10 Best Small Business Software in 2021
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
It’s getting more and more crowded in the digital marketing sphere out there.
For marketers, it’s all about carving out a spot in the competitive landscape, putting their stake on the ground, and standing out from the rest. Even some big corporations with deep pockets are still struggling with that, let alone small companies.
Thanks to the internet, there is some affordable software accessible for small businesses with shoestring budgets. This way, they can streamline their daily operations to get their business off the ground much easier.
Today, at least 85% of small companies have already invested in Software as a Service (SaaS) products and solutions. And as a small business owner yourself, you need to tap into the bandwagon.
With more and more small businesses relying on software, Cisco predicts that 75% of all cloud workloads and computing instances will come from SaaS applications in 2021.
However, with tons of options available, choosing the right software is no small feat – especially for a complete newbie to the digital marketing campaign.
That’s why we’ve listed 10 top small business software that you can utilize to take your business to the next level.
What Is a Small Business Software?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details about small business software, it’s crucial to understand what exactly it is in the first place.
Small business software is a tool that aims to take care of the tasks that will help them thrive. It helps small businesses automate repetitive tasks and eliminate redundant, mundane processes.
Due to the limited operating budgets and small staff, small business software helps you to save time and money. It enhances the performance of practically every activity, from improving productivity to minimize errors without breaking the bank.
Therefore, your team members or staff can focus on more important activities. This way, the operations can run smoothly and much more efficiently, making it easier for your small business to boost its bottom line.
And since it’s tailored for common small business needs, it should be focused on at least these three things: quality of the software, ease of use, and affordability.
The Essential Types of Small Business Software
From accounting to recruiting software, there are a bunch of essential types of small business software you can use to fulfill your business’ needs.
Below are common types of software your small business needs to quickly hit the ground running:
- Website builder. It makes it easier for you to create and design your own website as the storefront and online catalog.
- Email marketing software. It helps you to build a list and send out hundreds or thousands of emails to your subscribers or clients.
- Accounting and bookkeeping software. It records and processes accounting transactions, such as invoicing, payroll management, projecting cash flow, etc.
- Project management software. It manages individual tasks or team projects effectively, so every team member is on the same page.
- Productivity management software. It boosts your team’s productivity so you and your team can pursue business’ goals and complete tasks on time.
- Team communication software. It facilitates communication between team members, such as instant messages, audio calls, video calls.
- Human Resources (HR) software. It helps HR managers to optimize daily human resources tasks, from recruiting to managing employees’ data.
- Document management software. It helps team members manage, track, share, and store documents online.
- Marketing analytics software. It helps businesses to track overall marketing performance.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Manages interaction with audiences, potential customers, and existing customers to build customer loyalty.
10 Best Small Business Software You Need to Use in 2021
Now that you know there are some essential types of small business software, you must have noticed that choosing the right one for each category mentioned above is such a time-consuming and preventative task.
To help you with the problem, here’s our pick of the best little-to-no-budget small business software in each category we just discussed above:
#1. Website Building: Wix
Wix provides hundreds of professional-looking templates with a drag-and-drop editor, making it easy for you to build a stunning website in just minutes.
You can also make the site accessible both for desktop and mobile users.
Pros: Wix is solid and comes feature-packed. It has all the basic features you need to build a stunning website in a matter of minutes.
Cons: The pre-built templates aren’t easy to change. If you’ve already picked one and want to switch to another, you have to start from the very beginning.
Pricing: Free plan is available. Premium plans start at US$ 4.50/month
Picture 1. Wix
#2. Email Marketing: MailChimp
MailChimp provides AI-powered, user-friendly email marketing tools to help you analyze customers’ behavior.
This software helps you send automated and personalized emails, create targeted ad campaigns, build high-converting landing pages, send postcards, and more.
Pros: It provides tons of email templates that users can customize according to their needs.
Cons: It might take some time for beginners to understand the interface and how it works as the interface isn’t really intuitive.
Pricing: Free plan is available. Premium plans with more advanced features start at US$9.99/month
Picture 2. Mailchimp
#3. Accounting and Bookkeeping: QuickBooks
At its heart, QuickBooks helps you record almost all your financial transactions, including sales, expenses, and profits.
