If you’re like most small business owners, you probably spend more time working on “the business” than on creating awesome products and services. Fortunately, there are a ton of tools available online to help you streamline your business so you can get back to doing what you do best: generating profit. To save you even more time, we decided to put together the ultimate list of awesome small business tools to help your business grow in 2017.
Accounting & Finance
Freshbooks is an online time tracking and invoicing service designed for smaller businesses that don’t need full-scale double-entry accounting. Once a simple online invoicing service, Fresbooks has expanded in recent years to include expense tracking and a whole host of integrated add-ons that extend its functionality while maintaining its simplicity and ease of use.
Expensify helps you maintain a more efficient workflow by streamlining the expense reporting process. No more manually entering employee data or coding expenses — Expensify does it all for you within a sleek, easy-to-use app that integrates with popular accounting programs like Quickbooks and NetSuite.
Zenefits makes employee time-tracking a breeze. Employees can log their hours using any web-enabled device, allowing employers to approve time submissions within seconds. Employee hours are then synced directly with integrated payroll services like ADP workforce and Lever to help ensure time-related compliance. Zenefits can also be used to manage employee benefits, corporate liability insurance, and flexible spending accounts.
Fundera is a great alternative to bank financing for small startups that are unable to obtain a conventional small business loan. Fundera, which was started in 2014 by one of the co-founders of the messaging service GroupMe, makes its money by charging lenders a referral fee when a loan arrangement has been made.
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Float is a great tool for budgeting and cash flow forecasting. You can view your daily, weekly, and monthly cash flow, create hypothetical scenarios, and create beautiful, detailed reports with this simple tool that integrates seamlessly with accounting programs like Xero and Quickbooks Online.
This free cloud-based double-entry accounting service just keeps getting better and better. While it lacks the flexibility of full-featured accounting programs like Quickbooks Online Plus and Xero Standard, Wave offers an impressive set of features that will more than please sole proprietors, contractors, freelancers, and owners of businesses with up to nine employees. Best of all? Wave is completely free.
Angel List is like an online matchmaker service for business owners and investors. This equity crowdfunding service promises to connect early-stage startups with a growing base of angel investors and venture capitalists while simultaneously offering those investors a steady stream of deals that have been vetted by the Angel List team.
Gusto is the easiest payroll service you’ll ever use. This web-based service offers a central hub for managing employee records, payroll, health benefits, workers’ compensation, 401 (k) plans, PTO, and sick leave. Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, Gusto integrates smoothly with most payroll systems.
Plug a card-swiping device into your smartphone or tablet, and the Square app will allow you to accept a credit card payment quickly, efficiently, and without the high costs of traditional credit card payment processing.
As a small business owner, keeping track of your personal finances is as important as managing your business finances. Mint is a personal finance management service that helps you manage all of your personal accounts, including checking accounts, credit cards, savings accounts, and even your mortgage. Mint also offers budgeting and forecasting tools so you can see where every cent is going. Mint is easy to set up, easy to use, and completely free.
This cloud-based tech support portal gives you everything you need to track and manage tickets. Freshdesk offers handy features like SLA management, smart automations, and self-service portals to help boost productivity and reduce agent burnout.
Used by more than 80,000 companies including Uber, Airbnb, Disney, and Groupon, Zendesk is the gold standard for software that helps improve customer relationships. The Zendesk suite of products includes customer support, help centre, and live chat modules that are a snap to implement, customize, and use.
HappyFox is a cloud-based customer support and ticketing software that helps small to large business owners track and manage customer interactions across multiple channels like phone, email, live chat, and social media. The software integrates with other web-based customer support services like CRM and bug tracking apps.
Olark live Chat is the easiest way to communicate with your website visitors. Simply add an Olark chat widget to your site to start talking to customers who are browsing. Combined with eCommerce, CRM, and Help Desk software, Olark can provide you with powerful customer insights and help you close more sales.
Ever wonder what your customers really think about your products and services? Sparkcentral captures and analyzes customer feedback on twitter to help you understand how your customers view your brand. This service is a must for business owners who want to engage with their customers in a meaningful way.
Lighthouse is a simple issue-tracking and project collaboration tool for companies with up to 50 employees. Lighthouse simplifies your workflow and allows you to track progress with ease so you can concentrate on the more important aspects of running your business.
If you use a lot of web apps, Zapier can help keep you sane by integrating and automating your different apps and tasks. From Asana to Zoho CRM and everything in between, Zapier reduces the time you spend on each platform so you can get back to creating awesome products and services. There are even Zapier Help services that can help you implement Zapiers for your business.
SalesForce is a customizable CRM platform that expands as your small business grows. Within one clean, attractive UI, you can get real-time customer data, track customer activity, gain invaluable insights, and generate detailed reports. SalesForce integrates with thousands of business apps and tools to extend your CRM to every department within your company.
