At the least, small businesses should invest in affordable and powerful SaaS tool for accounting, collaboration, CRM, marketing automation, email marketing, productivity tools, website builder, ecommerce platform and a slew of other tools for unique business processes like training, data analytics and SEO. These tools can greatly increase operational efficiency and sales productivity, two critical factors for growth.
SaaS has truly come into its own, with data indicating that around 62% of organizations would be running not just one but more than two SaaS providers by the end of 2019.
Meanwhile another research, from Intuit, found that 85% of SMBs plan to invest more in SaaS over the next five years, with more and more running their core CRMs in the cloud each year. You can read our SaaS trends report here, how developments in this industry benefit small business.
If your business has not used SaaS software for small business yet, you are most likely selling your business short while most of your competition are taking strides to leap ahead of you. It’s not too late, though, and knowing which SaaS tools your fellow SMBs—and thus competition—prefer to use gives you a good idea where to start yourself.
For example, many small businesses are already heavily invested in data and information security to address customer and data safety, customer relationship management that could handle even a million contract populated by deep insight that is not possible with traditional computing, marketing software to generate more interest and capture more leads, and HR software to handle both hiring, evaluation, and on-boarding in one powerful suite.
Also consider that generally, on-premise deployments require greater upfront investment, especially compared to a SaaS subscription model. The main reason for this is installing costly hardware on-site. On-premises models typically require ongoing expenditure including maintenance, upgrades, support fees and license fees. However, with SaaS model, you avoid additional charges for upgrades, hardware and administration and license fees are typically bundled into the monthly subscription. There’s no hardware to install or maintain, you simply log in and go.
SaaS will sometimes include additional charges if you require more storage, industry-specific functionality or premium support packages. So, with all costs considered, what is SaaS to small business also boils down to having a cost-effective option to automate processes for both short term and the long term.
With this list of 30 SaaS tools for small business, you should be able to make decisions about which SaaS tools to buy, but also outstanding examples from among their categories for small businesses.
The first category in our list of 30 SaaS tools for small business is ultimately about money. Planning, budgeting, forecasting with all the attendant core accounting, project management, billing and invoicing and time tracking should all matter to your small business and then some if you’re looking to level up ahead. A leading SaaS solution for your finance and accounting needs should let you ease through the pain by tracking due dates and following up late payments without distressing you and the erring party.
Accounting software platforms automate financial management and help managers handle their accounting activities. They help reduce expenses and report accurately on your financial activities, and improve the quality of your accounting decisions.
Aside from monitoring your credit card and bank accounts, Freshbooks wields control of little unaccounted expenses that siphons a sizable chunk of your funds over time. After capturing photos of the receipts of these minuscule expenses, for example, the accounting tool Freshbooks will log and consolidate them for each employee. At the end of the day you know which little holes are bleeding your company and do something to plug them in.
If you run a small business with hardly any accounting background, Freshbooks’ intuitive design will especially appeal to you: it simply automates calculations and processes, letting you run in-depth reports and look into financial patterns—almost turning you into an instant pro.
The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for the FreshBooks free trial here.
Why Freshbooks is best for your small business:
Collaboration software programs enable team members to work together on different activities and projects. Collaboration software packages generally consist of tools for effective communication, document exchange, conferencing, and real time assistance which diminish collaboration obstacles in remote and decentralized teams. Thanks to these applications, companies can keep all of their employees on the same page, save time and money, and identify problems at an early stage
Collaboration tool Monday.com is a transparent collaboration program sporting critical features in a compact yet easy to use package.
Monday.com’s Board concept is a highly flexible and capable tool that provides in-depth insights on your projects or tasks, or even the complete company’s performance if it comes to that. In particular, the main Board lists all projects and tasks together, connecting them to the team members in charge.
A third party can be made external partner or project beneficiary: even without a Monday.com account, they could be invited to follow with special alerts and notifications. They can be handed any number of select competences depending on their role, including the capability to approve or dismiss a project without being permanent users of the system. Monday.com makes it possible to monitor the performance of teams and individuals, and saves managers enough time to devote to more important operations.
If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for a Monday.com free trial here.
Why Monday.com is best for your small business:
HR software tools streamline human resource management, in particular operations like recruitment, screening, hiring, and evaluation. HR software is used by HR agencies and departments looking for talented and reliable performers, and offers an array of specific modules such as payroll management, time and expense tracking, attendance, and benefits management. There are also specialized programs that offer features such as fingerprint ID, self-service learning portals, and smart reporting.
More than other types of business, small businesses need the best people at the quickest time possible to screen and onboard them. For your essential HR software needs, BambooHR provides personnel data modules, tracking, and advanced reporting capabilities. The system utilizes a stripped-down mechanism to follow performance, which makes it a good choice for growing your small business. It covers remote and decentralized teams with flawlessly performing apps for all operational systems.
For applicant tracking, BambooHR displays job openings in a separate tab, where you get to see all applications, applicant leads, and select or eliminate applications as they arrive. Likewise, you can add new job openings with such relevant details as salary, title, duration, contract type, etc. You can do this via a filtered drop-down menu or the system’s special text editor to add a longer description.
