Must Have Best Business Apps, Business Tools and Business Services for 2020 - Ultimate Guide List

The Ultimate Guide List for the Best Business Apps of 2020 plus Tools and Business Services that Every Small Business Owner in South Africa needs

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When it comes to starting, managing or growing a small business, entrepreneurs and business owners wear many “hats”. Put plainly, you’re the CEO – or Chief Everything Officer – responsible for everything from marketing to finance. But – as the old saying goes – “a jack of all trades is a master of none!”

The verdict is that very few business owners can manage all of company functions effectively, without this taking a heavy toll on the business and individual alike.

So why not help your business (and yourself) by using some of the best business apps in South Africa and tools and services to support the way you work? With the help of great business apps, tools and services (designed to make specific functions easier), you can boost your efficiency and effectiveness. And the more a business owner can automate and streamline certain tasks, the more time they can free up drive the business forward, push sales and manage their employees. Greater capacity and productivity ultimately lead to a rise in profit.

Smartphone usage, mobile applications and cloud-based business services are synonymous with 21st century life and for the South African business entrepreneur starting out, business apps and online services are evolving the way in businesses can grow their offerings, quicker and more cost-effectively than ever before. For example, getlion – the new mobile app designed to support small businesses with the services, tools and knowledge that they require – and the first app to reward users for running their businesses, is arguably the best business app for Android and IOS in South Africa, and what’s more, it’s completely free to download. Fully understanding and embracing well-built online and mobile business tools can be transformative in the small business sector. And during times when remote working and “online” is becoming ever more popular, your business needs to be able to run efficiently to stay competitive.

Most South African entrepreneurs and business owners are not sure where to start – so to help you find the ‘needle in the haystack’ – we’ve built this ultimate guide, a list of the best business apps, tech tools (across Android, IOS and Web) and business service partners for small business owners, startups and SMMEs that can fulfill their requirements and save them money, too. Our ultimate guide on the best free apps for small business owners in South Africa is regularly updated. We recommend the following for South African entrepreneurs in 2020:

Starting, Managing and Growing a Business

1. getlion

Start, Manage and Grow your business, and get Rewarded for doing so.


getlion is the free, start-grow-and-streamline-your-business app and is one of the best apps for small business owners in SA. Want to learn more about how to start, grow and succeed in business? Want to know how to best manage your finances or apply for SMME funding? Need to find services, tools and business knowledge to catapult your business to growth?  Or, maybe you just like discounts and rewards. Thankfully, that’s what getlion is for.   

Whether you’re an experienced business owner, or prospective entrepreneur, getlion is here to support your business through a purposefully designed platform of discounted services, tools and knowledge resources from nearly 20 industry-leading partners. Coming soon, you’ll be able to find and apply for business finance in South Africa, access new markets and grow your network, too. Not only will you have all of this at your fingertips, but getlion is the first app to reward you for running your business well, giving you access to discounts and vouchers from our partners, to help your business go further.


getlion is 100% free to download and use and is available on IOS and Android.

Money and Finance

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2. Zapper

Accept easy, safe and affordable mobile payments, with Zapper.

Use/Features: Zapper is South Africa’s leading and most-used scan-and-pay solution for small businesses. Contactless payments are a non-negotiable for the post-Covid-19 business. The Zapper business platform offers far more than just payments. Integrate with your E-Commerce site, accept online payments, offer a loyalty and gift voucher program to your customer, POS integration, Issue digital receipts, access merchant support, as well as useful marketing and data analytics. Price/Cost: Zapper for Business costs R100 p.m. with and an industry-leading transaction fee starting at 2.7% (ex VAT) per transaction, decreasing with turnover. Get Zapper free for 30 days through getlion. Download The getlion Business App Today.

3. TaxTim

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As the old saying goes, “In life, nothing is certain but death and taxes”. Well if that’s the case, why not make your taxes easier with help from TaxTim. 

Use/Features: Originally funded by Google, TaxTim is an online tax service delivered entirely via an intelligent chat “bot” called Tim, that asks you a series of questions about you and your business, in order to handle your tax affairs easily, affordably and successfully. Not to mention that most users finish their tax returns in 20min or less! The service is fully integrated with SARS (South African Revenue Service), safe, and built to help you and your business maximize your tax refund. TaxTim can handle both personal and company tax. TaxTim has now assisted over 7 000 000 South Africans. Price/Cost: TaxTim starts at R284 for personal submissions, and R1199 for small businesses. Get discounts off your next TaxTim purchase and learn more about small business tax through getlion. Download the best business app for small business owners today!

4. Yoco

Accept card payments with SA’s leading mobile card machine provider, Yoco.  


