Sifting through the vast market of small business tools can be frustrating. With hundreds of software solutions available, each promising transformative result, how do you decide which ones are right for your business? After all, you’re tired of pouring your small business resources into tools that ultimately don’t align with your ecosystem. You don’t want to waste more time and money without getting closer to your goals…
Yet, software is an integral part of your daily business operations. Choosing the wrong small business tools isn’t just a minor inconvenience. It can hamper your growth and profitability. The lack of proper tools prevented me from capitalizing on several golden business opportunities for my digital marketing agency in the past. I guess we all learn from mistakes…
To help you find the perfect software for your needs, my digital agency has created a list of 90 top-performing small business tools for 2023. However, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I’ve made on the growth journey. That’s why I’ll also give you a set of six critical questions you should always ask before committing to a tool. Those questions will help you immediately know whether an app is a perfect match for your company or not.
Table of Contents:
- Why Software Choice Matters For Small Businesses?
- Don’t Choose Your Small Business Tools Before Answering These 6 Key Questions
- 90 Small Business Tools That Can Help You Generate Six-Figure Months
- Best CRM For Small Businesses
- Best Marketing Automation Tools For Small Business
- Project Management Small Business Tools
- Best Communication Software For Small Business
- Best Human Resource Software For Small Business
- Best Website Analytics Tools For Small Businesses
- Best Website Builders For Small Business + Valuable Design Tools
- Best Outreach Software For Small Businesses
- Best Accounting Software For Small Business (+ Tax Filling, Payment Processing, and eSignature Tools)
- It’s Time To Choose Your Small Businesses Tools
Why Software Choice Matters For Small Businesses?
Creating a powerful tool stack for your small business can make a difference in many areas. The right combination of business apps can help you:
- Improve employee productivity
- Strengthen your hiring process and find the best candidates
- Make team communication more productive and enjoyable
- Make project management easier
- Make money management more effective
- Reach your target audience with better accuracy
- Maintain client satisfaction
- Reduce manual workload and streamline your marketing efforts
- and more
You and your team will use these small business tools daily. Their interfaces will become your digital house where you’ll do most of your work-related activities. And just like you wouldn’t buy a house you don’t truly like, why would you pay for small business software neither you nor your employees enjoy working with?
So, if you’re a small business owner, I recommend consulting with your employees when building your tool stack. Also, don’t always settle for the cheapest options. Empowering your team with the right tools will make them more productive. Investing in proper tools pays off in both the short and long run.
And if you’re working 9-5 and you’re frustrated by the software your company is using, don’t be afraid to explain your concerns to the boss. Software choice matters, especially for businesses operating on tight budgets and unlimited dreams.
Don’t Choose Your Small Business Tools Before Answering These 6 Key Questions
As a tech geek, I usually want to try out every app I hear someone praise. I spent a lot of money on tools that didn’t do me or my business much good. And those were not necessarily bad tools – they had many positive reviews and brought profit to many other small businesses. However, these software solutions were simply not a good fit for me and my digital agency.
Yes, choosing the right software for your small business can be challenging. I know that the list of 100 small business tools you’ve come here for won’t help much with decision paralysis. I could have made this a list of the ten best tools and called it a day. But there are probably bigger chances of me winning a lottery than shortlisting the exact ten tools that best fit your small business.
Before we move on, I want you to understand that not all of the 100 small business software you’ll find in this article truly suit your company. Being aware of this can save you thousands of dollars. It can save you months of work, too.
Luckily, there is a way to quickly narrow down the choice and find tools that can actually drive growth for your small business. Whenever you’re tempted to try a new software, start by answering these six questions:
- Does it fit the rest of my business ecosystem?
- Does it solve my actual problems?
- Is it easy to use for humans?
- Is it mobile-friendly?
- Does it suit my budget?
- Does it come with extensive Support?
Let’s elaborate on these questions…
Does it fit the rest of my business ecosystem?
When considering a new tool, analyze how it would fit with other apps you currently use for your business.
If it supports integrations with all your current tools, you shouldn’t have any problem implementing it in your ecosystem. You’ll be able to find a combination of tools that will help you with business development.
However, if it’s impossible to implement a tool in your existing ecosystem, you should avoid it. Otherwise, syncing your data and ensuring a smooth workflow might become challenging down the road. After all, there are dozens of great tools for each need, so keep looking.
Does it solve my actual problems?
Try to evaluate all the gaps in your current system and see if the small business tool you’re considering is filling any of those. You don’t want to pay for a software solution that doesn’t solve any problems you’re currently facing or that completely overlaps with another tool serving you well.
As a software enthusiast, I used to spend a lot of money on apps that promised to solve problems that I didn’t really face. If I could roll back time, I’d invest that portion of my budget in other essential business aspects.
And what if you’re unsure whether you have a problem or think a specific tool could improve your workflow? In that case, I recommend free trials or paying a one-month subscription. You want to delay getting an annual deal until you know it’s the best possible option among other small business tools.
Is it easy to use for humans?
Don’t let the shiny features and advanced functionalities trick you into paying for a tool you don’t love using. Sometimes, you’ll get better results with simpler tools designed for your knowledge level.
Another important consideration is how intuitive the interface is. For example, if you need to open too many tabs to get things done, it might disrupt your rhythm and prevent you from achieving deep focus. Not to mention that using such unintuitive tools feels like hell on smartphones.
Before committing to any software and integrating it into my business ecosystem, I encourage my employees to give me honest opinions. I encourage them to test various features and see if they enjoy getting things done with this new tool.
Again, if there’s a free trial, I usually take advantage of it – but if there isn’t any, I don’t mind subscribing for a month to see if it solves any problems and how enjoyable it is for my people. If my team doesn’t like it, I check other options. Don’t let the shiny features trick you into paying for a tool you don’t love using.
Is it mobile-friendly?
Whenever evaluating an application, I check if it’s easy to use via smartphone. If the tool is not mobile-friendly, I tend to avoid it. This is because I often run Alpha Efficiency on the move. But even if you’re working on a desktop most of the time, there will be cases when you need to perform some tasks quickly. If the software doesn’t allow you to do this smoothly while waiting for your breakfast in the restaurant, you might find yourself in trouble one day.
So, if you’re in a dilemma between two similar tools, one mobile-friendly and the other not, you shouldn’t think twice before choosing a mobile-friendly one.
Does it suit my budget?
If you’re working with a tight budget, prioritize tools that solve the most burning questions. Small business resources are often limited, so you must spend wisely.
You can also go with free options. But be aware that free tools come with limitations. Usually, investing heavily in top-tier software pays off, especially if that software is closely related to your core business operations. Again, prioritize your most burning problems.
Does it come with extensive Support?
The final question is whether the small business tools you’re considering come with good customer support. There might be cases in the future where you’ll run into problems or need help setting up the software properly. If the company behind a tool invests in customer support, you’ll be able to solve most problems within minutes. And just imagine how much profit you can lose if you have to wait for days before your concerns get addressed.
Now, this is not a definite rule – but more expensive tools tend to come with better customer support. While most companies tend to claim that they provide excellent support, sometimes, this is only the case for their premium plans. I recommend checking customer reviews to find a realistic answer to this question.
90 Small Business Tools That Can Help You Generate Six-Figure Months
Now let’s explore the list of 90 best small business tools, hand-picked by my digital agency. To make it easier for you to find the software you most need, I’ve decided to split these hundred tools into nine categories:
- Top picks: HubSpot, Pipedrive
- Marketing automation tools
- Top picks: ActiveCampaign, HubSpot Marketing, Thryv
- Project management tools
- Top picks: Hubstaff Tasks, ClickUp, Notion, Trello
- Communication software
- Top picks: Slack, RocketChat, Zoom
- HR software
- Top picks: Hubstaff, Greenhouse,
- Website analytics tools
- Top picks: Google Analytics, GSC, Hotjar, Semrush
- Website builders and design tools
- Top picks: WordPress, Ghost
- Outreach tools
- Top picks: Snov.io, Hunter.io, Omni.us
- Accounting software
- Top picks: Intuit QuickBooks, Wave, DocuSign
When you find the category you’re most interested in, explore each option carefully. Consider the previously discussed factors and take your time to choose software that best fits your small business.
Best CRM For Small Businesses
Business data gets overwhelming. If you don’t start organizing it on time, it can drown your small business. The right customer relationship management solution can help you keep all your information under one roof. Your CRM should be a starting point for all your business operations.
Here are CRM for small business solutions you should consider:
1. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot is a go-to CRM choice for my digital agency. It brings various tools under one roof. You can use it to track customer interactions, generate leads, automate marketing campaigns, and build a robust inbound marketing funnel. HubSpot helps us organize all our data and keep track of business operations effectively.
This platform also offers a free-forever plan, which is okay for starting out. However, I recommend upgrading to paid plans as you scale your business. You’ll get access to advanced features that way.
- Lead distribution
- Sales engagement tools
- Reporting and analytics
- CPQ capabilities
- Easy to use thanks to a clean interface
- Ability to keep track of customer demands easily
- A wide range of tools under one roof
- Supports 1,500+ integrations; it will probably fit nicely with your other tools
- Offers a free plan
- Excellent customer support
- It can become pricey as your needs grow
- Slightly geared toward enterprises
Price: Offers a free plan; Starter plan starts at $18 per month; Professional plan starts at $800 per month; Enterprise plan starts at $3,600 per month.
Pipedrive is a cloud-based CRM designed primarily for sales teams. As its name suggests, Pipedrive focuses on streamlining sales pipelines.
In my experience using Pipedrive, it was a valuable tool for organizing our sales processes. Its intuitive interface gives you a clear overview of your sales pipeline so you can prioritize your deals, allocate resources, and know what to do next.
Pipedrive also offers analytics and reporting features you can use to make data-driven decisions.
- Lead management
- Sales pipeline management
- Drag-and-drop Functionality
- Analytics and Reporting
- Workflow Automation
- Built-in Telephony
- Customizable chatbots
- Machine Learning-Powered Sales Assistant
- Autofill Contact Info
- Pricing is affordable for small businesses
- Unlimited sales pipelines that are highly customizable
- Most plans come with a workflow automation feature.
- API Access enables full customization and makes it easy to integrate Pipedrive with your other tools
- Not the best option for small businesses that need CRM outside sales team
- It doesn’t offer a free plan.
- Some plans restrict the number of custom fields and reports.
- It has a steeper learning curve than some other CRM software
- The current version does not use dates as triggers for its automation, though this feature is announced for release in early 2024.
Salesforce is a leading name in the CRM sector. I decided to try it out because of its dedicated mobile app. I found this platform’s capabilities to stretch far beyond basic customer management. Salesforce offers tools that accommodate the evolving needs of both small and large-scale enterprises.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one CRM solution, you’ll appreciate its balance of advanced functionalities with user-friendliness.
- Marketing Automation
- Analytics features
- Pipeline management
- 1000+ integrations
- Web lead capturing
- Email tracking
- Lead auto-assignment
- Lead scoring (for the Unlimited plan only)
- Despite its range of functionalities, Salesforce maintains an intuitive design.
- Team collaboration is simple with Salesforce.
- Salesforce has a dedicated mobile app allowing you to access and update customer data from anywhere.
- 24/7 Customer Support ensures you can solve potential issues without waiting too long.
- Offers a free trial
- Offers a separate CRM specifically tailored to small businesses, which can reduce your costs.
- Initial setup can be challenging
- No free plan
- More expensive than its main competitors
4. Freshsales CRM
Freshsales CRM is a good choice if you haven’t used CRM software before. It does come with a wide range of features, but they’re all packed within an intuitive interface.
Every feature, from AI-driven insights to visually pleasing deal management, is thoughtfully implemented. While it might not be a one-size-fits-all solution, it certainly shines in addressing the unique needs of SMBs.
- Deal Management
- Sales Intelligence
- Workflow automation
- Table and Kanban View
- Role-based Access
- Offline Mode
- Custom Sales Activities
- Contact Scoring
- Deal Insights & Sales Forecasting
- Auto-profile Enrichment
- Activity Timeline
- Freshsales offers a streamlined CRM experience tailored for SMBs, making adoption easier.
- Extensive Customization
- With “Freddy,” the AI sales assistant, you benefit from predictive insights derived from historical sales data.
- Freshsales seamlessly meshes with a wide array of business software, enhancing its capabilities.
- User-Friendly Interface
- Limited Reports in Free Plan
- Finding the perfect pricing plan for your needs might take some time.
HoneyBook is a clientflow management platform specifically designed for small businesses. I’ve recommended it to some of my clients, and they were satisfied with this software – primarily due to its simplicity.
This CRM can streamline various processes – from the initial client inquiry to project management to the final invoicing. This makes it an ideal software for small business management if you seek an all-in-one solution. HoneyBook’s set of features meets the needs of most small businesses. And its intuitive design and mobile-friendliness can make it a reliable partner for day-to-day activities.
- Send invoices
- Sign contracts
- Book & Schedule
- Automate workflows
- Track inquiries
- Send forms & questionnaires
- Accept online payments
- Task management
- Intuitive design you’ll quickly get used to
- Its mobile-friendly interface ensures that you can manage your operations on the go.
- HoneyBook is designed with the unique requirements of small businesses and solopreneurs in mind.
- Its features go beyond basic CRM functionality
- Automated payment reminders help you stay on top of your business operations
- It’s easy to overlook the 4% processing fees. It would be nice if HoneyBook introduced an automatic calculation feature.
- The platform could benefit from enhanced customization options to cater to varied business needs.
- Expanding its range of integrations with other tools and platforms could make HoneyBook even more versatile.
Vtiger is a small business customer relationship management (CRM) solution that comes with a surprising range of features. It proves that powerful digital tools don’t have to be complex or costly. I found this small business software ideal if you want to optimize your customer relations without dealing with the intricacies of larger, pricier CRM solutions.