Once you have the list ready and completed, you can share it on all social networks or popular job boards to properly launch your applicant search. For freshly hired employees, BambooHR sends a special email containing training information, along with access to all system files and corporate documents that may be relevant to them.
If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a BambooHR free trial here.
Why BambooHR is best for your small business:
We have included Business Intelligence Software (or BI software) on our list of 30 SaaS tools for small business because these tools have become affordable even for companies with limited budgets. BI software is a class of computer applications that process and analyze corporate data to produce quality insights and help you understand the health of your business. BI software uses a variety of formulas and metrics to measure, compare, and relate business indicators, and makes it possible to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of every company. The main functions of these systems are data discovery, data management, and reporting, but some of them also evaluate functionality and employees’ performance.
Business intelligence with its array of actionable insights you get from huge volumes of data used to be capital intensive, but cloud computing has since leveled the playing field for small businesses. Cloud BI like Sisense offers affordable price plans that fit a small business budget. More importantly, these and Sisense offer a scalable option for fast-growing startups. A small business is never limited with what it is using now, as it can add more features and capabilities to match its growing needs. Sisense, in fact, has a huge customer base of boutique marketing agencies, startups small companies and nonprofits. In fact, Sisense tops our business intelligence comparison of the ten leading solutions in this niche.
Sisense’s drag-and drop interface makes it simple to combine big sets of data. It also lets you use a variety of visualization options such as location charts, plot charts, etc. to interpret data. Its Single-Stack system allows you to do multiple tasks from data integration to visualization in a single BI platform. This means you do not have to use star schemas, OLAP cubes, and data warehouses to manage complex calculations and data modeling.
Business intelligence solution Sisense offers integration and built-in connectors which allows you to easily integrate source files from applications such as Excel and Google Adwords, CRM reports from Salesforce and Zendesk, and data from a range of popular apps.
Sisense uses proprietary technologies to allow even lay users to use the platform. But make no mistake: this app offers robust BI features. Underneath the user interface is the powerful In-Chip engine that makes data preparation simple and fast. It allows you to make various queries and get fast answers without needing to apply data rules for each query. To optimize CPU performance, the data is prepared only when a query is made. This means Sisense is adaptable to commodity server infrastructure and you do not have to invest in high-end servers.
You can check the solution closely when you sign up for a Sisense free trial here.
Why Sisense is best for your small business:
Time tracking software helps you manage complicated projects effortlessly and on time. You can use it to create helpful targets and deadlines according to the info you enter in the system—or link interdependent assignments and tasks to view the complete picture and to ensure your company’s business units balance and not contradict their deliverables. It lets you anticipate issues and situations beforehand and modify your procedures and resources to meet positive as well as negative scenarios as they arise.
Clarizen combines essential project management and social collaboration features to help you execute projects within deadlines. The cloud-powered tool is easy to use and fast to deploy.
Clarizen provides a well-defined work structure connecting tasks, projects, and conversations. It prioritizes budgets, projects, resources, portfolios, and tasks, and makes sure that critical information and resources are always handled appropriately.
An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for a Clarizen free trial here.
Why Clarizen is best for your small business:
Website builder software enables you to construct websites without manual code editing. Some SaaS vendors let the site owner to install alternative commercial or open source tools. Complex solutions of this type are also called Content Management Systems.
Fully powered and stunning websites to sell items might seem like a proposition for multinational enterprises, yet Wix readily provides those with ample to spare at prices your small business will love.
Unless you’re a techie selling techie things, chances are you are running your small business from the standpoint of a non-coding, non-technical person. It will not really matter with Wix, as its powerful editor and wealth of gorgeous templates will let you present a finished website as if it were commissioned by a pro.
When you have finished with the aesthetic side of your online store, your next concern, to adequately feature the qualities of your products, provide technical details about size and color, barcodes, or shipping information are also fully covered by Wix. You will have access to online booking integration, multiple payment processing options, and invoices to close your transactions efficiently.
You will want to compete in social media spaces like most do these days, and Wix lets you do just that, along with ways to conduct social advertising and chat functionality. There’s a handy automatic notification feature, so you don’t miss an important message or online store transaction that needs your attention.
If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for a Wix free trial here.
Why Wix is best for your small business:
Marketing Software helps businesses expand their outreach with profitable and engaging campaigns. There are many types of marketing programs, but most of them are designed for campaign management and resource optimization, and offer features such as data collection, branding, event scheduling, content distribution, and lead nurturing and converting. The most advanced marketing products will also come with a handy analytical suite for you to generate accurate reports
For your local small business, marketing platform HubSpot Marketing offers automation that gives you powerful capabilities beyond traditional email marketing: it allows you to design your own workflows, prepare, format, and publish content, and seamlessly integrate contact profiles and information so you’ll have the most effective campaigns. It takes but a short time to familiarize with its working environment to make you effortlessly segment, nurture, and evaluate leads in a more personalized way.