SnapEngage adds a simple live chat function to your website and pulls customer data from social media accounts so you can track customer feedback in real time. This tool is a must for business owners who want to ensure quick, responsive customer service.
Designed for specialized use, Jazz helps companies post jobs, screen applicants, and manage interviews all from one centralized platform. Jazz also offers a background check service, resume reviewing, and branded career sites.
Zenefits completely eliminates the need for on boarding paperwork. Simply enter a few pieces of information about a new hire, and Zenefits will take care of the rest. No more manually adding a new employee onto the payroll or setting up health benefits… this tool will do it all for you.
Staff Squared streamlines your hiring process and gives you a centralized location for managing employee data and files. This web-based tool will reduce the amount of HR-related paperwork on your desk so you can spend your time building a great team.
Jobatar is a web-based video interviewing platform. This software is great for business owners who want to save time and money on first-round interviews.
At HR Webforms, you’ll find all the paperwork you need to keep your HR department running efficiently, from employee reviews to termination notices. Forms are sold in convenient bundles, and are available in both Spanish and English.
Organize anyone and anything with this simple, flexible project management platform. Trello displays your workflow in an intuitive, tile-based layout that can be used to manage anything from designing a website to coordinating company events.
A complete HR suite that helps you hire, track, and retain employees. This software includes features to help you recruit applicants, manage ongoing performance, organize annual reviews, and track benefits. Best of all, the software grows with your company; TribeHR can be used to manage 20 to 1,000 employees.
BambooHR offers cloud-based on boarding tools, performance management, integrated applicant management, and time-off tracking. BambooHR includes a convenient mobile app that allows employees to input their own hours, record time off, and even sign documents electronically.
sumHR is a web-based platform combining HR management tools with robust collaboration and communication tools. sumHR allows business owners to aggregate employee data, organize information, manage teams, and collaborate on projects — all within one beautifully simple UI.
This cloud-based performance management software provides managers with the information and insights they need to help their employees excel. Halogen’s features include competency tracking, goal-setting tools, ad hoc reviews, and custom rating scales.
UpCounsel connects business owners with hundreds of on-demand lawyers. Whether it’s for simple small business contract or a complex lawsuit, UpCounsel can help you find legal counsel for less than half the cost of a traditional legal bill.
HRdirect is a one-stop-shop for legal documents and notices. Whether you need a nondisclosure agreement or an employment contract, you’re sure to find what you need here.
IP Nexus is a marketplace where business owners can post “projects” for legal professionals to bid on. You can also sell, buy, and license intellectual property using this service.
Notarize is a simple app that can be used to find a notary public. After downloading the app, you’ll be connected to a nearby notary public via video call, who can digitally verify your document on the spot. Notarize charges $25 per notarized document.
LegalShield crowdsources costs for legal services reported by small business owners and works with lawyers across the country to make these costs more affordable. All of LegalShield’s monthly plans include unlimited consultations.
Startup Lawyer is a great resource for legal news, trends, and updates affecting small business owners.
Shake makes creating, signing, and sending legally binding documents a snap. The app even provides ready-to-use templates of common contracts and agreements to save you time and money.
Simply describe your legal needs, and LawGives will fetch free quotes and consultations from lawyers across the county. This on-demand service is perfect for business owners in need of quick legal advice.
Concord Now lets you easily draft, sign, optimize and execute your contracts. You can also follow the status of your contracts with this web-based service.
LegalZoom is a D.I.Y. legal service offering a library of customizable legal documents for small businesses. Users can also pay a flat monthly fee for assistance from a local lawyer if needed.
A modular approach to sales management makes Sellsy an all-in-one solution for for just about any type of business. This cloud-based tool can be used for invoicing, time tracking, CRM, tech support, and more — and all within a single, easy-to-use app.
This online sales operations software analyzes team performance based on key metrics. With ambition, you can create custom TV leader-boards, run sales contests, and generate real-time “Ambition Scores” for employees. Ambition also provides user highlight feeds and advanced reporting tools.
Sales Cloud is the name given to the “sales” module of the Salesforce CRM platform. Sales Cloud includes features for tracking leads, contacts, accounts, contacts, products, prices, campaigns, and quotes. Sales Cloud can also be set up with auto-response rules to capture online leads.
Hoopla offers a bunch of features for helping boost team motivation, including sales contest, a countdown clock, and sales gamification tools. Hoopla integrates easily with Salesforce for real-time performance tracking and reporting.
Brainshark Sales Accelerator
The Brainshark Sales Accelerator gives your sales reps the tools, training, and real-time analytics they need to close the deal… fast. With mobile-ready content from Salesforce, your reps will be better equipped to win over potential clients — whether those clients are right in front of them or halfway across the world.
Cornerstone is a Windows-based property management software that also includes accounting tools. Cornerstone can help you easily track vacancies, tenants, rent payments, taxes, expenses, and repairs.
Other handy features include website management tools, payment processing capabilities, and a tenant portal.
