Top 5 new small business apps in 2016

Connect, curate, teach, practice, create

As a small business owner, I’m sure you’re always on the lookout for tools that make running your business easier and save time. But with so many online tools available it can be difficult to discern the best small business apps for your needs. Look no further. These fresh new apps pack a big punch.

1. Flock & Company

Website: http://flockandco.com/

Platform: Online

Price: Free

Uses: Networking and collaboration for female creative entrepreneurs

Features: Searchable directory, various types of collaboration listings, customized member profiles and Etsy shop integration

I have connected with so many amazing, successful, creative business women in a short amount of time using Flock & Company. And these connections have already led to podcast interviews, guest blog posts, and industry support systems.

Small Business Apps Flock and Company

Description: There are so many benefits to connecting with other business owners. Whether it’s to network, collaborate, or share strategies, building relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs can take your business to the next level.

Flock & Company offers a unique opportunity for female creative entrepreneurs to do just that.

The online platform features a searchable directory full of qualified business owners — making it easy to find experts with a particular product, service, target audience, industry, niche, or even geographical location. You can respond to or create your own collaboration listings to find guest blogging opportunities, podcast interviewees, product reviewers, virtual or in-person coffee dates, and more.

With this beautiful, well-designed platform, the possibilities are endless.

 

You don’t even need to know what you’re looking for to get value from Flock & Company because they have a personalized, data-driven suggestion feature to help you make the perfect connections. Whether you’re a blogger, a maker, a podcaster, or designer, Flock & Company is an excellent tool for building your online business.

2. Plann

Website: http://plannthat.com/

Platforms: iOS and Android

Price: Free trial, then nominal one-time fee for one to three accounts or monthly fee for unlimited accounts

Uses: Instagram scheduling and strategy

Features: Drag-and-drop feed planning, image and video scheduling, save and manage multiple hashtag sets

Small Business Apps Plann

Description: Instagram is a powerful and effective platform for small business — and Plann is a leader in the lineup of must-use small business apps for anyone serious about maximizing their marketing efforts.

With Plann’s unique features, you can save time, get more followers, increase engagement, and curate a designer feed.

Effortlessly create a beautiful, customized feed using the drag-and-drop tool to make the most of Instagram’s three-column gallery layout that puts visual branding front and center. Load previous posts and plan up to 120 images in your gallery at once to easily achieve a designer feed such as the checkerboard look, the mind-blowing seamless look where images span across all three columns, or the revolving color scheme look.

Even if you’re not looking to get fancy, Plann’s scheduling and posting functions are top notch.

 

Unlike some other small business apps for social scheduling, with Plann you can schedule an unlimited number of images and videos per month. It’s a beautifully designed and robust app with new features being added all the time. If you’re ready to take your Instagram account to the next level, this is the app for you.

3. WebinarNinja

Website: https://webinarninja.co/

Platform: Online

Price: Free test drive, then monthly fee based on number of live attendees

Uses: Webinars with robust features and integrations

Features: Live, recorded, evergreen or hybrid webinars; chat, polls, offers, screenshare, auto email reminders, paid webinars, Facebook ad and email integrations, analytics and much more

Description: WebinarNinja is a new webinar platform with a generous number of useful features. But don’t worry, they make it incredibly simple to create and run a webinar.

The clean and easy-to-use interface puts you in control during your webinar — chat, live polls, time-stamped Q&A, show an offer with the click of a button, share your screen, or even share the stage with a co-host at any time. WebinarNinja has it all.

You can create different types of content such as live webinars, evergreen recorded content, or anytime webinars to build your list of email subscribers. WebinarNinja uses the latest webinar technology, so your webinars will be in real-time. That means you can engage with participants without the awkward delay of most other live options out there.

I love having the ability to offer recurring webinars to accommodate various time zones.

 

WebinarNinja makes it easy for small businesses to offer powerful webinars to build relationships with their target audience and convert them into paying clients.

4. Ummo

Website: http://www.ummoapp.com/

Platform: iOS only

Price: Very minimal one-time fee

Uses: Speech coaching

Features: Annotated speech analysis including filler words, speed, pronunciation

Small Business Apps Ummo

Description: Livestream video, podcast and radio interviews, guest speaking at events, video course recording — these are all really powerful tools for marketing your small business. But public speaking doesn’t come naturally to most of us.

Poor speaking skills can make us sound less experienced and confident than we are. Or worse, they can stop us from doing these things for our business at all. Ummo is here to help.

With the tap of a button, you can get word-by-word annotated results on your speech patterns to help you improve your speaking ability. It monitors speed, volume, pauses, filler words like ‘um’ ‘like’ ‘you know’, and even your pronunciation. With its powerful speech recognition and analysis algorithms, Ummo can give you useful feedback that helps you feel more confident when speaking. And, um, like who doesn’t need that, you know?

5. Renderforest

Website: http://www.renderforest.com

Platform: Online

Price: Free to moderate monthly or per-export fee

Uses: Online professional video creation

Features: Customizable video templates, licensed music collection, unlimited storage and sharing, HD-quality exporting

Small Business Apps Renderforest

Description: I don’t have to tell you how hot video is right now. You probably know that it’s the fastest way to build the know-like-trust factor with prospective clients. But did you know that video content gets preferential treatment by algorithms on most platforms? And according to Forrester stats, including video in an email increases click-through rates by up to 300 percent.

Bottom line: If you want anyone to pay attention to your content, at least part of it needs to be in video format.

 

For most people, video sounds overwhelming and time-consuming — particularly if you want it to look professional and not like a first-grader shot it with their mommy’s iPhone. But video content doesn’t have to be complicated, especially with Renderforest. They make it easy for you to create professional looking videos for your business.

Choose from countless, customizable templates to suit your every need — whether it’s an intro to your video training course, a blog post, a company overview, or business presentation. With features like licensed music, storage, sharing, editing, exporting and more, Renderforest offers everything you need to create professional, high-quality videos.

Put these small business apps to work for your business

As entrepreneurs, we are used to doing “all the things” to run and grow our businesses. These small business apps let you do it more efficiently and effectively. Not only will they save you time and money, they will also give your business a polished and professional vibe. From video to social media to forming valuable connections with fellow small business owners, these tried-and-true apps help you rock it online.

Next steps:

  1. Connect. Sign up for Flock & Company and post a listing to connect with other creative business owners over virtual coffee.
  2. Curate. Download the Instagram scheduling app, Plann, then upload and schedule10 photos.
  3. Teach. Sign up for a free test drive on WebinarNinja and teach your first live course.
  4. Practice. Hone your speaking skills by practicing your webinar narration with the Ummo speech coaching app.
  5. Create. Design a custom intro video for your website capturing the unique style of your business using the free templates on Renderforest.

You can easily take your business to the next level with these amazing small business apps!

Pepper Makepeace
Pepper supports female solopreneurs in their first year of business through social media strategy, web design tools, and business planning. Anyone brave enough to give the entrepreneur thing a try is cool as sh*t in Pepper’s book, and she'll do anything she can to help them succeed. Collaboration and community is an important part of Pepper's business and she's grateful for the strong connections she's made with other entrepreneurs. When Pepper isn't strategizing, she can be found hanging out with her fur babies, teaching Japanese language classes, crocheting, embroidering, or having a deep, philosophical conversation with her hubby.