- Proactive Alerts and Helpful Hints
- Rating feature for measuring the performance of your salespersons
- The Next Actions feature highlights idle leads
- eSign Documents
- Analytics and Reporting
- Reasonable pricing makes it a viable option for small businesses.
- Offers an extensive range of features typically found in more expensive CRM tools.
- In-built email, calling, and note-taking capabilities.
- 24/7 support ensures that you get the help when your business needs it.
- A proactive alert system keeps sales teams engaged and ensures no lead is missed.
- Has a dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android.
- Navigation is unique, but it’s not very intuitive.
- It often requires opening multiple tabs and pages, which can disrupt workflow.
- There are better choices for businesses managing multiple sales pipelines.
If you heavily rely on Google Workspace, then Copper might be one of the best CRMs for you. Copper is designed with the needs of small to midsize businesses (SMBs) in mind, emphasizing ease of use while also providing essential lead management features.
This platform integrates smoothly with Gmail, Google Calendar, and other products from G Suite. Even it’s user-interface is very similar to Google’s aesthetics.
- Lead management
- Custom sales pipelines and stages
- Ability to import contacts, companies, and opportunities from various platforms
- Reporting tools for tracking revenue, sales performance, missed opportunities, employee goal-setting
- Custom onboarding through dedicated sessions: set up, customize, train
- Automated actions and reminders for inactive leads or onboarding tasks
- Seamless G Suite integration
- An intuitive UI mirroring Google’s design ensures a consistent experience across platforms
- Comprehensive lead management capabilities allow customization, nurturing, and conversion
- Reporting tools are extensive and can provide you with unique insights
- 14-day free trial without the need for credit card details
- Mobile apps available for both Android and iOS
- Excellent integration with third-party tools and applications, including Zapier and MailChimp
- It might appear feature-light when compared to some competing CRMs
- Requires a Gmail account for sign-up, limiting its user base
- It doesn’t offer a native lead capture form for websites
8. Bigin by Zoho CRM
Bigin by Zoho CRM is a streamlined CRM solution crafted with the specific needs of small businesses in mind. This software brings all the features that really matter for your small business. The lack of some advanced features (you probably wouldn’t use them) significantly reduces Bigin’s price and makes it easy to use.
Another important reason why I’ve listed Bigin as one of the best CRMs for small businesses is its equally enjoyable user experience across desktop and mobile devices.
Moreover, one of the standout reasons to consider Bigin is its tight integrations with platforms you might already be using, like Microsoft Office 365 and Google G-Suite. This way, you can track down an email thread or schedule your follow-up calls within CRM.
- Pipeline Management, where you can oversee Team Pipelines and Connected Pipelines
- Task and Customer Management
- Multichannel Communication
- Workflow Automation
- Team Collaboration features (team pipelines, time tracking, and more)
- Customization options to tailor the CRM to your unique needs
- Analytics and Data Administration tools
- Security features to help you stay GDPR and HIPAA-compliant
- Mobile-first design – I enjoyed using Bigin across various devices
- Advanced CRM features at a price point that respects your budget
- Integrated telephony options, removing the hassle of third-party tools
- A solid range of integration options
- Customizable dashboards let you easily keep track of metrics that matter the most to you
- Instant access to essential contextual data when you need it
- Some mobile features are limited to iOS devices
- If you’re used to traditional CRM setups, the interface might take a bit to get used to
Price: There is a Free plan; $7 per month for the Express plan; $12 per month for the Premier plan
9. Less Annoying CRM
Intrigued by its name that promises ease of use, I had to try Less Annoying CRM. I truly found it simpler to use than most customer relationship management software I’ve encountered over the past decade.
I was surprised that despite lower prices than some other CRM for small business solutions, Less Annoying CRM comes with excellent Support during the setup process. Immediately after signing up, you can expect an email from their support team offering tips on getting started, with instructional videos.
Now, there may be better choices than Less Annoying CRM if you’re a marketing expert comfortable with advanced CRM functionalities. But If you’re a busy small business owner and want to get things running quickly, I highly recommend this lead management and CRM software. Its interface is super user-friendly. It shouldn’t take you longer than a few minutes to understand how Less Annoying CRM works.
- Lead management
- Customizable pipelines
- Automatic reports
- The intuitive user interface makes it a strong choice among other small business tools
- Easy to use on mobile
- Offers phone and email support
- 30-day free trial
- Limited reporting capabilities
- Lack of some advanced features other CRMs have
Price: $15 per user/per month
Salesflare is tailored to meet the needs of small to medium-sized businesses. It is designed with an emphasis on user-friendly functionalities. While I don’t think Salesflare is the most intuitive CRM, it shouldn’t take you long to get used to it. I didn’t opt to use Salesflare for my agency because it doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app. But if you don’t prioritize mobile experience, Salesflare will serve you well.
This CRM has a straightforward sign-up process. You can get started only with your Gmail credentials. However, Salesflare may come at a slightly higher price point for its feature set, especially compared to other small business tools.
- Multi-Currency Support
- Pipeline Management
- Integrated Email Marketing
- Custom Dashboards
- Email Routing
- 24-Hour Support
- Document Library
- REST API
- Simple Sign-Up Process
- Easy Task Creation
- Integrated Email Autoresponders
- Wide Range of Integrations
- Though comprehensive, it might feel a tad expensive compared to other small business tools.
- Transferring data from other platforms can be tricky.
- You might find the interface somewhat clunky and less intuitive.
- Limited Workflow compared to other leading CRMs.
- The absence of a dedicated mobile app
Price: Starts at $29 per month, the mid-tier plan costs $49 per month, and the most expensive one is $99 per month.
Best Marketing Automation Tools For Small Business
Completing marketing tasks for your small business is already challenging, and it only gets more complex as you start growing.
Each day brings new leads to nurture, campaigns to manage, emails to send, and data to analyze. The continuous cycle can become not just overwhelming but also a drain on your most valuable resource: time.
Finding the right marketing automation tool can help you scale your growth faster. It ensures that every touchpoint with your audience is consistent, personalized, and timely, increasing the chances of conversion and fostering loyalty.
Personalization has become the heartbeat of modern marketing. Your audience, flooded with generic content daily, craves messages that resonate with their unique needs and preferences. With marketing automation tools, you can segment your audience, tailoring your communications to each group’s behaviors and interests. The right software can help you build deeper relationships with less manual work.
I’ve prepared a list of 11 best marketing automation software for small business. But before checking it out, you must remember one crucial detail… Ensuring your marketing automation tools can integrate smoothly with your CRM is critical.
11. HubSpot Marketing
HubSpot Marketing Hub is an exemplary embodiment of holistic marketing software. At the heart of it is a mission to simplify and centralize all your marketing needs. This powerful marketing software provided significant help in driving marketing automation for my digital agency. It took us some time to set things up properly, but people from HubSpot were eager to help.
The software’s true strength lies in its robust set of features, from advanced segmentation to automated follow-ups. After all, HubSpot Marketing Hub was built with enterprises in mind.
While HubSpot Marketing Hub can be a considerable investment for small businesses, the returns in terms of streamlined marketing processes and enhanced customer engagement make it a premier choice among small business marketing tools.
- Advanced Segmentation
- Lead Scoring
- Email tracking
- Automated Follow-Ups
- Visualization Tools
- Workflows to Trigger Sales Activity
- Smart Lists
- Smart Content
- Smooth integration with HubSpot CRM (I highly recommend doing it if you have enough resources)
- Has all the necessary email marketing tools for small businesses and enterprises
- A wide range of Social Media Management options
- Offers advanced marketing automation features
- More than a thousand integrations supported
- Excellent Support
- HubSpot’s diverse pricing tiers might feel a bit expensive for small businesses.
- It requires time and dedication to fully exploit HubSpot’s vast capabilities.
ActiveCampaign has been a tool that has added immense value to our email marketing efforts. Designed for those prioritizing marketing automation, it balances feature-rich capabilities and user-friendliness. However, it’s more oriented toward marketing professionals than beginners.
I highly recommend it if you need marketing software for more than just providing a basic newsletter service. With ActiveCampaign, you can set up landing pages, send SMS to visitors, and even manage how your ads appear to the target audience on Facebook. Such a wide range of features might be an overkill if you’re seeking a simple tool with no learning curve.
- Advanced Marketing Automation
- CRM & Deals System
- A/B Testing
- Editor & Content Manager
- Personalization features
- Over 250 Templates
- List Management
- Registration Forms
- Reports & Analysis
- Landing Page Builder
- ActiveCampaign shines with its flowchart-style automation builder, offering pre-made recipes and the freedom to create from scratch.
- In-depth Reporting
- Great Deliverability:
- Free Migration
- Its vast array of features can overwhelm users seeking a simple email solution.
- No Free Tier
- While they offer a newsletter preview across email clients, it comes at an additional charge.
Price: The Lite plan costs $29 per month, the Plus plan costs $49 per month, the Professional plan costs $149 per month, and there is also custom pricing for the Enterprise plan.
Klaviyo is a versatile platform that satisfies all the email and SMS marketing needs of small businesses. I loved using it’s drag-and-drop email builder to send nice-looking emails fast. Also, Klaviyo’s AI assistant is a great brainstorming partner, especially when you’re stuck on creating compelling subject lines.
Moreover, I found Klaviyo effective for automating your campaigns and creating dynamic content. And the ability to create custom reports helped me and my team keep an eye on metrics that matter the most to us. Like other top-tier marketing automation platforms, Klaviyo also includes a lead-scoring feature that helps you focus on leads most likely to convert. This can be an invaluable tool when you’re short on time. After HubSpot and ActiveCampaign, Klaviyo is one of my favorite small business tools for marketing automation.
- Email deliverability reporting
- SMS marketing
- A/B testing
- AI assistant
- Dynamic content
- Drag-and-drop email editor
- Triggered drip sequences
- Lead scoring and grading
- Automated sales alerts and tasks
- Custom reports
- API access
- It’s easy to customize your emails without coding
- It has all the features necessary for professional email marketing for small business
- Wide range of integrations, including eCommerce platforms
- Intuitive dashboard that still provides all the necessary information
- Flexibility when creating drip campaigns
- Scalable pricing
- Sometimes, mass email sends can be laggy, meaning not all leads will receive your email simultaneously.
- Software tends to consume more RAM than other solutions, which can be frustrating on low-end PCs.
- It is not the most accessible platform to use for beginners.
Price: There is a free version; the cheapest plan starts at $20 per month. Depending on your number of contacts, the price can rise above $2000 per month.
If you’re running a small business and searching for an all-in-one solution for marketing automation, then Thryv might just be what you’re looking for. This platform is particularly advantageous for businesses with a diverse marketing approach – whether that’s social media campaigns, email marketing, or PPC.
I’ve found it beneficial for coordinating multiple channels through a single platform. Thryv also incorporates CRM tools into its package, providing a holistic approach to customer management. However, if you’re primarily looking for email marketing automation small business tools, there are probably better options than Thryv.
- Email and SMS templates
- Triggers for email marketing campaigns
- Landing page builder
- Appointment booking with automated reminders
- AI marketing assistant
- Social media management
- Reputation management
- Personalized messages
- Real-time analytics
- Team communication features
- CRM tools
- Thryv App
- It’s easy to keep up with the best time to post on social media, thanks to pre-written content and scheduling tools.
- You can engage with your audience on social media within Thryv
- Brings marketing automation for various channels under one roof
- Excellent user experience on mobile devices thanks to a dedicated app
- A wide range of features can be overwhelming for beginners
- Its email marketing automation features are not polished
If you’re new to the marketing automation game or want something that removes the hassle of setting up complex campaigns, Keap might be a good fit for your small business. While Keap is an all-in-one CRM and marketing automation platform, I’ve had the opportunity to delve into its marketing automation features specifically.
Its straightforward and intuitive “when-then” automation builder caught my eye. This feature can be a lifesaver for beginners or anyone who wants to set up automations without a steep learning curve.
- Pre-built marketing automation templates
- Email automation
- A/B testing
- Triggers based on user behavior
- Advanced automations builder
- Automatic lead scoring
- Automated follow-up emails
- Appointment reminder
- Easy enough for beginners to navigate, thanks to its intuitive automation builder.
- Allows marketing experts to customize automations
- It comes with pre-made templates for various needs, reducing time spent setting up campaigns.
- It can be a bit expensive for small businesses
- Reports could be more extensive
Price: The Pro plan starts at $159 per month; the Max plan starts at $229 per month
For any small business, lead generation is the lifeline to success, and OptinMonster offers a powerful toolkit to automate this critical process. I appreciate how it goes beyond basic popup forms to use real-time behavior triggers, detecting exit intent and user inactivity to engage potential customers automatically. This platform helped me save a lot of time with my lead-gen efforts.
- Real-time behavior automation
- Geo-location targeting
- Campaign scheduling
- Conversion Analytics
- A/B testing
- Exit-intent technology that detects when a user is about to leave your website
- Lead generation form templates
- WordPress plugin
- Their support team is always ready to assist you.
- It has many pre-designed templates to speed up your campaign creation.
- Geo-location targeting is 99% accurate at the country level, making it ideal for local businesses.
- You can easily integrate it with your website if you’re a WordPress user.
- Could benefit from more robust analytics features.
- Currently, it does not support integration with Salesforce, which may be a drawback for some businesses.
Pricing: OptinMonster offers four plans. The cheapest starts at $9 per month, and the most expensive goes up to $49 per month.
Drip is an email automation software that focuses on the eCommerce sphere. But even if you’re running a service-based business, you can still benefit from this platform. Drip can be best described as a combination of MailChimp and Hubspot. In my Drip review, I’ve covered this platform in-depth. Now, I’d love to highlight some key features along with the pros and cons I’ve found using Drip.
