The Best Apps for Your Home Business

Running a home business can be fantastic. It’s a great way to do something for yourself and to follow your dreams. It’s an opportunity to work for yourself, without having to follow the rules or do as you are told. It also gives you the chance to earn money for yourself, without discrimination or glass ceilings. Home businesses are growing in popularity as more people are taking the risk and going it alone.

But, it’s not easy. When you run a business out of your house, you are likely to face many challenges and problems which you must overcome, facing head-on if you want to make your business a success.

Fortunately, in 2019 there are countless tools to help you. While you may not have the resources and finances that bigger businesses have, as they use business applications so often that they eventually need applications rationalization to help weed out legacy applications and reduce the costs. You will find that help is at hand. Small business loans and grants are often available. Digital marketing is an excellent tool when it comes to saving money while growing your business, and then there are apps. Nowadays most of us have countless apps on our phones. They help us with most elements of our life, as well as providing entertainment. So it should come as no surprise that there are also apps to help you run your business. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

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QuickBooks

If you are new to the business world, one of your primary challenges might be looking after your accounts. Many small business owners and sole traders find themselves in a panic as tax return season comes around as they have no idea how much money they have made, or what they can claim as a tax-deductible expense.

QuickBooks can be an extremely useful tool if you’ve got little experience in accounting. Even if you know what you are doing, using an app to manage your invoices and receipts can make your life a lot easier and save you a great deal of time. It could even save you money.

QuickBooks is one of many accounting apps on the market, but it’s often thought of as the easiest to use. You can use QuickBooks to keep records of your sales and expenses, track invoices, to pay your staff and to calculate your income. Other finance apps you may find useful include Wave, Gusto and Freshbooks.

Trello

Another big problem that home businesses face is productivity. When you are working at home, surrounded by distractions, it can be hard to organise and manage your time. Apps like Trello can be a massive help.

Use Trello to organise your days and manage your time. Create a Trello board for each project and add comments, pictures, attachments, to-do lists and deadlines to help yourself stay on track. If you often collaborate or have a team working with you, you can use Trello to assign tasks and get updates on progress. If you prefer to keep things simple, to-do list apps and even Google Calendars can be a big help.

Evernote

If you work from home, chances are you don’t always work from home. You might work at the library or in coffee shops. You might even try to get work done while you are sat in your car waiting for an appointment or meeting. This can be hard if all you have got in your phone.

Evernote can make things much easier. You’ll be able to work on your phone or tablet on the go, and anything that you do will be synced between your devices and your desktop back home. Evernote can give you a great way to maximise your time and get the most done, without worrying about losing work.

PayPal

As a small business, you might regularly work with other small companies and influencers. This often means that PayPal is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to make and receive payments. Having the PayPal app on your phone means that you can send invoices, receive payments and transfer money on the go. It also allows you to look at your income and save receipts.

BoxMeUp

If your business is in sales, and you sell products out of your house, BoxMeUp can be a huge help. The app helps you to organise and track your packages. You can even use it to print labels and scan them into your phone to help with tracking and communicating with your customer.

Plan Ahead for Maximum Tax Benefits

In running your small business, do you feel at times like the financial walls are closing in around you? If that is the case, now would be a good time to review how you’ve done financially this year, along with thinking about where you want to be in the future.

Also keep in mind that being savvy with your business finances doesn’t mean you are great with personal expenses and vice-versa. In order to be in a win-win situation, smart decisions must be made on both fronts. If you feel like you maybe have not been making the best financial decisions at times, has the time arrived to get help?

When you own a business, you have so much to think about. Your products need to be made, and your website needs to go up. And, of course, you need to have an active presence on social media.

One thing you can’t forget is filing your taxes! Taxes are something that can cause big headaches for small businesses. If you don’t have good records, you may find it difficult to complete your paperwork at the end of the year.

tax

Plan ahead by using software like QuickBooks to track every check, credit card and debit card purchase and quickly see what you are spending using built-in expense reports.

Another resource you can take advantage of is the QuickBooks Resource Center. Read articles on setting up contracts that will help you get your invoices paid. Access advice on payroll and mistakes you can avoid making.

Want to go into next year feeling as good as possible about your work and home financial situations, take action now. That means sooner rather than later, not whenever you feel like getting around to it.

Are Your Accounts Receivables Coming Up Short?

When you run a small business, you have a lot to think about and a lot to stay on top of. Between your product, your employees, your clients and your finances, it’s easy to fall behind in one area or another.

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Though it’s easy, it’s also harmful, and you don’t want to come up short in any of these facets.

If you’re noticing that your finances are not where you’d like them to be, check your accounts receivables.

This could be an area where you need to pay some extra attention. Accounts receivables are critical to your business as that’s where you keep records of what clients own you what money. If you lose track here, you could be missing out on your income.

Dependency on Your Incoming Revenue

The rest of your company’s financial state is often dependent on your accounts receivable as that’s where the majority of your income comes from.

Some businesses have an easier time getting these bills paid, while others typically have a longer wait time before seeing this income.

For instance, hospitals often notice that patients wait longer than with other businesses to pay bills.

In the article, “Measuring the Performance of Hospital Accounts Receivables”, we see the effect of accounts receivables on all other aspects of finances in a business, including payroll, investments, expansion and expenses.

Follow these steps for productive accounts receivable records:

  • Good records are imperative in this area, and a good accounting program is necessary.

Whether it’s a program like Microsoft Excel or Intuit’s QuickBooks, you need a solid accounting program.

Set up an account for every customer, even if it’s a one-time interaction. Many business owners still like to keep a manual filing system as a backup; that is up to you.

  • Keep on top of outstanding balances.

Use professional communication, whether it’s electronic or paper, and include your business logo, company name and contact information on all communication.

Send out consistent bills in a regular cycle to those customers who owe; you don’t need to send out bills to customers with zero balances.

  • Decide when you will turn past due accounts into a collection agency.

Make sure you notify your clients when you are doing this and how to rectify when they pay.

Also, by maintaining good records, you can allow your clients to pay at a slower rate as opposed to all up front.

This can build loyalty and earn you more business, as some people need to pay this way. Do what is best for your clients and yourself.

Again, it’s hard staying on top of it all as a small business owner, but if you’ve made the commitment and investment in your business, you need to maintain solid records and communication.

You don’t want money that is owed to you slipping by because you didn’t send out bills or follow up when needed.

It’s all part of the business.

As a business owner, how do you go about making sure you get paid on time?

About the Author: Heather Legg covers topics pertaining to small business, marketing, and social media.