As a valuable investment for the growth of your business, you’ll appreciate HubSpot Marketing’s land page builder—a no-brainer, drag-and-drop tool that requires no coding skills to create beautiful websites. You can use the system’s keyword tools and SEO optimization to distribute nothing but the best content, and manage the way how leads interact with it from a single, dynamic dashboard.
The focus on personalization makes it possible to remove HubSpot’s branding and use your own instead, so that customers will know who they’re dealing with from the very first moment. It’s the same customization and configuration options you’ll find in the company’s equally famous Sales and CRM modules—which, incidentally, you could seamlessly integrate with HubSpot Marketing as others usually do who see all the advantages of a common, unified platform ecosystem from the same vendor.
An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for a HubSpot Marketing free trial here. You can also review our marketing software rankings to gauge this software versus its competitors.
Why HubSpot Marketing is best for your small business:
Sales Software is a suite of ecommerce applications used to standardize companies’ selling processes and sales-specific activities, in particular lead-to-close and lead-to-conversion processes. Most sales applications can also be used to process sales data, evaluate performance, manage inventory, or run an online store. Sales software makes it easy to measure key metrics, including conversion and bounce rates, win-loss ratios, and sales cycle. You have plenty of options in this category, keep in mind though to get a sales software demo prior to subscribing to a plan.
No matter the industry type of your small business, sales solution HubSpot Sales helps you sell more in less time and build and automate sales processes that are specific for your business. It is very flexible and easy to customize and, following the route of other HubSpot products, this sales bundle is code-free and simple enough to be used even by inexperienced agents.
HubSpot Sales comes to the fore when you need to standardize your retail processes and retail-specific activities, in particular lead-to-quote and lead-to-conversion processes. It enables you to process sales data, evaluate performance, manage inventory, or run an online store. For advanced functions, you can use it to measure key metrics, including conversion and bounce rates, win-loss ratios, and lead times.
HubSpot Sales gives is all about affordable pricing scheme, among which is a free plan for small businesses and startup companies. It leaves you with a lot of elbow room as you grow and see a need to upgrade to a paid plan of $50/user/month, which covers the full suite of advanced sales and marketing features.
And of course HubSpot Sales is a member of large and well-known productivity software family, allowing you to purchase it either independently or within a CRM + Marketing Growth Stack. Note that the company’s CRM solution, also covered here, is available for free.
You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for a HubSpot Sales free trial here.
Why HubSpot Sales is best for your small business:
Project Management Software programs facilitate project delivery and make it more efficient. They let you set more realistic milestones and deadlines, tie up and automate interdependent assignments, and keep all of your team’s members focused on your deliverables. Project management software usually offers visual tools such as Gantt Charts and time and resource tracking tools.
One of the defining features of SaaS tools is how they all seek to get disparate man and machines to work together as a smooth, well-oiled composite unit for any objective and challenge facing all kinds of projects, often the lifeblood of a business.
A regular recipient of our top SaaS solution awards, Wrike is a Software-as-a-Service project management solution that improves the speed and efficiency of work in both co-located and distributed groups. You can also check our other project management reviews, but you will realize the project management tool Wrike is for most the leading work management solution for any type of business teams. The multiple award-winning platform gives your business crucial real-time project insights. As your business project hub, Wrike enables users to discuss tasks and ideas quickly, track schedules, and securely store files.
The flexibility provided by collaboration management tool Wrike enables multifunctional groups to put their heads together and get things done effectively from a single location. The service allows you to schedule, prioritize, discuss, and keep track of both work and progress in real time—all with just a few clicks of the mouse.
The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. You can sign up for the Wrike free trial here.
Why Wrike is best for your small business:
Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) refers to applications that help businesses build strong relationships with their customers, boost conversations, and improve revenue rates based on customer data coming from multiple interaction channels (phone calls, website visits, social interactions, and so on). Companies use them to process and analyze customer information, make use of disconnected data to depict opportunities, create sales funnels, and carry out loyalty campaigns. The biggest benefit of CRM software tools is that they allow you to categorize customers according to their expectations, and devote attention to prospective buyers.
Speaking of free forever, the highly rated CRM platform HubSpot CRM is one robust free CRM apps and it flaunts this advantage over the competition. If your small business has straightforward inbound marketing needs–you send out campaign, get leads, sort prospects and drive them down the funnel–HubSpot’s offer is simply hard to resist.
Customer relationship management is a key tool in getting leads for your company and increasing your bottom line. But there’s more to CRM than just closing deals. CRM has become a management strategy that very often will ensure a steady growth of your small business. It allows you to consolidate sales data and get insights that can be used to make your business processes more cost-efficient.
For no cost at all, you get a CRM solution built to enable sales teams to quickly get started without system-shattering shifts in their existing workflows. If you are only starting a CRM system or looking to optimize your current CRM, your best option probably lies in HubSpot. Since there is no cost involved to start using the software, you can easily get HubSpot CRM running without need to talk to their sales team.
The application is smart and easy to use, and brings with it all essential features suitable for beginners and mid-market companies in whatever niche or industry. It does away with the hassles of CRM implementation and can facilitate various tasks such as creating contact and company profiles, assigning of deals, tracking of company activities, managing agent performance, monitoring key metrics, as well as maximizing inbound sales techniques, among others.
