services.
2. WhatsApp for Business
If you are one of those who thought that Whatsapp is just for chatting with friends and family, well it is time to wake up and check out WhatsApp for Business.
Although the WhatsApp for Business has similar structure and workings to the normal WhatsApp Messenger app, it comes with certain unique features to help your business. With the app, you can set up your business profile to show important details that you would want your customer base to be aware of.
You can set it up to show your opening hours, contact information, website, as well as physical address for the customers who would want to walk into your physical store. You can equally create catalogues showing your inventory, prices, product information, as well as images.
More so, the app can send automatic responses when customers reach out to you during your offline hours. You can customize the automatic responses to include a list of FAQs or you can just make it a normal welcome greeting, letting the customer know that you will get in touch shortly.
Just as the name implies, this one assists with signing documents electronically. This way you don’t have to stress yourself carrying papers up and down.
With DocuSign, you can insert required digital signatures on anything at all that you need to get signed. It saves you the hassle of trying to meet with everyone physically before documents would have to be signed.
DocuSign eSignatures are regarded to be safe and they also have their own measures in place to assure users of how safe they are. The app would require verification before granting access to the document. This way only authorized persons can actually have access to the said documents and they won’t be meddled with.
Through SurveyMonkey, you can put out an online survey and get feedbacks on how to improve your services and how you can serve your customers better.
A lot of people ignore carrying out surveys and this is not right. You have to always be on the watch for ways to offer better services and retain your customer base.
If not, you are in danger of losing your customers to your competitors who are obviously getting in touch with their customers and conducting appropriate research to know the areas that they can be better at.
This survey and research must not be directed to customers alone you can also do same for your suppliers, vendors, employees, etc.
5. ALAT for Business
ALAT for Business really goes a long way in helping small-scale businesses and corporate clients take care of their finances, providing them with smooth accounting operations and allowing the business owner have proper financial records for the purposes of acquiring funds for expansion should the need arise.
The app really makes things so much easier to the point that a corporate bank account can be opened without you having to physically go into a banking hall. You can also get your corporate debit card without any hassle.
Another cool service it provides is that an SME can have multiple beneficiaries, thereby making it easy to approve transactions.
This also really helps when it comes to transparency on how the corporate funds are being put to use. If your business is one that requires you to pay a lot of vendors regularly, this can also be automated making the process very easy for you.
You will also be glad to know that there are no transfer limits as the as it allows for transfers up to 100 million naira daily.
Another feature that the platform offers its users is the Quick Loan feature. With this feature a user can borrow up to 10 million naira without having to wait hours on bank queues.
The cherry on top to all these amazing features is that ALAT for business provides its users with direct access to financial advice. This is provided by either financial professionals or a direct account manager. They are there to give you advise regarding the financial state of your business, projections as well as industry growth opportunities that you can take advantage of. They also advise you on short and long-term financing options. So you see that the ALAT for Business is indeed a total package that you should not miss out on.
QuickBooks is another amazing app that is favoured by small businesses and the reason for this is not far-fetched. It provides its users with an easy yet effective way to handle their accounting needs as well as keep an eye on the general state of their business.
There is really so much you can do with a standard QuickBooks Online subscription. They include generating invoices, payment of bills, creation of financial reports, tracking inventory, scanning receipts, analyzing financial data, as well as receiving online payments.
As you can see for yourself with all that has been listed, it is really worth it. But the better news is that there is even an advanced version which is QuickBooks for PC.
This is used a lot by retail outlets in the country because it can be paired with POS devices for the purpose of getting receipts fast as well as for inventory monitoring.
FreshBooks provides great assistance to its users through its simple accounting system. Yes you could say that it is quite similar to QuickBooks but it is simpler and easier to use with a beginner-friendly interface.
With FreshBooks, you can generate and manage invoices, set automatic reminders for unpaid invoices, track business expenditures, account for pending client payments, and also monitor time spent on projects.
It is also very freelancer friendly.
If you are interested in social media and web campaigns then you need Plaqad. It is a marketing technology platform with amazing tracking analytics to help businesses run their campaigns.
With their SocialCred tool, you can gauge influence and scientifically place social media credibility. This allows for transparency in influencer marketing and assists in handling influencer fraud.
Also if you have a hard time selecting an influencer for your business, It will help you in deciding the best influencer of content creator for your business.
Another feature of the platform that is of really great use to businesses is the PlaqadIQ. It is an analytics tool which assists businesses to properly guage the performance of their PR and marketing methods.
There is also PlaqadM which allows users to build connections with publishers, influencers as well as content creators.
Really Worthy Mentions
At the beginning of this write up, we mentioned that we will only be discussing eight of these amazing platforms that are of great assistance to small businesses and we have done that. We would however add more that you should also check out apart from the ones that we have already talked about.
For being on top of projects and coordination of team members, you should check out Asana and Trello apps. Zoom and Slack are really good for employee communication. Google Drive and Dropbox are amazing for the storing and sharing of files.
To better understand and manage online marketing you should check out Buffer, Google Analytics, and Facebook Ads Manager. Google Analytics particularly comes in handy if you own a website or online store, as it will help you monitor site traffic.
If you need to create amazing videos for your marketing campaigns then check out InShot and FilmoraGo. For your 2D posters, logos, flyers, and graphic assets Canva and Adobe Spark are very equal to the task.