The Best Small Business Software & Free Tools of 2023
Performing any task without the right set of tools can be frustrating for any business and small businesses are no exception. Having the right tool for the job can save you tons of resources—time and money—and headaches.
However, the process of choosing the right tool for each task in your business space is another struggle, given the vast number of possible software solutions available for each task today.
The goal of any business is to work smarter and not harder; so, in this article, we will walk you through the ultimate list of small business software and tools to cover all of your business needs.
Accounting & Bookkeeping Software
Wave is an excellent free accounting software for freelancers that contains great invoice creation and management tools.
FreshBooks is an intuitive and well-rounded accounting software that supports invoice, project, and time tracking functions for small businesses.
Intuit QuickBooks Online is an online accounting application that serves a wide variety of users and is known for the versatility of its tax management tool.
Xero is an accounting software that makes account reconciliation and sales and purchase transaction tracking easier for small businesses.
Website Builder, Online Store Builder & Web Hosting
Squarespace is one of the major DIY website builders that offers the opportunity to build a strong community with your customers for personal and small business use.
Wix provides small businesses with robust customization and a drag-and-drop, Photoshop-like interface for building websites.
Small businesses can utilize Shopify as more than an e-commerce website building platform. They can also use it to process physical and online orders outside of their e-commerce stores.
This e-commerce software is aimed at larger, more established players. But it can also provide small businesses with a comprehensive dashboard and plenty of room to grow.
Bluehost is an excellent web hosting service for small enterprises that offers excellent uptime, various e-commerce add-ons, and a WordPress-enhancing tool that brings extra flexibility to the popular CMS.
This Linux-based website building platform offers WordPress hosting and excellent customer service to small businesses at a reasonable price.
7. WP Engine
WP Engine's excellent uptime and pre-installed content management system make it a high-quality web hosting option for both small and large businesses alike.
Marketing Software for Small Business
Another excellent CRM software for small businesses is Pipedrive because it has advanced reporting and chatbot creation features for websites.
If you're looking for a simple, flexible, and lightweight CRM solution for small businesses, then Freshsales might be the best tool for you, with its abundant customization options and vast third-party integrations.
Keap is the control center and launchpad for several email marketing and CRM activities and is ideal for small businesses with managers that wear multiple hats.
5. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM is an innovative small business CRM provider with an awesome free plan and a range of useful add-ons.
GetResponse is a versatile and easy-to-use small business email marketing service that can handle the omnichannel marketing needs of companies, offering a feature-rich interface and several smart integrations.
Another email marketing software for small businesses that is worthy of consideration is Constant Contact, not just because of its integrations for e-commerce and social media marketing but also because of its generous 60-day free trial.
Recently acquired by Intuit for $12 billion, Mailchimp has evolved from bootstrapped side-hustle to becoming the gold standard for email marketing because it gives small businesses access to better automation and embedded CRM features.
ConvertKit provides exceptional email marketing automation tools for small businesses, offering over 30 templates that can be tailored to fit your brand and an intuitive email designer.
Social Media Marketing
Buffer Publish is a social media management tool that helps businesses of all sizes manage multiple social media accounts and schedule posts.
As one of the most popular small business solutions in the social media management space, Hootsuite extends beyond social posting to collaboration, scheduling, and analytics.
1. Google Ads
Google Ads is an advertising platform that allows businesses of all kinds and sizes to create and manage ad campaigns to boost their website traffic and sales from Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
2. Bing Ads
Based on the eponymous search engine, Bing Ads is Microsoft’s answer to Google Ads. This platform brings your existing Google Ads campaigns directly into Bing Ads to increase your reach to Bing and Yahoo.
Outbrain Amplify is one of the best performance-based native advertising platforms. It is used by businesses and affiliate marketers to promote their best offers and achieve positive ROI.
Content Marketing & SEO
Contently is an excellent content marketing platform that offers data-driven strategy services and access to a world-class freelance network that gives brands everything they need to create content that excites their audience and drives results
SEMrush is an SMB search engine optimization (SEO) tool that provides a long list of functionalities across ad-hoc keyword research, ongoing search position monitoring, and crawling which covers most of the marketing needs of businesses.
4. Surfer SEO
Surfer is a content intelligence tool that merges content creation, optimization, and strategy into a single process. This system helps businesses' content teams grow brands, organic traffic, and revenue.
Vistaprint is one of the best online business card printing services that provide a combination of excellent print quality, good design tools, and reasonable prices. The company also prints promotional products like posters, mugs, and many others.
MOO is one of the most modern card printing services available with high-end options, amazing design templates, and premium packaging. It offers many paper stock choices and the unique ability to use multiple graphics in a single order.
