The best small business tools are ones that empower you to perform at your best, hit peak productivity, communicate seamlessly… and even remember to take a lunch break. Rather than tech for tech’s sake, they should serve one purpose: to make your life easier and your business more efficient and effective.
What should you look for in small business tools for entrepreneurs – and what are some top picks that can completely transform how you do what you do?
What the Best Small Business Tools for Entrepreneurs Have In Common
Before we get into specifics, let’s take a look at some features you probably want in business tools. Remember, they’re supposed to make your life easier! The best options are:
- Easy to Use. Ease of use is essential. Any tool worth its salt, so to speak, is simple to set up and implement. Use should be intuitive. Think of a phone: we can pick up a new smartphone and we just know how to use it. This is because they are designed with the user in mind. They just make sense. Your business tools need to offer the same level of usability – or you simply will not use them.
- Customizable. Your business is unique – so why use a cookie-cutter solution or force your processes to fit into a particular mold? Great tools offer the ability to customize your experience based on your needs, your teams, your goals, etc.
- Suited for Your Needs. At the very least, a business tool needs to give you the functionality you need to streamline and simplify key processes and practices.
- Priced Right. Want to know a secret? Many exceptional tools are low- or even no cost. A high price tag doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the help you need.
- Helpful. Speaking of help… It is highly advantageous when you can access great customer support if you run into any issues.
Which tools meet these criteria and will help you achieve key business-building goals?
10 Must-Have Small Business Tools for Entrepreneurs
While your business has unique needs, you likely need a bit of technical assistance managing everything. Entrepreneurs are busy folks! Some of these are the best small business tools that can help with that:
When you are a small business owner, you are also a master juggler. If you’ve got multiple balls in the air, project management tools are a must. Trello is a great tool that allows you to manage projects, workflow, and tracking with ease. You can add checklists and files, automate key tasks and workflows, and customize it based on how your team (or you if you are a solopreneur) work best.
Price tiers are free, $5/month, $10/month, and $17.50/month (Enterprise Level, price per 50 employees). No matter the size of your business, you can find an affordable plan that works for you.
Zoom is one of the most robust communication and collaboration tools on the market. It allows for HD-quality video and audio collaboration, virtual event hosting, team chats, whiteboard functionality, enterprise cloud phone system, large-scale webcasting capability, sales conversation intelligence, and much more. It is easy to use, especially the basic call/video features, and there are a variety of plans to suit your needs and your price points. You can even start for free, enjoying unlimited video meetings with up to 100 participants. For enhanced functionality, look into pro plans.
The ability to sign and send documents electronically is a game-changer that can enhance efficiency and speed – a must in business. But you can do more with DocuSign. This is a tool that can help you conduct paperless transactions securely and seamlessly. In addition to electronic signatures, you can opt for electronic notarization, contract lifecycle management, document generation, identification verification, and other services. You can try it for free, and then contact DocuSign’s sales team for pricing.
You likely use these already! And if not… you should. These solutions make it easy to create documents of various types, collaborate with co-creators, team members, and others, and share information via a secure platform. Drive allows you to store documents safely and access them easily.
While you can enjoy a lot of great functionality for free, Google also offers business plans at $6/user/month, $12/user/month, and $25/user/month. These offer enhanced features, including Google business email, Meet video and voice conferencing, more or unlimited Drive storage, presentation and forms builders, Sites website builder, and a variety of other tools.
A simple note-taking app can change your life! Or your business… so, yes, your life. When you get a spark of inspiration, a great idea, or need a reminder, just add it to this cross-device app. And, unlike a Post-it note, you can easily attach files, reminders, and voice memos to your notes, in addition to sharing them with your team and other relevant stakeholders.
You can also sync with your calendar, use helpful templates for greater efficiency in note-taking, scan documents, save articles, blogs, screen grabs, and other important web content, and create to-dos to help you stay organized. Individual plans start at $7.99/month (personal) and $9.99/month (professional) and team plans are just $14.99/user/month (minimum 2 users).
The social media network for professionals. You can use it for a variety of purposes, from highlighting your professional experience and skills and promoting your business to sharing your thought leadership and connecting with business peers, potential employees, and other people who can help grow your network and your business. As a paying member, you can also use the platform for advertising, marketing, hiring, lead generation, and sales. LinkedIn Business is priced at $47.99/month. If you make one sale, hire one great person, or make one critical connection… It has more than paid for itself.
An underrated tool, but still one of the best small business tools. Connecteam helps you wrangle remote and hybrid teams and ensure business and employee management is seamless. Among its functions: creating and sharing job schedules, assigning tasks, tracking employee hours, creating interactive communication one-on-one or with groups, sharing content, managing reports in real-time (e.g incident reports, expense reimbursement, etc.), making it easy for employees to access training resources, increasing engagement with targeted newsletters, updates, and announcements, etc.
Connecteam is inclusive, easy to use, and easy on the budget. A small business plan for up to 10 users is free, and tiers range from Basic (starting at $29/month) to Advanced (starting at $49/month) to Expert (starting at $99/month).
Hubspot bills itself as a “CRM platform that’s both powerful and easy to use.” They deliver on this promise by making it easier to create a great customer experience. It supports contract and license management, lead distribution, customer database, and performance metrics activities – all while offering a clean, intuitive user interface.
There are free options and for more robust functionality, you can opt for Starter (starting at $45/month), Professional (starting at $800/month), or Enterprise (starting at $3,600/month) tiers. Depending on your goals and the size of your organization, this can be a great investment.
For such a huge corporation, Google does make some of the best small business tools. This solution gives you a powerful tool with which to track website performance and customer behaviors. This includes not only time on site but also customer journey mapping. The data aggregation functionality gives you the information you need to develop insights into what’s working, what’s not, and where to go from here.
You can use a standard version of Google Analytics for free; the premium version, Google Analytics 360, offers tier-based pricing. For most small businesses, the free option is just fine.
While you may hire professional graphic designers for important marketing and advertising assets, what if you just want to create an eye-catching social media post? Or print up a fun flier or brochure? This is where Canva comes in. You can use this easy tool to make everything from banners and posters to invitations and business cards without any design experience. Again, it’s not always suitable to go the DIY route, but for some tasks, Canva certainly fits the bill.
Pricing starts at our favorite price–Free. There are also business options that cost just $119/month (Canva Pro) and $149/month (Canva for Teams).
The Evolution of Work
The best small business tools help you adapt to and stay ahead in the world of work. As fast as it is moving, you need to be one step ahead. The right workspace is another tool you can add to your arsenal. Contact Office Evolution to learn more about our inclusive options and budget-friendly pricing.