Best Apps for Small Business Owners

Wednesday, December 23, 2020 by James Lintzer

Man Faxing on Laptop

Being a small business owner is a very time-consuming and often stressful endeavor. From managing your business' finances to efficiently managing and delegating projects, it can be difficult for owners to stay on top of all of their responsibilities.

Fortunately, though, there are countless free and paid small business apps that make running a company much easier. These apps can help small business owners with project management, team communication, time tracking, mobile payments, and more.

But with so many apps available, and many of them serving the same purpose, it can be difficult to determine which ones are worth using.

To help business owners streamline their business practices, below are 30 of the best small business apps, including tools for communication, accounting, organization, and more.

What Apps are Good for Business?

The apps you should incorporate into your business depend on what your specific needs and pain points are.

Do you need help with project management? Is your small business having trouble managing its finances?

To make it easier to wade through your choices, this list has apps divided into several major categories, including:

With the right business apps in your toolkit, you can greatly increase productivity and efficiency in your small business.

accounting apps being used 

Best Small Business Apps for Accounting

These are the best apps for small businesses that need help managing their finances, payrolls, and taxes. Use these to keep an eye on your company's financial health.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online is the best all-around business app for accounting and keeping track of finances. From startups to major enterprises, business owners can use QuickBooks to track expenses, create and send invoices, maximize tax deductions, pay employees, view financial statements, and much more. The app has a very intuitive user interface and makes it easy to keep track of all of your most important financial information.

You can get started with a free trial before choosing between one of four business accounting plans: Simple Start ($12.50 per month), Essentials ($20 per month), Plus ($35 per month), or Advanced ($75 per month).

Gusto

Gusto is an easy to use, all-in-one app for payroll, employee benefits, and HR. Gusto is packed full of features that streamline small business accounting, including automatic deductions and filings, W-2 and 1099 generation, direct deposits, and more. The app also offers direct access to experienced HR professionals, time tracking tools, and resources to aid in the hiring process.

Gusto has four pricing plans: Basic ($19 per month), Core ($39 per month), Complete ($39 per month),  and Concierge ($149 per month). Pricing for the Basic and Core plans increases by $6 per user, or 12$ per user for the Complete and Concierge plans.

Wave

Wave is an award-winning finance and accounting app designed for small businesses. It's also a great business app for independent contractors and sole proprietors. Wave lets you track expenses, keep tabs on business income, create and send invoices, save receipts, set up recurring billing, and more.

Not only is wave one of the best small business apps for accounting and finances, but it's also one of the few that offers a completely free tier. Users only have to pay if they want to take advantage of the app's payments and payroll features. Pricing for these features varies depending on uses, number of employees, and other factors.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks gives business owners and freelancers the ability to easily manage their finances via an intuitive interface and a plethora of handy features. It's compatible on both iOS and Android, and the desktop app rivals competitors like Wave and QuickBooks.

FreshBooks' features include invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, accounting, financial reports, payments, and more.

Pricing starts at $15 per month for the Lite tier, $25 per month for Plus, and $50 per month for Premium. There is also a custom tier that can be tailored to your specific needs.

payment-app-shopping 

Best Small Business Apps for Payments

These mobile payment apps make it easy to accept payments from customers and vendors at brick and mortar locations and whenever you're on the go.

Square

Square has become a go-to mobile app for businesses looking for an affordable and reliable payment solution. Square users can use a portable card reader to accept customer payments on their phone or nearly any other mobile device. Square also offers its own POS payment system, and the app will even send you real-time analytics and sales data.

Check out Square's pricing page to see exactly how much it'll cost your business to use the app.

PayPal Here

PayPal has long been a leading payment processing platform for personal and business use. More recently, PayPal launched PayPal Here to rival apps like Square. PayPal Here is now a premier business app for mobile payments and in-store payment processing.

Like Square, PayPal here offers card readers that can essentially be used as portable registers. Users can attach the card reader to a mobile device to easily take payments on the go. PayPal Here also offers POS systems, receipt printers, and cash drawers to make it easier to get up and going.

Visit the PayPal merchant fees page to learn more.

Venmo

Venmo might be primarily known as a peer-to-peer payment app, but Venmo also caters to small businesses. Users can set up business profiles and get paid the same way users would pay their friends or family members. Not only does this make accepting payments easy, but it also lets businesses tap into Venmo's vast network of users.

For business users, merchant fees amount to 2.9% + $.30 per transaction.

people working with apps 

Best Small Business Apps for Organization & Project Management

These organization and project management apps will help you streamline your daily workflow and improve workplace collaboration.

