It’s difficult to grow your business if you’re still writing up new orders by hand.
In our opinion, all companies should be aiming to work smarter, not harder.
And usually, the easiest way to do that is by finding the right apps to streamline your work.
So, stop your search because we’ve compiled 36 of the best small business apps to take you from app zero to app hero in no time.
Best project management apps
The best apps for small business owners allow for flexibility and scalability.
This way, you and your team stay on top of your deadlines while on the lookout for new clients.
Are you a visual person who understands a chart better than combing through an excel sheet?
Monday.com is an easy-to-use visual project management tool that allows you to sort your thoughts (and projects) just the way you want.
The tool lets you plan, organize, and track everything from deadlines to sales forecasts in one place.
The plans start from $24 per month, giving you access to 3 user profiles.
Trello is one of the most well-known project management tools around.
Focusing on organizing projects and tasks in boards and lists, it’s a great way to prioritize work and stay on top of important deadlines.
And the best part is that you can get started for free: you and your team members can create up to 10 boards without any additional costs.
If you need more advanced features, like automation and custom calendar views, plans start from $9.99 per user per month.
Asana is a project management app that’s all about helping you see the bigger picture.
Similar to Trello and Monday.com, Asana boasts a visual drag-and-drop interface, making decision-making fast and easy.
You can toggle how you want to view your projects: sometimes, getting an overview of all unfinished tasks might be more useful than understanding a project’s timeline.
Like Trello, you can get started with Asana for free if you’re a freelancer or a small team of 15 people or less.
Best team communication apps
In a remote-working world, real-time communication is crucial.
These communication apps for small business owners help streamline interactions with teams and clients alike.
Most people with any corporate experience are familiar with Slack.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest communication apps, Slack is a tool for streamlining internal communications.
Teams can share ideas, collaborate, and stay in touch with each other through direct messages and in-app channels.
You can also make voice and video calls for free, as long as you have a stable internet connection.
Plans start from $6.67 per user per month, but small teams can try the tool out for free.
Most of the world got familiar with Zoom in 2020.
This video conferencing and meeting tool lets businesses conduct real-time meetings and share presentation slides online.
With a no-frills interface, this business app is easy and free to use – that is, if you need to talk to less than 100 people at once and can get your point across in less than 40 minutes.
If you’re needing more firepower, Zoom also offers solutions for multi-room conferencing and social media streaming, among others.
Skype is one of those business apps that paved way for Zoom and Google Meet.
And at almost 20 years old, it’s still going surprisingly strong.
Skype is a free-to-use video calling app that offers both instant messaging and video calling – making it perfect for small micro-businesses looking for a familiar communication tool.
And, the best part is that it’s completely free to use, given that you have a stable internet connection.
As part of the Microsoft software family, Microsoft Teams is a strong contender when it comes to communication tools for small businesses.
Not only can you organize team communication in different channels, use instant messaging and video conferencing, but you can also collaborate on documents in real-time.
Teams is a natural choice for organizations that already use tools like Microsoft Word and Outlook.
But since it’s free to use, even if you’re managing just fine with a notebook and Gmail, you can try it out.
8. Google Meet
Google Meet is another free video conferencing app that’s perfect for small businesses.
It offers an intuitive and simple way to host remote meetings. It’s also well integrated into Google’s other tools (think Gmail, Google Calendar, and so on) – meaning that you have one less thing to worry about.
And if you’re not needing to host 24-hour long meetings for over 100 people, you can get started with the free plan.
Like other business apps on this list, Fuze, too, is a cloud-based communications platform.
But unlike Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams, Fuze targets businesses that require a contact center on top of internal communication.
With plans starting from $20 per month, it’s the go-to tool for businesses that primarily serve their clients over the phone.
Best all-inclusive business app suites
When it comes to small business apps, sometimes it’s better to opt for an all-inclusive software solution.
Having all the business apps in one place saves you both time and money in the long run.
Formerly known as the G Suite, most people are familiar with Google’s business apps.
Comprising of word processing, emails, note-taking, meetings, spreadsheets, cloud storage in the form of Google Drive, and much more, Google Workspace is the go-to small business solution for many.
