10 Business Apps Every Entrepreneur Needs
Running a business is tough work. It takes a whole lot of grit and enough ambition to fill a room. But it doesn’t have to be that hard.
I remember when we first started our biz. It was a lot of weird hours, a bunch of running in circles, and a healthy dose of doing all the things the hard way.
Then we started investing in the right tech to make our lives much, much simpler. We started cutting down our workflows. And we started using the tools available, rather than recreating the wheel.
And it helped us grow. Because we were spending our valuable time on the things that mattered most, while letting our business apps do what they do best.
Now, I’m sharing our top 10 business apps that have literally transformed how we create our content and sustain our business. After reading this post, you’ll discover the exact applications we use to keep our business running smoothly. And you’ll find an arsenal of resources that you can use to help grow your small-but-mighty biz.
This post may contain affiliate links. However, these are all applications that we use on a consistent basis and absolutely love.
1) Adobe Creative Cloud
I know it’s so dang tempting to scour the internet for free photo editing apps or graphic design software. Because, let’s be honest, spending our pretty pennies on things that just aren’t that glamorous isn’t too much fun. But I swear to you: Adobe Creative Suite is worth every single dollar.
We use one or several Adobe applications daily. And that’s not a hyperbole. From Illustrator, to Photoshop, to Lightroom, my laptop’s working overtime because those nifty tools are always open. And that’s why they’re at the very top of our business apps list.
Now, I’m not going to lie. The full collection of Adobe applications is a monthly investment. And not everyone has the budget for an additional $50 a month. However, depending on your needs, you can choose a package that fits your business demands and doesn’t break your bank.
For instance, if you’re a beginner photographer, you can grab the photographer bundle with Lightroom and Photoshop for only $9.99 a month. Or, if you just want to practice your illustrations, you can sign up for Illustrator for a monthly rate of $20.99.
If you’re a creative — or if you’re looking to get into a creative industry — Adobe Cloud is your new bff. And they’re typically running some sort of deal. So keep your eyes open and snag a sale when you notice it!
Wanna know the secret behind my Instagram stories? Well, what if I told you it’s not a secret at all?
Unfold has saved me SO. MUCH. TIME. Would you believe that I used to create all my story graphics on Photoshop, export them to my Drive, then import them to my phone? Yep, that’s a true story (see what I did there 😉). I cringe every time I think about that not-so-efficient solution.
But that’s where Unfold comes in. They have beautiful premade templates for your Instagram stories. All you have to do is pick a template, throw in your image and text, and viola! you have a stunning graphic in record time.
And, even better, the Plus version of Unfold is only $3.89 CAD. For less than $4 a month I save hours of time. I’d say that’s too good of an investment to pass up.
Do you love your website? Or do you cringe every time someone asks for your URL?
My friend, you are not alone. As a web designer, I see this all the time. But not everyone has the budget to hire a pro, especially when they’re just starting out on this winding journey they call entrepreneurship.
Elementor is the answer for all of you suffering from website shame. Their intuitive page builder allows you to design a killer site without writing a single line of code. Plus, they have a library filled with free templates and some super-fun widgets.
Now, I have a bit of a caveat here: designing your own site when you don’t know the first thing about design can cause a few hiccups along your business (and branding!) road. But if you don’t have the resources to hire a designer or purchase a premium theme, Elementor is the answer to your prayers.
Oh, and did I mention there’s a free version? You won’t have access to their more advanced and noteworthy features. But you’ll have enough to build a fully functional website. However, if you’re serious about creating a high-converting website, I would recommend purchasing the pro version. You’ll get unlimited access to some pretty rad features, widgets, and templates.
There’s also tons of tutorials on Youtube to help you traverse the page builder’s terrain. Here’s one of our all-time fave channels.
Client management used to be a nightmare for us. Seriously, I would dread sending out proposals and invoices, because it was such a hassle. I’d have to type it out from scratch, make it look a little pretty (I am a designer, after all), and then send it over to our client. It was a process that took way too much time.
Can you relate?
If you’re a creative entrepreneur or service provider, I know you’re nodding your head along.
HoneyBook literally cut our workflow in half. And it’s quickly become one of our all-time fave business apps. You can create and send invoices, proposals, brochures, contracts, take payments, and more with the click of a button. And their templates are easy to customize and aesthetically pleasing. They even send out automated reminders, so you don’t have to constantly check in with your less-than-communicative clients.
Honestly, our admin days would be wayyyy longer if we didn’t use HoneyBook. And with this promo link, you can receive 20% off your HoneyBook subscription!
The very first email marketing software I used was MailChimp. And I’m not gonna lie: I hated their interface. It felt old and dated and unnecessarily complicated. Plus, I didn’t like the templates at all.