The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. You can sign up for the HubSpot CRM free trial here.
Why HubSpot CRM is best for your small business:
Customer experience management software (CEM) assists a company to track and organize all interactions with their clients throughout the customer lifecycle. The solution helps to optimize client interactions and build their loyalty. To manage the customer experience, companies need to devise strategies that encompass all customer interactions.
CEM software offers businesses an all-round view of customers with integrated, up-to-date data on their accounts and profiles. Customer experiences include interactions through conventional channels such as live chat, phone calls, and website purchases as well as text and social media.
If your small business is mired in cut-throat competition, your best option to get ahead of the pack is to provide a satisfactory customer experience. To do that, you can invest in a quality customer experience management software solution like Yotpo. The platform makes it easy to collect customer feedback and getting insights from them, including whether your customers are satisfied or dissatisfied and the reasons behind it. You can analyze customer data and understand their behaviors. Yotpo lets you collect feedback from multiple channels including website, in-store, email, mobile app and others.
Yotpo provides SEO, marketing, review generation, retention, and social media ads functionalities. You can utilize these tools to significantly boost your ad-ROI and keep track of social advertising trends especially on Instagram. The product generates reviews effortlessly as customers can utilize mobile responsive apps and in-mail forms to rate your product or service.
Yotpo uses smart algorithms to display the right products to the appropriate people to get the best possible reviews. The interface is intuitive and user-friendly, so you don’t need coding skills to maximize the platform’s potential.
If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a Yotpo free demo here.
Why Yotpo is best for your small business:
Survey software is used to collect feedback from a select group of respondents. Companies use survey software to collect comments from their clients, buyers, and employees. They employ this data to analyze things such as customer satisfaction, employee morale, etc. This software can be used to evaluate employee and client satisfaction, enhance customer loyalty, and gather feedback on products and services.
Companies can apply survey software through email, embedded widgets, mobile and social networks and more. Survey software is similar to enterprise feedback software which is used by businesses to gather information for high-level evaluation. However, survey software is less expensive and easier to use compared to enterprise feedback software which offers greater customization and reporting features.
Fielding business surveys remains one of the most direct and most effective means of gathering critical information about a business market. Surveys—that is, survey software—provide a wealth of data, intelligence and insight that define how business enterprises should act
and drive the next activities of their businesses in order to increase revenues and market share in their specific industries.
Powered by a brilliant algorithm and state-of-the-art predictive intelligence engine called iQ, Qualtrics Research Core provides intuitive, beautiful and complex surveys to serve any business needs: from tracking consumer behavior across diverse segments, benchmarking your company against competition, conducting complex academic research, to advertising and product testing.
You can’t go wrong with the most trusted research platform in the world with over 9,000 brands and 99 of the top 100 business schools using Qualtrics to make the most critical decisions.
You can check the solution closely when you sign up for a Qualtrics Research Core free trial here.
Why Qualtrics Core is best for your small business:
Customer Support Software features cover all applications and bulletin board systems companies use to answer questions and deal with queries and complaints quickly and effectively. Common features include help desk functionality, ticketing & points of contact, CRM, and contact management, while advanced systems also offer lead extraction, registration mechanisms, and tutorial builders.
At its heart, your online customer support tool should help you deal with queries and complaints promptly and effectively. Among other essential functions, it should give you help desk functionality, ticketing and points of contact, CRM, and contact management. Better yet, it could also include some advanced capabilities like lead extraction, registration mechanisms, and tutorial builders. While your specific requirements may not include all these, you will find they’re great options to have once your small business grows to require those functions.
Aside from being very easy to use, customer support solution Freshdesk offers an excellent support tool for your small business. It gives you multichannel capability including Live Chat, integrated game mechanics to increase agent productivity, multiple SLA policies, smart automations and self-service portals—on top of the standard help desk ticketing, knowledge base, and community platform. Freshdesk will turn your support emails into tickets that you can track for rapid and accurate response, while giving you the flexibility to link forum questions to a ticket and vice-versa so you can create better sets of answers and replies.
Freshdesk empowers your social media engagements: with it, you can quickly track down customer posts about your product in social media and address issues that can escalate, or build on opportunities to promote your product. Put simply, it gives your support team maximum visibility across those social channels that matter to your business.
You can easily sign up for a Freshdesk free trial here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
Why Freshdesk is best for your small business:
E-signature software helps you confirm agreement to a contract’s conditions and terms via an electronic channel. It can also be used to show the identity of the message’s creator, essentially serving the same functions as stamped seals and handwritten signatures. In today’s business environment, digital signatures are used mostly in regulatory filings and e-commerce because they are considered to be highly secure. Many countries give the same legal importance and significance to e-signatures as they do to traditional ways of executing documents.
SignNow helps businesses accelerate processes that involve the signing and filling up of paper forms. It enables you to sign documents and request for documents to be signed by other parties while maintaining industry compliance. With SignNow, static processes like creating, printing, sending, or faxing documents to signers so they can affix their legally binding signatures are virtually eliminated. It saves you time and costs involving paper-based document and workflows.