- Workflow automations
- Mailing Lists and Segmentation
- Form Builder
- A/B testing for your emails
- SMS Marketing
- It’s easy to set up advanced workflow automations
- User-friendly interface
- It makes it easier to create targeted campaigns thanks to segmentation options
- The form builder is a bit limited
- You can’t A/B test full email content or automation workflows
- Confusing pricing
Price: It’s based on the number of subscribers on your mailing list.
GetResponse is an email marketing app small businesses can use to create mailing lists, send newsletters, automate campaigns, and analyze various statistics. I decided to try Getesponse after I heard its standout feature is the automation builder. By setting automatic triggers and using the scheduling feature, you can ensure your emails reach the potential customers at the right time. Keep in mind that I’ll focus on marketing automation when analyzing this software for you.
- Automation templates
- Abandoned cart
- Web event tracking
- Automation segmentation
- Lead scoring
- Post-purchase notifications
- Funnel Builder
- Landing page builder
- A wide range of email automation features
- Automation builder is intuitive and easy to use
- High delivery rate
- Reports include all the metrics a small business might need
- Limited split testing capabilities
Zapier is an indispensable tool that I rely on heavily in my agency for automating many tasks, including content automation. Think of it as the glue that connects disparate apps and automates workflows that would otherwise require manual labor. For example, you can use it to automatically publish a post on social media immediately after your new blog post is live.
Zapier is one of the best automation platforms. I started using more and more as I scaled Alpha Efficiency and as our toolkit kept expanding. It saved us a lot of time and allowed us to build a strong ecosystem.
- Multi-step Zaps: Chain multiple tasks together in one workflow.
- Paths: Implement conditional “if/then” logic to guide your automations.
- Filters: Apply specific conditions to trigger a Zap, ensuring it runs only when you want it to.
- Schedule: Set your Zaps to execute at specific times that are convenient for you.
- Formatter: Customize the format of dates, currency, text, and more to meet your specific needs.
- Webhooks: Integrate with virtually any service by sending or receiving HTTP requests, no code required.
- Connects with a multitude of apps, offering seamless integration.
- Easy to navigate and set up new Zaps.
- Offers a high level of granularity in defining automation paths.
- Scales up with your business, accommodating more complex automations as you grow.
- Some features, like multi-step Zaps, may require a bit of a learning curve.
- The free version has limitations, and the premium plans can get pricey as you add more Zaps and tasks.
When it comes to e-commerce, automating your marketing efforts is critical to driving revenue. I found Omnisend to be a solid player in this space, offering a range of features tailored specifically to e-commerce businesses. What sets it apart is its pre-built marketing automation workflows that are essentially plug-and-play. From welcoming new customers and recovering abandoned shopping carts to cross-selling and upselling, Omnisend has a workflow for it. You even get transactional email workflows based on purchase activity—no need to invest in separate software for SMS and web push notifications.
- Pre-built workflows
- Cross-sell automation
- Product abandonment
- Shipping confirmation
- Automation splits
- A/B testing
- Automation reports
- Conditional content blocks
- Customizable templates
- Works seamlessly with platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
- For more personalized campaigns, you can segment your subscribers based on behavior and purchase history.
- Advanced analytics capabilities
- Access to Support via live chat and email.
- This email marketing automation software can get expensive for businesses with a large subscriber base.
- Certain features like advanced automations come with an additional cost.
- New users may find the platform overwhelming at first.
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing small business tools that comes with CRM capabilities, too. I often recommend it to my clients because of its simplicity. In this review, I’ll focus on Mailchimp’s automation capabilities.
Automations are called “Customer Journeys” in MailChimp. It’s worth noting that this platform’s automation capabilities are not as advanced as with some others I’ve included in this list. However, MailChimp is still an excellent choice for small business owners who want to get started with email marketing automations as quickly as possible. You’ll find many pre-built automations within this platform, and I appreciate that you can build Customer Journeys from scratch.
- Email Builder
- Campaign Performance Tracking
- MailChimp Android and iOS apps
- Social media campaigns tracking
- Predictive segmentation
- Multivariate and A/B testing
- AI recommendations and automation
- One of the easiest email marketing software platforms to use
- Reports can be particularly helpful for small businesses
- Supports a wide range of integrations
- Both simple and advanced automation sequences work nicely
- Relatively expensive compared to other email marketing platforms
Project Management Tools For Small Business
Effective project management is the lifeblood of any thriving company. It’s pivotal for overseeing tasks and ensuring every effort drives your business forward. To scale and thrive, you must have a precise pulse on the time invested, the endeavors undertaken, and the outcomes achieved.
The ideal project management tool does more than merely organize tasks. It acts as a compass, guiding you and your team even amidst the most intricate projects. With the right tool, you can help your team maintain focus, ensuring that each step aligns with the larger goal.
I’ve tried various project management tools for my digital agency. Here is a list of 9 project management tools I found to work best for small businesses:
22. Hubstaff Tasks
Hubstaff Tasks has been a ground base for my agency’s project management. It’s where we track every single task each employee is doing. Hubstaff Tasks make it very easy to organize your projects within folders and keep track of how much time is spent on each moving part. Over the years, we started using other project management tools, too. However, Hubstaff Tasks is still the only platform where we store all projects without exception. It helps everyone on the team gain a holistic overview of the current progress and the time they spend on each task.
My employees submit standups at the end of each day, which helps me get quick insights into work done and whether anyone needs further assistance. This makes it much easier for me to manage a remote team.
- Agile project management
- Visual boards
- Automated stand-ups
- Time tracking
- Project timelines visualization
- Pre-made and customizable templates
- It’s easy to use and looks visually organized.
- It comes with pre-built templates, but I can’t tell you much about their quality because we quickly created custom templates with my agency.
- Sprints help everyone on the team keep track of priority projects.
- The free plan offers limited functionalities.
- It might take some time to get used to the Agile framework if you’re new to it.
If your small business team is struggling to keep up with tasks, deadlines, and communication, ClickUp could be the answer. My agency has been relying on this tool to organize and manage our remote team, and it’s been a game-changer. I even created a guide on how to use ClickUp for project management, which you can check out.
I particularly appreciate the option to invite guests for free, allowing us to keep clients in the loop on project status without incurring extra costs. The built-in automations are another time-saver, which allows me to auto-assign tasks, move their statuses, and even auto-comment.
- Customizable Workspaces
- Task Assignments
- Due Dates & Reminders
- Guest Invitations: Collaborate with clients or external team members at no extra cost.
- Time Tracking
- Real-time chat with team members
- Built-in Automations
- With ClickApps, you can customize this platform’s functionality to match your project needs.
- Real-time updates and communication features keep everyone on the same page.
- Great for keeping clients updated on project status.
- Intuitive design makes it easy to get your team up and running quickly.
- Unlike Hubstaff, it doesn’t offer automated daily reports.
- The user experience can be less pleasing on smaller screens.
I use Notion for organization and taking personal notes. It helps me put ideas and observations into one place. But I also use Notion to run my core management team and build a knowledge hub for my company. Although it started as a note-taking software, I’ve recently noticed that Notion is evolving to become an excellent choice for project management.
It doesn’t have time tracking capabilities like Hubstaff and ClickUp. But with various templates, you can still estimate complete dates very accurately. One of the main reasons I love using Notion is its visual appeal. Everything looks neat and clean, which makes it easy for me and my team to quickly find notes and collaborate effectively. If you want to learn more about how I’m using this app for my business, I recommend reading my guide on Notion for agencies.
- Kanban boards
- Custom views
- AI assistant
- A customizable platform, you can use various Blocks to tailor Notion to your needs.
- Notion is cost-efficient, and it provides excellent value for money.
- It is enjoyable to use on mobile devices thanks to a dedicated app.
- You’ll find a wide range of free templates that can help you speed up the setup process.
- You can save your AI prompts for reuse.
- Lack of goal tracking means you might need to combine other project management tools for small businesses during large projects.
Price: Free plan; $8 per month for the Pro plan; $15 per month for the Business plan;
Asana stands out as an agile project management software suitable for businesses of all sizes. If you’re looking for a tool with a simple and intuitive interface, I recommend giving Asana a chance. While it might have its limitations, its core offerings and ease of use make it a solid choice for companies with a limited budget. One feature I particularly liked within this project management app was the Workflow Builder, a beneficial tool to automate repetitive tasks that consume a lot of time.
- Role assignment features
- Gantt charts
- Budgeting feature that allows you to keep track of project expenses
- Workflow Builder
- Task dependencies
- Secure storage
- A free plan makes it accessible for small teams and startups.
- It integrates smoothly with a wide range of 3rd party tools.
- I loved 2-factor authentication, which keeps your business data safe.
- Limited time tracking
- While Asana provides export options, they are limited to CSV and JSON formats, which might not be ideal for all users.
- A bit of a jump between pricing tiers
Price: The Basic plan is free; the Premium plan costs $10.99 per month; the Business plan costs $24.99 per month.
Even in a landscape crowded with numerous project management tools, Trello remains a relevant choice. During the early stages of my agency, Trello was my go-to platform for its simplicity and efficiency in organizing tasks. However, as the demands of my projects expanded and my team grew, I found the need to transition to more robust project management tools.
Trello has a limited set of features, which doesn’t mean it’s a worse choice than other project management tools. It heavily depends on your needs. If your business is dealing with simple projects and you want to easily keep track of simple tasks, you won’t find many better small business tools than Trello.
- Kanban boards
- Trello cards
- Trello stands out as one of the best pure Kanban tools available.
- Its free tier is commendable, offering unlimited users, storage, and integrations.
- Connecting Trello with numerous other tools is possible, enhancing its core functionality.
- Its straightforward design ensures even beginners can hop on and start organizing their tasks swiftly.
- The mobile experience is not as polished as its desktop counterpart.
- While it excels in simplicity, it may not be the best fit for all types of projects.
- While it has numerous integration options, the core tool relies heavily on these for extended functionalities.
- Real-time collaboration features are missing, which might be a deal-breaker for some dynamic teams.
Monday.com started out in 2014 as a collaboration tool. However, I was surprised by its recent shift toward becoming an all-in-one project management tool. Its suite caters to diverse workflows such as customer relationship management (CRM), project management, software development, human resources (HR), marketing, and several others.
Monday’s prime audience comprises small and midsized businesses (SMBs), and it’s not hard to see why. With an interface that is visually delightful and intuitively designed, navigating through Monday.com is enjoyable for beginners and seasoned professionals.
- Custom Workflows
- Gantt charts
- Kanban boards
- Dependencies (for managing task sequences)
- Budgeting features
- Real-time communication
- Offers a free plan
- With over 200 templates, you can customize boards and automations to your preference.
- Extensive integrations
- Monday.com provides excellent customer support, and they always respond quickly to me.
- Animated fireworks every time you check off a task can help keep morale high.
- For paid plans, a minimum team size of three is mandatory.
- A 14-day free trial, compared to the industry standard of 30 days.
- Agile sprints feel a bit limited.
- Features like time tracking are reserved for Pro accounts.
Price: Offers a Free plan; the Basic plan costs $8 per seat per seat / per month; the Standard plan costs $10 per set / per month; the Pro plan costs $16 per seat / per month
ProofHub emerges as an indispensable tool for teams dealing with visual-heavy projects, and my web design agency can attest to its efficacy. Given that our projects are abundant with visual elements, ProofHub’s online proofing feature has revolutionized how we provide feedback and annotations. This feature and an integrated chat function ensure our team stays interconnected and informed throughout the design process.
- Task management
- Project templates
- Custom fields
- Time management
- Labels & Workflows
- Milestones & Overview
- CSV Import
- Attachments & Approvals
- Task history
- Daily Agenda
- Great for collaboration on visual design
- Nice balance of simplicity and project management features
- Fixed pricing tiers with no per-user fees
- User-friendly interface
- Lacks integration with some popular small business tools like Slack, Asana, and Trello.
- Lacks budgeting tools
Price: The Essential plan starts at $45 per month; the Ultimate Control plan starts at $89 per month.
Basecamp positions itself as a fusion of team communication and project management, designed with remote teams in mind. However, it’s not as intricate in its project management capabilities as other specialized tools. For example, Basecamp is missing multiple project views and task priorities. But the emphasis on communication actually makes it a standout among other small business tools I’ve listed in this category. If you’re a remote team that values efficient communication and basic task management without the need for separate tools, Basecamp is worth consideration.
- To-Do Lists: Organize tasks, assign them to team members, and set due dates to keep projects on track.
- Real-Time Communication: Use group chats, message boards, and pings to communicate in real-time with your team members and keep everyone on track.
- Client Access: Unique feature allowing custom access settings for clients to monitor the progress of ongoing projects.
- Integrated Calendar: Sync with popular calendar systems like Google Calendars, iCals, and Outlook to coordinate team availability.
- Automatic Check-Ins: Eliminate the need for regular status meetings by automating check-ins.
- Document Sharing and File Storage: Centralize documents and files relevant to projects, making them easily accessible to the team.
- Notification Management: Tailor notifications based on user preference, optimizing communication without overwhelming team members.
- Easy to navigate, ensuring a smooth onboarding experience.
- Allows all project-related discussions to be contained within the project, minimizing distractions.
- Offers a low-cost per-user plan and a comprehensive Pro Unlimited plan.
- Combines project management and team communication tools, ideal for remote teams with limited resources.
- Essentially, Basecamp functions as a powerful to-do list without multiple visual representations like Gantt charts or Kanban boards.
- Lacks features to assign varying priority levels to tasks.
- Not suitable for complex projects requiring intricate tracking.
- It might not cater to teams seeking advanced project management capabilities.
30. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is a versatile project management platform tailored for businesses that prioritize organization and collaboration. Catering primarily to small teams, especially those with budget constraints, Zoho Projects offers tools to streamline tasks and project activities.
