25 Tools Real Service Owners Cant Live Without

Katie Sawyer

Katie Sawyer

March 02, 2018

25 Tools Real Service Owners Cant Live Without

Katie Sawyer,
March 02, 2018

25 tools real service owners can’t live without

The results are in. Deputy surveyed hundreds of services owners and managers with this question: “What is one tool (service, software, technology, app, educational resource/website, etc.) that you can’t live without, and why?”

Jump to Business Tool by Category:

Organization and productivity tools

1. Google Calendar

Google Calendar lets you organize your schedule and share events with coworkers and friends. With Google’s free online calendar, it’s easy to keep track of your daily schedule.

Google Calendar

“Phone calendar organization.” -Carl Wilson, Manager, Shoe Solutions (a 10 year business)

Google Calendar, staying organized.” –Maks Siko, President, Columbia Motors (a 4 year business)

2. Trello

Trello is a team collaboration tool that lets you organize anything and everything to keep your projects on task.


Trello is awesome for managing projects.” -Mac Price, Operations Manager, The Waggle Company (a two year business)

“Trello. It’s an amazing communication platform.” -Chelsea Phillips, Owner/Manager, Tiny Tails to You (a 7 year business)

3. Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a cloud-based task management application. It allows users to manage their tasks from a smartphone, tablet, computer and smartwatch. No matter what you’re planning, how big or small the task may be, Wunderlist makes it super easy to get stuff done.


Wunderlist; keeps me and my management staff up to date on what takes need to be done and what’s been accomplished.” -Deshun Simmons, Owner, Savory Kernels (a 1 year business)

“Wunderlist.” -Jeff Tsao, Owner, Hakata Ikkousha (a 3 year business)

4. G Suite

G Suite is a brand of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google. G Suite comprises Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, and Google+ for communication; Drive for storage; Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites for collaboration; and, depending on the plan, an Admin panel and Vault for managing users and the services.

G Suite

G Suite, it allows us to work from anywhere and to collaborate on projects very efficiently.” -Cyril Arnaud, CEO, Ariolix (a 9 year business)

5. MileIQ

Track miles easily with MileIQ, a free automatic mileage tracker that helps you keep track of your miles for taxes or business expenses. Maximize your tax deductions and reimbursements with MileIQ.


MileIQ to track your business mileage – love it!” -Wendy Zimmermann, Owner, Get Fresh (a 5 year business)

Communication tools

6. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by Google which includes instant messaging, video chat, SMS and VOIP features.

Google Hangouts


Google Hangouts and Docs – Easily communicate with subordinates, able to look back through and create process documentation.” – Alejandro Benavides, Consultant, Bok Beauty (a 17 year business)

7. Slack

With Slack’s instant messaging platform, you can organize your team’s conversations into separate private or public channels or send a direct message. The app also makes it easy to drag, drop and share images, PDFs and other files right in the chat. It automatically indexes and archives any message, notification or file, and there’s no limit to how many users your business can add.


Slack. Interdepartmental communication tool between multiple stores.” -Michael Caruso, Store Manager, The Apothecarium (a 6 year business)

“Slack.” -Jacob Niman, DropCar (a 2 year business)

“Slack – great way to communicate.” -Doug Logan, Co-Founder, Good Burrito Co. (a 2 year business)

Cloud storage tools

8. Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. It allows users to store files on their servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files. This allows you to collaborate safely and easily with clients or employees anywhere.

Google Drive

“We use Google for everything from email to documents to calendar. It’s free and has compatibility with so many other apps and services. Plus most of our employees already use it, so it’s easy for them to plug into, and understand with little training.” -Matt Megyesi, Owner/Manager, Mutiny Information Cafe (a 4 year business)

Google Drive is excellent at all sorts of things.” -Jaret Storms, Chief of Technology, Evergreen Clean (a 1 year business)

Google Docs. So easy to back things up.” -Richard Stup, Owner, Ag Workforce Development (a 1 year business)

Google Drive, Google Calendar.” -Denise Malkoon, Operations Director, Peanut Butter Americano (a 4 year business)

9. DropBox

Dropbox lets you store your files online, sync them to all your devices, and share them easily. Get started for free, then upgrade for more space and security features.


“My laptop… it holds all the info I need from Dropbox to the numerous applications to run a business.” -Victor Laderoute, Owner, QB Gelato (a 1 year business)

Social media and content tools

10. Instagram

Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. Instagram can be a great way to promote your brand, connect the physical world with the online world and launch a new product or service.



