Ever wondered how you can compete against businesses that have so many more resources than you do? Optimise your resources (including your time!) wherever you can. There are plenty of tools out there that can simplify your existence and help your small business make a big impact. Here are our top 5:

SamCard

Whether or not you attend lots of events, chances are you’re collecting business cards. Keeping track of them efficiently and remembering to connect with the relevant contacts can be tricky. Available in the Apple App Store, SamCard lets you take pictures of business cards and uses image recognition software to automatically save the contact details onto your phone. The free version of the app, SamCard Lite, allows you to upload three business cards a week. Getting a premium account costs less than $10 and gives you unlimited uploads.

TripIt

Chances are you’re doing quite a bit of travel, whether domestically or internationally. We’re big fans of TripIt, a nifty app that helps you keep track of all your travel bookings in one place. Just send your confirmation emails (flight tickets, hotel reservations, etc.) to TripIt and it will automatically create a master itinerary for you. Download the app (available on iPhone and Android) for easy access on the go, and get the Pro version for live updates on gate changes and flight delays.

Billminder

This app was featured in the Forbes Top Ten Business Apps to download list. Though initially intended for households to keep better track of their expenses, it’s also a great app for businesses. Use Billminder to sync bills across the various teams, see instantly which bills are due or past due, and automatically back everything up so as not to lose your data even if your device is stolen or lost. Billminder also provides comprehensive reports and graphs to help you track your expenses and understand where you could potentially save money.

Talkwalker Alerts

It’s essential for businesses to stay informed of the latest market trends in order to keep up with ever-changing consumer needs and wants. But finding that information can be tricky and extremely time consuming. Rather than wading through the sea of content available out there, Talkwalker Alerts lets you to specify search terms and receive the latest news relating to those specific terms. You can set the frequency of the alerts and use them to monitor your own brand, competitors, industry and more. Similar to the now discontinued ‘Google Alerts’, it’s also a great way to source relevant content that can be shared on your social media channels.

Slack

Slack is a kick-ass team communication tool that launched in 2013 and has grown exponentially since then. The darling of the startup world, Slack is extremely easy to navigate. Use it for 1 on 1 chats or create themed ‘channels’ (group chats, essentially) for every team or relevant project. It even integrates with third party apps like Dropbox, Google Drive and Trello for streamlined communication and project management, and lets you build custom integrations to suit your needs. Slack has both free and paid plans (both allow for unlimited users) so give it a whirl and see what you think.

These are just a few of the several handy apps available for small businesses to take advantage of. What apps do you rate as your top five?