While the software provides a comprehensive range of core project management functionalities, such as Gantt charts and resource management, it remains accessible and user-friendly, albeit with a bit of a learning curve for mastering all its capabilities. Zoho Projects is one of my main recommendations if you’re on a tight budget.
- Effective File Management: Organize and access project-related documents seamlessly, ensuring efficient documentation.
- Gantt Charts: Visualize project timelines and progress, facilitating better planning and tracking.
- Integrated Collaboration Tools: A consolidated platform for teams to create, collaborate, and communicate without the need for external tools.
- Integration with Zoho CRM: Seamlessly link with Zoho CRM and other tools, offering an end-to-end solution for businesses.
- Time-Tracking Tools: Maintain accurate logs of time spent on tasks, aiding in resource allocation and billing.
- Excellent Value for Money
- Despite its range of functionalities, navigating through the software remains intuitive.
- Multiple in-app communication methods enhance team collaboration.
- Deep Configuration Options
- Lacks ready-to-use templates, which might require more time during initial project setups.
- Unconventional Resource Management View
Best Communication Software For Small Business
In any small business, smooth communication is more than just an operational need – it’s the lifeline that threads through every task, project, and goal. It helps you keep everyone on your team aligned and prevents misunderstandings. With the right software, your team can also share ideas more effectively.
Why do I pay such hefty attention to this aspect? Because when dealing with a diverse team and a roster of clients, every miscommunication can lead to delays, dissatisfaction, or even lost opportunities. Efficient communication software fosters a culture of clarity, ensuring that every team member is on the same page regardless of their role.
My agency has experimented with various communication tools over time. Currently, we mainly use Slack, RocketChat, and Zoom. In a moment, I’ll explain why we rely on those tools. But you can also use other great communication tools for your small business. Check these out:
Slack is a communication tool that works as a chat room for your entire company. Its design is meant to replace email as your business’s primary method of communication and sharing. Slack workspaces allow you to organize your team communication by channels – you can have group discussions or share information privately. From my perspective, this tool fits small businesses perfectly since it allows you to have all internal communication in one effective place. It helped me and my team prevent miscommunication problems.
- Over 2,400 integrations
- Company-wide and private communication
- You can create several channels whiting your company
- Channels have different levels of privacy – private, public, shared, and multi-workspace
- High security levels; your company’s data is always protected
- You can download it to your desktop or use the mobile app
- If your company creates many channels, navigating Slack can be overwhelming
- Context switching easily occurs, leading to unorganized communication
- The free plan has only a reduced number of features
RocketChat is an open-source team collaboration and communication platform. This tool offers a single inbox for all communication channels, helping businesses manage all their communication needs in one place. It integrates with other messaging platforms, such as email, WhatsApp, and Twitter, allowing quicker and improved responsiveness. I choose RocketChat as my company’s primary means of communication due to its top-level security measures, including end-to-end data encryption. RocketChat’s open-source nature also had an impact on my choice. Our RocketChat server has channels for each team, which helps us keep track of daily tasks and communicate effectively.
- Team collaboration
- File Sharing
- Voice chat and audio calls
- Multichannel Communication
- Activity Dashboard
- Real-time communication with colleagues, other companies, and customers
- Completely private and secure communication
- Fully customizable platform
- Real-time translation to over 37 languages
- It’s highly extensive nature may not suit all small businesses
33. Google Workspace
Google Workspace is the most popular solution for team communication and collaboration. Gmail was launched back in 2004, and today, 1 out of 4 people use it for their email communication. However, Google Workplace features and applications go beyond business email. You can use Chat for team messages, Calendar for organizing tasks, Drive for cloud storage, Docs to create documents and content pieces, and Meet for audio and video conferencing. This collection of cloud-based tools is excellent for small businesses to share files and collaborate easily. While I’m not using Google Workspace for my agency, I know many successful businesses that do, and that’s why I included it in this list of best small business tools.
- Gmail for business emails
- Google Drive for file management
- Google Meet for video meetings
- Google Vault
- You get all your company’s productivity tools in one place
- A wide range of apps that cover all or most of your business needs
- All the applications are simple and easy to use
- The apps run on the cloud, meaning no software to download
- Having your company data on the cloud always implies a higher security risk
- Some Google Workspace tools are not as advanced as the ones from Microsoft Office
Zoom is inarguably one of the most reliable video conferencing services for businesses. This comprehensive video software includes online meetings, video conferencing, and group messaging, all in one easy-to-use, free platform. This innovative tool delivers high-quality video, audio, and screen-sharing across all devices. Zoom is the ideal tool for remote or hybrid companies; the platform allows teams to stay connected and collaborate effectively despite not being physically in the same office. We’re using it for internal meetings and client meetings, as this software makes it simple to record sessions and ensure you don’t miss anything once you start working on projects.
- HD video and audio
- Simultaneous screen sharing
- Calendar scheduling
- Meeting recordings
- Audio-only conferencing
- Background blur option
- Crisp audio, lag-free video, and instant sharing
- Perfect for simple meetings 1 to 1 or more complex conferences
- Free for up to 100 members
- Features are easy and intuitive to use
- With the free plan, meetings can only last up to 40 minutes
- HD video quality is limited to 720p
- Not a responsive customer support
- The mobile app is not as intuitive as the desktop version
Chanty is a team collaboration and communication platform designed to boost productivity and enhance business and team communication. It offers you a wide range of features to encourage team collaboration and messaging. It’s a user-friendly and affordable communication platform with standard features. It’s particularly best for smaller and medium-sized businesses, so if you are searching for a relatively cheap and straightforward communication app for your startup, Chanty might be a good pick for you.
- Task management
- File sharing
- Voice and video calls
- Chanty offers many affordable pricing plans, making it a good choice among other small business tools for communication.
- It is easy to use and adapt to
- The task management feature can help you stay organized and keep track of projects
- It offers a smooth file-sharing feature that boosts collaboration and efficiency
- Chanty may not offer you the same variety of advanced features as other competitors
- It has been reported that Chanty has occasional problems with performance issues with the mobile app
- It has storage history limitations, depending on the subscription plan
GoTo is a comprehensive small business collaboration software explicitly designed for remote work and online meetings. It offers a wide range of features to enhance online collaboration, including video conferencing, webinars, and screen sharing. GoTo is an easy-to-use, advanced platform for online meetings. While I see it as an excellent suit for larger organizations looking for a virtual communication solution, small businesses can also benefit from GoTo.
- Video conferencing
- Screen sharing
- Meeting and webinar recording
- GoTo is known to be a very reliable and stable platform, ensuring smooth and issues-free online meetings
- It’s easy to use and to adapt to, both for hosts and participants
- It’s suitable for businesses of all sizes, ranging from small, up-and-coming ones to large
- GoTo’s price is relatively high for smaller businesses, considering all subscription plans and what they offer
- The free version offers limited functions (compared to competitors’ free versions)
Ryver is another communication and collaboration platform designed to enhance team and business communication, task management, and workflow coordination. A great thing about Ryver is that it combines messaging with task management tools, boosting productivity and collaboration. It is an affordable and reliable communication platform focusing on simplicity and task management, so if you are seeking a trustworthy and easy-to-use application, Ryver is the right choice for your business.
- Task management
- File sharing
- Topic-organised conversations
- Ryver has a very straightforward and user-friendly interface, making it accessible to everyone
- Also, it’s relatively cheap and affordable for all businesses
- Conversations are organized by topics, making communication more concise and efficient
- The task management feature is excellent for teams to stay organized and focused
- Ryver doesn’t provide all features equally for all subscription plans
- Some users reported issues with customer support availability
Flock is also a communication platform designed to boost productivity and communication. It provides you with many features to ensure productive workplace communication and collaboration. It is a straightforward platform with valuable features. Still, I recommend employing Flock only if you run a smaller business, as some limitations make it unsuitable for enterprises.
- Groups and channels
- Video conferencing
- File sharing
- Flock is easy to use and accessible to everyone
- It’s also affordable and offers many pricing plans
- It offers a way to organize messaging into channels and groups to make conversations more clear
- Mobile accessibility offers a way to keep conversations on the go
- Flock has limited integration features compared to other platforms.
- Like some of the other platforms we listed, it has limitations on message history depending on the chosen subscription plan.
Jive is a social networking solution that allows upper management, team members, and third parties to communicate with each other in a corporate environment. This platform is one of the top providers of modern collaborative and communication solutions for businesses. Its integrations with multiple business applications and services provide users with unmatched flexibility. Jive is equipped with ample features designed to help businesses achieve their goals and enhance individuals and collaborative productivity among team members.
- Engagement analytics dashboard
- Streamlined administration
- Enterprise-level security
- Jive is fully optimized for mobile and integrates with several popular business systems
- It provides an excellent UX and UI, making it easy to use and navigate
- Users report highly efficient and responsive customer service
- No free version; plans start from $19.95 per user
- The platform relies too much on the user’s ability to code HTML/CSS to make changes
Discord is a chat app where users can create their private servers or communities. Each server can have multiple channels that serve different purposes. Users can join different servers and channels and send direct messages – text, voice, or video – to other users. When this platform launched, gamers widely adopted it. As the years passed, Discord reached a broader audience. Recently, I’ve seen an increased number of Twitter engagement groups being hosted on Discord. However, this platform can also be excellent for your team communication. Discord has most of the features chat apps for businesses have and sometimes outperforms them.
- Video conferencing
- Your employees will get access to most features with the free membership
- This platform stands out for its syncing clear audio between users
- Discord servers are ready to handle all the company data you need to share between teams
- It’s easy for conversations to go off-topic
- Terms of service allow Discord to delete your account at any time, compromising the security and storage of your data
- The shareable file size can be very limited
Telegram is an instant messaging app that can become essential to your company’s marketing strategy. While often compared with WhatsApp, Telegram offers a unique set of features. An attribute that highly benefits businesses is that users can save their entire data – chats, voice messages, documents, images, and other files – on the cloud. Telegram allows communication without phone numbers; users can find each other by searching for their usernames. Another helpful feature is channels. By creating channels with relevant keywords, you can attract users to your company and grow visibility and engagement. So, Telegram can also be a marketing channel, not just a communication tool for your small business.
- Channels – private and public
- Chat groups
- Telegram chatbot
- Secret chat
- Self-destruct messages
- High-security levels to keep your company’s data safe
- You can send secret messages and set them up to disappear at a given time
- You can send images and videos at their full quality as long as they don’t exceed 2GB
- Despite its growth in the past years, its user base is still considered limited
- The account verification process is not too stringent, leading to a high risk of spam or fake accounts
- Limited integrations with third-party services or apps
With two billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging and communication app. People typically use it to interact with family and friends, but they are progressively using this app to connect with brands. Due to that, WhatsApp Business – a more advanced version of the application – was launched. WhatsApp Business integrates sales and service features and allows companies to create a business account.
WhatsApp is one of the most simple messaging apps. But it offers different features and high customization levels – all for free. The app is not only for text messages; it also allows audio and video calls, audio messages, and file sharing.
- Group chat
- Voice and video calls
- Conference calls
- Data backup and restore
- A totally free messaging app
- Easy to master; probably all your team members and customers have an account already
- You have a mobile app, desktop, and web version
- It’s still unclear what information is shared with sister organizations like Facebook.
- No user manager features
- Inefficient communication features for business purposes
- Mixing of work and private communication
Best Human Resource Software For Small Business
People are the backbone and the main strength of your small business. Building a loyal team was one of my top priorities when I launched my agency. But as your business grows, so does the complexity of managing your team. Manually tackling employee management became challenging. I still regret not finding the right HR software early on.
But why is HR software so pivotal, especially for small businesses? For starters, it’s about taking care of your team. HR software streamlines administrative tasks, reducing the chances of manual errors, which could lead to complications or misunderstandings down the line. Remember, an error in payroll or mismanagement of benefits isn’t just a number – it affects real people and their livelihoods.
Moreover, your HR software will help you with employee data management. It will act as a secure vault, holding confidential employee information and centralizing company documents. This aids in organization and in achieving compliance with various regulations.
But there’s another aspect that’s often overlooked: the recruiting process. Bringing in fresh talent is crucial for the growth and innovation of a business. Finding a tool that would simplify job postings, applicant tracking, and even onboarding processes will save you a lot of time. And more importantly, it will help you find people that are best fit for your company culture.
Now, here is a list of HR software I recommend for small businesses:
Hubstaff is a productivity management and time-tracking software that can help you systematically manage and monitor remote teams. It’s a universal application for time-tracking and team management. Hubstaff is a go-to HR software for my agency, and we mostly use it to organize our workflow and monitor employee productivity.
By using Hubstaff, you can quickly find out if your employees are doing what’s expected from them. It helps us ensure our remote team is active during work hours. However, this HR software has extensive monitoring capabilities that can potentially harm your employee’s privacy. I recommend communicating clearly to your team members which aspects of their work you’ll monitor and what your expectations are. If personnel privacy is your concern, try to balance out Hubstaff features and maybe not use it to its full potential.
- Activity monitoring
- Time tracking
- Project/ task management
- Payroll management
- In-depth insights on employee productivity
- Remote work management for remote teams
- Time and cost-saving on tasks like time tracking or payroll
- It is highly customizable and adaptable to users
- Privacy concerns amongst employees based on constant monitoring
- Setting up Hubstaff can be a little complex for some users
- Costs can be high for small businesses
- Some features might not work offline
As a small business, you can rarely afford to hire people only to find out months later that they don’t quite fit your company’s culture. At the same time, you barely have time to keep track of all the job applications and be 100% sure that you’re hiring the right candidate.
