25 best small business software in 2019

Photo by Mia Baker- looking for business software

Let’s face it – running a small business isn’t easy.

You might be facing limitations like budgets, resources and only a handful of employees. And with all the competition out there, growth can be challenging.

Thankfully, there’s a comprehensive amount of technology available to help us out.

The majority of day-to-day business tasks can now be automated. From accounting and bookkeeping, to marketing and customer relationships.

But for a new business owner, choosing the right software can be tricky. You need to find the perfect balance between pricing and the right features for your business.

Which is why we’ve put together this list of small business software. Here, we break down our favourite platforms by category, providing a list of benefits, features and pricing structures for each.

Best accounting software for small businesses

Many small business owners don’t know much about accounting, and it can be expensive to outsource the tasks or hire a professional. Accounting software lets you manage all your finances from a single dashboard, so you can focus more on the important stuff – like actually running your business.

1. Tide

Tide Business Banking website screenshot

We thought we’d use this opportunity to introduce ourselves and our banking app features. With Tide, you can open a business current account in minutes (T&Cs apply) without having to wait in a bank branch for hours.

Benefits:

  • Open a business account in minutes
  • Fast customer support accessible from the app
  • Simple pricing with no hidden fees
  • Use abroad for free
  • Fast and easy card management for you and your team

Key Features:

  • Auto-categorise each of your transactions
  • Manage multiple accounts from the same app
  • Manage accounts for multiple businesses from the same app (on iOS, Android coming soon)
  • Easy card management allowing you to access pins and freeze cards
  • Create, send and pay invoices directly from the app

Pricing

Bank transfer fees: £0.20 per transaction

Card payments for the UK and abroad: Free

Transfer between tide accounts: Free

ATM cash withdrawals: Free

Monthly fee: None

2. Xero

Small Business Software - Xero

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software that helps small business owners collaborate with their trusted advisors. Manage your invoices, inventory management, bookkeeping and bank reconciliation from a single platform.

Benefits:

  • Integrates with hundreds of business applications
  • Mobile app support
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • 24/7 online support
  • Cloud-based

Key features:

  • Accounting reports
  • Automatic updates
  • Expense tracking
  • Invoicing
  • Online payments
  • Bank connections
  • Inventory management
  • Easy conversion from QuickBooks and Sage
  • Integrates with Tide to reconcile transactions automatically every 2 hours

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Starter: £10/month

Standard: £22/month

Premium: £27.50/month

3. FreeAgent

Small Business Software -  Freeagent

FreeAgent is a small business accounting software that is perfect for early-stage businesses, contractors and freelancers. Through FreeAgent, you can manage your business accounts, track time, log expenses and forecast your tax bills. You can also file your self-assessment tax and VAT returns directly to HMRC.

Benefits

  • Efficient customer support
  • Variety of pricing plans
  • HMRC integration
  • Focus on early-stage small businesses

Key features

  • Invoicing
  • Time-tracking
  • In-app self-assessment tax return
  • Forecast corporation tax bill
  • Project management
  • Integrates with bank accounts (including Tide)

Pricing

Free trial: Yes

Sole-trader:  £19/month (50% off for the first 6 months)

Partnership/LLP: £24/month (50% off for the first 6 months)

Limited company: £14.50/month (50% off for the first 6 months)

4. Zoho Books

Small Business Software - Zoho Books

Zoho is another option for small businesses looking for easy-to-use, online accounting software. It’s especially helpful for managing cash flow and finances, and offers exceptional support. Users will also love the minimalist dashboard.

Benefits:

  • Affordable accounting solution
  • Integrates with other Zoho products
  • Email and phone customer support

Key features:

  • Cloud-based accounts management
  • Accounting reports
  • Invoicing and online payments
  • Expense tracking
  • Real-time inventory tracking
  • Bank and credit card connections
  • Customer engagement with the Client Portal feature

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Basic: £6/month per organisation

Standard: £12/month per organisation

Professional: £18/month per organisation

5. FreshBooks

Small Business Software - FreshBooks

This all-in-one accounting software for small businesses offers tons of features, ranging from multi-language invoices to multi-currency billing. FreshBooks also integrates with most known non-banking business applications, eliminating the need for additional software.