Yoco is South Africa’s leading small business mobile card payments provider, serving 85,000 small businesses around the country. According to statistics from Yoco, 75% of SA’s adult population have cards, yet only 7% of businesses accept cards as a payment option. You can receive tap-and-go payments, use Yoco Point of Sale to capture transactions and manage inventory, send paperless receipts and have merchants can access Yoco online payments and Yoco capital.


Get a Yoco card machine for as little as R399 (once-off) and transaction fees starting at 2.95% (ex VAT), decreasing with turnover. All Yoco card machines come with free Yoco Point of Sale software. 

5. Xero

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Can small business accounting be easy and (even) enjoyable? With Xero, we think so.


Xero’s appeal for small business is easy to understand, where it helps you get a handle on your financials and automate daily business tasks. The accounting software is cloud-based, can link direct to your South African bank account, and you can use their app to send invoices and even reconcile payments with a click. You can track inventory, create purchase orders and even send invoice reminders to customers. But, here’s the real kicker! Have you ever used accounting software and wished it could do more? Well – the Xero universe has over 800 third-party apps that plugin where you need them. There’s very little it can’t do, making Xero the industry standard in small business accounting software.  In addition, all new Xero subscriptions include Hubdoc – an innovative software that automates capturing your company’s expenses.


Xero is available for free on a 30-day trial basis, before you’re required to upgrade. Paid packages start at $22 per month (from 1 July 2020).  I know what you’re thinking – “That’s in dollars!” but trust us when we say that the price is competitive and well worth it!

6. Credit Profile Bureau (CPB)

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Know your score, thanks to CPB.

Use/Features: South African’s are one of the most indebted populations in the world – which in lemans terms means we rely heavily on credit and (often) fail to pay it back on time. One of the primary reasons is that most people don’t understand how credit works, their credit score, and how maintaining a good score can influence your business dealings. Simply – the better your personal score, the more likely you can qualify for finance/funding for your business. Each year, according to the National Credit Act, South African’s are entitled to as least one free credit report from a registered credit bureau. But, CPB has taken this to another level, committing to provide unlimited credit reports free of charge. Once you have your score, you’re better prepared to apply for funding. Price/Cost: You can get your free CPB credit report, and apply for funding, through getlion. Download the app today!

Online and E-Commerce

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7. GoDaddy

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Take your business online, with digital solutions from GoDaddy.

Use/Features: When it comes to starting and growing a business in today’s world, having an online presence is non-negotiable. Not only does this increase your visibility but having a professional website and email address are increasingly required to earn the trust of potential customers. GoDaddy is the world’s largest and leading domain registrar. Through GoDaddy, your business can setup a host of online solutions – from domain names, to websites, to marketing and email. Best of you, you can do this through one easy-to-use web portal with world-class support. Also, the GoDaddy website builder is free to use (subject to not adding a custom domain name), requires little skill (drag-and-drop templates) and you can build your site straight from a mobile phone. Price/Cost: GoDaddy products have variable costs, and prices reduce if products are bundled. You can get a get a professional email through GoDaddy for as little as R12p.m. if you go through the getlion app. The GoDaddy website builder is free to start, but moves to R75 p.m. if you wish to purchase and add a custom domain name to match your business. To access GoDaddy discounts and learn about building your website, download getlion today.

8. Shopify

Start your online business with the world’s leading E-Commerce platform.

Use/Features: Shopify is the leading E-Commerce platform in the world, used by more than 1 000 000 businesses to sell their goods online. What makes Shopify special is that it’s designed for small business owners to get up and running as quickly as possible. You require no coding or web development expertise and are supported by a host of online guides and staff, enabling you to setup your online store up within a day. Not only that, Shopify has a host of apps and plugins that it fit prime into the South African market – like accepting payments from Zapper and Payfast – to built-in solutions for marketing, inventory and deliveries. Shopify is also built to help setup stores on your social media pages. Price/Cost: Why not try Shopify through a 14-day free (no obligation trial)? Thereafter, start selling anywhere for as low as $29/month. Get access to exclusive Shopify learning and support content through getlion. Download getlion today.

9. Hubspot Email Signature

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Create a professional email signature in minutes. 


Hubspot is a leading provider of marketing, sales and service software, but this aren’t built specifically for the South African market. With that said, the platform does offer a host of free tools for businesses to take advantage of. One such tool the “free email signature generator”, which helps anyone create a professional email footer in minutes.


Free. Get access to these, and other valuable tools and rewards for your business by downloading getlion today.

Brand and Marketing

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10. Hatchful Logo Maker

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Design your logo for free, thanks to Hatchful from Shopify.

