Running a small business involves wearing many hats, and you may find yourself wishing you had an extra set of helping hands. Luckily, using online apps and business tools can help run your business more efficiently.

We’ve found five business tools which can help you boost your favorite pages or profiles in search engines; monitor online reviews; track down specific individuals you’d like to reach out to; and even see what stories and blog posts your friends and colleagues are discussing while you’re busy running your business. Pick and choose the tools specific to your goals and industry, and voila! All the results in a fraction of the time.

1. Nuzzel
If you need to keep tabs on the latest news and opinion pieces online, Nuzzel can keep you in the loop in substantially less time. Nuzzel is a free app for iPhones that allows you to see just what people posted while you were working. You can look at news by people you’re connected to on social media, as well as stories you may have missed. You can even read what your friends and colleagues are saying about each post – which is useful whether you were away from your desk or just need a refresher. Another option is to look at featured feeds or your friends’ feeds. Nuzzel is also a good complement to your favorite news sources. Getting too many or too few alerts? You can set the max number of alerts per day, as well as decide how many shares from friends you’d like before receiving an alert.

2. Reputology
What people say about your business on Yelp, Google+, TripAdvisor, and other review sites can impact on your bottom line. Reputology helps you monitor incoming reviews, making it easier to build loyalty by responding to both positive and negative reviews. Reputology can cut down your response time and make sure you’re monitoring reviews on various sites where people share their opinion.

Reputology costs $25 a month, though a limited free version is available as well.

3. BrandYourself
If poor reviews affect your business, or you just want to make sure to push up the positive results found on Google and de-prioritize the ones that are either negative or irrelevant, BrandYourself can help. It offers a free service that can help you boost up to three links – and if you’re a relatively new business and not well known yet, it can help get your name out there. Paid version options are more robust, allowing you to boost additional pages as well as profiles in sites such as Pinterest, WordPress, Flickr, FourSquare and more.

4. Google My Business
If you’re interested in increasing your visibility in Google (including Google Maps, search and Google+), use this site to access all of your applications in one place. This is particularly important if you’d like to correct any inaccurate information on your website URL, address, phone number, and so forth. It also allows you to look at Google reviews, share information on Google+ directly from the page, look at analytics, and even gain insights on your site’s engagement, audience, and visibility. And, it’s free.

5. Reachable
Meeting the right people can absolutely make a difference in your business, but building connections and forming relationships takes time. Reachable doesn’t turn an ongoing process into one you can complete overnight, but it does point you in the right direction. By linking into your social media networks – and, ideally, those of your teammates as well – Reachable helps you see the degrees of separation between you and an influencer you wish to meet. Reachable helps you see the path, so you can leverage personal and group connections for specific introductions you want.

What are some of your favorite business tools? Share away in the comments!

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