Benefits:

  • Optimised for mobile
  • Integrates with most business applications
  • Sleek user interface
  • Flexible pricing plans

Key features:

  • Cloud-based accounts management
  • Accounting reports
  • Online credit card payments
  • Expense tracking
  • Invoicing
  • Mobile receipt scanning
  • Time tracking
  • Project management

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Lite: $15*/month for 5 clients

Plus: $25*/month for 50 clients

Premium: $50*/month for 500 clients

*Subscription is invoiced in USD

6. QuickBooks

Small Business Software - QuickBooks

QuickBooks is designed with small businesses, solopreneurs and freelancers in mind. It’s easy to use and is loaded with features that simplify the accounting process.

Benefits:

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Hundreds of add-ons and integrations
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • Free unlimited support and upgrades

Key Features:

  • Cloud-based accounts management
  • Accounting reports
  • Expense tracking
  • Invoicing
  • Mobile receipt scanning
  • Automatic backups

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Simple Start: From £6/month with limited features

Essentials: From £9/month with some additional features

Plus: From £14/month with complete features

Best HR software for small businesses

Acquiring the right people and managing them effectively can get hectic, especially for startups and small businesses. Using the right HR software helps you automate most of the repetitive tasks, including payroll and taxes.

7. Workable

Small Business Software - Workable

Workable’s platforms helps you easily manage job applicants. It provides you with a sales-pipeline styled workflow for candidate sourcing, scheduling interviews and scoring applicants.

Benefits

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Customisable platform
  • Ability to post roles on multiple job sites quickly
  • 24-hour support

Key features

  • Email and interview templates
  • Applicant tracking system
  • Mobile recruiting
  • Talent CRM

Pricing

Free trial: Yes

Pay As You Go: $99* per job, per month

Starter: Contact Workable for pricing

Pro: Contact Workable for pricing

*Subscription is invoiced in USD

8. Gusto

Small Business Software - Gusto

If you find yourself spending lots of time on staff benefits and payroll tasks, Gusto is the software for you. Designed for small businesses, it can easily integrate with most accounting platforms to assist with organising deposits, check payments and tax filings.

Benefits:

  • Integrates with popular accounting software
  • Flexible pricing
  • Self-service for employees for more efficient processes
  • Phone, email and live chat customer support

Key features:

  • Advanced payroll and tax management
  • Employee health benefits
  • Organisational charts
  • Simple time tracking
  • Retirement plan management

Pricing

Core: $6*/month per person (plus $39/month base)

Complete: $12*/month per person (plus $39/month base)

Concierge: $12*/month per person (plus $149/month base)

*subscription invoiced in USD

9. BambooHR

Small Business Software - Bamboo

This cloud-based HR software has an intuitive UX and is easy to set up. BambooHR can help small businesses automate repetitive tasks such as paperwork, onboarding, and vacation management.

Benefits:

  • Friendly user interface
  • Good customer service
  • Tailored pricing plans

Key features:

  • Applicant tracking
  • Centralised employee database
  • Controlled access
  • Automated onboarding and offboarding tools
  • Multi-language support

Pricing

Contact for pricing, or sign-up for a free trial.

10. Zoho People

Small Business Software - Zoho People

Zoho People is an award-winning HR software for small businesses. In fact, it’s completely free for up to five employees. It’s affordable, integrates easily with other Zoho products and offers a multitude of different features to help you accelerate your HR processes.

Benefits:

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Integrates easily with other Zoho products
  • Free for up to five employees
  • Intelligent automation lets you customise workflows

Key features:

  • Self-serve platform for employees
  • Centralised employee database
  • Holiday and leave management (sickness etc.)
  • HR analytics
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Automated workflows
  • Performance management

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Free Plan: Up to 5 employees

Essential HR: £0.66/month per person

Professional: £1.25/month per person

Premium: £2.08/month per person

Enterprise: £3.33/month per person.

Best marketing software

The competition out there is fierce. If you want your small business to survive, you need to invest in the right marketing software to help you successfully increase awareness, generate leads and promote your brand.