Greenhouse is one of the small business tools that aims to help you improve your hiring efficiency. This software makes it easier to manage interviews, evaluate candidates, and draw insights that make you more confident in your hiring decision. Greenhouse allows you to customize your hiring workflow to match your company’s culture. From my experience, this tool’s adaptable features and analytic capabilities are its strongest points. It does come with a slightly steeper learning curve and pricing that might not be affordable for all small businesses – but if you’re struggling to find the right people for your team, experimenting with Greenhouse will probably be worth it.
- Job Listing
- Application management
- Interview management
- Candidate evaluation
- Analytic insights
- A simplified hiring process enables efficient workflow
- Software customization for personalized hiring workflow
- Detailed reporting and analytics help employers make the right decisions
- Greenhouse may be expensive for smaller businesses
- It is mainly intended for larger corporations, so it may not be suitable for everyone
- Configuring the software might require a lot of time and effort
As a cloud-based human resource and payroll software, Gusto is designed to simplify payroll processing and various HR tasks for small to medium-sized businesses. It provides you with an integrated platform to efficiently manage various aspects of HR – from employee onboarding to dealing with tax-related tasks. The main reason I recommend Gusto is because it’s an easy-to-use and cost-effective platform.
- Payroll processing
- HR Compliance
- Time tracking
- Employee onboarding
- Gusto automates payroll and tax-related tasks, reduces the chances of unexpected errors, and saves you plenty of time.
- It is reasonably priced, and it is suitable for smaller businesses
- It provides 24/7 support.
- It is enjoyable to use on mobile devices.
- Businesses with more complex payrolls need additional paid add-ons.
- Gusto is mainly designed for U.S.-based businesses, so if your company has international operations, it may not be suitable for this platform.
- Some advanced HR features may be limited.
46. Wellfound (formerly AngeList Talent)
Wellfound, previously known as AngelList Talent, is a modern hiring platform designed specifically to streamline the startup hiring process. I’ve always appreciated platforms that value talent and experience over mere networking, and Wellfound embodies this philosophy. With its emphasis on fairness and equity in hiring, this platform aims to reshape the way startups recruit.
Wellfound offers unique features that go beyond the traditional candidate sourcing methods. Its user interface stands out in terms of clarity and provides a level of detail about candidates that can be hard to find elsewhere. For small businesses looking to onboard fresh talent, especially in the startup ecosystem, Wellfound can be a tool worth considering, especially since job posting comes at no cost.
- Job Search Status: Clarifies whether a candidate is open to interviews or just exploring offers.
- Skills & Experience Showcase: Enables candidates to emphasize particular accomplishments.
- Timezone Information: Helps businesses coordinate by understanding a candidate’s time zone.
- Remote Work Preferences: Details about a candidate’s remote work adaptability.
- Assessments: Offers video and engineering assessments to gauge a candidate’s skills.
- Clear and streamlined user interface.
- Detailed insights into candidate preferences and background.
- Focus on equitable hiring practices.
- Suitable for startups and businesses leaning towards modern recruitment methods.
- No charge for job postings.
- Some users might require time to adapt if transitioning from more conventional hiring platforms.
In our pursuit of finding the right talent, my team and I turned to Recruitee. It offers a range of tools specifically tailored for efficient candidate management, making our hiring process smoother. What I appreciate about Recruitee is its intuitive design, which is customizable and scalable to our agency’s needs. However, you might find a learning curve with specific features. Recruitee’s pricing structure is also worth considering if you have limited small business resources. I wouldn’t say that having this or similar tools is absolutely necessary for every company. But if you feel like your candidate management could be improved, I recommend trying out this platform.
- Candidate tracking
- Job posting
- Detailed analytics
- Collaborative hiring
- Recruitee is extremely easy to use and has a user-friendly interface, so it doesn’t require much additional learning
- It is highly adaptable, so you can customize it according to your brand needs
- It saves plenty of time by automatizing manual tasks
- It offers customer support for users
- Pricing of the Recruitee can be a drawback for organizations with a limited budget
- Configuration of the software might require additional time and effort
- It’s not entirely mobile-friendly, so it doesn’t have the same features on the phone as the PC version
- Basic use is easy, but more advanced features require a bit of additional learning
48. Test Candidates
Test Candidates is a software for candidate management and job evaluation. It offers you a wide range of features, mainly focused on candidate screening and test creation. With this platform, you can more easily manage and organize candidate data, reducing the time and effort required to find the right talent for your business.
- Online testing
- Progress tracking
- Automated scoring and results
- Test customization
- Test Candidates can save you a lot of time by streamlining the recruitment process, making it faster and easier to find talent.
- It allows you to organize and manage candidate data easily.
- Its tools and features make the screening process smoother and more accurate, eliminating potential errors.
- It allows you to make customized tests for your company’s personalized needs and requirements.
- Once again, the pricing may be a problem for up-and-coming businesses
- Test Candidates has so many features that it can be overwhelming for some users
- It has a learning curve, making it difficult for some users to get started
Datapeople is a recruitment and HR software specializing in data-driven hiring solutions. It provides you with a solid variety of features such as candidate screening, data sourcing, and market research, all in the wish to help you identify and hire top talent. It has pretty advanced algorithms and learning capabilities that can help you understand applicant behavior. Still, it has a few limitations you need to consider before employing it for recruitment practices.
- Candidate screening
- Applicant tracking
- Market research
- Advanced data analysis
- Datapeople has significantly developed data analysis capabilities that can provide you with valuable insights for candidate hiring.
- It has a customizable dashboard.
- It is straightforward to use and intuitive.
- It provides you with detailed reports.
- Datapeople is on the pricier side compared to its competitors
- You can easily cause data overload by accident
Yet another talent discovery and recruitment software, Pinpoint, is designed to aid organizations in finding and hiring new employees easily. It has an arsenal of features for attracting and hiring the best talents more efficiently. It’s an easy-to-use software that is scalable and offers collaboration. Potential drawbacks are its price and the occasional need for additional learning for some features. But if you have a solid budget and time for learning specific skills, I recommend Pinpoint.
- Candidate scouting
- Applicant tracking
- AI-powered recruitment insight
- Collaborative hiring
- Pinpoint is also very user-friendly with an intuitive interface, so it can be easily used by many
- It encourages collaboration among hiring teams, which accelerates communication
- AI-powered features can help in finding the right candidate
- It focuses on boosting candidate experience, which is a valuable factor for an organization’s image
- Yet again, pricing can be a big problem for businesses that are still expanding
- Also, like with some of the previous applications, basic use is easy, but advanced features require additional learning
- Not only that, but some features may be available only in highest priced plans
Rippling is a modern and comprehensive human resources and IT management platform designed to simplify various aspects of employee onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, and IT. It offers you a cooperative solution to simplify administrative tasks for your businesses. If you are looking for an all-inclusive human resources and IT management platform that improves task automatization and improves employee experience, then you should consider using Rippling.
- Onboarding Automation
- Payroll and benefits management
- IT management
- Employee information management and self-service
- Ripping is a universal tool combining HR services, payroll, and IT management, which cuts the need for multiple applications.
- It automates repetitive tasks, saving you a lot of time and effort.
- It is suitable for businesses of all sizes, ranging from startups to big corporations.
- Ripping helps with IT and HR compliance, minimizing the chance of issues.
- Rippling is a bit costly compared to the individual IT or HR management tools
- It lacks customization options to adapt the platform to your specific needs
Jobsoid is a cloud-based applicant tracking and recruitment system. You can use it to strengthen your hiring process and ensure you’re hiring the right candidat for your small business.Jobsoid’s wide range of features can also help you save time by automating repetitive tasks such as interview scheduling.
Moreover, this platform is mobile-friendly. I mainly use Jobsoid when I’m not working from my main office and need to handle recruiting on-the-go.
- Applicant tracking
- Candidate sourcing
- Automated workflow
- Reporting and analytics insight
- Jobsoid automates regular hiring tasks like interview scheduling, making the whole process easier and less time-consuming
- It can be customized and adapted to match your specific needs and workflow
- Its pricing is affordable and offers many plans, making it suitable even for the smallest up-and-coming businesses
- It is mobile-friendly, so you can access it and do on-the-go recruiting!
- The candidate database may be less defined compared to the competitors
- Customer support can be inconsistent sometimes
- Some more complex features are available only in the most expensive plan
As businesses grow, the challenges of onboarding, employee performance evaluations, and the pile of other responsibilities can become daunting. This is where Bamboo HR shines, offering a streamlined solution to HR’s multifaceted domain.
Bamboo HR is an all-in-one HR software designed to simplify various HR activities. From the initial stages of recruiting and applicant tracking to comprehensive performance management, it offers a suite of tools tailored to make HR processes more efficient. This software helped me minimize manual work when onboarding and evaluating talents. BambooHR is user-friendly. It shouldn’t take you long before you can start using it to its fullest potential.
- Applicant tracking
- Employee time-off management
- Employee performance management
- Reports and adalyticminights
- BambooHR fosters employee engagement by providing self-service tools
- It has very strong data security, so you do not have to worry about your HR data leaking
- It is incredibly user-friendly and has an easy-to-use interface, so both you and your employees can use it
- Also, this platform is optimized for mobile devices, so you can access your HR information on the go.
- The cost of BambooHR can be a limiting factor for smaller businesses
- Some advanced features might require additional purchases or add-ons
- If you are looking for detailed reports, you may find it a bit limited
- Payroll capabilities are limited, so you may need additional software.
Best Website Analytics Tools For Small Businesses
Running a business isn’t just about launching campaigns or creating content. You must also understand the impact of those efforts, refine them, and steer your business toward tangible results. However, it can be challenging to gain desired insights without proper website analytics tools for small businesses.
Relying on gut feeling will only get you so far. To improve your digital results, you must also analyze numbers. I know complex reports filled with different metrics can be scary. However, working as a Google Analytics consultant, I’ve seen how web analytics alone helped small businesses start making smarter decisions and establish deeper connections with their target audiences.
While Google Analytics might be the first name that pops into mind when thinking about web analytics – there are several other tools that offer unique insights that can be crucial for small businesses. I like combining insights from GA4 and Google Search Console with tools that help me visualize user behavior on my website through heatmaps. But my agency also invests a lot in SEO tools that provide a broader overview of your online visibility, including details on your competitors, backlink strategies, and keyword rankings.
Here are eight analytics tools small businesses can use to gain a holistic overview of their current position within the digital sphere:
54. Google Analytics
For businesses aiming to fortify their online footprint, integrating Google Analytics into their strategy is non-negotiable. This free Google tool shows you where your visitors are coming from and how they interact with your website. Recent advancements have given rise to Google Analytics 4, a rendition far more potent than its predecessor, Universal Analytics. Delving into the myriad of Google Analytics 4 benefits is a worthwhile venture for any business.
I’ve been relying on Google Analytics for years, and it’s the only platform where you can count on maximum accuracy. We’ve been working with various clients, and Google Analytics has always been a cornerstone of our web analytics efforts. GA4 does have a steeper learning curve, but once you set it up properly, it will provide you with valuable insights in real-time.
- Data Aggregation: Collects data from various sources and presents it in an understandable format.
- Website Analytics: Offers insights into website traffic, page views, bounce rate, and more.
- Customer Journey Mapping: Visualizes users’ path through your site, highlighting touchpoints that lead to conversions.
- Time-on-site Tracking: Measures the duration of user visits, indicating their engagement level.
- Audience Segmentation: Breaks down your audience by demographics, interests, behavior, and more.
- Traffic Source Analysis: Identifies the sources bringing traffic to your website, be it organic, paid, direct, or referral.
- Goal Setting and Conversion Tracking: Allows for the tracking of specific actions on your site, such as form submissions or purchases.
- E-commerce Tracking: Provides insights into sales, product performance, and user buying behavior.
- Site Content Analysis: Identifies top-performing pages and potential areas for improvement.
- Google Analytics can be seamlessly integrated into most platforms.
- Provides a variety of customizable reports to suit various business needs.
- Works equally well for small businesses and enterprises.
- If you’re new to web analytics, you might find UI complex, especially if you don’t set it up properly.
- Has a steeper learning curve than most web analytics tools.
55. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a platform that I’ve been consistently using to keep a finger on the pulse of website rankings for various search queries. It’s also my go-to place for fixing indexing issues and evaluating traffic volume. You can also use GSC as a keyword ranking tool.
Besides Google Analytics, this is a must-have tool for small businesses and a cornerstone for your web analytics success.
- Performance Reports: Provides detailed metrics about how your website content performs in search results.
- URL Inspection: Allows you to check specific URLs to see the status of Google’s crawl, index, and rendering.
- Index Coverage: Highlights issues that might prevent Google from crawling and indexing your pages.
- Mobile Usability: Ensures your pages are mobile-friendly and pinpoints any issues that might affect the user experience on mobile.
- Link Reports: Offers insights into the sites linking to you and the internal link structure of your website.
- Core Web Vitals: Measures user experience with metrics related to loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability.
- Security and Manual Actions: Alerts you about any security issues or penalties on your website.
- AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Status: If you have AMP pages, GSC will provide feedback on their performance and usability.
- Data accuracy
- Receive valuable alerts
- Makes it easy to discover your top-performing pages
- Search results data is refreshed every 24-48 hours
For businesses seeking actionable insights into user behavior on their websites, Hotjar offers a robust solution. This platform seamlessly merges analytics and feedback tools, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of user interactions and sentiments. With Hotjar, you gain visibility into the ‘what’ of user behavior and the ‘why,’ capturing both quantitative and qualitative data.
In my experience, Hotjar has been instrumental in identifying and rectifying areas of friction on our website. Using features like heatmaps and session recordings, we’ve pinpointed specific elements or sections causing confusion or hindrance to our visitors. On the other hand, the feedback tools have empowered us to gather direct user opinions, helping us fine-tune our content and design to meet our audience’s needs better. I see Hotjar as one of the best UX research platforms I have used so far.
- Heatmaps: Visualize where users click, move, and scroll, offering insights into their engagement patterns.
