13 Top Small Business Apps for Keeping Things Running Smoothly

Top Small Business Apps for Keeping Things Running Smoothly
Business
By Cristina Kuptzin-Johnson | 81 minute read

Small businesses are no different from large enterprises when it comes to running them. You have all the same departments - human resources, accounting, operations, etc. - just at a smaller scale. Like enterprises, you need to find the best small business apps to get - and keep - things running smoothly.

It may feel overwhelming when you begin researching small business applications because there are a lot out there that serve different purposes within a business. You don’t have to start with a whole package. You can begin with a small step into technology and evolve from there. 

Top Apps For Small Businesses 

 Best App For Accounting and Finance

  • Xero
  • Gusto
  • FreshBooks
  • QuickBooks

Best For Time tracking And Crew Management

  • ClockShark
  • Teamdeck
  • Monday.com

Best For Team Communication

  • Slack
  • Chanty
  • GoToMeeting

Best For Project Management

  • nTask
  • Trello
  • Basecamp
Top Apps For Small Businesses

What to Look for When Choosing a Small Business App

Before you begin choosing applications for your small business, you identify your needs. Of course, there will be many, so make a list of priorities. If you’re not the accounting type, perhaps an accounting software would be ideal. Or perhaps you love numbers but don’t care for managing people, in which case a business management app might be better.

Regardless, there are some key factors you should look for whenever choosing the best apps for your small business. 

Integrations

Most software integrates with other software. This helps with scaling and streamlining. A good example of this is a time tracking and scheduling app that integrates with accounting software.

Accessibility

There is often travel involved with owning a small business and, even if you don’t travel much, you won’t be in the office all the time. You need to be able to access the app wherever you are, whether with a laptop, tablet, or your phone.

Security

Research from Kaspersky found SMBs lost $105,000 in 2021 due to data breaches and small- and mid-sized businesses are more likely than enterprises to experience cyberattacks. That’s why it’s important to use small business applications that are secure.

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Ease of Use

There will always be a learning curve when adopting new technology. However, if the app you choose for your business is too complex to use, it defeats the purpose of getting it. If you’re not a super techy person, check to see if the software app you are considering provides adequate training and support before jumping in.

Functionality

There are simple apps that serve one or two purposes, complex, enterprise apps that provide a suite of multiple modules, and everything in between. Before selecting a small business app, be sure it provides the type of functionality you need.

Best Apps For Small Businesses 

From start to finish, you have workloads and workflows in your small business. Here are some of the best small business applications you can get for each.



Best App For Accounting And Finance

1.  Xero

Top Small Business Apps

Xero is an online accounting software that connects with your bank, accounting tools, accountant, payment services, and third-party apps. As an online application, everything is always available, on any device.

Key Features

  • Accounts payable/receivable
  • Bank connections
  • Accept payments
  • Payroll
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Reporting
  • Invoicing
  • Purchase orders
  • Sales tax
  • Asset management

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • Integrations
  • Customizable

Cons

  • New Zealand based (making customer service sometimes challenging)
  • Reporting options limited

Pricing

Xero has three plans, starting at $12 per month.

Learn more about Xero.



2. Gusto

Top Small Business Apps

Gusto is a popular payroll and benefits solution with features that help companies of any size, including HR processes.

Key Features

  • Automated taxes and filings
  • Multiple state and pay schedules
  • Cloud-based
  • Benefits management
  • Payroll integrations
  • Direct deposit
  • Financial tools for employees
  • Time tracking
  • Geolocation

Pros

  • Robust platform
  • Very good customer support
  • Feature-rich
  • User-friendly
  • Offers a contractor-only plan

Cons

  • Can be costly
  • Benefits can be complicated
  • Overseas support might be hard to reach

Pricing

Starts at $40 per month plus $6/per person.

Learn more about Gusto.



3. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is an online accounting software offering double-entry accounting to help track income, expenses, assets, and equity, as well as general accounting features.