Instagram.” Carli Strauss, Owner, Montrose & George General Store (a 3 year business)

“I would have to say Instagram, but it depends on the users.” -Alexis Guerrero, Manager, Beyond Vape (a 3 year business)

“Instagram.” -Ryan LaPet, Owner, Deep Brewing Company (a 1 year business)

11. Facebook

Facebook is becoming a staple part of almost every social media strategy. Facebook Business gives you the latest news, advertising tips, best practices and case studies for using Facebook to meet your business goals.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads.” -Robert Morris, Owner, Texas Cowboy BBQ (a 1.5 year business)

“Facebook. It’s free and user friendly. Helps us be known.” -Brittany Arroyo, Manager, TripleHorn Brewing (a 5 year business)

12. Nextdoor

Nextdoor is the free, private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way to connect and talk with your neighbors about the things that matter in your neighborhood. Nextdoor is the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips.


“The Nextdoor app. is a great way to let locals know about your business whether it’s online or brick and mortar.” -Lori Churchill, Co-Owner, Alpha Coffee (a 6.5 year business)

13. Kindle

The Amazon Kindle is a series of e-readers designed and marketed by Amazon. Amazon Kindle devices enable users to browse, buy, download, and read e-books, newspapers, magazines and other digital media via wireless networking to the Kindle Store.


Kindle. Reading and researching leadership practices is important development for you. You can’t just work all the time. You need to be learning and curious.” -Nick Halley, Manager, Amazon (a 30 year business)

Finance and accounting software

14. Xero

Xero is an accounting app that lets you track businesses expenses and accounting with intuitive mobile apps and web interfaces for point-of-sale, e-commerce, time-tracking, and more. Seamlessly connect Xero and Deputy via the “Add a company” setting in Deputy. For more information, visit the Deputy help portal.


Xero for accounting and Square for my POS system, because they are so user friendly.” –Lara Berenji, Member Manager, Rare Bird Coffee Roasters (a 2 year business)

“Xero, because it is fairly easy to use and they provide excellent customer support.” -Bryant Trujillo, Administrator, Frigid North Co. (a 38 year business)

“Xero.com — keeps our tabs on the $.” -John Falcon, VP, Mariposa Montessori School (a 10 year business)

15. Gusto

Gusto is a company that provides a cloud-based payroll, benefits, and human resource management solution for businesses based in the United States. Sync Deputy to Gusto, and save hours in payroll processing time each week.


Gusto — payroll gets taken care of in two clicks — priceless.” -Boiana Georgieva, Owner, Newport Sea Foam Trading (a 4 year business)

“Gusto- it’s helped me with managing my payroll taxes and links up perfectly with Deputy (also Quickbooks).”-Geneva Taylor, Managing Director, Tellis Executive Search (a 1 year business)

“Aside from Deputy, Gusto has been an immense time saver and added selling point for talent by offering additional benefits such as direct deposit easily.” -Andrew Wallace, CEO, PortoSpire (a 4 year business)

“Gusto, it is the most wonderful payroll tool.” -James Williams, COO, Bloom Consulting (a 5 year business)

16. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks automates many aspects of managing your business by calculating sales tax, tracking products and automatically updating transactions in your register, customer and vendor areas.


QuickBooks. It’s an easy to use accounting software and is well known for bookkeepers making it easy to outsource that position.” -Reba Martin, Bookkeeper, Springs Road Gun Club (a 10 year business)

“QuickBooks because it tracks everything.” -Eileen Rackoff, Owner, Tactical Operations Group (a 2 year business)

“QuickBooks. I am not a numbers guy or accountant.” -Anthony Hawkins, President/Owner, Professional Protection Corp (a 3 year business)

“QuickBooks. It is really good for small businesses and easy to use and manage.”  -Michelle Lee-Lanier, Partner, Customized Security Services (a 5 year business)

“QuickBooks for my accounting. Saves lots of time and makes taxes easier to do.” -Laura Mowell, CEO/Owner/Operator, The Sweet Spot Co. (a 2 year business)

17. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is a popular online accounting app, redesigned to make billing and accounting easy for anyone. Send invoices, track expenses and time spent on projects, and manage your clients all in one place.


Freshbooks.”-Susan Hammond, Owner, Happy Pea (a 4 year business)

Point-of-sales technology

18. Vend POS

Vend is cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management software that lets retailers run their business in-store, online, and via mobile.