When I first heard about Flodesk on a podcast I was listening to, I knew I had to check it out. And the minute I dived into their features, I couldn’t turn back.
Now, email marketing isn’t a chore that I push to the end of my to-do list. It’s something I look forward to. No lie, I actually love customizing Flodesk’s templates and making my newsletters look all kinds of pretty. I even use it for all of my clients’ email marketing!
And, better yet, their monthly plan is super affordable. Plus, they don’t increase their rates based on how many subscribers you have. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a list-building pro, you’re paying the same rate. I mean, who wants to be penalized for their success??
And guess what? Flodesk is offering you 50% off your subscription with this link. That means, you’re paying only $19 USD per month for all of their amazing features!
6) Google Suite
Alright, time for a truth bomb. When I first started my business, my files were so unorganized. Honestly, thinking back to those early days, I actually shiver.
But after we started harnessing the full power of Google Suite, our files became wayyy more organized, meaning that good ol’ admin overwhelm had officially walked out the door.
From creating my blog posts, to collaborating on copywriting projects, to storing my photography files, and to organizing my calendar, we use Google Suite for it all. And more.
If you own a business, I recommend creating a separate business email with Google (and not with your hosting provider). Why? Because you’ll have access to your very own business Google Suite. And you can keep all your biz files in one convenient place.
Need a hand integrating your new gmail account? Head over to our contact page and fill out the quick form. We offer affordable integration services to ensure you get all set up correctly without the hassle.
7) Envato Elements
Do you ever browse through Instagram and wonder how in the world those accounts you follow create such beautiful mockups and graphics?
Yep, I used to wonder the same.
Then I stumbled upon Envato Elements, and it allll made sense. Most of those accounts didn’t spend grueling hours building their own custom designs and mockups. They downloaded them and customized them.
And they saved themselves hours and hours of heavy design work.
We use Envato Elements constantly for so many projects. From client work, to our own designs, Envato is the first place we look. And they offer unlimited downloads for monthly subscribers. Seriously, you won’t find a more comprehensive library of design elements.
So, if you’re a blogger, designer, business owner, or creative, Envato Elements will quite literally transform your content and designs. They have countless stock photos, fonts, presets, templates, icons, and more.
Honestly, it’s one of the best tools in our arsenals.
8) Styled Stock Society
I remember my early blogging days when I’d search Unsplash and Pixaby for a bright and pretty photo that wasn’t completely overused. And it was a colossal time suck . . . and super frustrating.
Can you relate?
That’s why I LOVE Styled Stock Society. Their photo library is original AND beautiful. And they offer stunning Canva templates and other free bonuses (like Instagram guides and free masterclasses). Their memberships site quickly became one of our most-used business apps.
I first heard of them when I purchased this my yearly Business Bundle. And once I browsed through their collections, I was hooked. I use their photos for my blog posts, paid ads, social media, lead magnets, web design, and more.
Wanna see the value for yourself? Head over to their membership site and have a look at their collections. I promise you’ll fall in love!
9) Creative Market
I’m not gonna lie: I’m obsessed with pretty things. And that’s why I’m also obsessed with Creative Market. Their resource library has it all: photos, graphics, add-ons, fonts, and more. And they have over 5 million digital products and over 7 million members!
Not too long ago, I purchased some stunning sun flares from Creative Market, and I use them in so many of my photos. I even got my Instagram highlight covers from them, and they’re completely on brand for my biz and exactly what I need.
Plus, when you subscribe to their newsletter, you get 6 FREE assets every single Monday. That’s 24 free assets every month. I mean, you can’t pass up that value.
You can purchase individual elements, or you can buy credits for bulk orders. And when you purchase a $100 or more in credits, you get a bonus!
I classify myself as a life-long student. And platforms like Udemy make continuous learning both accessible AND affordable — which traditional education lacks on both fronts.
Don’t get me wrong, university taught me a lot, and I’m so grateful for my degree. But I honestly think online learning is the new future. You can learn from the top instructors across the globe from the comfort of your home office. And you can increase your skills without racking up thousands of dollars in student loans.
Udemy is our favorite online learning platform. And it’s one of the business apps we use the most. From design courses, to SEO lessons, to marketing classes, we’ve done it all. And more.
Plus, Udemy is constantly running huge sales. More often than not, you can purchase extensive courses for less than $15! So, if you’re a business owner, blogger, or influencer that wants to increase your skill set, Udemy is a must.
Ready to Grow Your Biz?
Whew! That’s a lot of business apps. But they are some of the most valuable tools we use to operate our business and create our content. And each app on this list is under $100. So, even if you’re budget-strained, this list will help you grow and maintain your business without causing that all-too-familiar financial anxiety.
Also, don’t forget to follow us along on Instagram, so you can catch our new content the minute it goes live!