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Software can save small businesses time and money when used in the right way. Not all solutions will work for you, and some may not be worth the expenditure compared to the value offered. We recommend that you review many of the options available on the market and consider how they would improve the day-to-day operations of your company. We’ve collated many of your choices in one place to help you review some of the best options available.
Top 23 tools & software for small businesses
We’ve listed 23 software solutions that may offer your small business the most value. These range across several categories, such as social media management, remote working tools, analytical platforms and more.
Google Workspace is a collection of tools offered by Google for productivity, collaboration and to assist in the day-to-day operations of your business. Many of the tools are available for free with limits, or you can opt to use their subscription service. Here’s what’s included in G Suite:
- Gmail - An email service that stores your emails securely in the cloud and otherwise works the same as other email systems.
- Google Drive - A cloud storage solution that makes it easy to store, share and collaborate on the files being stored.
- Google Calendar - An online calendar for scheduling events and appointments. You can share your calendars with others and view calendars you’ve connected with.
- Google Docs - An alternative to Microsoft Word with similar features and functionality. Documents are available online, making it easy to share and collaborate with others in real-time.
- Google Sheets - An alternative to Microsoft Excel that offers users an online spreadsheet solution. Share with others to view, edit and work on the sheets at the same time.
- Google Slides - An online alternative to PowerPoint that offers an online presentation tool that multiple users can work on together.
- Google Forms - Create online forms and surveys that can be shared with a URL. Google Forms collects and stores the results for you to view and refer to at any time.
- Google Keep - Create and store online notes, lists and reminders to help with your organisation. Add notes via text, photos or audio.
Microsoft Office 365
Similarly to Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365 provides small businesses with a set of tools to help them communicate, collaborate and manage their workloads. This service is available on subscription and can be integrated with other software owned by Microsoft such as Skye, Yammer and Power BI. Here’s what’s included:
- Outlook - An email and calendar service for sending and receiving emails, scheduling meetings and managing contacts.
- Word - Software to edit, create and format documents.
- Excel- Software to create, edit and format data into spreadsheets for analysing or data logs.
- PowerPoint- Create presentations using slides. Add images, text, video, animations and other features needed to help you present your ideas and information.
- OneNote- a note-taking software that allows users to create, organize, and share notes and ideas.
- OneDrive - Cloud storage software that integrates with Word, Excel, Powerpoint and other Microsoft services. Edit, share and collaborate on files with other users.
- Teams- Communicate with other team members, share files, hold virtual conferences, and organise past conversations based on the topic or project they relate to.
- SharePoint - Collaboration and document management software that allows users to share and manage content, knowledge, and applications.
Trello is a project management and task tracking tool that aims to help teams organise and prioritise their workloads together. Users upload their tasks and assign them to lists such as ‘to-do’, ‘in progress’ and ‘completed’.
Trello helps to visualise the project's users have loaded, and offers a simple way to manage ongoing work. Team members can be assigned specific tasks with due dates, file attachments, comments, labels and more. They offer a mobile app, and their software can be utilised for various purposes such as the following:
- Project management
- Event planning
- Personal task management
- Collaborative writing
- Customer support
Zoom offers small businesses a video conferencing tool for online meetings and remote collaboration. It’s used for many reasons, such as:
- Remote team meetings- Have video meetings with team members and clients. Share screens, collaborate on documents and more.
- Webinars- Host webinars for customers, partners or employees on a large scale.
- Online classes and training- Schools, universities and businesses use Zoom to provide virtual classes and training sessions. Zoom offers helpful tools such as breakout rooms and remote control options.
- Virtual events- Zoom offers a virtual event feature for conferences, trade shows, networking, product releases and e-sports. This includes tools such as polls, Q&A and hand raising.
QuickBooks is an accounting software that helps small businesses to track and manage their income, expenses, sales and other financial information. They offer various plans for different needs, and some of the key features on offer include:
- Invoicing- Generate and send invoices to customers and track their payment status.
- Expense tracking - Track expenses and categorise them to help with budgeting and filing taxes.