“We can’t live without Vend POS. It’s an amazing program that has helped us grow sales and target customers. Along with Deputy integration we are now so on-point with staffing it’s an ideal combination.”-Teri-Jo Collina, Partner, G Facey Clothing (a 25 year business)

“Vend, switched almost 2 years ago and it’s been a great change.”-Teresa O’Day, Owner, Proper (a 7 year business)

“POS. It is mandatory in retail to use a POS system. It’s an efficient way to keep track of how well your business is doing. I can’t do business without POS because I would have to hire 10 people to give me the information that system does with one click.”-Neil Sinclair, CEO, Smokehead Shop (a 13 Year Business)

“Vend POS, it runs our inventory in the store. Good customer service.”-Richard Tse, Manager, LoKL Gourmet, (a 3 year business)

19. Square

Square, Inc. is a financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company. Square’s integration with Deputy streamlines labor costs by helping you schedule employees based on real time sales data.


“A good web-based POS system.” -Terri Moore, Owner, Talbot’s Cyclery (a 45 year business)

Square POS. Quick and easy.” -Bryan Fallwell, Owner, Billingsgate MKT (a 110 year business)

Square. We’re in a high risk business and Square has made it easy for us.” -Christina Jones, President, Chrimar Enterprises LLC (a 7.5 year business)

“Square Register makes managing the business much easier.” -Jamie Tate, Manager, Sandy’s Donuts & Coffee Shop (a 34 year business)

“Square. We use it for credit card processing and online invoicing.” -Geraldine Czako, Owner, Sweet Lucie’s (a 7 year business)

20. Eurostop

Eurostop is an international retail technology company that provides Point of Sale and retail solutions to retailers in the UK and abroad.


“Sophisticated POS, you must keep the clients happy. I recommend Eurostop as they offer great omnichannel solutions.” -Spenser Guay, Manager, Fatface (a 30 year business)

21. Lightspeed MerchantOS

Lightspeed POS creates point of sale technology for independent stores and restaurants.


“Lightspeed MerchantOS.” -Alex Roden, Admin/Sales, Denman Bikes Shop Ltd (an 18 year business)

22. Revel Systems

Revel Systems is a feature-rich business platform transforming the way business is done by integrating all operations and customer channels, driven by the Point of Sale, into a single dashboard. Designed to maximize security, stability, ease of use, and service delivery, Revel’s ecosystem replaces bulky, expensive legacy solutions with a quick, intuitive iOS-based POS platform that combines cloud-based technology and the mobility of the iPad.

Revel Systems

Revel POS… It allows me to track every sale with helpful metrics to help us grow. Deputy integrates to create a seamless experience for labor statistics and schedule forecasting.” -Avery Ward, CTO, Little Italy Pizza (a 38 year business)

Revel. It runs our POS.” -Aaron Weisman, Owner, Teriyaki Madness (a 1 year business)

Training Programs

23. Bob Negan’s Whiz Bang Training Program

WhizBang! Retail Training helps retailers of all sizes build great stores. Founded in 1999 by retail experts Bob Negen and Susan Negen, they offer products and services designed to fit the needs of brand new retailers as well as seasoned owners and multi-store chains.

Whiz Bang


“Bob Negan’s Whiz Bang Training Program.” -Steve Males, Owner, Noah’s Ark Pets & Supplies (an 18 year business)

24. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program

This training program is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. To date, the program has served over 6,700 small business owners across all 50 states, and has resulted in immediate and sustained business growth for the alumni of the program.

Goldman Sachs

“The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program was incredibly helpful for my business.” -Melissa Villanueva, Owner, Brewpoint Coffee (a 3 year business)

25. Sandler Training

Sandler Training is the global leader in sales training, management training, and corporate training. Sandler also provides business consulting, business coaching and other related, comprehensive training programs.

Sandler Training


Sandler Training.” -Walter Bauman, President, Walter Bauman Jewelers (a 60 year business)

Do you have any additional tools that weren’t mentioned? We’d love if you could share them in the comments section.

Check out part 1 and part 2 of this blog: 30 Tips Real Managers Share for Opening a Successful Retail Store and 30 Tips Real Owners Share for Keeping a Retail Business From Going Stale

About the Survey:

This survey was commissioned and administered by Deputy™ via an online survey (through survey software Typeform) to North American businesses with hourly employees. The survey was sent to businesses ranging from 3 to 1,455 employees and ran from June 22nd, 2017 to July 7th, 2017. Responses were segmented by industry.

How can Deputy help retail businesses with employee scheduling & time tracking? See how these clients use Deputy:

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Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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Katie Sawyer
Katie is the Director of Content Marketing at Deputy. She's happiest when she can help people do more of what they love. She likes telling stories, meeting new people, and being a word nerd.

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