As a small business owner, you juggle many different responsibilities.
It’s exhausting. 😪
Fortunately, we live in the middle of a technological golden era, where small business owners have access to literally thousands of small business apps that can help them become more productive, better manage resources, and stay on top of all their responsibilities.
Though there are hundreds of small business apps worth considering, I’ve assembled a list of the 51 best ones.
Table of Contents
- Overall Suites of Small Business Apps
- Small Business Productivity Apps
- Small Business Apps for Project Management
- Small Business Apps for Finance and Payment Management
- Small Business Apps for Inventory Management
- Small Business Apps for Communication and File Sharing
- Small Business Apps for Marketing and Advertising
- Small Business Apps for Lead Generation
- Small Business Apps for Analytics
- Other Small Business Apps
- Small Business Apps that We Use Here at EmailAnalytics
Overall Suites of Small Business Apps
I want to start by covering two major “suites” of apps: Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Office 365. These services are very similar, and grant your small business access to a wide range of different apps and platforms. For many businesses, they’re practically comprehensive, offering a balance of productivity, tracking, and analytics apps necessary to run an efficient business.
1. Google Workspace.
Here at EmailAnalytics, we’re big fans of Gmail, so I recommend Google Workspace. It gives you access to dozens of apps, including Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and a sizable volume of cloud storage (possibly unlimited, depending on your subscription tier). You’ll also have access to excellent customer service. Beyond that, Google Workspace is very friendly to third party developers, so you’ll be able to integrate many other small business apps with Google Workspace with no compatibility issues or excessive difficulty.
2. Office 365.
Office 365 is Microsoft’s equivalent service package. With it, you’ll gain access to Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many other analogs to the apps offered by Google Workspace. There are some pros and cons associated with both Office 365 and Google Workspace, but for the most part, these services are highly similar—and most differences will be subjective, based on your personal preferences.
Small Business Productivity Apps
These apps are all about helping you track time and analyze the productivity of your team:
I may be biased, but I think EmailAnalytics is one of the best tools for productivity analysis. It allows you to monitor the email activity of your team members, studying things like email volume, busiest times and days of the week, and average email response time. From there, you can analyze and rebalance workloads, improve sales performance, and more.
Toggl is a quintessential time tracking app used by more than 5 million people. Once installed, your employees can use it to automatically keep track of the time they spend on various tasks throughout the day. Generate reports to help with billing, or analyze where your employees are spending (and/or wasting) their time every day.
5. Time Doctor.
Time Doctor is a similar time tracking app for small businesses, with a handful of unique features. For example, you can also use it to track how your employees are using the web, and can take screenshots on employee devices at periodic intervals so you know they’re staying on task. You can also integrate it with payroll, making your financial job easier.
RescueTime is automatic time tracking software designed to help you and your employees remain more cognizant of your current tasks—and block out distractions. It also generates reports at regular intervals, so you can see how your team is improving.
OmniFocus is an app that functions as a kind of personal task manager. You can organize your own to-do lists, take notes, and even create projects and tasks for yourself. It also has built-in tools to keep you focused, and it syncs across all devices.
Hubstaff enables you to track employee time. It takes periodic screenshots so you can verify employees are staying on task, and it integrates with timesheet software to make hourly billing easy.
If you travel a lot in your small business, you need an app like TripIt. TripIt allows you to combine all your travel information into a single itinerary, making it much easier to follow your trip plans, manage expenses, and get alerted if there are any delays. It also features built-in tools for checking weather, planning routes, and more.
10. My Minutes.
My Minutes is an app that helps you set specific goals for your workday, and it’s especially helpful if you find yourself distracted by certain apps or websites throughout the day. For example, you can set a goal to only use social media for 1 hour per day.
Gusto is designed to improve your efficiency when it comes to payroll, taxes, and employee benefits. We could almost include it in the financial section, but since it also helps you onboard new employees and improve your productivity in other areas, we included it in the time management section.
Small Business Apps for Project Management
Project management and organization apps will help you create projects and sub-projects, assign tasks, and track productivity within your team:
Asana is a project management platform that helps you and your team stay organized. You can create projects, tasks, and subtasks, and assign those items to people within your team. It’s also a great tool for internal communication, and you can use it to set goals and track your progress high level. Check out our guide to Asana.