Trello

Trello is a workplace collaboration platform that you can use to track workflow, assign tasks, and more. Users can add checklists, due dates, members, comments, and attachments, and tools like rule-based triggers and calendar commands make keeping your workflow organized as easy as possible.

Trello's free tier is great for personal and limited business use, and the Business Class tier starts at just $9.99 per user, per month.

Asana

Asana is one of the best overall small business apps available, offering various features that enhance workplace communication and organization. Users can set and track goals, submit and manage workplace forms, track workflow, and automate certain tasks. Asana even integrates with platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Slack to make communication and file sharing easier. The mobile app is easy to use and is available on iOS and Android.

The free tier is great for individuals and small teams, and the Premium plan starts at an affordable $10.99 per user, per month.

Monday

Monday is primarily a project management tool but can also be used to help small business managers oversee their sales pipeline, run IT projects, structure HR processes, and more. Users can create a project, create and assign tasks, and add employees to each project. When employees complete a task, all users are notified in real-time to keep things running smoothly. Monday also offers an app marketplace to enhance the platform's functionality.

Pricing plans vary depending on the number of users. For five users, pricing starts at $39 per month for the Basic plan and $79 per month for the Pro plan.

Evernote

Evernote is a premier note-taking app and is one of the best small business apps for organization. Both the web and mobile app are incredibly easy to use and are compatible and integrate seamlessly with apps like Gmail and Salesforce. Evernote makes it easy to create, store, and share detailed notes with employees and coworkers.

Evernote's Business plan starts at $14.99 per user, per month.

Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management app that is great for small business collaboration. Like other apps in this category, Basecamp lets users easily create, assign, and manage tasks. Users can also create message boards to chat in real-time, to-do lists, and much more.

Basecamp offers a straightforward pricing model with the Business plan coming in at $99 per month regardless of how many users you plan to add.

nTask

nTask is a cloud-based small business management app that helps teams increase productivity through a variety of useful features. You can create projects and tasks, schedule meetings, create timesheets, report project issues, and create dedicated teams for different projects. nTask integrates seamlessly with various productivity and business apps like Google Drive and is available on desktop and mobile devices.

nTask is one of the most affordable small business apps available, starting at just $2.99 per month, per user for the Premium plan. The app also offers a free tier that is great for freelancers.

Upward

Proven, a premier hiring tool, joined forces with Upward to create one of the best small business apps for posting and organizing job postings. With one click, users can post job listings to multiple job boards, and the app makes it easy to filter and sort through candidates.

Businesses can post jobs for as little as $50. Upward will find the right places for your job listing to appear, or you can choose specific sites to post to.

time management app in use 

Best Small Business Apps for Time Management

Time is money. These apps will help you save time and take control of your work schedule to achieve increased productivity.

RescueTime

RescueTime is a time management tool that runs in the background of your mobile or desktop device. The app tracks the time that you spend on various websites and apps so you can see where most of your time is going. You can also set focus alerts and block distractions such as social media and news sites.

The Lite tier offers free basic time tracking services, and the Premium tier starts at just $12 per month and gives you access to all of the app's amazing features.

Toggl

Toggl is a time tracking app that is available as a web app, mobile app, desktop app, or browser extension. The app runs in the background and tracks the time you spend on different websites and apps. The app integrates with your calendar, and you can set triggers to start tracking time when you start using specific applications.

The Premium plan starts at $18 per user, per month and gives you all the tools you need to facilitate consistent communication.

OmniFocus

OmniFocus is a task management platform that allows you to capture and organize all of your activities in a single, easy to use platform. Users can quickly add tasks with a quick keyboard shortcut, and your tasks will sync across all of your devices. OmniFocus is available on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

After a 14-day free trial, you can purchase OmniFocus Pro for $90 on Mac, or subscribe to OmniFocus Pro for iOS and Mac for $9.99 per month.

My Minutes

My Minutes is a personal time tracker that makes it easy to take control of your schedule. My Minutes let you set time goals for specific tasks, for example, you can allocate one hour to checking and replying to emails. You can also build streaks and set repeating tasks.

The app is free to use but is only available on iPhone.

TripIt

If your business requires you to spend a lot of time on the road, TripIt is a must-have time management tool. TripIt consolidates all of your travel plans into a single place. All you have to do is forward your confirmation emails to TripIt, and the app will handle the rest.

TripIt offers a free tier, and TripIt Pro is available for an affordable $49 per year.

people happy using apps 

Best Small Business Apps for Communication

These small business apps are ideal for facilitating communication between team members and other businesses.

eFax

Faxing is still a widely-used method of business communication, and eFax makes it as easy as possible to send, sign, receive, and organize your most important documents without needing to purchase or set up a traditional fax machine.

