Eight must-have Windows 8 apps for small businesses

Eight must-have Windows 8 apps for small businesses

Summary: These Windows 8 apps are invaluable for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to simplify their workflow.

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  • Digital menu boards

    Small businesses often struggle with digital menu boards and digital signage. My Digital Menu Boards makes it easy for the non-techy build menu boards with ease using your images & videos.

    Each menu board can be customised with start and end times. You can add images, image playlists, videos, Foursquare check-ins, RSS feeds, display the current time of day and list other items on the menu screen.

    You can easily customise your menu board with the editor. This allows you to customise items such as width, height, rotation, font, alignment, amimations and custom start features.

    You can also back your completed board up to make it easy to restore if something goes awry.

    Cost: $5.99

    Useful for: Browsing antique items in-store, viewing tasting notes and information from wine or beer merchants, getting extra information about cars in the dealerships.

    Image: Windows Store

  • Easy Invoice Creator

    This app makes it really easy to keep track of invoices to different customers and manage the creation of multiple item invoices.

    Easy Invoice Creator allows you to look at all of the invoices you have created, add multiple line items for each invoice and save invoices to .pdf files. You can customise invoices by adding your logo and business details and add due dates for payment. You can easily edit invoices after creation and even send the invoice directly to your client.

    Cost: $1.99

    Useful for: Businesses that can't remember whether they have issued an invoice to a client — or how many invoices are still unpaid.

    Image: Windows Store

  • POS 8

    POS 8 helps small businesses keep track of their inventory. The app lets you manage your produts, decreasing the stock items as they are sold. Products can be uniquely tagged by name, image, manufacturer, category, net and  gross price. 

    Easy to edit, you can see how many of each product you have still in stock. Traffic light alerts indicate which items are running low.

    Cost: $2.49

    Useful for: Small businesses that carry multiple items of stock. Beauty salons, hairdressers, grocers, PC repair stores.

    Image: Windows Store

Topics: Windows 8 in Business, Windows 8, Windows Phone

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12 comments
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  • Wow

    Some of these look great. I'll be getting that invoicing app ASAP.
    Sir Name
  • Mobile?

    If you have Windows 8, just get full featured apps. Why bother with dumb down mobile apps to run your business?
    Sean Foley
    • re:

      My partner and I run a side software consulting business in addition to our 9-5s. We have one or two clients at a time. We don't need to buy and have to learn some full featured accounting package just to do invoicing once a month. We've been doing it with Excel, but the invoicing app that Eileen mentioned looks like a way better solution. I'd also like to know if there are any similar apps for keeping track of hours spent on multiple projects. We'd love to have one of those. I thought of writing one, but who's got the time?
      Sir Name
    • For small business

      For small business these kinds of apps could be quite useful. No need to get an IT guy in from some local business, or over the phone help doing installs, no messing around with support from companies for their applications breaking etc.

      Simple install via the marketplace, there is less chance of things breaking in an app that is like 5 - 8 MB in size at install time, than one that is 300MB in size (100 times less code - less chance of stuff breaking), also there's no compatibility issues, the list goes on.

      Instead you simply install a couple of these small targeted apps, and get on with actually running the small business, and in small business the saying 'time is money' is even more true.
      aesonaus
  • Lemonade Stand

    Well, looking at these apps, I'm sure they will be invaluable for running a Lemonade Stand or similar sized business... Or perhaps a craft table at a flea market. But they really look so frakking ugly and lame.
    I really don't think Metro is going to fly with any serious business...
    Chimera Obscura
    • Creating a thriving ecosystem

      That is what you get for $2.99 and free apps. These prices are about an order of magnitude smaller than what you find for desktop apps. I indicated below, how I believe MS can reform its app stores, to get quality apps:

      http://dctechnologynews.weebly.com/1/post/2014/04/how-i-believe-microsoft-should-reform-its-windows-app-stores.html

      Now the beauty of having an additional Windows Pro app store with minimum regular sales prices, as well as minimum subscription prices, is that it allows small businesses to experiment and obtain far greater rates of success with things like digital magazines, entertainment streaming services, as well as new forms of business apps.

      Google and others have been pushing software prices into the floor. But just like how when TV was free before cable, you could count the number of TV stations on your hand, Google's actions will eliminate virtually all but a few players in the horizontal computer market, and leave just a hand full of companies around who can survive. This means most ISVs and OEMs days could be numbered. Horizontal players, just like hundreds of cable TV stations, need money in the way of subscriptions and other types of up front payments, in order to survive and thrive. This is something Microsoft, Apple, and others need to always remember.
      P. Douglas
    • LOLZ

      ~++
      NoMore MicrosoftEver
    • The saddest part is ...

      if you submitted something that looks like these in ANY graphic design or marketing course, you'd get an "F" -- and a STRONG recommendation that you SERIOUSLY consider going into a field that doesn't require ANY visual arts talent!

      I've seen TONS of Android apps even for things like image retouching, etc. They all look MUCH more professional that these! Would you REALLY want ANY adult customer to even just SEE you using one of these apps? Poof! There would go ALL your credibility!
      Rick_R
      • Althought the last 3 don't look too bad ...

        Hopefully, at some point the app developers will learn about things like color schemes.

        If you want some good apps on a Win 8 (not RT) tablet, your best bet is to install BlueStacks and get Android apps.
        Rick_R
        • Nothing to do with the platform...

          I've seen a absolute ton of bad looking Android apps... How professional an app looks is nothing to do with the platform (although looking at the different development platforms - it is way easier to make good looking apps on the MS Platforms). It is more to do with what training, or experience the developer in question has. A lot of the apps are made by small one or two man teams (thus also why they can sell 'em cheap) and not by companies with access to graphic designers. So I think it's a little harsh to just criticise the look without at least offering some suggestion of how it could be better.

          Also no I didn't build any of those apps shown, but as a developer I recognise UI design is something to consider - in my case I'm lucky that I know a graphic designer so can get input from them in return for a few beers, but a lot of small devs wouldn't.
          aesonaus
  • Here is the top 5 for Win 8 school tablets

    The top 5 games kids play on school owned Windows 8 tablets while at school are:
    1. Flappy bird
    2. Asphalt Airborne
    3. Slash Fruit.
    4. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
    5. Angry Birds
    Pollo Pazzo
  • Task Management & Time Tracking

    There wasnt a task management app featured, any small business looking for one should definitely check out Eclipse Manager a free app that offers task management and time tracking.

    http://bit.ly/1qFSqYp
    Eclipse Manager