- Accounting- Keep track of your income and expenses. Generate reports such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow.
- Payroll- QuickBooks also has a payroll feature that allows businesses to track employee hours, calculate payroll taxes, and generate paychecks.
- Integrations- QuickBooks can be integrated with various other apps, such as payment processors, point of sale systems, and time tracking software.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows small businesses to create and operate an online store with ease. They offer several plan types suited to various business sizes, and it’s well known for accommodating small businesses while they scale into larger organisations. Here’s what Shopify has to offer:
- Store creation- Choose from a range of templates and customisation options that allow small businesses to create a professional online store, regardless of their experience with website design.
- Product management- Shopify has a product management system built into their system. Add products, set their stock levels and availability, enter their prices and more.
- Payment processing- Shopify supports a wide range of online payments, such as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. This is built into their system, alongside fraud detection and prevention methods.
- Order management- Manage your orders, track their status, process returns and refunds, generate shipping labels and everything else you’ll need when fulfilling sales.
- App store- Shopify has a designated app store with over 5,000 apps that businesses can use to enhance their store, marketing efforts, product management and more. These apps provide additional levels of functionality, with some being available for free, while others are paid for.
- Analytics- You’ll have access to a range of analytical and reporting tools to track sales, traffic, customer behaviour, returning customer rate and more.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool to manage posts across multiple platforms. They offer varying plans for different needs, with some of their key features including:
- Social media scheduling- Hootsuite allows businesses to schedule and publish posts across multiple social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Team collaboration- Manage user permissions within a team, assign tasks and collaborate on social posting within one account.
- Analytics and reporting- Track and analyse social media performance, such as post engagement, reach and click-through rates.
- Social listening- Monitor mentions of your company, competitors, industry terms or just about anything else across social media platforms.
- Automation - Hootsuite can automate tasks such as scheduling posts, responding to messages and publishing content.
MailChimp is an email marketing tool for small businesses to create, automate, send and track their email marketing campaigns. It offers a free plan alongside paid plans that give users access to more features and functionality. Some of the key features include:
- List building - Build an email list by manually or automatically adding subscribers through sign up forms, integrations or importing existing lists.
- Email design - Use and customise email templates to easily create professional looking emails, regardless of your design experience.
- Automation - Automate email campaigns and flows based on triggers, such as welcome emails, abandoned carts, birthdays and more.
- Campaign tracking - Understand how your campaigns have performed via analytical information such as open rates, click-through rates and revenue generation.
- Integration - MailChimp integrates with a wide range of platforms, such as e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management (CRMs), and web analytics tools, allowing businesses to streamline their workflow.
- Personalisation - Personalise emails based on customer information and lists to make your emails more relevant to the reader.
Asana is a project management tool for small businesses to organise and keep on top of their projects. Users can collaborate together on tasks, attach files, leave comments and more. Asana offers various plans depending on your needs, with some of their key features being:
- Create tasks - All team members can create tasks, track their progress, set due dates, add subtasks, comments, attachments and more.
- Ongoing management - After creating tasks, users can organise them by creating projects, boards and lists, or adding custom fields, tags and filters to make the ongoing organisation easier.
- Reporting and tracking - Asana provides teams with a range of reporting and tracking tools that allow them to view the progress of tasks, projects and team members.
- Integration - Asana can integrate with a variety of other apps and tools, such as Google Drive, Slack, and Trello.
- Mobile App - Asana has mobile apps for both iOS and Android, so team members can access and update their tasks remotely.
Canva is a versatile graphic design tool that can be used for many different purposes, such as creating posters, brochures, social media posts, presentations, email headers, website images and more. Their platform is designed to be easy for anyone to use, and comes with many templates and assets that can be used free of charge. Canva also offers a paid version that offers additional functionality and assets. Here’s what they have to offer small businesses:
- Templates - Use a wide range of templates for varying visual content. Customise the templates by adding your own images, shapes and colours.
- Design elements - Access a library of illustrations, graphics icons and shapes to add to your base template or when creating your design from scratch.