- Session Recordings: Replay user sessions to observe real-time interactions and navigation pathways.
- Conversion Funnels: Determine where users drop off in the conversion process, highlighting potential areas of improvement.
- Form Analysis: Analyze form interactions to identify problematic fields or stages causing user hesitation or drop-offs.
- Feedback Polls: Procure direct user feedback on specific pages or sections for targeted improvements.
- Surveys: Engage users in more detailed feedback sessions to inform broader strategy adjustments.
- Incoming Feedback: Facilitate real-time feedback from users on any aspect of your website.
- The intuitive interface makes it easy for beginners to navigate and derive insights.
- For the range of features offered, Hotjar provides good value, making it especially appealing for small businesses.
- For sites with high traffic, Hotjar sometimes samples data, so it might not always provide a complete picture.
- The number of recorded sessions might be limited based on your plan.
Crazy Egg is an analytics and optimization tool that provides website owners with visual insights into user behavior. This software helps you understand the “hows” and “whys” of visitor interactions. Through its visual heatmaps, you can see where users click, move, and spend their time. This allows you to make informed decisions about website design and content placements. Their A/B testing feature has also made it simpler for me to experiment with different content strategies, such as varying article headlines to see which ones resonate more with the audience.
However, it’s essential to understand that while Crazy Egg provides valuable insights, it is still up to you to interpret this data and make actionable decisions. So don’t expect this software to magically improve your conversion rates unless you know at least the basics of UX design.
- A/B Testing
- Traffic Analysis
- Errors Tracking
- Goals & CTAs
- Direct visual feedback via heatmaps to guide your content and design decisions.
- A hands-on approach to content testing.
- Real visitor interactions are captured through recordings, offering you an unfiltered view.
- Generous 30-day trial to help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
- While it provides data, the onus is on you to draw actionable insights.
- There might be a slight learning curve to fully leverage all its features.
Semrush is a notable name among digital marketing small business tools, and that’s for a good reason. At my agency, we routinely leverage SEMrush for its robust SEO capabilities, and it’s become a staple in our toolkit. One of its strengths lies in its ability to comprehensively dissect a website’s SEO performance, from keyword positioning to backlink profiling. This granular level of detail helps us craft targeted strategies for our clients.
However, beyond its celebrated SEO functions, SEMrush also offers insights into user behavior on websites, which is vital for tweaking user experience and conversion optimization. While it won’t replace specialized UX tools, this added functionality does provide valuable supplementary data.
Although Semrush might seem a bit pricey, you must consider that this software brings a wide range of tools under one roof, actually saving you money.
- Domain Overview
- Traffic Analytics
- Organic Research
- Keyword Research
- Backlink Analytics
- Link Building Tool
- Site Audit
- On-page SEO Checker
- It is a comprehensive tool that covers many facets of SEO, making it indispensable for agencies and professionals.
- Accurate keyword data
- Provides insights into user behavior on websites, aiding in UX and conversion strategy tweaks.
- Useful for competitive analysis, offering insights into competitor strategies.
- While Traffic Analytics is a handy feature, it’s best to view it as supplementary data and cross-reference with dedicated analytics platforms for accuracy. You should still use Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
- The breadth of features might have a slight learning curve for new users.
When focusing on link-building for my agency, Ahrefs consistently emerges as an invaluable asset. Its unmatched data regarding backlinks and intuitive features make it a powerhouse for scouting and evaluating link opportunities. While many in the industry often weigh Ahrefs against SEMrush, I believe in harnessing the unique strengths of both. I use Semrush for keyword research and Ahrefs for link building. One of the standout features for me has been Ahrefs Alerts. This tool notifies us whenever a competitor gains a new backlink, allowing us to stay ahead and strategize accordingly.
- Site Explorer tool
- Link building tools
- Backlink Checker
- Keywords Explorer
- Site Audit
- Rank Tracker
- Content Explorer
- Few tools match Ahrefs’ depth in backlink insights.
- User-Friendly Interface
- You can expect fresh and relevant data due to regular updates.
- Multi-Functional platform
- Ahrefs Alerts makes it easy to keep track of competitors’ backlink strategies.
- Some find Ahrefs on the pricier side compared to other SEO tools.
- For beginners, Ahrefs can be slightly overwhelming.
- Team collaborations could be more streamlined with better multi-user functionalities.
- Like any tool, there can sometimes be variances between estimated and actual traffic.
If you’re looking for a simple way to get Google Analytics data within WordPress, the MonsterInsights plugin might be the right tool. The depth and breadth of Google Analytics can be overwhelming, making it challenging to extract meaningful insights amidst a sea of data.
Over the years, I’ve recommended MonsterInsights to many clients who needed a simple way to stay on track with web analytics. By serving up the most pertinent metrics in an intuitive dashboard format within WordPress, MonsterInsights makes it much easier to gauge the performance of your content, monitor e-commerce activities, and even keep tabs on the efficacy of your ad campaigns.
- Enhanced eCommerce Tracking
- Ads Tracking
- File Download Tracking
- Custom Dimensions Tracking
- Performance Tracking
- Outbound Link Tracking
- Google AMP Tracking
- Real-Time Stats
- Transforms the intricate Google Analytics platform into a digestible interface within WordPress.
- MonsterInsights filters out the noise, presenting you with metrics that matter most to your specific website type, whether a blog, e-commerce store, or portfolio.
- The setup process is straightforward, even for non-techies.
- It’s specialized for WordPress, meaning other CMS users can’t take advantage of it.
- While there’s a free version, the most powerful features come with the premium versions, which may not fit into everyone’s budget.
- For those accustomed to Google Analytics’ full suite, MonsterInsights might feel too simple.
For small businesses looking to gain a comprehensive understanding of their website’s performance in the context of the broader market, SimilarWeb emerges as a great tool. In my endeavors, especially when scoping out the competitive landscape, SimilarWeb has been very helpful.
Understanding your position in the market, grasping customer behavior, and identifying potential sales and investment avenues can be crucial. SimilarWeb also opens up a window into your competitors’ data. This competitive intelligence is invaluable when strategizing and making informed decisions.
- Nine Data Metrics
- Mobile App Analysis
- Data Visualization
- Data Export
- Custom Alerts
- Market research
- Consumer journey
- Sales Intelligence
- Company research
- Provides a comprehensive snapshot of your website’s performance alongside competitors.
- Despite the depth of data, the platform is intuitive and easy to navigate.
- Offers some free tools small businesses can use for insights into trending websites and apps, even without a subscription.
- While the free tools are useful, the more detailed and granular data requires a premium subscription.
- Like all analytics platforms, data accuracy can vary, especially for smaller websites.
Best Website Builders For Small Business + Valuable Design Tools
While numerous website builders are available, I’ve always championed the approach of custom-coded websites combined with open-source platforms.
To be more precise, I’ve found that utilizing the WordPress Sage framework and investing time in custom coding offers a potent blend of flexibility, scalability, and performance to my agency.
You must find a platform that will offer enough flexibility for crafting a website that resonates with your target audience. Website templates might seem tempting, but problems with such solutions are usually hidden under the shiny surface.
Beyond website builders, a suite of design tools can enable even those with limited design experience to create visually appealing and effective websites. These tools can help streamline the design process, offer templates and inspirations, or even provide functionalities like color palette generators, font pairings, and more. Incorporating them into your web design process can bridge the gap between limited resources and high-quality outcomes.
Now, I’ve prepared a list for you. We’ll start with website-building platforms, move on to landing page builders, and then explore some design tools I found particularly valuable to small businesses.
WordPress is the most popular website builder and CMS, powering over 800 million websites. It’s a go-to choice for my Chicago web design agency. Why? Because it’s an open-source platform that provides you with unparalleled design freedom. WordPress doesn’t ask for any compromises – if you can envision a specific functionality or feature for your site, you can achieve it.
While beginners can utilize its vast array of templates for quick website setups, I recommend diving deep into custom coding. A meticulously crafted, custom-coded website not only elevates your brand identity but also positions you a cut above competitors who opt for templated solutions. Plus, the benefits don’t stop at aesthetics and functionality. A well-optimized, custom-built website is a magnet for search engine attention, making your climb up the SERPs significantly smoother.
It’s also worth mentioning that WordPress’s roots lie in blogging. This origin is evident in the platform’s blogging tools, which, to this day, are unmatched in their comprehensiveness and user-centricity.
- WordPress is an open-source platform. This ensures a continuous influx of updates, improvements, and community-contributed add-ons. With the right coding knowledge, the sky’s the limit regarding website customization.
- As a platform that originated as a blogging tool, WordPress offers superior blogging functionalities.
- In-built blogging tools
- It has a rich plugin library and a supportive community.
- Delivers equally great websites for all industries
- A good grasp of coding is essential to harness the platform’s potential. While basic setups are user-friendly, advanced customizations can be daunting for novices.
In the vast universe of blogging platforms, while WordPress remains a stalwart choice, Ghost has rapidly carved a niche for itself, emerging as a formidable contender. Ghost’s ascent is attributed to its core philosophy of providing bloggers with an uncluttered, efficient, and dedicated environment.
If you’re searching for a platform tailored primarily for blogging, Ghost is a top recommendation from my end. What sets Ghost apart is its commitment to speed and performance. Being open-source, Ghost offers the double advantage of being free to use and backed by a community consistently refining the platform.
- It’s an open-source platform.
- Unlike WordPress, which caters to a broader array of website needs, Ghost’s primary focus is blogging. If this is what you need for your small business, you’ll enjoy Ghost.
- Ghost simplifies the publishing process, stripping away unnecessary complexities.
- Compared to some counterparts like WordPress, Ghost boasts superior stability and security protocols.
- With a modern and aesthetically pleasing interface, Ghost ensures that both the backend and frontend of your blog are enjoyable to interact with.
- Ghost Foundation offers a paid platform, ideal for those who prefer a more managed blogging environment rather than self-hosting.
- While Ghost is an excellent choice for blogging, it might not cater to a broader spectrum of website needs like WordPress does.
- As your community or blog audience grows, the costs associated with Ghost Pro can climb, potentially making it a pricey proposition for hobby bloggers and small businesses.
For small businesses with ambitious marketing goals, one of the critical challenges often lies in efficiently creating effective landing pages. Designing landing pages that convert can be an uphill task, especially when there’s a lack of in-house design or coding expertise. When clients approach me with such pain points, I often recommend Unbounce.
What sets Unbounce apart is its seamless blend of a classic drag-and-drop builder with cutting-edge AI capabilities. I also love this platform’s A/B testing features and AI traffic optimization capabilities that allow you to send visitors to a landing page version that best suits their preferences. You can learn more about this in my Unbounce review.
- Drag-and-Drop Builder
- AI-Powered Builder
- A/B Testing
- AI Traffic Optimization
- Landing Page Templates
- Popups and Sticky Bars
- AI Copywriting Assistant
- Wide Range of Integrations
- Unbounce makes it easier to create highly personalized landing pages and improve conversion rates
- Drag-and-drop builder is intuitive, and even beginners can use it
- Uses advanced technology to improve page speed
- The limited number of templates
- As your business and traffic grow, you might find yourself needing to upgrade to more premium pricing tiers.
If you opt for a no-code website building solution instead of building a website from scratch on WordPress, you still need to make a careful choice. Not all DIY platforms offer equal quality and level of customization.
While Webflow is not the best choice for blog-only websites, eCommerce stores, or enterprise-level websites – this platform offers some features that make it one of the best website builders for small businesses. If you seek more control over your design and value SEO performance, I recommend using Webflow instead of Wix, Elementor, and similar website builders. Explaining why here would take a lot of space, so if you’re interested in learning who I think this platform suits best, feel free to read my Webflow review.
- You can build a website without coding knowledge
- Webflow allows you to edit code, too
- It’s better in terms of SEO compared to most DIY website builders
- Templates are mobile-friendly and look beautiful
- Webflow websites still can’t compete with professional WordPress sites.
- Comes with specific limitations for blogging
- Lacks some e-commerce features that platforms like Shopify offer
- Steeper learning curve than with drag-and-drop builders
- Confusing pricing
Instapage is another landing page builder I recommend to small business owners and marketers who lack coding knowledge but still need effective landing pages to strengthen their sales funnel. This subscription-based software is especially effective if you plan on publishing multiple landing pages because it offers some unique features that make editing those pages all at once easier. Instapage also does a solid job when it comes to personalizing your landing pages to each visitor, building custom widgets, and ensuring your pages load fast. To learn more, you can read my detailed Instapage review.
- Global Blocks
- A/B testing
- AMP landing pages
- Dynamic text replacement
- Form Builder
- Thor Render Engine
- With Instablocks and Global Blocks, you can update hundreds of pages once your branding guidelines change or you need to update some vital information.
- Instapage allows you to build custom widgets.
- You can achieve faster loading times with Thor Render Engine – a unique technology developed by Instapage.
- Personalization features can improve your conversion rates.
- Offers a 14-day free trial
- It’s more expensive than most other landing page builders.
- Instapage is one of the best small business tools, but it lacks some advanced features larger businesses would find useful.
Your website’s accessibility is paramount, not just from a user experience perspective but also from a legal standpoint. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III mandates that every business website should be accessible to people with disabilities. Failing to meet these criteria could place your business in potential legal hot waters.
AcessiBe is an AI-powered web accessibility tool specifically designed to make websites user-friendly for individuals with disabilities while ensuring they meet standards like WCAG and ADA.
- Font and Color Handling: You can offer your visitors the flexibility to modify fonts and choose color contrasts that are comfortable for them.
- Animations: Ensure that every visitor, even those prone to epilepsy, can safely browse your site by allowing them to halt animations.
- On-demand Dictionary: Especially beneficial if you have diverse content; this feature aids users in understanding specific phrases or slang instantly.