One of the earliest popular project management platforms online, Basecamp remains a top choice by many small businesses. It’s an all-in-one toolkit for team management, which is especially important if you’re working in a remote environment.
Basecamp has all the tools you’d expect from a project management platform, including project and task creation, delegation, and internal communication.
If you are handling multiple projects, this Basecamp alternative can also help you manage your projects.
Trello offers project management with a unique functionality; the creation and use of boards, lists, and cards. It’s a flexible and versatile system that relies more on visual organization than written communication. It also supports many integrations, so you can use it with tons of other apps.
One of the best-reviewed note taking apps for small businesses, Evernote has everything you’d want for taking notes. You can sync your notes across multiple devices, mark up your previous notes, and organize all your content for easy future access.
Small Business Apps for Finance and Payment Management
These apps will help your small business collect payments from customers, as well as manage your revenue and expenses:
Yooz is a cloud-based and AI-powered accounts payable solution. With Yooz, each step of the purchase-to-pay process is automated. It’s different from other tools because other tools don’t provide a fully automated experience, and need to outsource data processing to other companies.
Square is a payment app for small businesses designed to help you collect credit card payments no matter where you are. Since then, there has been a lot of new competitors to Square. You could also use Square’s point of sale (POS) system to upgrade your brick and mortar store with better payment processing.
Stripe is one of the most popular payment processors on the web, and is commonly used by online businesses to accept payments from customers. It has a robust API that enables it to integrate with just about any interface, so it’s especially popular among SaaS businesses. It’s got a great UI and full functionality for managing customers and their subscriptions. We use it for managing our customers’ recurring subscriptions!
19. QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks can almost qualify as a suite of tools in its own right; it offers a plethora of apps and resources designed to help you with payroll, tax accounting, profit analysis, and even inventory management. You can also create periodic backups of your QBO account so that it’s easy to restore data in case something goes wrong.
Expensify isn’t quite as versatile, but it’s very good at one thing: helping small businesses track their expenses. With it, you’ll be able to scan receipts, track employee expenses, and manage all your business expenses. You can also integrate it with your other financial apps of choice, making it easier to streamline your finances.
FreshBooks is a small business app designed to help you with invoicing, accounting, and other forms of financial management. Use it to track your small business’s cash flow, manage and submit invoices, reduce your expenses, and even provide customer service.
22. Godaddy Bookkeeping.
If you’re looking for a simpler alternative with less bells and whistles but a clean, intuitive UI, check out Godaddy Bookkeeping. It’s perfect for small businesses, and it’s what we use here at EmailAnalytics!
If you’re looking for a free small business app for accounting, consider using Wave. With it, you’ll be able to track expenses, send mobile invoices, and even manage payroll. It’s not as robust as some of the other tools on this list, but it might give you everything you need to get your small business started.
Small Business Apps for Inventory Management
Inventory management is crucial for some small businesses. These apps will help you do it effectively:
Delivrd is a free inventory management app you can use online. With it, you can create your own product catalog, issue, count, and receive stock, and generate reports for your transaction history. If you need more features, you can always upgrade to a paid account.
25. SOS Inventory.
Another inventory tracking app, SOS Inventory can be used on almost any device to help you track and manage your inventory items. You can also manage your orders, and integrate with most popular financial platforms (including QuickBooks and Shopify).
Sortly prizes itself as being a simple app for inventory management. Use it to build out your catalog, keep track of inventory, and scan items in real time. There’s a free version, or you can upgrade to get more features.
Small Business Apps for Communication and File Sharing
Project management apps will often have built-in communication features, but these apps provide you with even more flexible options:
Slack has quickly made a name for itself in the realm of business communication, giving companies a platform they can use for room-based chats, individual chats, and team-wide organization. It’s also known for offering integrations with many other communication and management apps, giving you more control over your team’s internal communications. It’s our #1-ranking app for internal communication tools!
Zoom has emerged as a video conference channel of choice in recent years, thanks in part to how simple and intuitive it is. Use Zoom to manage conferences with many attendees, or break into smaller chat rooms to brainstorm and generate new solutions to problems.
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Skype was one of the earliest video call platforms to emerge, and these days, it remains a powerful communication tool for businesses. In some ways, it’s outclassed by other video chatting solutions, but it may work perfectly for your needs.