The digital signature solution streamlines processes by allowing concerned individuals to affix their signatures electronically on documents with the device they have available with them, whether desktops, laptops, smartphones, or tablets. SignNow can be implemented across the entire organization and is built to work for any industry, making it a top e-signature software of choice for many international brands and Fortune 500 companies. It integrates with over two dozen productivity apps and online services as well as with the full suite of Google tools. It also works with several document management apps for iOS and Android devices.
You can check the solution closely when you sign up for a SignNow free trial here.
Why SignNow is best for your small business:
Content Management Software (or CMS) helps you create, modify, and publish digital content online. Most CMSes use web browsers to distribute content, while others offer their own web-based GUI and invite users to create their own templates rather than using premade pages. What you should expect from a good CMS is a variety of publishing options, in-built text editors, filtering and indexing features, SEO and metadata functionality. Advanced CMSes may also please users with advanced extensions and plugins that make content more competitive
HubSpot CMS helps you build a powerful website that’s optimized for every device, personalized for every visitor using data from HubSpot CRM, and integrated with all your marketing tools—right out of the box.
HubSpot CMS provides hosting of your content with one integrated platform. You can create and edit blog posts, landing pages, site pages, and emails with ease, whether you choose from one of its pre-built templates or start from scratch. The whole setup is backed by a world-class content delivery network to serve your content all across the globe in the fastest way possible.
You can manage, optimize, and track the performance of your content with the same platform you used to create it. You can learn more about this program in this HubSpot CMS review.
If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for a HubSpot free trial here.
Why HubSpot CMS is best for your small business:
Ecommerce software helps you manage all aspects of an online store including adding or removing products, managing inventory, calculating taxes and other details needed to fulfill orders for a website. It typically sports a user-friendly interface that can be handled easily even by lay users to manage the intricate process of their ecommerce operation. Despite its ease of use, the solution is in fact complex and multifaceted.
You can integrate the system with other services such as 3PL, ERP, and accounting software as well as with social media networks to automate sharing of data.
Shopify enables businesses to build and operate online stores as well as sell products in person. It provides tools specifically designed for offline retail.
Shopify is the first ecommerce software that recognized the need to address abandoned shopping carts. It’s solution is straightforward: review your abandoned checkouts and choose between manually emailing a customer a link to the abandoned checkout and fully automating the process, the customers receiving emails with links to their abandoned carts and providing them the opportunity to complete the checkout as they choose.
Shopify provides tools ranging from designing professional-looking storefronts, powerful marketing and promotional tools, multiple, secure payment options, and world-class shipping and order-tracking tools.
It gives you powerful reporting and analytics tools, integration capabilities, and superb customer support.
You can check the solution closely when you sign up for a Shopify free trial here.
Why Shopify is best for your small business:
Knowledge management software captures and stores all your organization’s information and makes it easily accessible to your staff members anytime, anywhere. The solution offers an information hub where you can create, organize, and distribute content via search tools and other functionality that enable users to find answers easily and quickly. Knowledge management software stores data such as stakeholder feedback, comments, database records, videos, images, and documents. It streamlines the centralization, reporting, and sharing of business info. In short, KM systems provide a company a unified pool of info that is easily accessible, discoverable, and updated.
When people require information, most likely they mean fast access to accurate information to spare them the time for other pressing matters on their hands. Hence a rich, broad knowledge base is an absolute necessity. As a self-serving, centralized repository of information about a product, service, department or topic, a knowledge base is one of the most accessible and most affordable ways to keep customers happy. It contains data that could come in from multiple sources but more often through contributors well versed in a particular subject (HR, Legal, etc.). It could include FAQs, troubleshooting guides and other basic and in-depth details that one might need to know and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is an ideal way to handle interactions that are voluminous but at the same time simple.
For your small business, a knowledge base is a great way to separate yourself from the pack. It’s also a foolproof route to prepare your business for big things ahead, starting your company on a footing that ensures it remains nimble, able to deliver faster services and offer regular updates, ultimately delivering a better customer experience. A compelling way to place your business amid the information-rich world we all live in.
ProProfs KnowledgeBase is a powerful online knowledge management solution designed to enable any business size to effectively manage and dispense employee and organizational knowledge. ProProfs knowledge base is ideal for businesses in search of an effective platform that maximizes its organization’s collective knowledge and experience as well as enhance accessibility to customer service and FAQs. The software is built with a highly searchable and centralized knowledge base compatible with all kinds of files and documents and can be deployed on multiple devices and platforms.
Why ProProfs Knowledge Base is best for your small business:
Learning Management System tools are designed to enable and facilitate education via Internet, i.e. deliberately designed and network-enabled transfer applications for web-based learning. LMSs are intended for educational institutions and corporations that train large and decentralized teams, and offer training and workshop courses, evaluation metrics, and skill gap analytics.