Most small business owners and freelancers can get started with the basic plan, costing only $6 per user per month.
10. Microsoft Office
We’ve all used it, and most of us love it.
Microsoft Office, launched in 1988, was one of the first business productivity bundles to hit the market.
Similar to Google Workspace, Microsoft Office offers business apps for word processing, spreadsheets, emailing, and presentations, among others.
Business plans begin at $5.00 per user per month, with a one-month free trial available, too.
Are you a graphic designer or a web designer, looking for ways to keep licensing costs at bay?
For any creative small business, Adobe Creative Cloud is by far the most versatile all-inclusive design app bundle available.
Including apps for photo editing, layouts, wireframes, UX design, Creative Cloud is a real bargain at $79.99 per month.
Best security apps for online businesses
No matter the size of your business, you should keep your data protected at all times.
These are our picks for the best small business apps to invest in to keep your business safe online.
LastPass is a popular password management app that keeps all your business passwords in one secure place.
Not only can you store your passwords in the LastPass vault, but the app also helps you create strong passwords to avoid any attacks by malicious parties.
And to top it all, you can also keep your credit cards safe with the app.
Try it for free for 2 weeks or get a plan for $3/user per month.
1Password is another great password manager app for small businesses.
Unlike the browser extension-based LastPass, 1Password can be downloaded to your desktop and used to keep all of your passwords safe.
The app won’t break the bank, either, as team accounts start from $3.99/month per user.
Regardless of what field your small business is in, the chances are that you wouldn’t want anyone accessing your information while working from a Starbucks.
NordVPN offers a virtual private network service protecting your internet connection and online privacy through encryption.
That way, you can use public wifi and still keep your data safe – all from just $7 per user per month.
Best apps for organization and productivity
Most small business owners note lack of time and manpower as their biggest causes of stress.
To do our bit, here are our picks for the best small business apps for increasing productivity and keeping things organized.
Todoist is a productivity app that specializes in creating to-do lists and getting things done.
Available on desktop, Android, and iOS, the app also features file sharing for team plans, making it easy to use the tool for basic project management, too.
You can get started for free, or opt for the Premium account for $3 a month.
Typos can make or break your small business.
But thanks to Grammarly, you don’t need to be a professional writer to get your point across clearly.
From basic spelling and grammar errors to matters of style and tone, Grammarly uses an AI writing assistant for impartial and immediate feedback on your writing.
You can use the basic version for free, or opt for the business version for $12.50 per user a month.
Evernote is a note-taking app with a twist.
Not only can you dot down meeting notes, but you can also add images, audio, PDFs, and more to your notes.
The app even features a save button for the web, meaning that you can keep all your notes in one place.
You can try Evernote out for free, or get the Premium plan starting from $7.99 per month.
Sick of creating a new item on your to-do list every time an email comes through?
You should check out Zapier, one of the best small business apps for work automation.
The app features integrations with all the big names (think Gmail, Dropbox, and Slack, to name a few), meaning that you can work smarter, not harder.
You can automate up to 100 tasks a month for free, or opt for a paid plan starting from $19.99 a month.
This app doesn’t just do time tracking, it analyzes how you spend your time.
Understanding what tasks you spend time on or avoid by procrastinating are sure ways to improve your bottom line and overall focus.
As far as small business apps go, you can try RescueTime for free before you commit to a monthly plan costing $12. Or continue using the Lite plan for no charge.
For a small business owner, time tracking is crucial.
Clockify is a free time-management app that can be used as a timesheet for all your projects.
And since you can also use the Clockify mobile app on both iOS and Android, so it’s perfect for those on the go, too.
Best finance and accounting apps for small businesses
Accounting isn’t the most glorious aspect of a business, but these apps for small business owners promise to make life that little bit easier.
When it comes to accounting software, it’s not always easy to understand what features you actually need.
This is where QuickBooks Online comes to the rescue: it allows you to send out invoices and quotes, track both your income and expenses and give your accountant access to it all.
And, most importantly, you can get started for only $4.80 a month.
FreshBooks is, hands down, one of the best apps for small businesses.
The platform specializes in small businesses and freelancers, offering invoicing, accounting, and payment processing services under one roof.
