Best Small Business Apps: 35 Must-Have Tools

October 14, 2015


As a small business owner, you need the right tools to help manage all the demands of that responsibility, from high-level strategic goals to the day-to-day operations.

Finding the right ones can create a chaotic process of trial and error. And with dozens of other things on your plate, I’m sure you’d rather spend your time accomplishing other things.

That’s why I wanted to put together this resource list.

I’ve broken down the tools into categories based on the type of assistance you’ll need. And as an added bonus: Each of the tools mentioned here will integrate directly into the FreshBooks platform, making it easier than ever to get the functionality and personalized workflow you need.

For a more in-depth look at how each of these tools can integrate into our platform and help your business grow, please visit our add-ons page.

Customer Support

Businesses die or thrive based on their level of customer support. It’s no wonder why you need a tool to make sure you never miss a beat with this part of the business.

Keep track of support tickets, questions and general communication with these great tools.

  • ZenDesk – A customer support that also features self-service solutions for your customers.
  • HappyFox – Practical help desk and customer support software solution.
  • Freshdesk – Streamlined customer support software to make your customers happy.
  • ClickDesk – A combination of solutions to help you manage customer interactions.

Expense Tracking

Small business owners can’t get by without keeping track of expenses. It’s a vital – albeit often laborious – part of running a business.

Having tools to assist you with the process of expense tracking can relieve some of the stress associated with it. Whether you need to keep track of miles, receipts or general expenses, make sure to check out these tools.

  • MileIQ – A smart mileage tracker for business owners on the go.
  • Receipt Bank – Removes the need for manual data entry by extracting key information.
  • Xpenditure – Handles business expenses from receipts to accounting.
  • Automatic – Hardware that connects your car to the rest of your digital life.

CRM

Managing relationships with customers and leads could mean the difference between explosive growth and steady decline. A good CRM helps you remember everything, from what you discussed in your last meeting to the names of your biggest customer’s children.

Use one of these great solutions to help you keep track of all the people in your life. It’ll help make them feel special, and it’ll help you knock the socks off of everyone at the next networking event.

  • Agile CRM – Intelligent automation and marketing tools for an optimal CRM.
  • Batchbook – Make sure every task gets done and every lead is followed up with.
  • Capsule – A simple, effective and flexible CRM solution for small businesses.
  • Relenta – Maximize every opportunity and get more done in less time.
  • Solve360 – A modern CRM solution to help you manage what’s important.
  • You Don’t Need a CRM! – Helps sales teams track and close leads without wasting time.

Connector Tools

I don’t know about you, but I love streamlining my day as much as possible.

And that’s why I love connector tools so much. They’re great for connecting the tools I use everyday to one another, which saves me tons of time throughout the week.

If you love efficiency, you’ll definitely want to check out some of these solutions.

  • Zapier – Connect the apps you use everyday and automate tasks to get more done.
  • OneSaas – Automatically share data between multiple apps you use everyday.
  • IFTTT – Another app to help sync apps and automate your daily tasks.

Project Management

Keeping track of projects from start to finish ensures you don’t miss an important step along the way. And online project management tools assist you with this process.

Don’t find yourself embarrassed and missing an element of your project every again. Use one of these tools to keep track throughout the entire project.

  • Podio – Organize and connect everything you work with.
  • Basecamp – Keep your team on the same page and work together to finish projects.
  • Autotask – A complete IT business management solution.
  • ClientSpot – Organize clients, projects and deadlines into one simple system.

Marketing

While word-of-mouth and referrals are great, most business will need a strong marketing strategy to generate leads on a regular basis. From content marketing to email marketing, each piece of the puzzle is vitally important.

Equip yourself with tools like these to get the most out of your next campaign.

  • Mailchimp – A simple email marketing solution for small businesses.
  • ActiveCampaign – An all-in-one marketing platform to help you grow your business.
  • Benchmark – Easily manage email marketing campaigns.
  • Hubspot – Inbound marketing and sales management solution.

Generating Leads

A small business couldn’t exist without a constant stream of leads and sales. If you’re not using the right tools, you’ll never be able to reach your fullest potential in this area.

This section can help you with everything from the initial live chat to sending over a proposal for services. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your sales process and reach your goal numbers, look no further:

  • Bidsketch – Create professional client proposals in minutes.
  • Wufoo – Easily build and manage your online forms.
  • Quote Roller – All-in-one CPQ, proposal and contract management software.
  • Live Chat – A live chat solution to reach out to potential customers in real time.
  • Proposify – A simple, streamlined way to deliver winning proposals to potential clients.
  • 123ContactForm – Build user-friendly online forms that get results.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Automate your client bookings, cancellations, reminders.

Workforce Management

Small businesses with a mobile workforce need tools to track and manage customers and technicians. In fact, handling service requests can mean the difference between success and failure for these types of companies.

These tools will make sure you get the job done in an efficient, thorough manner.

  • GeoOp – An easy-to-use, low-cost job management service.
  • Blue Folder – Streamlined service management software for mobile teams.

The right tools can take your small business to the next level, and I hope this list helps you find the right ones for your company. If you found this post helpful, please take a moment to share it so other small business owners can benefit from it too.


about the author

Freelance Contributor Chelsei Henderson is a content marketing consultant helping freelancers and entrepreneurs build successful companies in the digital world.