Dropbox is a cloud storage and file sharing solution that can help your team stay organized as they create, upload, and share files with each other. With it, you can easily sync your files and back them up in the cloud, or share links to files on which your team is collaborating.
31. Markup Hero.
Markup Hero makes it easy to take screenshots and annotate them with an intuitive, slick editing interface. It makes it super easy to share screenshots with colleagues.
Loom makes it easy to record videos of your screen and share them with colleagues. You can speak right into your microphone and capture full audio, making it easy to walk through something on your screen as you talk about it. It also enables you to easily record your face as you talk using a webcam, to add a bit of personality to your recordings.
Small Business Apps for Marketing and Advertising
Marketing and advertising are vital for small businesses to succeed, and these apps can help you be effective in your campaigns:
Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media management solution, which is ideal if you spend any time on social media marketing. With it, you can schedule posts, manage follower interactions, and of course, generate reports to analyze your past performance.
One of the most robust marketing suites available for small businesses, HubSpot offers dozens of individual tools and apps to help you improve your marketing and advertising approach. Use it to generate leads, automate your email and social campaigns, and even manage your sales—all in one place.
Buffer is a small business app that helps you manage all your social media platforms. You can create posts from scratch, schedule them for deployment, reach out to your followers, and analyze data all in one place.
MailChimp is one of the top names in email marketing, in part because of its generous free plan. With it, you can start a new email campaign within minutes, designing your email from scratch (even with no experience) and blasting it to your followers. Later on, you can track metrics like opens, clicks, and conversions, and watch how your results improve over time.
Ubersuggest is an SEO tool from Neil Patel that I just love. It makes it easy to do various SEO, keyword research, competitive analysis, and content marketing tasks.
Small Business Apps for Lead Generation
Every business, nomatter the size, needs to make sales. But getting leads is the first step. Here are the best small business apps for lead generation. And if you want even more, be sure to check out our big post with 75 B2B lead generation ideas and tips!
I feel like Intercom comes up in just about every list of tools I make, but that’s because it does a little of everything, and it’s awesome. It’s a full-blown CRM, marketing automation tool, and much more. But I decided to include it here in the “lead generation” section because of its ability to open a chat pop-up on your website to drive visitors to your preferred conversions.
Mailshake is a great tool for cold email outreach. It integrates with a ton of other apps and provides a simple step-by-step process to walk you through setting up campaigns and using the app. I love how it integrates automatically with Voila Norbert to clean & validate email lists, too (a necessary step for email outreach).
Another great tool for cold email outreach is Lemlist. It has some fun templates and functionality, including the ability to add photos to outreach emails with dynamically-changing text, so you can go the extra step in personalizing your outreach emails, boosting response rates. I also love its “Lemwarm” feature, which automates the process of warming up an email account for cold outreach.
Before you can send cold outreach emails, you need leads, right? That’s where Apollo comes in. It has a huge database of people that you can search through to find leads that fit your exact target market. It shows you their email address, phone number, company, and a ton of other data points for each prospect. It also has a Chrome extension which you can use to find email addresses from people on LinkedIn, and add them to your prospect list.
MeetAlfred is a great tool to automate outreach across Linkedin, Twitter, and Email. You can set up sequences, for example, to connect with someone on Linkedin, then send them a Linkedin message (use one of these Linkedin connection request message templates), then follow them on Twitter, then email them. It’s a great way to make your outreach efforts multi-channel, increasing the odds you get a response and build relationships with your prospects.
Have you ever seen those browser pop-ups that ask if you would like to subscribe to a website for future updates? Those are browser notifications, and you can set them up using Subscribers. It enables you to send push notifications to your list of users who have opted-in. Think of it as another list you can use like an email list! We use it here at EmailAnalytics to announce new blog posts and special offers.
44. Quuu Promote.
You know you need to be promoting your blog content on social media, but it’s kind of a headache. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to just automate it? That’s what Quuu Promote does. You connect your blog RSS feed and their human editors will see anytime you publish a new blog post. They’ll create a series of tweets, Facebook posts, and Linkedin posts to promote it, and then add those posts to their system. Then, other users who have connected their accounts (users who pay Quuu to find great content to post to their social media accounts for them) will tweet and share links to your blog posts.