Users can send faxes via the eFax online portal, the mobile app, or by email. eFax also offers several additional benefits, including free local fax numbers, unlimited secure storage, cloud compatibility, large file sharing, 24/7 live support, and more. These features make eFax one of the best apps for small business communication.

When billed annually, pricing starts at just $14.13 per month for eFax Plus and $16.63 for eFax Pro. Users receive two months free when they sign up for an annual plan.

Slack

Slack has become the industry standard for team-based instant messaging and communication. You can create separate channels for specific teams and categories, and users can easily share files and documents directly in the app. The app also includes video and voice call capabilities.

The free tier is great for smaller teams, and the Standard plan starts at just $6.67 per user, per month. Larger businesses can purchase the Plus plan for $12.50 per user, per month.

Zoom

Zoom has recently taken over as the premier video conferencing app for businesses and individuals. Users can host basic voice and video calls, video webinars, and even create virtual conference rooms. The Zoom marketplace features a variety of apps and bots that can enhance your experience on the platform.

Pricing varies depending on which Zoom product you want to purchase and how many licenses you need. Zoom Meetings starts at $149.90 per year, per license for the Pro plan.

Skype

Skype has been a leading business communication tool for some time, and it's not going anywhere soon. Skype lets users easily set up text chats, group chats, video calls, and voice calls from the desktop or mobile app. Users can also share files quickly from the app, and screen sharing makes remote collaboration much easier.

Addappt

Addappt is an organizational tool that makes it easier to manage your contacts list. If a team member, friend, or family member changes their contact information through the app, the changes will automatically be reflected in your phone. Users can easily organize their contacts into separate groups, and you can send messages and emails directly from the platform.

Fuze

Fuze is another video conferencing app that makes hosting online meetings and calls incredibly easy. Fuze is compatible with mobile and desktop devices and offers useful features like team messaging, calendar and email integration, and more.

Fuze Pro starts at $35 monthly, per user.

Pushover

Pushover lets you send real-time push notifications to your smartphone and other devices. You can use this app to receive unlimited push notifications on all of your devices from dozens of websites, services, and applications that already integrate with the platform.

Individual licenses are available for a one-time $5 purchase, and team pricing starts at $5 monthly, per user.

happy man using apps 

Other Great Apps for Small Businesses

Here are a few other great small business apps that you should consider adding to your toolkit.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot is a completely free CRM platform that makes it so you don't have to worry about dealing with messy spreadsheets or manually updating reports. All interactions are automated, and the CRM includes features like email tracking, prospect tracking, live chat, and meeting scheduling.

The app is incredibly easy to use, so you should have no problem integrating it into your daily workflow.

MailChimp

Email marketing is invaluable in the digital age, and MailChimp makes it easy to develop, implement, and manage effective email campaigns. You can create mailing lists, send newsletters, build custom templates, automate transactional emails, and much more.

The Standard plan is available for just $14.99 per month and includes up to 100,000 contacts and five audiences.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud-based file storage and file sharing platform. You can create folders to organize documents, and Dropbox syncs across all of your devices for easy access. Dropbox is particularly great for remote teams that need a reliable way to share important work documents.

You can try Dropbox free for 30 days before upgrading to one of their personal or business subscription models.

YouTeam

YouTeam is a slightly more niche app designed primarily for fast-growing tech companies. This platform helps you expand your development team by finding, vetting, and hiring world-class engineers.

You don't have to pay any fees to YouTeam as the company is paid by its partner outsourcing companies whenever an engineer is hired.

What is the Best App for Small Business?

To narrow down your options even more, here are the best apps from each of the above categories:

  • Best App for Accounting: QuickBooks
  • Best App for Payments: Square
  • Best App for Project Management: Asana
  • Best App for Time Management: RescueTime
  • Best App for Communication: eFax

    Adding any or all of these apps to your productivity toolkit is sure to help boost business efficiency and make your life as a business owner much easier.

    Of course, while these are the best apps in their respective categories, you can't go wrong with any of the apps listed in this article, so give each of them a try to see which ones are most beneficial for your business.

    Looking for another way to take your company to the next level? See our blogs on the best business podcasts and the best small business blogs for some inspiration.

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    James Lintzer - J2 Global

    James Lintzer develops marketing communications strategies and programs for a variety of J2 Global cloud brands, with a focus on eFax. As a business and technology enthusiast, he provides valuable insight and experience across J2’s North American SMB services. James is also an avid paintballer and collects vintage anime figurines in his spare time.