Using this software, you’d also be able to track income and expenses, track sales and tax, send invoices, accept payments, and more.
Pros: It provides you with an engaging interface and intuitive dashboard so you can see your important financial concerns.
Cons: Some users have issues with customer services and tech support.
Pricing: It offers a free 30-day trial. You can sign up for premium plans that start at US$20/month
Picture 3. QuickBooks
#4. Project Management: Trello
Trello allows you to collaborate, communicate and coordinate with other team members to get tasks and projects done.
With this software, users can see who’s doing what by when, making it easy for you to get your team on board quickly and see results.
Pros: it has a simple and eye-catching UI design that can help novice users use the features effectively.
Cons: For pro marketers, Trello only provides basic features that are best suited for smaller teams. So, it can be challenging to handle big projects.
Pricing: Free plan is available. The business plan costs US$12.50/user.
Picture 4. Trello
#5. Productivity Management: Hubstaff
Hubstaff is a powerful time tracking software to measure a team’s productivity.
It helps you to generate accurate timesheets to invoice your clients and pay your team easily.
Pros: it works offline and then syncs data to the server once the internet connection is available.
Cons: it’s best-suited for Windows 10. Users with different devices might experience some issues.
Pricing: 14-day free trial is available. Premium plans start at US$7/user/month.
Picture 5. Hubstaff
#6. Team Communication: Slack
From voice calls to phone calls, Slack brings all group communication together in one place.
Another key feature includes file-sharing that can help users get feedback and make decisions together easily.
Pros: Its simplicity makes it easy for new users to jump right in and use the features.
Cons: It’s quite addictive. It’s easy for you to get sucked into every discussion.
Pricing: Free plan is available. Premium plans start at US$6.67/user/month.
Picture 6. Slack
#7. Human Resources: BambooHR
BambooHR makes it easier for HR managers to manage access, control, sort, and analyze employee databases.
This software also allows HR managers to give employees self-service and provides eSignature, performance management, and reports.
Pros: Users can also create an automated process to make the onboarding of a new employee hassle-free.
Cons: Mobile app version is limited and not so intuitive.
Pricing: Starts at US$6.19/user/month with a free 21-day trial.
Picture 7. BambooHR
#8. Document Management: Dropbox
Dropbox is a file-sharing and cloud storage solution. It helps your small teams share, sync, and collaborate on files securely — from anywhere by anytime.
It’s an ideal place to put all your data in one place, so you can organize and tackle every project efficiently.
Pros: Make a backup to keep all crucial documents secured under any circumstance
Cons: The free version has a minimal amount of storage
Pricing: It provides a free plan. The premium plans start at US$9.99/user/month
Picture 8. Dropbox
#9. Marketing Analytics: Google Analytics
Google Analytics makes it easier for you to track your overall marketing performance.
Some of the key features include traffic reporting, conversion tracking, keyword referrals, third-party referrals, and more.
Pros: It allows you to create and customize your own goals.
Cons: The tracking tools are still lacking in recording the audience’s behavior across months or years.
Pricing: Full-packed free plan is available. The premium tier will cost you the amount of US$150,000 per year.
Picture 9. Google Analytics
#10. Customer Relationship Management: Zoho
Zoho provides you with all the basic features you need to improve your customer experience.
Key features include visitor tracking, reporting tools, versatile integrations, and a great user experience.
Pros: It also offers users with robust email marketing tools.
Cons: It only allows you to store customers’ social media account data, but only from Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Pricing: There’s a free version. The premium plans start at US$12.00/user/year.
Picture 10. Zoho
Wrapping Up: Choosing the Right Software for Your Small Business
Running a business isn’t a walk in the park — it might as well seem a scary proposition, especially when it goes to a rapid growth phase. To remain competitive, you need to boost operational efficiency.
Of course, you don’t need to stock up on all those small business software mentioned above at once. The key here is to choose software that caters to the nature of your work and the business at large.
It’s always crucial to make sure that your business takes off on split footing with the right software without overspending on features you don’t even need.
Later on, you can add more software as your small business expands or as the situation calls for it.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
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