HelloBar enables you to set up popups on your website to grab visitors’ attention and get them to take action. You can set up exit-intent popups, slide-ins, full-screen popups, and over-front popups.
Unbounce is an A/B testing tool. You can setup multiple versions of a landing page, and it’ll automatically send visitors to each variant and report the results so you can optimize landing page conversion rates.
It also lets you setup sticky bars that can go on the top or bottom of your site, as well as pop-ups including exit intent popups, slide-ins, and much more. You can customize the popups, use templates, set up A/B testing for your popups and sticky bars, and a whole lot more. It’s a great suite of conversion tools with built-in A/B conversion optimization testing!
Small Business Apps for Analytics
Business intelligence is an important part of any business! Here are the best small business apps for analytics.
47. Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is one of the best analytics tools available, giving you the ability to track traffic to your site as well as onsite user behavior. It has tons of tools to help you generate data visuals and regular reports, but the best thing about Google Analytics is that it’s completely free.
AgencyAnalytics is a fantastic tool for tracking all your online marketing metrics in a single spot. It integrates with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and dozens of other analytics apps to pull everything into one central, customizable dashboard. I also love how it automatically tracks keyword rankings and a ton of SEO-related metrics.
Hotjar enables you to record screen sessions of visitors using your website or app. It’s like looking over the shoulder of someone as they are using your website, and it’s super cool. It also has heatmaps, and enables you to run surveys to your users and visitors, including NPS surveys which are important for SaaS apps.
Baremetrics offers a suite of tools for SaaS and subscription-based businesses. It provides subscription analytics and intelligence about your customers, along with KPIs like churn rates, growth rates, and everything in-between. It also offers cancellation insights, which helps business owners understand why users cancel subscriptions. And it helps businesses recover failed payments from customers, too.
Buzzsumo is sort of an analytics app, because it provides lots of metrics around content. It’s great for finding what content performs well on competitor websites, or what authors specialize in what industries. Content marketers probably get the most value out of it. But I use it mainly for its great monitoring feature. I get instant alerts whenever certain keywords are mentioned anywhere on the Internet, and that makes it easy for me to keep a pulse on what’s being said about me and my brand online. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it social listening & monitoring system that emails me whenever a new mention is found. I love it!
Other Small Business Apps
Okay, Spotify doesn’t really fit into any of the other categories, but it’s a small business app that I use all day, every day 😉 I love listening to music while I work! Spotify lets me jam all day to music I love.
HelpHero is an app that makes it easy to implement guided product tours in your app. It’s what we use here at EmailAnalytics for onboarding new trial customers! It has a bit of learning curve, but it works great and is priced MUCH more reasonably than all of the (many) other competitors.
Indy bills itself as an all-in-one platform to manage your freelance business. It enables users to organize day-to-day tasks, track time, send out contracts and invoices, and manage multiple projects.
Indy also allows you to track hours worked on specific tasks, which can easily be added to invoices before billing. The deadline and reminders feature will ensure you deliver your work on time.
Calendly makes it super convenient to schedule meetings. Whether you’re using it for sales meetings, SaaS demos, or just scheduling meetings in general, it eliminates all the back-and-forth emailing about “what times work for you?”.
I love how it has an embeddable widget that makes it easy to add the scheduler to your website, so that visitors can book a meeting with you or your sales team. At $15/mo, it’s a no brainer.
Envato Elements is a fantastic place to find creative assets like graphic templates, website themes, photos, video or audio. If you need extra inspiration, check out the latest email marketing trends for 2021.
Small Business Apps that We Use Here at EmailAnalytics
We practice what we preach! Here’s a list of all the small business apps from this list that we use:
- Google Analytics
- Google Workspace
- Quuu Promote
- Markup Hero
- Godaddy Bookkeeping
We didn’t cover CRMs in this list, but we’ve got a whole post on CRM software tools for you to check out! And if you engage in phone calls for marketing or sales, then check out these call tracking software apps!
Now that you have a big list of the best small business apps to consider, are you interested in learning more about how your team members are performing? Or are you interested in learning more about your own communication dynamics?
You need a tool like EmailAnalytics. It integrates directly with Gmail and allows you to analyze your email activity, including your busiest times and days of the week, your average email thread length, and even your average email response time. Sign up for a free trial today to give it a spin!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.