The 7 apps for highly effective start-ups in 2021

2021 is already flying by and festive celebrations are feeling a little more distant every day.

As we get settle into a year of new opportunities, it’s time to ask the question: Did you set any resolutions and have you kept up with them?

In 2018, fitness app, Strava, conducted research to find out how quickly we give up on the hopeful plans we make on January 1st. They named January 12th ‘Quitter’s Day’, finding that most app users began to abandon their goals as early as twelve days into the new year.

Whether you’re a resolution setter or not:

  • It doesn’t have to be all over by the end of January, if it didn’t start well
  • You haven’t lost out if you’ve not had a chance to think about where you want your business to be in 2020

It’s never too late to start making marginal improvements to your systems and processes. And luckily, there are countless apps in the world right now designed to do just that – to increase productivity in your business, so that you have the time you need to innovate, create, and strategise for growth.

We’ve listed the top seven that we’re regularly recommending to our clients for ultimate business mastery:

1. For project Management: Trello

At Barnes & Scott, we think about our working lives in two stages, BT and AT – Before Trello, and After Trello.

It’s by far one of our favourite task management tools. Fed up of having ten different to-do lists? Tasks getting lost in the back and forth of emails? Then you want to take a look at this one. You can create job boards and checklists, add attachments and emails, plus invite your team to your workflow, delegate tasks, and give due dates.

All of this is free, but can be updated to a paid subscription if you want it to integrate with other productivity apps.

Take a look:

2. For better security (and memory!): Dashlane

Dashlane is a password manager that saves us a least 5 minute of precious time every day. Because our business lives are lived digitally, we have so many passwords and logins to remember, and we want the whole team to have access to them in a way that doesn’t compromise our security.

Dashline stores all of your passwords and sensitive information in one security protected place, so that you can access them easily across multiple devices, without having to save them in documents, send them in emails, or remember them off the top of your head! This one’s also free for up to 50 passwords – win!

Take a look:

3. For sharing what’s important – Box

Most of you will have heard of Dropbox, an app that allows you to store all of your files in the cloud, so that everyone in your team can access documents, videos, images.

We actually use Box instead, because they’ve stepped up the game with advanced security. This is another app that stops you having to risk sending your most important files around in emails. It also means you’re able to share an entire database of documents with your clients, to make your relationship with them a more efficient one.

Take a look:

4. For making money – Quotient (A Xero add on)

When you’re trying to win business, the last thing you want to be doing is wasting time chopping and changing a word document quote or chasing up a tenuous verbal agreement you made at a meeting a month ago. You want to be able to drop a smart-looking, clear and concise quote over to your prospects, to give a quick and impressive follow up to an enquiry.

This is why we recommend Quotient – you can customise your quotes and save templates so that it’s a click-of-a-finger process. Plus you can see when your prospect has opened the quote, so you know where you’re at in the sale.

Take a look:

5. For chasing money – Chaser (A Xero add on)

Getting the quote out is one crucial part of the sales process, and getting invoices back in is the other. No doubt, chasing up people for money, is one of the most hated parts of running a business. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t gave to do that? Thanks to the Gods at Chaser, you can.

Chaser lets you automate that whole process, but still use templates written by you, so that they’re customised to your clients and your relationship with them. We’re pretty confident every business owner will love this app.

Take a look:

6. For spending time wisely – Rescue time

Time is money, right? Whilst we’re recommending all these apps and digital solutions for work productivity, there is always a risk online of falling into a multi-tab existence, where you’re a jack of all digital tasks, and a master of none.

We love Rescue Time because it helps us to see where we’re really spending our time online so that we can do more of the things that are productive, and less of the things that are distracting.

Take a look:

7. Giving time to your people – Charlie HR

When you’re a startup or small business, you’re not likely to have a big trained-up team of HR professionals to deal with all of the things that your team require – holiday entitlement, booking requests, tracking of sick days, organised reviews.

Charlie HR is a really easy to use dashboard that everyone can have access to, to manage requests, and easily see who is working when and where.

Take a look:

Got an app that you love that we haven’t showcased here? Let us know! We’re always looking for more ways to improve our business and the businesses of our clients. Find out how you can combine Xero with some of these integrated apps to achieve complete bookkeeping zen

Zen Finance:

Get smart about your accounting

We use technology to do the heavy lifting, resulting in a Zen-like state for your finances, freeing up headspace to run your company.

Let us guide your business on its journey from start-up to exit

Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credits
Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS & EIS)
Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) share schemes
Reporting Global Sales
Become Investment Ready
Smart and Simple Cap Tables

Hit the ground running

Speak to Tasnim, our Founder Director

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