Sales Funnel Software
Clickfunnels is one of the most popular online sales funnel software that lets businesses of all sizes quickly and easily create sales pages to convince visitors to become paying customers. It requires no technical, design, or coding skills whatsoever.
Instapages is a leading post-click automation tool that helps digital advertisers create relevant and impactful advertising by unifying the post-click stage of the advertising funnel.
Unbounce uses a drag-and-drop landing page builder to help businesses create and publish landing pages without a developer. It offers intelligent insights to ensure the best campaign performance at all times.
Customer Service & Helpdesk Software
Zendesk Support provides companies with a marketing-oriented approach to the help desk and is part of a larger suite of tools aimed at overall customer experience management rather than just service desk operation.
Freshdesk is a highly effective small business help desk tool that helps you get a better handle on resolving ticket items as they appear in the system.
As the name suggests, LiveChat is a live chat software that caters to all kinds of businesses and is known for its ability to integrate with almost any website. All you have to do is copy and paste a piece of code.
LiveAgent is an intuitive and innovative customer support software for all kinds of businesses that offers a long list of useful features and an attractive user interface at a reasonable price.
Talkdesk is a global customer experience solution that provides a better way for customer-driven companies everywhere to deliver better customer service through any channel, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, cost savings, and profitability.
Five9 is a leading all-in-one call center platform that makes use of Practical AI to increase small businesses' effectiveness on the phone, web, email, and chat by delivering a stellar conversational service experience.
Communication Tools for Small Businesses
Slack is a powerful and highly customizable productivity and team messaging app for business conversations and discussions.
One excellent small to midsize business virtual telephone service is Grasshopper, a phone system that is easy to set up and appears to a caller like an enterprise-grade PBX system.
RingCentral MVP combines excellent, enterprise-capable VoIP features, artificial intelligence, and more app integrations with reasonable pricing.
Zoom Meetings is a famous video-conferencing application known for its ease of use and generous free plan. Whether you use it every so often to meet with clients or regularly to host meetings with a large team, Zoom is designed to handle the video conferencing needs of most organizations.
Dialpad, formerly UberConference, is a small business video conferencing platform that delivers innovative communication with the use of artificial intelligence.
This is an excellent cloud phone system that lets small to midsize businesses create a call center for sales teams and a contact center for support teams.
ClickMeeting is an efficient webinar software for small businesses that guides you step by step when setting up a meeting and handling other tasks.
eFax lets you send and receive faxes from anywhere using your computer, tablet, or smartphone, as well as provides international and toll-free numbers, although it’s more expensive and cumbersome than its competitors.
Project Management Software
Monday.com is an online project management application that helps teams manage tasks with its highly customizable spreadsheets.
Wrike is an excellent and flexible collaboration application that helps teams smartly manage and track work for ongoing tasks and complex projects with its task management tools.
The versatility of Smartsheet as an online project management solution is outstanding. It contains a spreadsheet application that people use to manage and track collaborative work, projects, and resource management.
Teamwork is one of the best project management services due to its ability to provide business owners with excellent time and workload tracking, as well as its invoice generation feature.
Hiring & Human Resources
Workable is an SMB tool that offers a wide set of applicant tracking solutions with access to a large pool of premium job boards as well as customization to help SMBs hire and retain better candidates.
BambooHR is a human resources management software that offers a wide set of features and functionality that cover employee onboarding, HR reporting, time-off tracking, and performance management.
Targeted towards high-performance organizations, SmartRecruiters is an HR management tool that offers collaborative hiring and recruitment marketing built on an intuitive cloud platform with an open marketplace for third-party recruitment services.
Workday HCM is part of Workday’s suite of HR, finance, and planning tools. It is a cloud-based system that is user-friendly and easy to operate.
Security Software Tools
ExpressVPN is a security software, for everyone, with an impressive dedication to privacy. It boasts a massive global footprint and its fleet of far-flung servers outclasses much of the competition.
NordVPN offers a variety of users top-notch protection and other privacy features in a single platform, powered by the most recent VPN technology at a premium price.
Bitwarden is an open-source password manager that can be utilized by anyone and provides added security, storage, and sharing tools, all at a reasonably low price.
This is an easy-to-use password management platform that offers plenty of top features like cross-platform syncing, secure sharing, password strength reporting, and dark web monitoring for small businesses.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is an antivirus protection software that is excellent for your PC security because it goes beyond basic virus protection with the inclusion of additional security features.
Kaspersky Antivirus is a security platform that offers excellent protection and provides you with full access to tech support via phone and live chat.