Think of Litmos LMS as a corporate training LMS that automates and streamlines your learning program by unifying virtual, classroom, social, mobile and ecommerce in a secure platform. To support these capabilities, Litmos LMS established quick cloud deployment, an intuitive UI and array of integrations for extensible functionalities. All of these suit small business and enterprise requirements for employee training, customer orientation or industry and professional regulatory compliance.
As a training platform, Litmos LMS for small business helps you manage global training operations via schedules, pricing, resources, taxation and task assignment. With automation and optimization you can scale the operation easily as your organization expands, with tools for certification, learning passes, prepaid agreements and expense management. The solution also integrates with your existing learning management architecture so you need not shift from one system to another.
Litmos LMS is designed to be virtually intuitive for a beginner to easily understand and generate useful results from the get-go, and supple enough to develop familiarity with its more advanced features.
The novice user will like how Litmos LMS easily allows building content that is engaging and easy to grasp for the target learners, making available real-life scenarios for audio and video materials 24/7. Going forward, the user could make the most of content for various industry regulations and requirements, say in IT, HR, and nonprofit.
An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for a Litmos LMS free trial here.
Why Litmos LMS is best for your small business:
Live chat software can be used by companies to offer instant assistance to their website visitors and customers. Top live chat solutions offer text chat, video, help desk, voice, and CRM features. Chats can be categorized into two main types: pro-active chat in which the website visitor is greeted with a pop-up box they can use to chat with an agent, and broadcast where the visitor can initiate the chat. Companies should look for live chat software that integrates seamlessly with their existing ecommerce, help desk, and CRM systems. The platform should also offer useful features such as capability to share discussions, preference settings for chat windows and reminders, and archive and reporting tools.
Live chat provides a timely alternative to mail and telephone when you are dealing with customer queries and complaints. It gives you customer information, history of conversations, geolocations, language information, brand specifics that you could easily tailor and personalize for each client at the other terminal, other essential and critical content that you could have in real time—features that you cannot have with mail and telephone. It’s really an interesting time to do business. Beyond a means for communication, live chat can help you generate leads. You can learn more about this creative strategy through resources like this one on live chat for marketing, all compiled by some of the best experts of the industry.
Freshchat is a modern messaging software that enables companies to turn website visitors to become leads, provide essential information about users to engage them better and meet their queries and concerns, leading them to become happy, engaged customers who stays with your brand for a long time.
Freshchat provides you with a variety of channels to talk to your customers, including your own website, in-product, mobile app, and social media profile. You can set up in-app campaigns to onboard and educate new users, retain lapsing customers, and share interesting insights and announcements to keep them in the loop with recent developments. Basically, you will manage to respond to all customers’ needs from the comfort of a single, moderately priced platform.
Freshchat not only will enable contact on several platforms, but it will also let you categorize messages and conversations into custom groups. This way, you will always build realistic expectations from every discussion, and hand each customer over to the right agent or team. You can contact and accumulate data from as many customers as you want, and maintain a priority inbox for those who are most likely to buy.
You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for a Freshchat free trial here.
Why Freshchat is best for your small business:
Office software simplifies business document processes and tasks and enhances their productivity. Office software is also known as office productivity software and office application suite. A typical office software suite consists of applications like a word processor, spreadsheet, email, presentation, database, collaboration, note taking and other related software. You can install each application in the suite separately and all applications in the suite are normally interoperable with each other.
Perhaps office application hardly needs introductions. Next to a computer operating system, an office software is virtually given for anyone wishing to interact with the rest of the world, whether personally or professionally.
In the case of Google, what started out as Gmail beta in 2004, Google Apps in 2008 and G Suite Basic or G Suite Business in 2016 is today the leading productivity suite in the world, incorporating cloud computing and extensive collaboration tools. It provides applications in basic or enterprise configuration, including Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar and Google+ for communication, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Sites for collaboration, Drive for storage, a digital whiteboard called Jamboard and Vault and Admin panel for specific plans.
Massively powerful data centers behind all these applications allow instantaneous saving and synchronization of data and information anywhere in the world. G Suite Business users enjoy ad-free applications, and their account data and information are exempted from advertisement purposes. On January 2017 alone, G Suite entered a milestone reaching 3 million paying customers, along with 70 million G Suite for Education users.
Why G Suite is best for your small business:
A payment gateway is a software application that functions as a channel between an e-commerce vendor’s website and the bank that processes a buyer’s credit card payment. A payment gateway can also process payments using methods such as debit cards and eCheck (ACH) payments. The main work of the payment gateway is to securely transmit the buyer’s sensitive credit/debit card and bank account data to the issuing bank and other entities involved in the transaction.
Payment gateways send transaction data to acquiring banks and get replies from issuing banks about whether a transaction is accepted or declined. In short, payment gateways assist in effective communication between banks.
With a staggering $2 trillion of ecommerce going around, it’s beyond essential for any business small or large to get in on the act. The ease of creating online shopping platforms and web stores, the onset of cloud technology, the integration of systems and apps that tie processes together, the proliferation of fulfillment services that enable speedy delivery, and a host of many other things make it all possible.
