Around 90% of small businesses and startups shut down within their first year. One of the main reasons why this happens is the ignorance of paid and useful business apps. But, why pay for the software if there is a free alternative?

Of course, you may have a point. However, free of charge doesn’t mean they are the best. Free business apps often have very limited functionality bringing more pain than facilitation to your working hours. When considering options like Airtable, it's essential to weigh the benefits of paid features against the limitations of free versions.

Saving $199 per year may save the life of your startup, that’s a fact. If you’re not ready to risk it, then our new line-up of the must-have business apps is just for you.

To save your time, we picked our favorites in all app categories f or small businesses and startups. There are seven apps that we highly recommend to forward-thinking businesses aiming at success. From the sales crew, to the marketing team, to the finance department: let us introduce the apps that helped our NetHunt family be more productive and mindful in the workplace.

Customer relationships for A+ 😊

If your business model involves B2C or B2B communication, the CRM-system is a tool that will give you a head start. From the first interaction with your brand, to the closing of the deal, the CRM supports you at every stage of your relationships with customers.

The key benefits of hiring a CRM are:

  • The CRM helps you gather, organize, and store customer data in the most efficient way;
  • It gives you context to any previous conversation in minutes;
  • You will never miss or forget about a perspective lead;
  • CRM acts as your personal assistant in planning your work agenda;
  • CRM synchronizes work of the sales, marketing, and customer support teams;
  • It reminds you about scheduled calls, follow-ups, and unresponded emails;
  • With CRM, you can send hundreds of personalized emails in minutes, and track email stats afterward.
  • You can use CRM pipelines to visualize your sales funnel and identify its weak points, and so much more.

Surprisingly or not, the NetHunt CRM team manages their customer relations with the help of the best #Gmail CRM that we know… NetHunt CRM! :)

Why? Because NetHunt CRM expands the traditional mission of CRM-systems by turning CRM into a productivity tool. It was developed for small businesses, solo entrepreneurs, and startups that want to get simple yet helpful software for a fair price. Or, on the contrary, they want to develop custom software personally for themselves for convenient business management.

Why is NetHunt CRM better than 95% of other CRM-systems for SMBs?

  • NetHunt CRM is a certified Google CRM that can be integrated into your Gmail in minutes;
  • It’s already integrated with the top G Suite apps and other useful services like Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp, Intercom, Slack, etc.
  • The stunning mobile version lets you work and close deals on the go;
  • NetHunt automates your daily routine in many ways including email templates, schedule email merge, and auto-responses;
  • It also measures the effectiveness of your email campaigns (open rates, click rates, unsubscribes, etc.)

Price: Starts at $ 24 per user/month

Check out and test-drive for free!

Or, on the contrary, they want to develop custom software personally for themselves for convenient business management.

Internal Communication 💻

Another business app that thrives on every laptop in our office is Slack. Slack is a messenger that allows us to send instant messages to our colleagues, create channels, and coordinate our internal work better. In Slack chats, we share documents, discuss product improvements, and distribute the best memes.

Right now, our most active chat is devoted to the upcoming corporate New Year party. If you’re looking for a business tool that brings everyone on your team to the same page, Slack is what you need.

Price: Starts at $6.67/month

Effective Project Management 🐝

The next business app that helps us plan and manage our teamwork is Jira. Jira gives us an overview of the entire development process that takes place inside NetHunt. As a project management tool, Jira visualizes our business roadmap and helps us effectively handle everything that happens between the birth of the idea to the product release.

With Jira, we split complicated tasks into smaller ones and assign them to different employees. Hence, the project manager always stays on top of the statuses of all important assignments. Jira shows the approximate time left for every task to be done. Also, we use Jira to estimate and measure the performance of every employee.

Price: Starts at $0 for teams of up to 10 people

Automated financing & billing 💲

There are several finance apps that help us take care of our expenses, salaries, and customer purchases. If your startup also needs to cope with any of these, pay attention to PayPal, Gusto, Zoho Books, Freshbook, and Square Invoices.

When you implement accounting and invoicing software internally, start looking for finance apps to process customer payments (or you can search for both simultaneously). The noteworthy rule to remember here is: ensure that the payment process is clear and easy for your clients.

Analytics under control 📈

Now it’s time for the only free yet powerful business tool on our list. Right after we launched the NetHunt website, we got hooked on Google Analytics. Google’s basic analytic app gives us insights about NetHunt’s targeted audience and its behavior. The up-to-date statistics delivered in real-time helps us make the right improvements and drive smart business decisions.

Before any marketing campaigns or product revamping, we process numbers from our intuitive and simple-to-navigate Google Analytics account.

Did we mention that these analytics are for free? Google Analytics is a perfect choice for small businesses and startups with limited marketing budgets.

Even though the free version unlocks plenty of features, Google Analytics also offers the Analytics 360 solution with a premium package of analytical tools.

Outstanding productivity & focus on work 💡

Our very own leader in this category is Asana. Asana is a management app that serves both personal and business goals. It’s hard to name even one industry where Asana can’t be useful. Asana helps us plan and structure our everyday work by bringing afloat the tasks that require the most focus now.

With Asana, we build product roadmaps, manage a number of projects simultaneously, plan sprints, get ready for marketing campaigns, track personal productivity, and much more.

By the end of the working day, we know exactly how much work our team managed to do and how much time each task consumed.

Price: Starts at $10.99 per user/ month

Relaxing and breathing out 🌞

In days of informational glut and multitasking, it’s easy to lose self-control and burn out. This is why it’s crucial for our mental health to not forget to slow down and breath out. This is the moment where Headspace enters in the game! A few minutes of morning meditation and you’re ready to climb Mount Everest (or just keep your thoughts in order).

Headspace helps our team stay concentrated and mindful throughout the working hours.

When the app sends us a gentle reminder that we need to stop and breathe deeply, we stop and breathe. Calm app can become a great alternative to Headspace.

Price: Starts at $7.99 per user/month

Thanks for making it till the end 💙

All in all, these seven apps can fuel your team and accelerate business growth. Have you tried any of business apps featured on the list? If not, share your favorites!

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