11. HubSpot

Small Business Software - HubSpot Marketing

HubSpot is one of the leading marketing automation platforms on the market. The pricing is higher than most platforms, but it’s that way for a reason. With flawless integration of marketing, sales and CRM, the software can help your business create winning campaigns and strategies that convert leads into happy customers.

Benefits:

  • All-in-one solution for small businesses
  • Integration with HubSpot Sales and CRM
  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop tools
  • Smart personalisation and targeting
  • Accessible on mobile
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • 24/7 customer support

Key features:

  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages
  • Blogging platform
  • SEO features
  • Marketing automation
  • Lead management
  • Social media monitoring
  • Real-time analytics

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Free: £0

Starter: Starting at £42/month

Professional: Starting at £655/month (+ £2,450 one-time onboarding fee)

Enterprise: Starting at £6,264/month (+ £4,900 one-time onboarding fee)

12. Hootsuite

Small Business Software - Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management tools out there. It integrates with tons of other applications and lets you manage all your social media accounts from a single dashboard. You can also benefit from professional analytics and reporting tools that help you improve your campaigns.

Benefits:

  • Hundreds of apps and integrations
  • Manage all social activity from one dashboard
  • Localised support in multiple languages
  • Expand integration with third-party apps
  • Mobile support
  • Competitive pricing

Key features:

  • Post scheduling
  • Content curation
  • Social media monitoring
  • Social media analytics
  • Security features to help you remain compliant
  • Manage multiple accounts

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Free Plan: Up to 3 social media profiles

Professional: £25/month for 10 social profiles

Team: £99/month for 20 social profiles

Business: £520/month for 35 social profiles

Enterprise: Contact for pricing

13. Sendlane

Small Business Software - Sendlane

Primarily an email marketing solution, Sendlane has recently upgraded its software to offer enhanced behavior tracking, a new and simplified dashboard, real-time analytics and several cross-channel marketing features for small businesses.

Benefits:

  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Drag-and-drop tools
  • Intelligent marketing automation
  • 1000+ powerful integrations

Key features:

  • Email marketing automation
  • Cross-channel marketing
  • Enhanced behavior tracking
  • SMS marketing
  • Real-time analytics
  • Customer journey lifecycle
  • ROI and conversions

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Growth: From $25*/month

Marketing Automation Pro: From $207*/month

*Subscription is invoiced in USD

14. Visme

Small Business Software - Visme

Visme is an all-in-one design solution for marketers and small businesses that lets you easily create great-looking presentations, infographics, documents and social media graphics using professional templates, thousands of icons and graphics and an easy-to-use editor.

Benefits:

  • Easy to use for non-designers
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Online and offline access
  • Hundreds of professional templates
  • Packed with features

Key features:

  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Data visualisations and animations
  • Professional templates
  • Wide range of fonts, icons, and graphics
  • Publishing and embedding tools
  • Organisation and analytics
  • Brand identity management
  • Team collaboration
  • Offline access

Pricing:

Free Trial: No

Discounts: Education and Nonprofits

Pricing for Individuals:

Basic: Free

Standard: $14*/month

Complete: $25*/month

Pricing for Businesses:

Complete: $25*/month for 1 user

Team: $75*/month for up to 3 users

Enterprise: Contact for pricing

*Subscription is invoiced in USD

Best sales software for small businesses

If you don’t optimise your sales process, you might fail to convert leads and lose out on a lot of potential revenue. Dedicated sales software can help you track, optimise and manage your sales to make sure you get the most out of your small business.

15. Pipedrive

Small Business Software - Pipedrive

Pipedrive offers some of the best sales management features for small businesses. The software has a beautiful interface and supports 13 different languages. It also has an open API, which allows it to work seamlessly with various apps and integrations.