One of the important drivers in the growth of ecommerce is the convenience and reliability of paying online through credit cards or non-cash transactions. Leading the pack is Stripe, an online payment processing software designed for internet businesses to accept payments and manage transactions online. It provides a complete toolkit for businesses operating on the web, whether as an e-commerce store, a crowdfunding platform, a subscription service, or an on-demand marketplace. At its core, it is a robust payments engine that streamlines the movement of money in your business while connecting with applications that enable you to prevent frauds, manage revenue, and drive global business growth.
Stripe offers various products that address crucial stages of your payment processes. The fully integrated global payments platform offers an all-in-one solution to cover your payment of accepting, processing, settling and reconciling, and managing payments. Some features that cover this include customer interfaces, payment options, fraud and disputes, revenue optimization, and business operations, among others.
The vendor offers a quick on-boarding to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for the Stripe account here.
Why Stripe is best for your small business:
Restaurant management software helps business owners manage their food service joints. Some solutions like point of sale (POS) systems have features related to customer interactions, but more often this type of software focuses on behind-the-scenes processes such as accounting, inventory management, and employee scheduling.
Restaurant management software enables restaurant owners and managers to organize back office operations. These apps keep track of orders, payroll, inventory, and analytics. You use these products to compare business practices at multiple locations, simplify the on-boarding process for new employees, and monitor employee effectiveness.
Toast POS is arguably the best known brand in the restaurant industry. It simplifies your restaurant operations by combining POS, front of house, back of house, and guest-facing technology on a single platform.
Aside from the core POS function, the platform offers myriad extra functionalities like reporting, credit card processing, CRM, gift and loyalty, online ordering and labor and inventory. For menu management functionalities, it provides time-specific menu pricing such as happy hour menu, customizes menus separately for offline and online audiences, and sets up the entire menu including all groups and sub-groups.
A restaurant ordering feature enables users to split menu items and bills among customers, sends automatic alerts to the server when the order is ready and provides the capability to take orders on the fly. Payments are simplified both for restaurant owners and their clients, with a feature called pay at the table, printing receipts or emailing them and and tipping servers directly from the tablets. Plus, customers can convert payments into loyalty points that they can redeem on subsequent visits. It monitors restaurant sales, labor costs, food costs, and more in real time, at home, and on the go with powerful reporting capabilities.
You can easily sign up for a Toast POS free demo here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
Why Toast POS is best for your small business:
A POS software or POS system combines hardware and software to centralize your retail or restaurant operations. The hardware involved typically includes a computer, cash register, or even a tablet device to input the products, determine the cost, and finally, to close the sale. Most POS solutions can track inventory levels to ensure there are enough products in stock. Smaller shops go for cloud-based POS applications for their low investment resources footprint.
Vend is a beautifully designed, responsive point of sale system that makes it fast and easy to sell to your customers and keep them coming back to your store. It works on Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows XP, iPad, Mac or PC, works online and offline, and connects to all the latest hardware – barcode scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers.
Vend makes it easy to connect your brick-and-mortar store to the ecommerce you love. You can connect your online store with Vend in minutes, and manage all your inventory and customer profiles from one place. It allows you to sync all your products in a click, fulfills orders easily, and bring all your business operations into Vend, which gives you a global view.
Why Vend is best for your small business:
Communications software makes it possible for team members to exchange data and discuss business operations in real time. You can use it to transmit information from one system to another, exchange files in various formats, or simply discuss sensitive corporate data in a protected, internal environment. Popular communication software types are messaging apps, live chat systems, FTPs (file transfer protocols), VoIP, and email providers which make it possible to communicate at low to no cost.
RingCentral is an award-winning cloud-based phone system that lets you conduct voice communications, online meetings, business conferences that saves you the costs that come with a physical communication setup involving hardware, software, maintenance, training, space, operators, among others. It works just as good offsite as you do onsite with its strong mobile support for both Android and iOS, keeping your remote team connected and organized and allowing them to send and receive HD calls, faxes, SMSs, attend conferences, and receive notifications regardless of your current whereabouts. The solutions also allows you to administer your business processes.
Setting up RingCentral takes just minutes: simply register for an account, configure the settings, and you instantly have a phone system running through the Internet. You get standard PBX features, plus extra functionalities such as call management, online meetings, app integration, data security and mobile extensions.
Once you receive a phone number in your email, you can log into the RingCentral website to create extensions, enable an auto call attendant, set call queues, organize call groups, and configure rules for voice mail, call routing/blocking, and call forwarding. In short, you can do in a day on RingCentral what takes a week on traditional PBX systems.
If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a RingCenral free trial here.
Why RingCentral is best for your small business:
Payroll software is offered by HR technology vendors, but it can also be part of an ERP system. It is used to perform a lot of tasks, such as calculating employees’ salaries, cutting deductions, depositing the salary directly into staff members’ bank accounts, producing tax forms and payslips and more. The app helps reduce manual errors as well as cycle times. Setting up this software and getting started with it will also be very easy. Moreover, payroll management software offers benefits such as secure financial transactions, efficient handling of employee data, and getting detailed reports on staff payroll. You can learn more about this software by reading about popular systems in this category.