- Text - Add text to any of the designs you create. Choose from different fonts and upload your own branded fonts.
- Collaboration - Work on graphic designs in real-time with your other team members, making it easier to share ideas and get feedback instantly.
- Integrations - Canva can be integrated with other apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Unsplash, which allows users to access their own images and files.
- Mobile App - The Canva mobile app allows users to pick up their designs or start new ones while they’re on the move.
Dropbox is a cloud storage and file sharing solution used widely by small and medium sized businesses. It allows users to store, share and access files using any connected device. Here are the key features:
- File storage - Store and access files such as documents, photos and videos in the cloud. Organise files into folders to make management easier across your team.
- File sharing - Share files or entire folders with other users internal and external to your team. Set permissions and control different access rights to the files being shared.
- Syncing - Dropbox automatically syncs files across all devices, allowing users to access their files from any device with an internet connection.
- Security - Dropbox uses advanced security features such as two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption to keep their users’ files safe.
- Integration - Dropbox can integrate with a variety of apps and tools, such as Google Docs, Microsoft Office, and Slack, allowing users to manage their files within the apps and platforms they’re already using.
Slack is a team collaboration tool used by many small businesses across the world. Users can send messages and share information in real-time across many different channels and teams. Slack boasts many integrations with other popular tools and offer several pricing plan options. Here’s what it could offer your business:
- Workspaces and channels - Workspaces act as groups that members can be invited to. Within these groups, you can create separate channels for users to communicate about a specific project or tasks or within their designated teams.
- Instant messaging - Send messages to other Slack users connected to the same workspaces and channels as you. You can also share files, leave emoji reactions, start threads and everything else you would expect from an instant communication tool.
- Group and private messaging - As well as sending messages in channels, Slack allows you to message people directly and create private group chats with multiple people.
- Integrations - Slack can integrate with a wide range of apps and tools, such as Google Drive, Trello, Asana, Dropbox and many more.
- Search and archives - Search for old messages and threads, and archive messages you no longer need.
- Mobile and desktop apps - Utilise their mobile and desktop apps to always stay connected. Remote workers can keep on top of any communication while they’re moving around.
- Customisation - Customise Slack around your small business and the individuals using the software. Add custom emojis, upload profile pictures, set themes, notification settings and more.
Salesforce is a customer relationship management (CR) tool for businesses to manage and analyse customer data. It’s often used by small businesses to help organise and manage customer profiles and track sales or interactions. It offers automation features for sales and marketing, and it’s available in several tiers and pricing plans. Here’s what to expect:
- Contact and account management - Collect, manage and organise customer data such as their contact information, sales history and communications.
- Sales automation - Automate parts of your sales process, such as managing inbound leads, analysing where the opportunity lies, and forecasting sales.
- Marketing automation - Automatically track marketing campaigns such as email, social, website and more.
- Service and support - Automate elements of your customer support service, such as case management and customer self-service portals.
- Analytics and reporting - Utilise a wide range of analytic and reporting tools to help understand how sales are performing. Use this information to make informed decisions about where the opportunities lie and what’s working best.
- Integration - Integrate Salesforce with a variety of other platforms, such as Google Suite, Microsoft Office, social media profiles and more.
FreshBooks is an online invoicing and accounting software for small businesses, known for its ease of use and ability to streamline how you handle your accounting. They offer various plans at different levels depending on how many features you need. Here are some of their key features:
- Invoicing - Create and send professional invoices to your clients, and track their status such as ‘payment due’ or ‘paid’.
- Time tracking - Track how long projects and tasks are taking your team members, and use this to create invoices based on the time spent.
- Expense tracking - Track your expenses and categorise them to assist with budgeting and tax filing.
- Accounting - Track your income and expenses, and generate automatic reports such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets and more.
- Online payments - Use FreshBooks to accept and process online payments from credit cards, PayPal and other popular payment methods.
- Mobile App - FreshBooks mobile app gives you information about the financial side of your business on the move. Generate invoices directly from your phone and accept payments remotely.
