August 11, 2015
Growing a business is hard, especially if you don’t have the right tools to scale your business. Luckily, there’s an app for that — Countless apps, in fact. But choosing the right apps for your business can be difficult.
Here are 16 of the most popular apps that will boost your team’s productivity and help you get things done faster and smarter.
The team at Slack is on a mission to make your life simpler, more pleasant and more productive. Their product brings all your team communication together in one place. Slack integrates dozens of other products you may already use, such as GoToMeeting, Dropbox, Mailchimp and Twitter, and has awesome real-time messaging, archiving and (a kick ass) search function that will definitely streamline communication amongst your team.
You’ve never seen a project management as easy to use as Trello. It’s crazy flexible and anyone can quickly grasp the simple list-and-card structure. Organizations or project managers familiar with “kanban” will definitely embrace this tool. Even if you have no clue what kanban is you can use Trello to organize your product roadmap, plan an event, and even manage an editorial calendar.
Zapier is an app for all your apps. It can sync your Evernote to Dropbox, or enable you to create Trello cards via email. People are using Zapier to log support tickets into their CRM, consolidate multiple calendars, and much, much more. With over 400 apps in their library and a huge community behind it, you’re sure to find a Zap you can use.
Disseminating information about your website’s performance can be a grueling task. Chartbeat takes web analytics beyond the simple click and its real-time statistics allow everyone to be up to speed, all the time. Gone are the days when you track your content; Chartbeat can measure and monetize activity for publishers, brands and agencies. Together, we’re working to build a better web, where quality rules the day.
Word processing, spreadsheets, slideshows, and more, Google Docs does it all. Features like revision history, suggestion mode, and comments make Google’s document based solution a must-have in the modern office. It’s easier than ever to collaborate with team members or clients in real-time on pretty much anything.
Staying connected is one of the most common challenges among growing teams. 15Five helps leaders from businesses of all sizes “know the pulse” of their companies. Employees respond to weekly reports that are then reviewed by managers in minutes. This simple process results in more engaged and productive teams, and improved relationships between managers and employees.
How can technology empower the hourly workforce? That’s exactly what the team at WhenIWork is doting over every day. Their employee scheduling and staff time clock is being used by coffee shops, drug stores, SaaS startups, and virtual teams. With WhenIWork, you can fill shifts in 30 seconds and manage time-off requests on the web or your mobile device.
You can’t scale your business without recruiting top talent. Workable is a cost-effective solution to get a career site, post openings to multiple job boards, get and track applicants, manage candidate interviews and learn from analytics.Your HR team will love you for giving them the tools they need to be effective recruiters.
What do online support requests, call centers, and high-end retailers all have in common? A need for stellar customer service. ZenDesk helps companies of 10 to 10,000 handle support requests, organize HR operations, and innovate the customer experience. ZenDesk powers must-have features like live chat, case management, and community forums all inside one, beautiful tool.
In some industries, time-tracking is a necessity. I work at a digital agency and we’re required to accurately report time on each of our accounts; that’s harder than you think in a hyper collaborative environment. Harvest takes the pain away with built-in timers, a mobile app, and a great reporting interface. It also supports invoicing and expense tracking.
There has never been a more direct way for customers to connect with your company than on social media, and vice versa. Showing up in their stream at just the right moment can mean real business for you. Buffer makes it easy to manage your social media accounts by providing one platform to schedule content and activity for all of your accounts. It also makes suggestions for the right time to post to maximize your reach.
This app suite is hot among fast-growing startups right now. With tools like live chat, in-product messaging, and a shared inbox for support requests, Intercom can help you improve the experience anywhere along the customer journey.
How is your content helping drive business? That’s the question that Filament strives to help you answer. Filament is a content analytics app that proactively tells you how your content is performing and, more importantly, why it’s doing well. It tracks social sharing, scroll depth, comments, and other on-page engagement within your app to help you understand what users are doing on your site.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of designing your marketing site or product to please yourself or your colleagues. But you should be building it for your customers’ needs. UserTesting helps you understand what customers think and how they interact with your digital product or website. Goodbye assumptions, hello insights.
Time travel is possible with boomerang — well, sort of. I write follow-up emails immediately after I’m done with phone calls, then use Boomerang to schedule them for a week or two later. This helps me follow-up on time, as promised, with really detailed and heartfelt notes. Boomerang is also a great way to respond to emails when you see them come in after hours. Schedule them to deliver first thing the next morning, instead of late at night.
Sometimes it’s difficult to make a call between two variants on a landing page. Optimizely helps you test whether the form will convert better if the button is on the left or the right. You can also use Optimizely to personalize and target your website content. Reporting is made easy with an in-app suite of reports, so a lot of the hard work is done for you. You just need to bring the ideas, Optimizely tracks the results.
Everything is Better Together
Depending on the needs of your business, you might be able to use several of these tools together to streamline your workflow, improve your customer service, and convert more leads. Whatever it is you need, when it comes to scaling your business, there’s an app for that.
Image Credit: Flickr/Nate Nygren
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