- Customizability: Let the interface mirror your brand’s identity, ensuring a cohesive look and feel.
- Audio Muting: Designed for users with hearing devices, this feature allows instant muting of the entire website to prevent auditory discomfort.
- With plans starting at $49/month for websites under 1,000 pages, accessiBe presents an economical solution. Hiring a developer would cost you much more.
- AI-Powered Adjustments
- accessiBe aligns with WCAG 2.1 AA requirements, covering an extensive range of disabilities.
- It was developed in collaboration with people with disabilities, ensuring genuine utility.
- Provides an accessibility statement & certification with a date stamp to validate compliance.
- In the rare event of compliance challenges, accessiBe offers a Litigation Support Package at no extra charge.
- Each domain requires its distinct license.
- Post-installation, it can take up to 48 hours for the AI to render the website fully accessible and compliant.
For small businesses aiming to establish a memorable visual presence, Canva is a game-changer. As one of the industry-leading graphic design platforms, Canva caters to beginners and seasoned designers, making the design process straightforward and efficient.
In my experience, Canva’s strength lies in its versatility. This software allows you to create an array of assets quickly and efficiently – from unique graphics for your social media posts to professional presentations for your next meeting with a client. I also wrote a guide on using Canva for website design, but as you’ll see, I only recommend that for simple portfolio websites, not your primary business site. While Canva is not an advanced graphic design tool and doesn’t replace Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or Figma in any way, it doesn’t even intend to compete with such tools. This platform created a niche for itself.
- Variety of design templates and assets
- The Brand Kit
- Magic Write
- Collaboration features
- Canva is designed for users of all skill levels, offering an intuitive experience.
- An impressive range of design templates catering to diverse needs.
- A functional app that lets you design on the go.
- AI Capabilities
- While Canva offers a range of export options, professionals might find the absence of specific formats limiting.
- Given its web-based nature, offline access isn’t available, which can be restrictive in some scenarios.
- Limited Integrations
69. Looka Logo Maker
When launching a new business or rebranding an existing one, a professional logo becomes indispensable. However, not every business can afford to hire a dedicated designer, especially in the early stages. If you’re facing similar small business concerns, I recommend experimenting with Looka Logo Maker to see if this AI graphic design tool can help you get the desired results.
Looka uses advanced technology to automatically craft unique logo designs based on your preferences, allowing you to explore a plethora of options swiftly. While it’s automated, the results often resemble something you’d receive from a professional designer. I’ve found it especially helpful for small businesses aiming for a quick branding solution or even those who wish to experiment with design concepts before committing to a professional service. Although I was initially skeptical about this tool, I was quite impressed by the clean designs you can get from it.
- High-Resolution Logos:
- Vector Files
- Color Variations.
- Business Cards
- Social Media Templates
- Brand Guidelines
- Post-Purchase Edits
- Looka produces refined logos tailored to your input, giving the feeling of a personal touch.
- The platform is intuitive, making the logo design process smooth even if you don’t have any experience.
- With business card templates and social media designs, Looka is more than just a logo maker.
- If you’re looking for in-depth customization, Looka’s automatic approach might feel somewhat restricting.
- While the service offers premium quality, the cost might be a tad high for some small businesses.
Uizard is an AI-powered design platform tailored for those who might not have a traditional design background. It offers a seamless way to create interactive prototypes for web and mobile apps, sidestepping the intricacies of conventional design software. Think of it as a bridge between the simplicity of presentation tools and the nuance of app design.
With its drag-and-drop functionality, you can visualize, modify, and present ideas, facilitating a streamlined feedback loop with stakeholders or potential users. Whether you’re an entrepreneur sketching out an app concept or a company aiming to enhance your design workflow, I believe Uizard is worth checking out.
- Digital Product Wireframing
- Prototyping and Ideation
- Personalized Templates
- AI Design Assistant
- Screenshot Scanner
- The platform’s drag-and-drop functionality offers a seamless user experience.
- Sharing projects for feedback is straightforward, promoting efficient collaboration.
- Uizard’s AI capabilities can make the design process more enjoyable.
- I had some challenges regarding mid-sentence text alterations.
- While user-friendly, first-time users may require a brief period to acquaint themselves with all features.
Best Outreach Software For Small Businesses
Outreach is more than just sending emails. It’s about building relationships, understanding client needs, following up at the right moments, and tracking all these interactions. Manually managing all these tasks, especially as your business grows, can be overwhelming, not to mention error-prone.
The right outreach software can help your small sales team of 5 operate with the outreach capabilities of a team of 50. I remember the days when my team and I would spend countless hours manually crafting individual emails, attempting to track conversations in endless spreadsheets, and inevitably missing crucial follow-ups. Incorporating outreach software into our operations didn’t just save us time; it completely revolutionized the way we approached potential clients and partners.
I’ve had my share of trial and error exploring different outreach software solutions. Some platforms promised the moon but fell short in delivery, while others were spot-on with their offerings. Drawing from these experiences, I’ve created a list of the best outreach software for small businesses:
In my line of work, connecting with potential clients and nurturing those relationships is paramount. I’ve been using Snov.io to streamline my outreach process, from identifying potential leads to ensuring my emails reach their intended recipients. It’s a tool I find indispensable, especially when precision and efficiency are of the essence. For small businesses looking to grow their client base or expand their network, Snov.io offers a suite of tools that can make your outreach more targeted and effective.
- Email Finder: Discover targeted emails based on domains or company details.
- Email Verifier: Ensure the authenticity and deliverability of the email addresses you’ve acquired.
- Email Warmup: Increase your sending reputation and improve email deliverability.
- Email Tracker: Monitor when your emails are opened and interacted with.
- Technology Checker: Analyze the tech stack of potential leads or competitors.
- Snov.io centralizes multiple outreach tasks in one platform, saving time and resources.
- With features like the email verifier, you can minimize bounces and improve deliverability.
- The technology checker provides valuable insights into the tech infrastructure of potential leads, offering an edge in outreach strategy.
- If you haven’t used outreach small business tools before, you might find Snovio’s interface confusing.
Hunter.io stands out as a top-tier email finder tool. When I need to locate precise email addresses linked to specific domains or individuals, Hunter.io is my reliable go-to. For small businesses aiming to elevate their outreach – be it for sales, partnerships, or other ventures – this tool streamlines the process, offering a blend of accuracy and simplicity. Here you can learn more about its capabilities and how to use Hunter.io.
- Domain Search: Extract email addresses associated with specific companies or websites.
- Email Finder: Discover the email addresses of specific individuals within a company.
- Email Verifier: Validate the authenticity of an email address, ensuring your messages reach their intended recipients.
- Bulk Tasks: Conveniently search or verify a list of email addresses all at once.
- Google Sheets Add-on: Directly integrate your Hunter.io findings with Google Sheets, ideal for list management and organization.
- Mail Tracker: Track the status of your emails and receive notifications upon being read.
- Browser Extensions: Available for both Chrome and Firefox, delve into any website’s details and uncover associated email addresses.
- One of those small business tools that actually provides a free plan.
- Saves a lot of time by allowing you to find emails by domain research.
- It’s easy to use
- It has Chrome and Firefox extensions
- Some aspects of the interface, like non-clickable logos in the search field, can be misleading or cause slight confusion.
- Features can be restrictive without a paid subscription, and the number of searches is limited.
- While Hunter.io is generally accurate, it may occasionally miss out on some email addresses that are not publicly listed.
- The tool bases its findings on publicly available data, which means it might not always fetch private or newer email addresses.
- It is not the cheapest option when compared to all outreach small business tools.
Omni.us is my favorite tool for streamlining and automating B2B outreach campaigns. Designed for both novices and seasoned marketers, it seamlessly combines automation with personalization. Omni.us gives you access to a vast database of potential leads tailored to your target market. You no longer need to tediously hunt for up-to-date contact details. And over 20 search filters allow you to navigate through business profiles and hone in on prospects that align with your ideal client persona.
The real game-changer for me was the platform’s ability to craft conversion-focused email scripts. Using data from lead profiles, Omni.us personalizes each outreach email, embedding details such as the recipient’s first name and company. This ensures that your email doesn’t just end up as another unread message but resonates with the receiver.
And, crucially, the moment a lead responds, Omni.us temporarily halts campaign-specific automations. This thoughtful feature gives you the much-needed window to engage with potential clients directly.
To top it all, Omni.us makes it easy to monitor your campaigns using its analytics dashboard, providing insights into metrics like open rates, bounce rates, and reply rates.
- Comprehensive Lead Database
- Tailored Email Scripts
- Omni-Channel Campaigns
- Responsive Automation
- Analytics Dashboard:
- Its omni-channel approach ensures you cast a wide net, optimizing your chances to engage and convert.
- You get the perfect blend of automation and personalization, making your outreach feel genuine.
- Real-time notifications help you stay in the loop and prevent missing opportunities.
- Great customer support
- Its unique automation capabilities might seem confusing at first to beginners.
Smartreach is another email outreach software for small businesses you can use to seamlessly schedule, send personalized emails, and manage automated follow-ups directly from the user’s mailbox.
The platform’s multi-channel outreach feature has been invaluable for me, allowing engagement with prospects across multiple touchpoints. Additionally, the shared inbox functionality fosters increased collaboration, ensuring no lead is missed. Moreover, its ProspectDaddy extension allows users like you and me to effortlessly add prospects from LinkedIn searches. On top of that, the tool provides an option to sync prospect data from your CRM directly to your campaigns, simplifying workflow automations.
- Multi-Channel Outreach
- Shared Inbox
- Reports & Analytics
- CRM Integration
- Content AI
- Email Deliverability
- Task Manager
- Omni-channel outreach broadens the engagement spectrum.
- Built-in spam test ensures your emails avoid the spam folder.
- Analyzes optimal send times based on outreach data, enhancing engagement.
- Detailed analytics provide clarity on performance metrics.
- Fast and responsive customer support.
- A library of pre-made templates simplifies the email creation process.
- The absence of a built-in email finder can be a drawback for some.
- The platform doesn’t support manual email validation.
- While you can personalize text, image personalization is missing.
When it comes to sourcing high-quality prospects, RocketReach has proven to be a game-changer for my outreach strategies. This potent tool allows users like us to effortlessly retrieve emails, phone numbers, and social media profile links of potential leads. Furthermore, for businesses keen on B2B interactions, RocketReach offers an expansive database featuring comprehensive details on over 700 million professionals and 35 million companies. This vast reservoir of data is invaluable in designing targeted and personalized outreach campaigns.
One of the primary concerns with such tools is the accuracy of the data. In my experience, RocketReach scores high on this front, boasting an impressive 85% accuracy rate. If you’re curious about its potential and various use cases, do check out my detailed RocketReach review, where I delve into unique ways to harness this software for maximizing outreach success.
- Advanced Search: Tailor your search parameters to pinpoint the exact prospects.
- Lead List Generation Tool: Compile and manage lists of potential leads for structured outreach.
- RocketReach Browser Extension: An easy-to-use Chrome extension for on-the-go data retrieval.
- User-friendly interface ensuring a smooth experience.
- Encompassing database covering a vast number of professionals and companies.
- The Chrome extension facilitates instant data access without switching platforms.
- A high accuracy rate ensures the reliability of the sourced data.
- Limited search results are displayed per page. Expanding this would enhance the user experience.
Apollo.io is a sales intelligence platform that combines both a rich contact database and the capability to run detailed outbound campaigns. Having tested it, I can see its potential in helping businesses automate their outreach and engagement processes. It might not be a fit for everyone, but for those aligning with its capabilities, it could be a worthy addition to their suite of small business tools.
- Funnel Automation
- Advanced Analytics
- Data Health Center for cleaning and maintaining your contact data
- Lead Scoring
- Sales Intelligence
- AI Writing Assistant
- Deal Intelligence
- Broad B2B Database with over 270 million records
- Combines the functionalities of contact management and campaign execution, streamlining the process.
- Even when addressing large lists, Apollo.io facilitates personal touches, a key in modern outreach.
- LinkedIn Integration enhances the platform’s potential, offering an added layer of verification and outreach capability.
- Especially for newcomers, navigating all its features can take a moment to master.
- More in-depth tutorials or guidance could elevate the user experience.
For small businesses looking to streamline and amplify their outreach campaigns, Reply.io emerges as a significant player in the domain. Drawing from my own experience, it’s a holistic sales automation platform designed to bolster both inbound and outbound communications. By encompassing diverse channels such as cold emails, SMS, cold calls, and even platforms like WhatsApp, it ensures you can connect with prospects in a manner most resonant with their communication preferences.
Reply.io allows you to easily set up and automate campaigns and provides you with valuable insights on your potential customers. If you want to reach ideal customers across various platforms, this software’s holistic approach ensures no stone is left unturned.
- Seamless Integration
- Email Tracking
- Multi-Channel Approach
- Personalization and AI Tools
- Email Validation
- Even with its myriad features, the platform remains approachable and intuitive.
- Robust Database
- Chrome Extension
- While no platform can claim absolute perfection, the accuracy of data on Reply.io is commendably high.
- Users with multiple accounts might find navigation a bit challenging.
- New users might need to invest some time before they can navigate the platform with ease.
- Occasional Technical Glitches
Mailshake is an automated email outreach tool tailored for small businesses looking to expand their email campaigns efficiently. Having used a plethora of small business tools, I genuinely found Mailshake to stand out in its niche. It addresses the critical need to craft personal connections at scale without the overhead of complex operations.
- Mailshake notably reduces the time spent on outreach and follow-up processes.
- With its mail-merging and customizable templates, it ensures each email resonates on a personal level with the recipient.
- In-built features work diligently to ensure your communications aren’t lost to spam filters.
- Given its rich functionality, Mailshake provides considerable value, especially for small businesses.
- Your outcomes will be significantly influenced by the quality of your email list.