HubSpot offers small businesses an all-in-one marketing sales and service platform to help with attracting, engaging and nurturing customers. It offers many automations and aims to streamline some of the time-consuming processes. Here’s what they offer:
- Marketing automation - Automate marketing processes such as lead generation, email marketing, social media marketing and more.
- Sales enablement - HubSpot provides tools to automate and manage sales processes, such as lead tracking, email integration and deal tracking.
- CRM - Manage and organise customer data through their built-in CRM tool to collect, organise and manage customer data.
- Service and support - Automate and manage your customer service support through ticketing systems and knowledge bases.
- Analytics and reporting - HubSpot provides businesses with a wide range of analytics and reporting tools that allow them to track their marketing, sales and customer service performance.
- Integration - Integrate HubSpot with a variety of other apps, such as Google Suite, Microsoft Office, social media platforms and more.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is a subscription-based service that allows small businesses to access up to 20 applications. The type of plan you choose determines which pieces of software you can use, which range from options such as:
- Photoshop - A graphic design editing tool for editing images, most commonly used for photography. You can retouch images, add filters and enhancements and more.
- Illustrator - Software most often used for vector graphics such as illustrations, logos, icons and more.
- InDesign - A layout and page design software used for creating print ready artwork and digital documents, such as posters, brochures, leaflets and more.
- Acrobat Pro - Read, edit and create PDFs. Add e-signatures, add annotations and more.
- Premiere Pro - Video editing software for creating professional digital videos.
- After Effects - Motion graphic software for creation animations and visual effects.
SEMrush is a digital marketing tool that provides data and insight into several marketing efforts, helping to develop strategies, analyse the competition and more. They have several plans on offer with varying levels of features, which include tools such as:
- Keyword research - Conduct keyword research to help guide search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. Understand volumes, cost-per-click (CPC) pricing and how competitive search terms are.
- SEO analysis - Understand and analyse a website based on how it’s performing for SEO. Get information on the keywords targeted, backlinks and other technical data.
- CPC analysis - Research and analyse your competitors’ paid advertising efforts, such as their advert copy, spending and targeted keywords.
- Content analysis - Get an insight into your competitors’ content marketing efforts to generate your own ideas. Analyse their top-performing posts, backlinks and social media activity.
- Site audit - Run site audits to identify technical SEO issues and receive recommendations on how to fix them.
- Integration - SEMrush offers integrations with many other software solutions and tools, such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs and Moz.
Todoist is a task management and to-do list application used by individuals, small businesses and larger organisations. It aims to help users manage their tasks and stay organised. They offer various plans with different features, such as:
- Task Management - Create and manage tasks, set due dates and priorities, create subtasks, add comments, attach files and more.
- Project Management - Organise tasks into projects. Set goals and track project progression.
- Collaboration - Users in the same business can collaborate on tasks together. Every user can share tasks, assign other team members, add comments for everyone to view and more.
- Reminders - Set reminders for tasks and projects. Team members will receive notifications when their tasks are due and any important progress updates.
- Productivity tracking - Track employees’ productivity and understand how much time they spend on different tasks and projects. Use this to spot efficiencies or to calculate billing.
- Integration - Todoist can integrate with a variety of other apps such as Google Calendar, Slack, Alexa and more.
Ahrefs is an SEO tool used by digital marketers for a variety of purposes such as keyword research, analysis and more. They offer several pricing plans with differing features, depending on the needs of your small business. Here are their core features:
- Backlink analysis - Analyse how many backlinks a website has, with information on their quality, the anchor text used, and who the referring domain is.
- Keyword research - Ahrefs provide a keyword research tool to find relevant keywords for website pages and content, with information on their search volume, CPC and competitiveness.
- Site explorer - Get an overview of the website’s organic search performance, such as the top organic search keywords, organic search performance, and how competitors are performing for similar terms.
- Content explorer - Use their content explorer tool to find popular search topics in specific niches. Get information about the number of times content has been shared, how many backlinks it has, and the amount of organic traffic it brings.