Key Features

  • Balance sheet
  • General ledger
  • Cost of goods sold
  • Accountant access
  • Invoicing
  • Accounts payable
  • Trial balance
  • Chart of accounts
  • Journal entries
  • Expense tracking

Pros

  • Integrations
  • Ease of use
  • Secure

Cons

  • Not customizable (unless upgraded to more expensive plan, invoices include Xero logo)
  • Limited integrations

Pricing

Freshbooks has four plans available, beginning at $6 per month, for up to five billable clients



4. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is an accounting and finance software developed by Intuit. It has been a trusted small business software for decades, making it easier to track income and expenses, run payroll, pay taxes, manage cash flow, and more.

Key Features

  • Income and expense tracking
  • Invoice and payments
  • Tax deductions
  • General reports
  • Receipt capture
  • Mileage tracking
  • Cash flow
  • Sales and sales tax
  • Estimates

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Online version to access from anywhere
  • Integrates with other software

Cons

  • Reported issues with customer support
  • Extra charges for more features
  • Can be costly

Pricing

QuickBooks online has four pricing plans, starting at $15 per month.

Learn more about QuickBooks.



Best For Time tracking And Crew Management

1. ClockShark 

ClockShark is a cloud-based scheduling and time-tracking app, ideal for SMBs with field crews. It helps track the time of your crew in the field and in the office while keeping things easy to use. With ClockShark you get the industries' #1 timesheet app, plus everything you need to finish jobs quickly and accurately while getting paid faster.

Key Features

  • Scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Payroll integrations
  • Mobile app
  • Communications
  • Reporting
  • File sharing
  • Integrations
  • Location tracking
  • Bilingual (Spanish and English)
  • Invoicing
  • Quotes
  • Accept payments

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • See the location of every employee on the clock
  • Track multiple employee’s time from a single crew timesheet app
  • Remind employees to clock in and out with email alerts and push notifications
  • Create virtual boundaries around jobsites
  • Track the progress made on every job
  • Export timesheets to your accounting system
  • Know how much time was spent on each job

Cons

  • It may not be ideal for companies without teams in the field

Pricing

Starts at just $8/month per user + $7/month base fee. Free 14-day trial.



2. Teamdeck

Top Small Business Apps

Teamdeck is a scheduling and time tracking tool for teams who need to track time, share their availability, and manage leaves (holiday, PTO, etc.) With a mobile app available, Teamdeck allows managers to more efficiently schedule work around workers’ availability.

Key Features

  • Time tracking
  • Scheduling
  • Access control
  • Time off requests
  • Calendar for employees to list their availability
  • Reporting

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • Helps managers schedule around availability
  • Ideal for companies with remote workers

Cons

  • Limited features on basic plan

Pricing

Teamdeck has two pricing plans, with the Basic plan starting at $1 per month, per person, monthly (save 10% by paying annually).



3. Monday.com 

Top Small Business Apps

Monday.com is a popular platform used by businesses to keep track of employees and the work they’re doing, while also improving communications and collaboration. It relies heavily on visualizations to make it easier for users to understand workflows.

Key Feature

  • Customizable dashboards
  • Automations
  • Integrations
  • File sharing
  • Document management
  • Customer management

Pros

  • Robust suite of features
  • Less costly

Cons

  • Complicated to get started
  • Built more for teams
  • Not as useful on mobile

Pricing

Monday.com has four plans starting at $8 per month for up to four people.



Best For Team Communication 

1. Slack

Top Small Business Apps

Slack is a popular workspace that allows companies to communicate in real-time with chat, voice, and video calls. You can set up multiple workspaces with Slack as well as private teams, channels, and one-on-one chats. Slack integrates with other apps and allows you to share files and media with your teams.