Level Eleven is a sales performance management portal that allows you to track sales teams based on daily, weekly, or monthly goals. With Level Eleven, you can create contests and leaderboards, view real-time analytics, and build campaigns to improve team morale.
Clari is an end-to-end sales forecasting application that allows reps, managers, and executives to update sales data in real time. This mobile-first platform ensures your reps get the most up-to-date sales data when and where they need it.
If you’re a small startup trying to build a presence online, Yodle is the platform for you. this all-in-one digital marketing solution combines local SEO tools, social media marketing, customer review tracking, and email marketing to ensure maximum visibility for your business.
Infusionsoft helps you stay on top of your contact list by organizing all of your customers and prospects into one easy-to-manage list. While the cost of the software may seem high initially — the basic software starts at $199 per month — Infusionsoft promises unmatched ROI, with some businesses reporting as much as 832% revenue growth.
Created by Moz Analytics, Followerwonk helps you find and connect with influencers in your niche by analyzing the “social authority” of a given Twitter profile. Followerwonk rates the profile on a scale of 1 to 100, giving you a simple scale on which to measure the reach of that individual’s social media posts.
Tyton Media offers professional web design and search engine optimization services for small to medium businesses. Get more visitors to your website and turn them into customers with Tyton Media’s full service web solutions.
Hootsuite is the most popular social media management platform, with more than 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies reported to be using it. Hootsuite integrates all of you social network feeds into a single dashboard so you can monitor feedback and build better customer relationships.
This convenient search tool lets you track content across al social networks and ranks the content based on the number of shares on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn. This is a great tool for finding out what people are talking about and adding value to discussions within your niche.
Ninja reports is perfect for small business owners who don’t have time checking their marketing statistics like traffic and online advertising spend. Get beautiful email reports from Google Analytics, Adwords, Facebook Ads and more daily, weekly or monthly.
This real-time communication and messaging software actually functions as an operating system for your team. Slack can be used across multiple platforms and devices, and supports both one-on-one and group chats. You can also integrate the software with other popular communication tools like Skype for video calls.
Skype allows you to make free audio and video calls, exchange chat messages, and even access WiFi on the go. Skype is available on desktop and mobile, so you can stay in touch with your contacts whenever and wherever you have a connection to the Internet.
Designed for teams of up to 15 people, Asana is a project management tool that lets you schedule meetings, create campaigns, and organize product launches. Dropbox, Pinterest, Airbnb, Quora, and Uber are just a few of the companies that use Asana to manage tasks, projects, and conversations with team members.
Dropbox Business combines cloud-based document storage with collaborative tools such as cooperative writing and synchronous editing. With Dropbox business, your team members will have access to the important files they need whether they’re working in the office, from home, or on the road.
Producteev allows you to manage your your task list, assign projects, share files, and get real-time updates across multiple devices. This simple, lightweight application also has time tracking and progress monitoring tools.
Thunderbird takes email to a whole new level with sophisticated features like intelligent spam filters, a quick search function, and a built-in RSS reader. This customizable application also integrates with Skype so you can make calls to contacts from within your email.
Basecamp is a web-based communication and collaboration platform used by small businesses, sole proprietors, and freelancers. We love the simplicity of this software, which supports multiple languages and can be used on a desktop or mobile.
Syncplicity is an enterprise-grade program that allows you to easily sync and share entire folders from your computer including your desktop, pictures, documents, and other folders. This service is flexible and scalable, so you can start out small and expand the service as your business grows.
This is simply the best antivirus software for PC and Mac. Avira also offers mobile protection against malware and spyware. But what we love most about Avira is its price: free.
Online communication tools like Google Hangouts and Skype are great for online calls and meetings, but what if your team members aren’t connected to the Internet all day? PukkaTeam solves this problem with a “team presence” feature that allows you to easily see which of your coworkers are available for a chat.
GoodData aggregates critical business data across all departments within your business. This software integrates with Sendesk and SaaS to provide a high-level view of your company’s sales and detailed insight into your customers’ behavior.
This app does exactly what its name suggests: it allows you to test your app on various devices. You’ll get real feedback from real users who have tried your app so you can make any necessary improvements before launching the final build.
LogMeIn is a remote system management program that lets you log in to your desktop or laptop from anywhere you have an Internet connection. No more syncing files or emailing documents to yourself; with LogMeIn, you’ll have access to your desktop no matter where you are.
Shopify, Ancestry.com, and General Assembly are just a few of the many companies that use Intercom to better engage with their customers. Intercom allows you to provide sales, marketing, and help desk support — all within a single application.
Want powerful web-conferencing software but don’t want to pay an exorbitant price for it? Fuze is the service for you. With a Pro plan starting at just $15 per month, Fuze is the perfect solution for small startups that plan to grow.
Formerly known as CloudMagic, this powerful email client has been updated to include innovative features like swipe-based email sorting, filtering, undo send, and snoozing. If the mere thought of checking your inbox stresses you out, this is the email program for you.
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