- Rank tracking - Track how you’re performing for specific keywords over a longer period of time. Receive alerts and statistics about any changes.
- Integration - Ahrefs integrates with a variety of other tools and platforms such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, Moz and more.
Evernote is a note-taking and organising tool for users to create, edit, store and share their notes and ideas. Several pricing plans are available with varying access to features, and it’s used by many small businesses across the world. Some of their key features include:
- Note-taking - Create notes from text, images, videos, audio recordings and files. Notes are automatically saved for future reference.
- Organisational tools - Organise saved notes into notebooks. Notes can be tagged to make it easier to search for them, and add filters to help search based on context.
- Collaboration - Notes and notebooks can be shared with other team members for collaboration, or when they’re needed for projects that involve multiple individuals and teams.
- Syncing - Evernote automatically syncs notes across all devices, allowing users to access their notes from any connected device.
- Search - Their powerful search feature makes it easy to find specific notes, including those that have been handwritten.
- Integration - Evernote can integrate with a variety of other apps, such as Google Drive, Slack, Outlook, UK Postbox and more.
SocialPilot is a social media management tool for small businesses to create, schedule, publish and analyse their social media content across multiple platforms. They have multiple plans available depending on your needs. Some of the key features include:
- Social media scheduling - Schedule and publish social media posts across multiple platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google My Business, Instagram, Linkedin, YouTube, TikTok, Tumblr and Pinterest.
- Team collaboration - Multiple team members can access, manage and view scheduled social posts as well as analytical information.
- Analytics - View analytics and reports on how your social media campaigns are performing. Get statistics such as engagement, reach and click-through rates.
- Customisable reports - Produce custom reports and export them for reporting and sharing.
- Content discovery - SocialPilot allows users to discover new content, blogs, and articles to inspire future campaigns.
- Automation - Automate time-consuming tasks such as scheduling, publishing and engaging.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google. It allows small businesses to track how users are interacting with their website and apps, such as the number of page visits, time spent on page and more. Some of their key features include:
- Traffic analysis - Track the number of visitors to specific website pages and understand how many new and returning visitors there are, where the traffic originated from and other insightful information.
- Behaviour analysis - Understand how users are engaging with your website, such as which pages they visit, how long they stay, and the actions they take while visiting specific pages.
- Audience analysis - Segment your website traffic by demographics, interests and location to analyse how different segments engage with your site in different ways.
- Conversion tracking - Set up conversion tracking and track when and where the conversions came from. Conversions can range from actions such as button clicks, purchasing on your website, filling out a form and more.
- Integration - Google Analytics can integrate with a variety of other tools and platforms such as Google Ads, Google Search Console, and Google Tag Manager.
We also offer a software solution to small, medium and large businesses across the world. Our tools offer companies a way to manage all of their mail remotely. We offer various plans depending on the amount of mail you expect to receive and offer many features such as:
- Virtual addresses - Every account receives a virtual address to use for all mail deliveries. It can also be used for business purposes, such as a registered office, business trading address, directors’ service address and trading address.
- Online mail management - Our platform gives you access to view and manage all of your mail remotely. From here, you can take actions such as viewing your mail, storing it for later, organising it and more. For a detailed breakdown, visit our page on platform features.
- Mail and parcel forwarding - Forward any letters or parcels you receive to another address worldwide.
- Mail scanning and digitisation - Receive a digital scan or photograph of the letters and parcels you receive directly in your account. Request that we open up any mail and scan the contents for you to view online.
- Send letters online - Upload a PDF and provide a delivery address. We’ll then send the letter on your behalf from the UK.
- E-retail and dropshipping - We can handle all of your dropshipping and fulfilment needs from our UK location.
- Mobile and tablet app - Our platform is available on your smart device, allowing you to access and manage your business mail while on the move.
- Collaboration - Share mail items with other team members so they’re aware of any correspondence you’ve received.
- Integrations - We integrate with popular platforms such as G Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Evernote and Dropbox. Your mail can be automatically synced into your cloud solutions for easier viewing and sharing.