Your App Stack should act as your business toolkit. An App Stack is a group of applications which can work autonomously and together to streamline processes.
An app stack may include different software which deals with specific functions, apps and business tools. These may integrate with your invoicing, HR processes, sales processes and any other business-relevant sections that can be automated.
If there is an app or software program for it and if it is useful to your business, use it!
Businesses will usually have preferred apps. A company may use Gmail or Office 365 for emails, Xero or Quickbooks may be a preferred accounting software and Trello or Asana as an organisational/administrative project management tool.
Using this 'Toolkit' for your business will help you to grow.
Apps need to work together and talk to each other, so it is all about integration! If your apps and systems can all work together, this will save you a lot of time.
Many business apps will be able to integrate internally. Still, you can connect apps if they do not automatically do so, by using a third-party app such as Zapier which integrates multiple web applications for an end-user (you).
Creating your app stack
Creating an app stack has so many benefits for you and your business. It means less room for error, a better flow of data and more streamlining for your company and information.
It will save you time and decrease the effort needed to enter multiple pieces of data into many different places.
A system you may want to have in place is a web form that gets completed by a client, which then puts an entry into Calendly and Pipedrive, sends a Mailchimp email and then triggers the issuing of a proposal. If you can make this process autonomous, you will save so much time by not having to do everything manually.
What do YOU need?
The best way of highlighting which apps your business needs is to write a list of everything that happens within your business and from there, decide which processes are associated with these and will be useful. You may want to think about stock, quantity, inventory days and the revenue which may be related to this. Also, you may think of your staff as well as payroll, uniform, staff events etc.
How can you streamline all of these processes? What individual methods are needed, and how can these be systemised?
Are there existing apps that offer solutions to these processes?
An app stack will link your processes, save you time, and give you less to worry about as well as less admin.
You can set up automation to make your business more efficient. What core things are essential to your company and are your current services efficient?
Accounting is a core element of your business too, do you have an organised accounting process and do you have a helpful accountancy service?
If you have Xero and receipt bank apps, most other finance apps will feedback information to Xero.
Cone's top three apps
Xero - We use Xero Accounting software exclusively within our business. We love how easy this is to use and how effective it is. It has a clear overview of our business, and our clients' businesses so that we can all view the same information and keep track of multiple reports and data. Xero helps us with account reconciliation, sales and purchase transactions, and project tracking.
Slack - We love using Slack to communicate every day with the team. Slack has a variety of channels you can add and personalise so that all of the different topics/sections of the business are organised and accessible within one place. You may be talking with the team on the #social channel about your next Zoom quiz theme or in #payroll to update everyone about changes and consequences of current events and how they may affect the payroll period.
Receipt Bank - This app set out to 'revolutionise bookkeeping', and we think it does just that. Not only is it super easy to use, but it also saves so much time and energy and reduces the need to store paper receipts and manually enter data each time expenses need logging. Receipt Bank also integrates with Xero, which makes it so simple to link your finances together and have a clear view of these in multiple places.