Institute of Online Business Apps

10 apps to help grow your online business

See these 10 apps to help grow your online business…

Startup entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to work smarter and grow faster. But small teams and limited budgets mean you can only do so much on your own. That’s why it makes sense to rely on innovative business applications to pick up the slack wherever possible. After all, if other companies have figured out how to organise your business, streamline processes, and boost productivity, why not use their know-how to save time and money?

Luckily, you don’t need to go looking for these resources — Institute of Online Business has done the research for you. Here are some of the best business apps and resources for entrepreneurs in 2019.

1. Hotjar

Creating the best user experience possible ensures that people enjoy coming to your website so they’ll purchase products and services. If your goal is to optimise the user experience, Hotjar can help. Hotjar provides heat-maps of your web traffic, as well as a user behavior analysis — where people are clicking and where you’re losing their attention. With this knowledge, you can make sure your website is always making a solid first impression to convert the most traffic possible.

2. Kissmetrics

For most businesses, the bulk of website sales are from repeat customers. To optimise the sales funnel and improve customer retention, Kissmetrics tracks website users from their first point of engagement through to specific funnels and finally to conversion. Kissmetrics is a great tool for showing you exactly what specific customers are doing on your website and where they’re coming from. The app also enables you to create split-testing campaigns for landing pages and emails so that you can tweak them and improve conversion.

3. Buffer

Most entrepreneurs understand the importance of social media, but managing the strategy can be confusing and highly time consuming. With Buffer, you can keep this process efficient by scheduling and publishing posts across a wide variety of social media platforms. Because analyzing the effectiveness of posts is important, Buffer also includes rich reporting tools to help you strategise the best times to post, as well as what content works best.

4. PowToon

In the last few years, video has become a powerful tool for startups. It helps differentiate your brand while providing a quick and easy way to explain exactly what you do. In fact, according to some research, having a video on your homepage can increase conversion by 20 percent. To help take advantage of video, PowToon provides a simple tool to create helpful, animated explainer videos and product demos — no coding or design skills required. Even big companies agree it’s great; Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Google all use it.

5. 99 Designs

Need a new logo or landing page, but not ready to jump in and try to design it yourself? When it comes to graphic design, you definitely want some expertise. That’s where 99 Designs can help. The website offers a tool for reaching out to the global design community to find your ideal design match. To get started, all you do is fill out a design brief, buy a custom design package, and then launch a design contest. Designers from all over the world will sign up to participate, sending you their ideas. You simply choose the design you like best.

6. Bannerstack

Bannersnack is an easy-to-use banner ad creation app. It enables you to singlehandedly design and create banner ads, display advertising, and Facebook ads without any coding skills. Your results can be downloaded into a variety of formats, including HTML5, Flash, JPG, GIF, PNG, and MP4. As a result, they are compatible with all the major ad networks, such as Google Adwords, RightMedia, and OpenX. Professionally designed templates and images are all provided, but you can also opt to start from scratch with your own images and designs.

7. Freshbooks

Financial tasks like bookkeeping and invoicing can take you away from other work that might feel more important. So why not make accounting as quick and easy as possible? Freshbooks enables you invoice clients, track your time, and run your small businesses all from a simplified user-friendly interface. While it once focused on freelancers who were billing for hourly time, today it integrates with numerous third-party platforms, like PayPal, Woocommerce, and ZenPayroll, to better serve a wider audience.

8. Boomerang

This app is a great productivity app if you use Gmail as your primary email platform. It adds the functionality to Gmail that you wish it already included. Use Boomerang to temporarily archive messages in your inbox and be reminded about them later. You can also pause the arrival of new mail to avoid distractions. Another valuable feature is its scheduling tool, enabling you to write emails and schedule emails to be sent later. This is great for people who want to send marketing emails but who don’t need a full-scale email tool.

9. Calendy

With everyone so busy these days, scheduling a meeting can be a big hassle. Instead of sending countless emails to everyone involved, why not use Calendy to eliminate the issue altogether? An appointment setting app, Calendy lets you share your availability and enables people to book meetings with you using a few clicks. To avoid scheduling conflicts, it integrates with Google and Office 365 calendars. The basic service is free, but if you want to schedule team meetings and benefit from other add-ons, there’s a nominal monthly fee.

10. LastPass

Security and encryption are critical in the digital age. Unfortunately, keeping your business and personal details safe means juggling dozens of unique and complicated user names and passwords. To avoid the hassle of losing important login information, LastPass securely stores all your important credentials. It also allows you to share them with teams as necessary. Other helpful features include auto-fill for payment and shipping details, as well as storage of useful information like WiFi access codes and insurance numbers.