And thanks to the accompanying mobile app, you can take care of your business finances wherever you are.
If you have just 5 billable clients, you can get started for just $4.50 a month.
But even those with 500 clients only have to hand over $15 each month, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Keeping track of your business expenses can sometimes be a real hassle.
Thankfully, Xero wants to make this easy for small business owners.
The app does everything from connecting your business bank account and tracking credit card expenses to paying bills and even running payroll.
And the best part is that you can get started with just $5.50 a month.
Best online marketing apps
Not only are these marketing apps easy to use, but depending on your marketing channels, they should be a priority business app investment.
MailChimp is an email marketing app like no other.
Not only does the tool have cool features like email marketing templates, but it lets you build customer journeys and target them with the right messages at the right times.
And what’s more, the marketing calendar feature allows you to plan ahead and understand the big picture of your email marketing strategy.
It’s an excellent tool for businesses with ambitious goals for their emails.
Plus, you can get started for free.
For social media management, the Hootsuite app has your back.
Rather than creating social media posts on various platforms, Hootsuite makes it easy to create, publish, and schedule social media campaigns in one place.
After the 30-day free trial, you should expect to pay $25 a month for a 1-user account.
Most small business owners want their marketing materials to look professional, but not everyone’s a graphic designer.
That’s where Canva comes to the rescue: this drag-and-drop design tool features plenty of templates for any kind of design you might need.
You can get started for free, but small teams will look at spending $12.95 per month per user.
Buffer is a social media management tool, allowing you to publish and analyze your content in one place.
Offering features like hashtag planner, Instagram stories planner, and Instagram tagging, Buffer is bound to make your social media marketing faster and easier.
The good news is that publishing accounts start at $15/month, while the analysis accounts sit at $35/month.
You’ve probably come across a Facebook ad or two.
Anyone looking for a powerful digital marketing outlet is bound to be advertising on Facebook, and that’s where Facebook Business Manager steps in.
With Business Manager, you manage your brand’s Facebook Page and any paid advertising campaigns while analyzing the vast amount of data available.
And there’s no catch – it’s entirely free to use, too.
29. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor is another great and easy-to-use email marketing app for small enterprises.
Packing an intuitive interface, mobile-optimized email templates, and automated email journeys, it’s a fantastic tool for anyone looking to build a solid email marketing foundation.
You can try Campaign Monitor for free and continue emailing up to 2500 people for just $9 a month.
Later is an Instagram marketing platform aiming to simplify your online marketing processes.
The app makes managing your Instagram account easy: it features post scheduling, personalized insights, tools to help boost sales and find user-generated content.
Later is free to use, but brands might want to opt for a paid plan (starting at $12.50/month) to get access to more advanced tools and email customer service.
Best business analytics apps
The better you can analyze customer behavior, the better you can tailor everything from your products and services to your marketing strategy.
Set yourself up for success with these top small business apps for analytics.
31. Google Analytics
Google is indisputably the biggest data house around.
And that’s why you should tap into its vast piles of data.
Google Analytics tracks things like how many people visit your website, how they find it, how long they stay around, and which other websites are linking to yours.
Using these insights help you streamline your business processes and generate more revenue for your brand.
And there’s no catch, either: Google Analytics is free to use, plus setting it up isn’t as complicated as you might think.
If you want to get up and personal with your website, try Google Search Console (GSC).
Similar to Google Analytics, GSC lets you monitor and maintain your website’s presence in Google’s search results.
Appearing in the search results of search engines is important for any kind of business: if nobody can find your website, all your digital marketing efforts are for nothing.
GSC flags up pages or content that could harm your search engine ranking (think broken links or overusing a keyword).
Like Google Analytics, GSC is free to use, and Google has plenty of tutorials available for novice webmasters.
Tableau is a business analytics tool that’s all about making data visual and easy to understand.
The app collates data from your other business tools (your customer and order databases, for example), making it easy to analyze your whole state of business and make informed decisions.
Some of Tableau’s features include data management, segmentation, and visualization, which can be used as a basis for sales and marketing forecasts.
Plans start from $70/month, but thankfully you can try the tool out for free before committing to anything.