7 useful tools for small businesses affected by coronavirus

Tech companies around the world are offering access to their services in order to help businesses cope with the coronavirus crisis. Check out our list of 7 useful tools designed for you.

30 April 2020

From tools that calculate furlough pay to automated invoice chasing systems, the tech world is offering a multitude of solutions to the problems that small businesses are facing during coronavirus – many of which are free of charge. Take a look through the list to explore some of these tools that could help make it easier to run your business during this difficult time.

1. Chaser

Who’s it for? Businesses struggling with getting paid on time

Chaser provides an automated invoice chasing service that you can tailor to your business needs, allowing you to maintain a personal touch while getting on with the important parts of running your business. Their scheduling tools allow you to choose the exact date and time a reminder is sent out, and even make emails appear to come from more senior members of staff for stubborn customers. The tool can be directly synced with accounting software tools such as Xero and QuickBooks, making introducing it to your workflow simple.

Chaser are currently offering a free ‘Cash Flow Recovery Initiative’ in order to help as many businesses that are struggling with invoice chasing as possible. Whether you’d like to completely outsource your invoice chasing to them, or simply receive coaching on the best way to adapt your current process, they’ve redeployed their team to help those in need.

Check out the Chaser website and register your interest for the scheme here.

2. Pento

Who’s it for? Businesses having to furlough staff

If you’re having to furlough staff through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and are struggling to work out how much you’ll need to claim for, then Pento’s calculator could save you the headache. Once you’ve inputted your employee’s monthly gross earnings, furlough period, National Insurance and pension status, the calculator will give you all the information you need to make your claim.

If this impresses you then you may also be interested in the company’s payroll service, which they’re offering free for the first three months to UK customers.

3. iwocaPay

Who’s it for? A complete invoice solution for buyers and sellers

Coronavirus is making it difficult for every business to keep on top of their cash flow, and it’s creating tension - buyers need more time to pay for purchases but sellers need to get that cash up front. While a lot of businesses are turning to invoice financing, it’s not right for everyone and only really helps the seller's side of each purchase. iwocaPay is iwoca’s “win-win” solution to this problem. With iwocaPay, sellers get paid 97% of their cash up front for each invoice they raise. At the same time, buyers get to spread their costs over 90 days, with the first 30 days interest free and no early repayment fees. iwocaPay doesn’t require any long term commitments from the seller, it’s designed to be able to cover both new and existing invoices and it’s simple to set up.

Get paid up front while your small business customers spread their costs over 90 days

4. Affinity creative software

Who’s it for? Creative businesses using design software

In order to support those working in creative roles, Affinity are offering a 90-day free trial of all their design programmes. Whether you’re a graphic designer, publisher or photographer their software boasts multiple awards that can help improve your workflow and creative output, including Apple’s Design Award and PC Pro’s App of the Year. Or, if you’d rather purchase their programme’s outright, they’re also offering a 50% discount meaning you can grab a bargain without breaking the bank. Due to popular demand these deals have been extended to the 20 May, meaning you still have time to make the most of them.

5. Hootsuite

Who’s it for? Businesses looking to manage their social media better

Until 1 June, Hootsuite is offering free access to their professional social media management software, for businesses in industries badly affected by coronavirus. The tool allows you to manage up to ten social media accounts and schedule future posts, meaning you can stay on top of your channels while concentrating on other areas of your business. You’ll also be given access to over £400 worth of monthly boost spend, and can use their analytics tools to work out which content is performing best.

6. Trello

Who’s it for? Businesses wanting to manage projects more effectively

Trello is a great, free way to manage tasks that you have on the go. Its user-friendly design allows you to create cards for tasks that can be assigned to different team members and projects. This collaborative todo list allows you to manage projects from beginning to end with transparency and clarity. Trello also has an app so you can manage your tasks on the go.

Try Trello today to boost your productivity.

7. CountingUp

Who’s it for? Anyone looking for an all-in-one banking and bookkeeping solution

CountingUp offers a smart business current account with integrated bookkeeping tools that allows you to manage your finances all in one place. From a professional payment request service that automatically marks invoices as paid, to an expense management system that lets you add notes directly to your receipts, CountingUp makes business banking effortless. Accounts can be opened in five minutes and come with a contactless MasterCard, as well as an intuitive mobile app.

Intrigued? Their free six month trial is made for you.

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Dan is part of the content team at iwoca. He writes for both the insights and finance explained pages, and produces the 9 to when? podcast.

Article updated on: 1 May 2020

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Coronavirus updates for SMEs

Our coronavirus bulletin covers all the key developments and delivers a digested summary straight to your inbox. We’ll send these out whenever there are key updates we think will help your business.