Use/Features: Hatchful is a brilliant tool (built by Shopify) created for new business owners to create a logo for their business in a matter of minutes. Answer a few questions, give some design input, and let the rest happen before your eyes. Price/Cost: Free (with premium plans available).Get access to these, and other valuable tools and rewards for your business by downloading getlion today.

11. Google My Business (GMB)

Make sure you pop up in search results, with a Google My Business profile.

Use/Features: One of the first things that potential customers will do when looking for your services is turn to Google. If your company doesn’t show up, or compare well to competitors, it will likely deter customers from going any further. That’s why setting up a Google My Business profile is so important, allowing you to engage with customers and establish your business on the world’s most popular search engine. Not sure where to start? Well – that’s where Africa 118 comes in. Africa 118 is the continent’s fastest growing digital marketing services provider – and an official partner to Google in supporting small businesses. They help businesses claim and verify their Google My Business profile for free. Price/Cost: Africa 118 is an official partner to the getlion app. Download getlion and claim your Google My Business profile for free through Africa 118, today.

12. Google Ads

Reach your customers directly, with a Google Ads account.

Use/Features: Google Ads is the biggest online advertising platform in the world. When you search anything on Google, the top-ranking results are all a product of Google Ads. Ads give your business a competitive advantage, and outranking competitors matters to potential customers. But where to begin. Ads involves strategy, budgeting and a targeted approach. That’s why you need a helping hand. Introducing Africa 118. Africa 118 is the continent’s fastest growing digital marketing services provider – and an official partner to Google in supporting small businesses. They help business setup and manage their campaigns and get maximum return for their money. Be seen at the right place, at the right time, and only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Price/Cost: If you purchase R600 of Google Ad credits, Africa 118 will setup your account and fulfill campaign management at no cost. That’s not all, through getlion and Africa 118, you’ll get up to R900 in additional ad credits for spending R900. Download getlion and start your Google Ads journey with Africa 118 today.

13. Mail Blaze

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Boost your marketing with email solutions from Mail Blaze.


Not many people are aware that email marketing is still the most effective marketing tool in a business’s arsenal. It’s cost effective and easy to track. Mail Blaze is South Africa’s very own market-leading provider, and a provider to companies like Vida e’ Cafe. As a South African business, they offer a variety of packages to suit your Rand budget and are up to 50% cheaper than international competition. No coding or development knowledge required, you can build your emails with a simple drag-and-drop tool in a matter of minutes. Best of all, you have local support when you need it most.


Mail Blaze is free for a 14-day trial, before starting at R108 per month (increases on number of contacts and sends). Get discounts from Mail Blaze and learn more about email marketing through getlion. Download today!

14. Social Media (Facebook and Instagram for Business)

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Time to get your business social, with FB and Instagram.

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Facebook and Instagram (also owned by Facebook) are the world’s most popular social media platforms, engaging billions of people each month. In South Africa, it is estimated that there are 24 million active monthly social media users, and FB/IG fall narrowly behind Youtube and Whatsapp in monthly usage. With such overwhelming evidence, a dedicated social media strategy has to form a large part of your business’s overall marketing efforts. If you intend to do more than just promote your brand and website, by selling and transacting, you will need to setup an Instagram and Facebook for Business account. But – the work doesn’t stop there. Once you’re setup, then comes strategy, promotion, ad spend and reach. You’ll be tempted to outsource this function, but if you’re just starting out, it makes sense to do it yourself. Besides, no one knows your business like you do.


Price is what you make of it. The more you advertise and transact, the more you’ll spend. By downloading getlion, you’ll have access to top quality learning resources for using Facebook and Instagram in your marketing strategy. Download Today.

15. Canva Design Tool

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Design your own social media/marketing content, for free, with Canva. 


Canva is another brilliant tool for entrepreneurs and startups. Canva is a cloud-based, online design platform – that allows anyone to design top-quality media and marketing assets through easy-to-use drag and drop tools. Whilst designed for desktop, the Canva app is a helpful resource for designing on the go from your mobile.


Free (Access to certain templates and design assets through a paid premium plan). Get access to these, and other valuable tools and rewards for your business by downloading getlion today.

Operations and Logistics

16. Picup (Delivery/Courier Software)

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Simplify your delivery system, with Picup.

Use/Features: In today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to be able to deliver goods to your customers, quickly and cost effectively. That’s where Picup, the South African delivery management platform, is a great solution for your business’s on-demand and national delivery needs. Picup is the logistics solution of choice for companies like Spree, TFG, PicknPay and Ucook, but makes sense for small businesses that make 10 or more deliveries per day. Picup gives you a personalized dashboard for your team and customers, affording them real-time tracking and notifications, while managing your deliveries live. Benefit from pay-as-you-go pricing, get real time proof of delivery and complete control over delivery costs. Price/Cost: The Picup Pro250 Package starts at R999 per month and includes access to the Picup driver network, 250 monthly orders, multiple user accounts, access to third party couriers, post-delivery settlement, custom SMS’s, API integration, address management and return trip functionality. Interested? Download the getlion app today and qualify for a discount on your Picup subscription.