Benefits:

  • Simplified layout
  • Integrates easily with other apps
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Access on mobile
  • Extended customisation

Key features:

  • Pipeline management
  • Email integration
  • Activity and goal reminders
  • Sales reporting and forecasting
  • Open API configuration
  • Multi-language

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Silver: From £12.50/month per user

Gold: From £24.20/month per user

Platinum: From £49.17/month per user

16. HubSpot Sales

Small Business Software - HubSpot Sales

Hubspot offers a seamless mixture of sales, marketing and CRM features, works on all devices, helps keep your work organised and so much more. HubSpot Sales is part of a much bigger business suite that integrates with many other apps such as Zapier, Slack and WordPress. The price tag is steeper than others on the market, but if you’re looking to save time and achieve your sales goals fast, it’s probably worth the cost.

Benefits:

  • Simplified interface
  • Integrates seamlessly with other HubSpot products
  • Real-time notifications and follow-ups
  • Customer support

Key features:

  • Pipeline management
  • Email integration and scheduling
  • Custom reports
  • Sales automation
  • Lead management
  • Live chat
  • Recurring revenue tracking
  • Quote approvals

Pricing

Free Trial: No

Free: $0

Starter: Starting at £442/month for 1 user

Professional: Starting at £330/month for 5 users

Enterprise: Starting at £990/month for 10 users

17. Freshsales

Small Business Software - Freshsales

Freshsales makes it super easy to carry out sales tasks with its user-friendly interface and highly competitive features. It has great CRM capabilities and can transform raw data into workable material. The software’s Open API allows extensive customisation and seamless integration with third-party apps.

Benefits:

  • Integrates easily with other apps
  • Extensive customisation
  • Affordable pricing plans

Key features:

  • Open API configuration
  • Multiple pipeline management
  • Lead scoring
  • Auto profile enrichment
  • IP whitelisting
  • Territories and lead assignment
  • Advanced CRM customisation
  • Custom reports

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Blossom: £12/month per user

Garden: £20/month per user

Estate: £40/month per user

Forest: £65/month per user

18. Brightpearl

Small Business Software - Brightpearl

Brightpearl’s omnichannel order and inventory management system is an end-to-end solution for online retailers and brands. It integrates easily with most eCommerce and shipping apps, and automatically balances invoices and payments.

Benefits:

  • High order processing capabilities
  • Integrates with popular eCommerce platforms
  • Real-time accounting and insights
  • Full automation
  • Customised pricing plans

Key features:

  • Custom training plan
  • Success planning
  • Order management
  • Omnichannel inventory control
  • Shipping and fulfillment
  • Retail accounting
  • Warehouse management

Pricing

Contact for pricing

Best project management software

Small businesses need to stay organised and manage projects effectively to make sure there is no resource wastage. Project management tools can help you improve communication between teams, keep track of progress and collaborate easily on tasks.

19. Asana

Small Business Software - Asana

Asana is a popular project management software largely used to create, assign and manage goals & tasks. The intuitive UI shows real-time updates for effective collaboration and smooth project execution.

Benefits:

  • Easily organise tasks within boards
  • Access on mobile
  • Clean and friendly interface
  • Integrates with 100+ apps
  • Affordable

Key features:

  • Timeline and Gantt Charts
  • Add assignees and attachments to tasks
  • Advanced search and reporting
  • Set milestones
  • Data export & deletion
  • Custom calendars
  • Multiple workspaces
  • Real-time updates and notifications

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Basic: Free

Premium: £7.99/month per user

Business: £16.25/month per user

Enterprise: Contact for pricing

20. Trello

Small Business Software - Trello

Trello is a project management software with a great, user-friendly interface. It uses a project board concept, where users can drag and drop cards corresponding to different tasks.

Benefits:

  • Makes project management fun
  • Simplified interface
  • Basic features are free of cost
  • Access on mobile

Key features:

  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Colorful card labels
  • Search function
  • Email notifications and reminders
  • Checklists
  • Add assignees and attachments to tasks
  • SSL data encryption
  • Voting feature

Pricing

Free Trial: No

Free: $0*

Business Class: $9.99*/month per user

Enterprise: Rates vary with the number of users – starting at $20.83*/month per user for up to 20 users

*Subscription is invoiced in USD

21. Wrike

Small Business Software - Wrike

Wrike is an award-winning project management software built for both co-located and distributed teams. It can handle any complexity of work, from configurable workflows to top quality documents, forms and resource management. It also integrates easily with other apps, like Google Drive, Dropbox etc.

