My top 5 business apps

Marnus Broodryk is a Shark Tank SA Investor and Xero Gold Partner

We’re in the golden age of small business. Gone are the days when you needed expensive desktop software and servers to house it on, to do business. For less than R1000 a month, South Africa’s small businesses can now use cloud-based apps and software to automate the majority of their admin tasks.

With the admin taken care of, small business owners have more time than ever before to focus on growing their business.  

As an entrepreneur and business owner, I’ve tried and tested many apps in order to find new ways of running my business more efficiently. Here’s my top five that have transformed my business.


At its core, this app is an all-in-one suite that enables you to run your entire business. Zoho provides a range of products like CRM, Support Desk and Mail that’s ad free. You can even custom make applications using simple drag and drop options. The great thing about Zoho is you’ve got everything under one roof, intuitive design and it’s software at a reasonable price. Not only that, it’s easy to use, fosters collaboration and means you can say goodbye to those spreadsheets and complicated formulas.


Woocommerce is a fantastic app for small business owners looking to venture into the world of ecommerce. You can get an online shop up and running in less than an hour and sell anywhere in the world! The thing I love about Woocommerce is they put your success first and are experts in simplifying the online customer journey. As your business grows, they effortlessly scale your online operation and have already thought about marketing, payments, managing stock, store management and shipping. They also have a great support network for online entrepreneurs, which is vital when you’re first starting out.


Perfect for small and medium sized businesses, Xero makes (dare I say it), accounting enjoyable. It’s the best accounting software for automating both mundane and complicated financial tasks. You can send quotes, invoice customers, submit expense claims and even reconcile bank transactions with live bank fees. This cloud-based brilliance gives you real-time view of your entire financial operation and is a visual treat. If that wasn’t enough, Xero also provide exceptional resources for small businesses, well worth a read.


Zapier is great for building processes and workflows and you don’t even have to touch any code. It is a web automation app that enables you to automate parts of your business, or personal life. It connects different applications and acts as a blueprint for a task you want to repeat. More than that, this app empowers small business owners by taking care of the tedious parts of their jobs.


Often when companies buy software, they have to hire a specialist to babysit it. Not ideal when every cent counts. This is why I really like Freshdesk. We use it as our internal support desk. With Freshdesk, you have global customer support at your fingertips, intelligent ticketing and a self-service portal that enables you to easily keep tabs on your support function across the business. Reporting and analytics are also great features that help small businesses track their performance and improve.

These are just some of the thousands of apps available to small business owners today. Whatever business you are in, whatever problem you face, brilliant, cost-effective software exists that can solve those problems. It’s never been easier to run a small business thanks to cloud-based technology. All you need is an open mind, and an internet connection.

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Source: Xero Blog