17. SweepSouth

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Keep your office and home clean, thanks to SweepSouth. 


You may be wondering what South Africa’s leading cleaning service is doing on this list, but the explanation is simple. Firstly – office hygiene and sanitization are front-and-center for the post-Covid workforce, so employers have to provide clean workspaces. Secondly, any good entrepreneur will admit to pushing their home responsibilities aside when they’re in the middle of a deadline. In steps SweepSouth, allowing you to request a quality clean for your office and home at the click of a button. The company has been operating since 2013 has one of the largest cleaner networks in South Africa and operates in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, with other regions coming soon.

Over and above their cleaning service, the company has just launched SweepSouth Shop – where you can purchase most office essentials and pantry products with ease.


SweepSouth rates vary depending on the size of the premises, length of the clean, and how frequently you’re requesting their services. The good news is that you qualify for several SweepSouth discounts and Shop vouchers through the getlion app. Why not download today?

Professional and Business Services

18. MacRobert Attorneys (SME Legal Portal and Legal Services)

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Get a trusted and affordable legal partner in MacRobert Attorneys.

Use/Features: MacRobert Attorneys is a prominent national law firm with more than 120 years of experience. But MacRobert is not just another law firm, they truly understand SME’s and their requirements. The company is disrupting traditional legal services by providing online and bespoke legal solutions to SME’s, at a fraction of traditional cost. A prime example of this is the MacRobert SME Portal – giving subscribers unlimited access to a large selection of customizable legal documents, such as employment agreements, workplace policies, surety, acknowledgement of debt, resolutions and more. Subscribers also get assistance with legal compliance and company administration at CIPC, such as filing returns or changing directors. Price/Cost: Consulting prices vary based on what you require, and the SME portal is available at an annual subscription. Through getlion, you can access both of these services for up to 50% off. Download the getlion app today.

19. Iridium Business Solutions (Accounting and Automation Services)

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Accounting made easy, with Iridium Business Solutions.

Use/Features: If you run a complex business, can’t stay on top of your bookkeeping, or have outgrown your capacity, it’s time to consider outsourcing your accounting function. That’s where Iridium is here to help. Iridium is an innovative accounting, advisory and automation firm that provide outsourced financial management services and support to SME’s through cloud technology. The team at Iridium are millennial entrepreneurs, with a passion for SMEs. They use the best tools in the market (big fans of Xero, the cloud accounting platform, and have an app stack of close to 30 unique apps to meet your business’s needs). If you’re needing a partner who understands your industry, is interested in helping you grow both your understanding of your finances and your business, then Iridium would love to partner with you. Price/Cost: Consulting prices vary based on what your business requires but dealing with Iridium also has its perks (like a reduced, all-inclusive software fee of R499 for Xero, payroll and record keeping software). Through getlion, you get access to Iridium consulting services at a discount. Download today for more information.

20. Codehesion (App Development Services)

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Bring your next app idea to life, with Codehesion.

Use/Features: Mobile App development is increasingly relevant to modern businesses, and a viable channel to grow a new customer base. But, with so many options in the market, and a lot of complexity around coding language, app requirements and tech stacks, it’s hard to know who to partner with. That’s where Codehesion comes in. Codehesion is a software development consultancy focused on enabling high-skilled developers to launch exceptional mobile apps. Codehesion specialises in UI design, Web Development and Mobile Development and have experience ranging from fintech and delivery apps, to real estate and tenant management. Regardless of the development business, try your best to understand what you want built beforehand. Price/Cost: Each project is priced on time and resources (i.e. developers) required, but before beginning, you can contact Codehesion for a free initial consultation.

21. Netflorist (Corporate Gifting)

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Thank your customers or reward your employees, with Netflorist.

Use/Features: Netflorist is South Africa’s leading online florist and gifting service.

Through world-class technology, NetFlorist has been in the business of delivering smiles for over 20 years, giving private and corporate clients access to an wide range of personalised gifts, flowers, perfumes, jewellery and gourmet treats. Whether you need a gift for an employee, customer, or something for a special occasion, Netflorist makes it easy.

With the rise of the global pandemic, and the declaration of a national state of disaster, NetFlorist made a necessary addition to their business, which has allowed them to bolster their popular offerings with a new groceries category, too.

Price/Cost: Simple – it depends on what you buy. The good news is that you qualify for Netflorist discount vouchers through the getlion app. Why not download today?