Key Features

  • Real-time chat
  • Screen sharing
  • File sharing
  • Mobile app
  • Voice messaging
  • Integrations
  • Message archiving
  • Guest access

Pros

  • Very easy-to-use
  • Low cost
  • Secure

Cons

  • Cannot be used on mobile without data or a wifi connection
  • Can be distracting when working unless notifications are muted

Pricing

Slack has three pricing plans, including a free plan with basic features.



2. Chanty

Chanty is a cloud-based communication tool that allows companies to collaborate in multiple ways as well as assign tasks by turning any chat message into a task which you can track progress through an integrated Kanban board.

Key Features

  • Real-time chat
  • Screen sharing
  • File sharing
  • Mobile app
  • Multiple channel creation for different departments or projects
  • Voice messaging
  • Integrations
  • Message archiving
  • Guest access
  • Task assignments
  • Access controls

Pros

  • Secure
  • Easy-to-use
  • Helps with project management

Cons

  • Cannot be used on mobile without data or a wifi connection
  • Cannot be used on mobile without data or a wifi connection

Pricing

Slack has two pricing plans, with one being a free plan with limited features/users.



3. GoToMeeting

Top Small Business Apps

GotToMeeting is a part of GoTo Connect, a business communications tool developed for SMBs. GoToMeeting is used around the globe and offers secure video meetings and unique meeting tools.

Key Features

  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing
  • Personal meeting rooms
  • Breakout meeting rooms
  • Meeting transcriptions and/or recordings
  • Keyboard and mouse sharing
  • Permissions
  • Drawing tools

Pros

  • High rate of uptime (99.99%)
  • User friendly
  • Secure

Cons

  • Must download app to use it
  • No free plan
  • No customization

Pricing

GoToMeeting has three pricing plans starting at $12 per month per organizer, up  to 150 participants.



Best For Project Management 

1. nTask 

nTask is an online project management solution with multiple features that make it easy to create tasks, track progress, share files, and stay organized.

Key Features

  • Task status and priorities
  • File sharing/attachments
  • Budgeting/financial summaries
  • Resource allocation
  • Milestones
  • Kanban and Gantt charts
  • Meeting management
  • Reporting

Pros

  • Customizable templates
  • Multiple task board views
  • Cost-to-complete tracking
  • Offers free version

Cons

  • Can be difficult to learn
  • Sometimes slow to load
  • Limited integrations

Pricing

nTask offers three pricing plans, including a free one. Paid plans begin at $3 a month per user, paid annually.



2. Trello

Trello is a visual collaboration tool that is helpful to help teams connect and track the progress of projects, tasks, jobs. It uses a visual board that can be viewed in different ways and allows you to create rules, buttons, and commands to automate actions within the app.

Key Features

  • To-do lists
  • Integrations and plug-ins
  • Templates

Pros

  • Free version
  • Easy-to-use
  • Ideal for small teams

Cons

  • Can easily get overwhelming if you have a lot of projects/tasks
  • Not ideal for field workers

Pricing

Trello offers a free plan with limited features and three paid plans beginning at $5 per month, billed annually.



3. Basecamp

Top Small Business Apps

Basecamp is a project management tool that helps teams connect and share assets on a per-projects basis. Each project has its own ‘board’ and within that board, anyone involved in the project can access files and information about the project.

Key Features

  • Simple dashboard view
  • To-do lists
  • Messaging
  • File sharing
  • Scheduling
  • Integrations
  • Customization
  • Mobile app

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • No subscription (cancel at anytime)
  • Straightforward pricing

Cons

  • Not ideal for field teams

Pricing

Basecamp costs $11 per month, per user.

Small Business Apps Help You Run Your Business

When you have a small business, you have to find the best apps to make things run smoothly. However, not all business apps are ideal for small businesses, and not all processes need an app to be done. You don’t have to make a giant leap into technology but, rather, you can try out a few business apps by using the free trials, to determine which ones would be best for your small business.

8,000+ companies use ClockShark to track employees and save time every month.

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