Benefits:

  • Integrates easily with other apps
  • Powerful analytics and reports
  • View more data on a single screen
  • User-friendly interface and navigation
  • High security
  • Access on mobile

Key features:

  • Shareable dashboards
  • Interactive timeline and Gantt charts
  • Customised reports
  • Real-time updates
  • Task discussions
  • Graphical analytics
  • Task and subtask management
  • Two-factor authentication

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Free: $0* for up to 5 users

Professional: $9.80*/month per user for up to 15 users

Business: $24.80*/month per user for up to 200 users

Marketers: Contact for pricing

Enterprise: Contact for pricing

*Subscription is invoiced in USD

22. Slack

Small Business Software - Slack

Slack is a wonderful collaboration and communication platform for teams, especially for remote company cultures. It easily integrates with third-party apps, and gives you access on the go with its intuitive mobile app.

Benefits:

  • Real-time responses
  • Integrates easily with other apps
  • Searchable message history
  • Easy navigation

Key features:

  • Conversation channels
  • Private groups
  • Searchable messages
  • Voice/video calls
  • Open API
  • File sharing
  • Notifications
  • Data encryption
  • Two-factor authentication

Pricing

Free Trial: On request

Free: £0

Standard: £5.25/month per user

Plus: £9.75/month per user

Best customer service software for small businesses

Creating, maintaining and enhancing profitable customer relationships is key to long-term success for any business. Customer service software can help you automate some of the tedious tasks to ensure reliable support from your end, which means more happy customers for you.

23. Freshdesk

Small Business Software - Freshdesk

Freshdesk is an award-winning customer service management software that helps you exceed customer expectations by offering multi-channel support, ticketing, self-service portals, gamification and more.

Benefits:

  • High customisability
  • Integrates with 60+ apps
  • Offers support in multiple languages and time zones
  • Easy to set up

Key features:

  • Email to Ticket conversion
  • Multi-product/multi-brand support
  • Leaderboard and gamification
  • Self-service portal
  • Knowledge base
  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Automations
  • Satisfaction surveys
  • Idea management and voting
  • Insights

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Sprout: Free

Blossom: £11/month per agent

Garden: £21/month per agent

Estate: £35/month per agent

Forest: £85/month per agent.

24. Zoho Desk

Small Business Software - Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a comprehensive customer support solution for small businesses, which lets you offer timely support, increase productivity with analytics and reports, and automate tasks to ensure quick responses.

Benefits:

  • Integrates easily with other apps
  • Improve support with insights
  • Access on mobile

Key features:

  • Multi-channel help desk
  • End-to-end ticket management
  • ZIA – AI customer support feature
  • Automation
  • Call-center and social support
  • Self-service
  • Knowledge base
  • Agent productivity
  • Insights and impact

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Free: £0 for up to 3 agents

Professional: £10/month per agent

Enterprise: £20/month per agent

25. Zendesk

Small Business Software - Zendesk

Zendesk is a suite of support apps for all kinds of businesses, and offers flexible pricing plans tailored to suit your needs. The software consolidates all customer interactions on a single dashboard for easy viewing and management.

Benefits:

  • Integrates with 100+ apps
  • Easy to use
  • Intelligent support with AI-powered bot
  • End-to-end support
  • Flexible pricing plans

Key features:

  • Integrated customer support
  • Knowledge base
  • Self-service
  • Live chat and messaging
  • Call-center software
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Sales force automation

Pricing

Free Trial: Yes

Support: Annual plans from £5-£149/month per agent

Zendesk Suite: Starting at £75/month per seat

Conclusion

For every aspect of your business, there is a platform or software out there to help you manage it more effectively.

We recommend signing up for free trials and getting a hands-on experience before you purchase a paid plan. Keep in mind that you should only pay for the features you’ll actually use!

Photo by Mia Baker, published on Unsplash

Kerstin Reichert SEO Manager at Tide Banking

Kerstin Reichert

SEO Manager and small business marketing expert

Tide Team

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