- The platform, while user-centric, might present a slight learning curve to absolute beginners.
- Making changes to an active campaign is challenging, and you might need to start over.
Woodpecker is a B2B-focused email outreach tool designed to help companies seamlessly engage with potential clients and business partners. It stands out by enabling users to create personalized email sequences, ensuring that messages land in the recipient’s primary inbox, rather than being lost in spam. After reviewing the tool, I believe Woodpecker can be particularly beneficial for small businesses wanting to make their cold email campaigns more effective and maintaining ongoing conversations with potential leads.
- Email List Verification
- A/B Testing
- Condition-based Campaigns & Manual Tasks
- Warm-up & Recovery
- Deliverability Monitor
- Bounce Shield
- Noteworthy customer support ensures users get the help they need, when they need it.
- With its email validation and cleaning features, managing and maintaining high-quality email lists becomes straightforward.
- The platform automates follow-up emails, ensuring no potential lead falls through the cracks.
- Given its features, Woodpecker offers competitive pricing, making it a good investment for businesses.
- The analytics provided, though helpful, could be more in-depth and accurate.
Mixmax is a sales engagement platform tailored for Gmail users, aiming to optimize sales processes and boost productivity. The platform stands out by automating repetitive tasks, saving you time with sales efforts.
While it does come with its set of limitations, Mixmax’s automation and productivity-enhancing features could potentially overshadow its drawbacks, especially for teams looking to expedite their outreach efforts. As with other small business tools, evaluating how Mixmax aligns with your ecosystem is crucial before making a commitment. I didn’t stick to this software simply because my agency is not relying on Gmail for our email marketing efforts.
- Sequences + Engagement
- Rules + Workflow
- Reporting + Insights
- Calendar + Scheduling
- Mixmax AI
- Email Productivity
- An intuitive user interface ensures a smooth experience, even for those new to the tool.
- Even the lower-tier plans offer a plethora of useful features, ensuring value for money.
- Automated scheduling works smoothly.
- Allows you to efficiently reach out to multiple clients with similar messages, streamlining mass communication.
- While notifications can be received on mobile, you can’t use all of Mixmax’s features via smartphone.
- Some users have mentioned challenges in adding members and a desire for more integration options.
Best Accounting Software For Small Business (+ Tax Filling, Payment Processing, and eSignature Tools)
Keeping track of your finances is especially important when your business is still small. You don’t have room for mistakes enterprises can make without any harm. Overlooking a tax detail, mismanaging expenses, or even a minor oversight in payroll can lead to larger issues down the line.
Fulfilling your tax responsibilities isn’t just about staying in the good graces of the tax advisors or the small business administration. It’s about ensuring that your business operates smoothly, ethically, and profitably.
A reliable accounting solution can be your vigilant guardian, keeping track of every dollar and cent, ensuring that salaries are disbursed on time, and even helping you discern patterns in your expenses. By understanding these patterns, you can make more informed decisions when allocating resources and planning your budget.
Moreover, collecting payments and managing invoices become a breeze with the right tool in place. Remember, consistent cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. You want to ensure that you’re billing correctly and on time, and also that you’re being paid promptly.
Here’s the most important tip – you must ensure your accounting software tools integrate smoothly with your CRM. I recently made the switch to a Stripe + HubSpot combination. This streamlined my invoicing and payment processes and helped me unlock a level of oversight and automation that made my business operations much easier and error-prone.
Here’s my list of the ten best accounting software for small business. This list contains tools for running your books, payment processing, and also software for document signing.
81. Intuit QuickBooks
Intuit QuickBooks is a popular accounting software small businesses can use to manage their financial operations more efficiently. It offers a wide range of tools and features to help users handle accounting tasks, invoicing, expense tracking, and more. It is a versatile and user-friendly booking system for small businesses and startups.
- Expense tracking
- Financial reporting
- Payroll management
- It offers a wide range of tools for accounting and financial management, all in one platform
- Intuit QuickBooks automates many financial tasks, reducing manual data entry and potential errors that come with it
- It is a cloud-based software, meaning you can access it from anywhere with access to the internet
- It is simple to use and highly accessible
- It is relatively expensive software, depending on the subscription plan you choose
- Intuit QuickBooks has limited international support, meaning that some features may be made specifically for U.S.-based businesses.
- Exporting data from Intuit QuickBooks can represent an issue sometimes, as it limits data portability
FreshBooks is a cloud-based estimation and invoicing software created to simplify financial management for small businesses, freelancers, and self-employed professionals. It offers a variety of tools to help users manage their finances, invoicing, expenses, and more. It’s overall universal accounting software ideal for smaller-scale businesses, but the pricing can represent a problem.
- Time tracking
- Financial reporting
- Expense tracking
- FreshBooks automates some financial tasks and saves you time by reducing manual data entry
- Your clients can make payments and access their invoices through a personal client portal
- It’s possible to integrate some third-party applications to improve it’s functionality
- It has an overall easy-to-use interface, so even users with little accounting knowledge can use it
- Yet another solid software with expensive pricing plans, FreshBooks may be too pricy for some users
- Also, it’s primarily based for North American businesses, so some features may not work for international organizations
- It’s not the best accounting software for organizations that require advanced inventory management
- Customization options for reports and invoices can sometimes be challenging
83. Zoho Books
Zoho Books is an online accounting software intended mainly for freelancers and smaller-scale businesses to boost their financial management practices. It offers you a range of tools for finance management, invoicing, expense control… It’s best in task automation and inventory management and is relatively easy to use, so if your organization needs these values, you should consider employing Zoho Books.
- Bank reconciliation
- Expense tracking
- Financial reporting
- It eliminates the need for manual financial task management by automating it and eliminates potential human errors in the process
- Zoho Books is ideal for organizations with basic inventory needs
- It is mobile-friendly and flexible, giving you the opportunity to manage your finances through the mobile app
- It provides users with 24/7 customer support if they run into any roadblocks
- If your business has more complex accounting or inventory management requirements, you may find some features lacking
- It has some features that might require more time for learning and mastering them
Wave is another cloud-based accounting and financial software specializing in managing organization finances. It offers a free version like many other software, but it provides many more options and features compared to competitors’ free versions, making it budget-friendly and ideal for businesses with limited budgets. Wave can handle various aspects of accounting and financial management, so it’s a no-brainer to at least consider employing it in your company’s financial management practices, especially if you manage an up-and-coming organization.
- Expense tracking
- Receipt scanning
- Bank recocniclitiation
- Wave offers a free version with all the essential features and tools, making it cost-effective and ideal for small businesses
- If you live in a region where it’s available, Wave offers a basic payroll service
- It provides you with the recipient scanning feature to simplify expanse tracking
- It also automates several aspects of financial tasks
- While it offers some extent of payroll services, they are very limited compared to payroll-dedicated software
- Wave is primarily free-to-use software, so it doesn’t offer the same advanced features as other accounting applications, so it isn’t the best choice for bigger organizations with more complex needs
- It has limited data portability, so you could face issues with data exporting
Xero is the popular invoicing software for small businesses, focused on companies with less complex finance management needs. This platform has a solid range of tools for accounting and invoice management, but it requires some extent of time for learning. You might also find Xero pricy for software of its range, but it really depends on whether you’ll be using all of its features or not.
- Inventory management
- Financial reporting
- Expense tracking
- A great thing about Xero is that it is a very comprehensive software that includes a wide range of tools and features
- It’s known for a great level of automation, with many financial tasks covered
- It offers integration for many third-party services and apps for improved functionality
- Also, the great benefit of Xero is the advanced reporting and robust analytics for financial insights
- Pricing is one of the main concerns and factors for deciding for many companies, as many software keep high prices, and Xero is, unfortunately, no exception
- Like few other software listed above, Xero has limited accessibility for international organizations
- It requires practice for some features, as it is not as user-friendly as some other competitors
Stripe is a popular payment processing platform for assisting electronic transactions for businesses of all sizes. I highly recommend it for online-only businesses and B2B companies. This platform is highly customizable, offers a wide range of integrations, and supports over 135 currencies. The pricing and fees can be higher, but the features usually make Stripe worth it.
I mainly use this platform because of its advanced reporting capabilities, which allow you to create customized reports for clients. But I also found great value in Stripe’s Instant Payouts feature which you can use to get the transaction done within 30 minutes.
- Payment processing
- Subscription management
- Developer-friendly approach
- International support
- Fraud prevention
- Instant Payouts option
- Reporting tools
- Stripe provides a developer-friendly platform that simplifies the integration process for businesses
- It supports many payment methods, which makes it easier for the customers
- A great benefit of Stripe is that it provides international support, as it is suitable for businesses with a global customer base
- Supports over 135 currencies
- It can follow the payment processing needs of businesses as they grow, providing scalability
- Doesn’t charge monthly fees.
- Stripe provides transparent pricing, but it still has big fee rates (2.7% to 2.9% + 5 to 30 cents domestic)
- It has more complex integration, so some businesses may require technical support
- It is great in payment processing, but it doesn’t provide the advanced features found in more comprehensive accounting software
If you’re running an online store, I highly recommend including PayPal because it’s the most user-friendly option for customers. As it allows one-click checkout, this tool can be a great addition to your checkout page design, helping you improve conversion rates. As most eCommerce platforms support integration with PayPal, you shouldn’t face much trouble implementing it on your website. However, you can also use this processor to receive payments in person, which makes it a better choice than Stripe if your business is not strictly online.
However, PayPal has a more complex pricing structure than other payment processors, so you should consider combining it with Stripe and other tools to lower your costs. PayPal is known for its security features, which is why many customers still prefer it over other options.
- Dispute resolution
- Seller protection
- Chargeback protection
- Social Selling tools
- Shipping Label tools
- Machine learning fraud protection
- Supports a wide range of integrations
- Easy transaction process
- Protects you as a seller with various mechanisms
- Free withdrawals to your bank account, and if you don’t want to wait 3-5 days, you can withdraw funds instantly for a 1.5% fee.
- It can be hard to reach their customer service.
- Not an ideal choice for high-risk merchants
- Confusing transaction fees, with different rates depending on payment methods
When it comes to efficient and reliable tax software for small businesses, TurboTax has maintained its reputation as a leader for decades. With tax laws frequently evolving, it’s crucial to have software that stays updated, and TurboTax’s streamlined approach does precisely that. For small business owners, I recommend the Self-Employed package, as iit offers features that maximize deductions while providing a comprehensive way to report both personal and business incomes, along with other financial nuances.
- Tax Refund Calculator
- Tax Bracket Calculator
- W-4 Withholding Calculator
- Self-Employed Expense Estimator
- Dedicated Tax Expert Help
- Offers on-demand advice and a final review by a tax expert for added assurance.
- Allows a tax professional to prepare, sign, and file your return on your behalf.
- Accuracy and Refund Assurance: Guarantees correct calculations and maximizes potential refunds.
- Offers free guidance and assistance in the event of IRS or other tax-related inquiries.
- It’s possible to start filling your taxes on a desktop and then continue on your mobile device.
- Opting for live expert advice can add to the overall cost.
89. Dropbox Sign
Dropbox Sign offers a seamless and secure method for obtaining and requesting online signatures. Initially known as HelloSign, this tool has been rebranded and incorporated under the Dropbox umbrella, bringing the reliability and reputation of Dropbox into the realm of electronic signatures. Whether dealing with NDAs, sales contracts, or employee onboarding documents, Dropbox Sign ensures each signature is legally valid and compliant. For small businesses seeking efficiency, this tool bridges the gap between traditional signing methods and the need for quick, online authentication.
I recommend Dropbox Sign particularly for its blend of signature capabilities and document storage. This combination makes it a valuable asset in the suite of small business tools.
- Reusable Templates
- Mobile-Friendly Forms
- No-Code Integrations
- Mobile Signing
- Customizable Experiences
- Qualified Electronic Signatures
- Reminders and Notifications
- Eliminates the need for printing, scanning, or physical dispatch.
- Each document gets a court-admissible audit trail, safeguarding all involved parties.
- Harmonizes with platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, and Microsoft Word.
- All finalized documents are safely stored in your preferred cloud storage, be it Google Drive, Dropbox, or other platforms.
- Some users find navigating the template features to be less than intuitive.
- There have been sporadic reports of hitches while sending documents.
When I first integrated DocuSign into my workflow, the difference was immediately noticeable. DocuSign’s ease of use, combined with its extensive features meant I could handle document management much more efficiently. Its focus on collaborative work allows multiple parties to prepare, dispatch, review, and sign documents, making it a solid choice for both internal and external use. Also, if you’re using Salesforce, you’ll be able to generate documents directly from this CRM, thanks to its native integration with DocuSign.
So, if you’re operating a remote team or dealing with frequent document transactions, I highly recommend at least signing up for this e-Signature platform’s free trial.
- Electronic Signatures
- Electronic Notarization
- Document Generation from Salesforce
- Audit Trail
- Reminders and Notifications
- Mobile App
- User-Friendly Interface
- Designed for teamwork, DocuSign allows multiple recipients to review, sign, or store documents.
- Long free trial
- Despite its simplicity, it doesn’t compromise on advanced features that can be a boon for businesses.
- I found the registration process a bit lengthy.
It’s Time To Choose Your Small Businesses Tools
Every software choice you make has the potential to set the trajectory for your business’s success. The tools you use play a crucial role in shaping your workflows, enhancing productivity, and driving growth.
To ensure you make the best decisions for your business, revisit the six questions I mentioned at the beginning of this article:
- Does it fit the rest of my business ecosystem?
- Does it solve my actual problems?
- Does it align with my tech skills, and is it easy to use for my team?
- Can I effectively use it on a smartphone?
- Does it suit my budget?
- Does it come with extensive support?
And remember – life is too short to be stuck with software you don’t love using. Be picky and select tools that meet your current needs and also empower your future ambitions.