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11 essential apps and services used by the best small business owners on Amazon

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 19 Feb 2020

The right tools can make a job a lot easier, so we askedAmazon's best small business owners which apps and platforms they rely on as they grow their businesses.Their recommendations include platforms like Amazon and Shopify for e-commerce sales, and Mailchimp and QuickBooks for managing people and money.Here are the 11 top picks fromthe founders of Baking Steel Co., Damhorst toys, EcoBark Pets, EazyHold, 1818 Farms, Soul Insole, andHabit Nest.Visit BI Prime for more stories.There are countless apps and platforms promising to help you run your business.To help you choose, we asked the finalists forAmazon's best small business ownersaward to recommend the ones they rely on most every day.From customer relationships and project management to sales and bookkeeping, here are their top 11 picks for essential small business apps and services.Continue reading to see the full list, with links to learn more.SEE ALSO:13 inspiring books chosen by the best small business owners on Amazon, from 'The Art of War' to 'Company of One'READ MORE:5 low-cost apps that entrepreneurs and freelancers can use to juggle projects and boost productivityAmazonOne tool used by each of the small businesses on Amazon is, obviously, Amazon itself. Last year, the tech giant invested $15 billion on third-party initiatives, including a suite of over 225 tools and services for sellers.The businesses we spoke with said they found the tools for sales performance and customer feedback tracking especially useful in keeping their businesses performing at their highest potential.If you're curious about becoming one of the marketplace's 1 million worldwide sellers, be sure to check out Business Insider's exclusive guide on how to get started on Amazon.ShopifyIn addition to their Amazon presence, most entrepreneurs we spoke with rely on Shopify to power the e-commerce capabilities of their businesses' websites.Annual memberships start at $348 for Basic accounts, and include access to the service's powerful online store and payment tools.SquareUsing Square for payment processing helps keep things simple for business owners by helping them easily accept credit card sales for a fee of 10 plus 2.6% per transaction.In addition to custom financing options, the service also offers payroll solutions for employees and contractors, starting at $348 per year.Google G SuiteGoogle goes way beyond search and email with Google G Suite, the business solution that offers more than a dozen cloud-based apps and services.Personal plans are free, but pro features are available starting at $72 per year per user.Inbox Pause Boomerang Recurring MessageInbox Pause from Boomerang gives Gmail users more control over when emails show up in their inboxes, helping to minimize distracting notifications. Basic accounts are free, and paid plans start at $60 per year.Mikey Ahdoot of Habit Nest told Business Insider that Inbox Pause helps him "waste as little time as possible on emails per dayless than 30 minutes now on averageso that I can spend more time being offensive and chasing other opportunities."MailchimpAnother favorite email solution is Mail Chimp, a marketing platform that enables business owners to target, test, and schedule their newsletter and email marketing strategies.The service can integrate with more than 300 other apps (including most of the ones on this page), and captures valuable data about customer relationships and interactions.Basic memberships are free, while paid plans start at $120 per year.AsanaTeams of all sizes rely on Asana to manage goals, projects, and tasks to hit deadlines and grow their business, with powerful integrations to a huge library of other productivity apps and services.Madeline Haydon, the founder of Nutpods and grand prize winner of the Amazon small business award, called Asana a "great project management software that has helped our business scale effectively."Basic plans are free for individuals and small teams, and premium memberships start at $132 per year.Any.doFor a simple, elegant approach to lists, calendars, and remindersall in one placeKris Damhorst of Damhorst Toys recommends Any.do.Whether you're managing your own productivity or a team effort, the app easily synchronizes across devices and web browsers to keep you on track.Individual plans are free to start, and Premium accounts offer additional features for $72 per year.EvernoteAnother favorite of Kris Damhorst's is Evernote, "for all the absolutely miscellaneous strange factoids and processes that I need to pull up at a moment's notice."The app is a powerful tool for capturing web content, PDFs, scanned documents, and even handwritten notes across multiple devices.Basic plans are limited, and additional features are available starting at $96 per year.QuickBooks When it comes to managing finances, QuickBooks is a reliable choice. The service allows you to see the status of bank and credit card accounts, categorize transactions, create invoices, prepare your taxes for filing with TurboTax, and more.From Self-Employed to Enterprise, there are accounts to fit your business starting at $180 per year. ExcelOdds are, you already have access to a copy of the ultimate business app: Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet software is more than capable of meeting many of the day-to-day needs of small business owners, provided they have a bit of familiarity with the program."We have a self-created Excel program system my CFO created for everything," EcoBark founder Tristen Gratz told Business Insider. "This unique program allows us to look at all aspects of our business from income to inventory to Facebook likes and tracks our statistics each week across all platforms including Amazon."Google Sheets is a reasonably powerful alternative for spreadsheet novices, and entrepreneurs who are looking to dabble with databases can check out a new wave of easy-to-use platforms like Airtable, Coda, and Notion.
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