Running a consulting company can be overwhelming, especially when you are looking to increase organization and productivity to grow. Consulting companies need to communicate effectively, readily share information, efficiently track project costs, and easily hire new team members. To that end, these top five useful free apps for consulting companies will help you to do just that.

Dovico

Free for up to 5 employees or 10 projects | Basic plans start at $10/user per month

When it comes to handling project costs and employee timesheets, Dovico is what you need.

With consultants working all over town, or maybe across the globe, tracking their work time can become cumbersome. Sharing spreadsheets and emails can become a major hassle, especially when it’s all done at the last minute, right before it’s time to bill your clients. 

Dovico bridges the gap between the budgets set for your projects and the real-time costs associated with them are. On top of that, it allows employees (remote or in-house) to track their time online, on any device.

At billing time, tabulating your billable client work is a breeze since all of your employee’s timesheets will have already been entered online. There’s no need to gather up spreadsheets or emails to get your billable project time in check.

Pros:

  • It’s effortless for administrators to use and has plenty of customizable options for your organizational reporting needs.
  • Instant notifications tell you if you are over or nearing project budgets.
  • Consultants can enter their project time anywhere an internet connection is available.

Con:

Full administration of the software cannot be done effectively on mobile.

Wrike

Free for up to 5 users | Pricing plans start at $9.80/user per month

Project management can be a dicey thing. When you have many different projects on the go, requirements tracking gets to be a little hairy. When deadlines approach, it gets confusing to keep track of who is assigned to what and when that will get done. However, with Wrike, streamlining all of your project management needs is done effortlessly.

With Wrike, you can connect all client and project work to shared strategic goals at the department or individual level. Automatically assign work to your team to ensure that each task is completed. With real-time dashboards outlining the progress of your projects, transparency and accountability within the team are shared.

Pros:

  • Easy file sharing.
  • Detailed dashboards and reports.
  • Usable on a desktop or on mobile devices.

Con:

There is a steep learning curve to get started as Wrike is a complex but robust project management solution.

Proven

$5 one time fee to get started

When you need to hire new consultants, Proven is where you go find them. Proven allows you to post jobs on multiple job boards without signing up and posting directly to them. When it comes time to view potential job applicants, you swipe each of them to either a ‘yes’ pile or a ‘no’ pile. You can also share job applications with others in your organization for additional review. Proven is great for consultant companies that need to hire people sporadically, maybe for temporary jobs or to replace Consultants who regularly move on to other businesses.

Pros:

  • Helps filter applicants into easy to organize categories with a quick swipe of a button.
  • Post multiple jobs at once onto multiple job placement sites.

Con:

Proven has recently been acquired by a new company that appears ready to make changes to the app. Whether or not these changes will be beneficial is yet to be seen.

MailChimp

Free for up to 2,000 contacts | Plans start at $9.99 per month

Consultants need to be able to send emails, newsletters, and more. MailChimp is quite possibly one of the most useful free apps for sending emails outside of whatever email service you use in your company. 

You can build and customize different templates and then replicate those templates with the click of a button. You can analyze in-depth performance reports about every email to figure out who opened what, when, what they clicked on, if anything, and what actions they took. 

Suppose people didn’t open a vital update announcement or view a newsletter. In that case, you can replicate existing emails and resend them to a segmented audience who missed out the first time.

Pros:

  • Once you get familiar with the app, it’s straightforward to use. 
  • It offers many functions that help you customize emails so that they look genuine and not automated.

Con:

It can be a little overwhelming when you look at all the performance metrics they provide for free.

Square

No monthly fee | 2.65% processing fee on all major credit card transactions

Square is one of the most versatile point-of-sale payment systems on the market. Another product from Square called Square Register can be compatible with your consulting firm if you need something to use at your brick-and-mortar office. Still, it’s also very mobile with its portable card reader that consultants in the field can use to receive fast payments using any device.

Pros:

  • Works on any Android or iOS device.
  • It can be used at the office or on the go, and it can take offline payments.
  • Deposits are made within two days.
  • It has very predictable fixed rates with no contracts.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t have the best customer service.
  • For larger Consultant companies, their flat-rate pricing can become expensive.

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About the Author

Jeff Nagle is Dovico's blog contributor and digital marketer. What started as a hobby, writing content has now become Jeff's full-time career. At Dovico, he began as a software developer, then moved to customer support and custom report writing, and now, he's helping get Dovico's word out. When Jeff's not in his office writing, he’s sweating it out at the gym, reading a captivating biography, or training for a marathon.



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