Gusto offers extensive payroll capabilities along with benefits administration, HR and compliance functionalities in a single, simplified package. In particular, it provides payroll, 401(k), and workers’ comp insurance nationwide. Health benefits are available in 17 states, with more coming: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The platform can automate the calculation, payment, and submission of a company’s local, state and federal payroll taxes. It ensures that businesses can pay through direct deposit or check, automate calculations, year-end forms, and taxation to avoid critical errors, and save even more time handling bookkeeping on its own.
If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a Gusto free trial here.
Why Gusto is best for your small business:
Digital asset management—DAM to industry insiders—allows you to organize, store, retrieve and manage rich media that are encoded in digital format and defined through metadata. These include music, photos, videos, animations, design files, illustrations, audio files, podcasts, documents, presentations, ebooks and other such multimedia content. DAM allows you to control, optimize, access and share these digital assets as part of your business processes or to facilitate your business operations.
Leading this category of software is Asset Bank, a robust solution that gives you complete control over your assets with ease, powerful features, and numerous configuration options to match your small business needs. This competitively priced solution is available for deployment in the cloud and on-premise, giving you a flexible option on your preferred implementation model.
Its Metadata feature enables you to monitor your digital files by incorporating descriptive definitions of the digital asset, such as its model release forms, star ratings, reviews, and keywords. The User Permission feature allows managers and administrators to give the staff permission for activities such as uploading, downloading, and editing digital assets.
Asset Bank saves you time and simplifies the complexity of keeping your digital files under control as your organization grows. It’s packed with features to give your team a centralized location of all your digital assets to maximize their value.
Why Asset Bank is best for your small business:
Social media management software (SMMS) lets you engage prospects and customers on social media networks. The software can be used to track inbound and outbound brand mentions, social marketing campaigns, and the effectiveness of social media presence.
Leading these social media management solutions is ZOHO Social, a smart tool to help your small business grow its presence on social channels by reaching the right audience at the right time. It tracks revenue from social media marketing efforts and managing multiple social networks, monitor keywords, schedule unlimited posts and facilitates team collaboration from a single dashboard. It works great with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram and can also be integrated with ZOHO CRM.
Zoho Social lets you publish relevant content when the audience is most likely to see it through its prediction engine. You can use it to listen and engage with your audience in real time, and be updated about what customers are talking about your business. It has ready-made or custom reporting tools to give you insightful information that you can use to measure and improve performance.
You can check the solution closely when you sign up for a Zoho Social free trial here.
Why Zoho Social is best for your small business:
Employee monitoring software helps businesses to keep track of their staff members’ computer activities such as software usage, internet browsing, networking interactions, active and idle computer time, and more. Managers can use the reports generated by the software to evaluate the output and performance of employees and to plan strategies to improve their productivity. Businesses can use this platform to monitor all devices used by their employees from a central location. The software can be deployed over a business network for centralized log viewing. Companies can also utilize remote desktop software to monitor their employees.
FlexiServer with its automatic employee time logging helps reduce time and effort spent by HR personnel on attendance and payroll procedures, specifically compared to computing everything manually using time sheets. It helps promote a flexible yet efficient and reliable work environment. FlexiServer can monitor the attendance of office-based, field, or work-from-home staff members as long as it is installed in their computers. This function helps ensure that attendance reports are more accurate compared to having employees manually declare the number of work hours that they have rendered.
You can authorized certain personnel to review attendance data from remote locations 24/7 by simply logging into FlexiServer’s online portal. This means that HR personnel can conduct attendance and payroll tasks even if they are on field. Managers who are out of the office can also check to be updated on who are putting in the required amount of time at work.
Why FlexiServer is best for your small business:
Document management software handles documents creation, sharing, organization and archiving. A leading brand, M-Files, includes mobile optimization, version control, e-signature support, document templates, offline access, permission control and automated workflows. It comes with a search engine that efficiently finds documents based on document type, names and keywords, among others.
M-Files streamlines all document-related processes to improve the productivity of your business’ way of managing files digitally. Its central electronic location makes documents and information easy to find, which saves your time so you can manage more of your company’s core operations.
For businesses large or small, the information can be shared in a secure way, the same as among key stakeholders or team members. While making important business decisions, key users can find and track the information they need, and use it to fulfill the content-based requirements.
You can easily sign up for a M-Files free trial here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
Why M-Files is best for your small business:
Appointment scheduling software—also called appointment booking software and online booking software—handles all your schedule appointments and bookings. You can use it to automate scheduling tasks and arrange meetings and appointments. Top features include appointment reminders, employee and customer management, and calendar integration. Advanced solutions include payment processing, revenue processing, and mobile compatibility.
Simply Book.me is an online booking system that helps businesses streamline their scheduling and booking procedures. It is accessible from mobile devices or desktop PCs, allowing clients to make booking 24/7 from literally every location. Email/ SMS reminders and confirmation notifications are automatically sent once a booking has been made, while clients also have the option to cancel their booking anytime they want. Its Classes & Membership feature gives admins full control of the booking process, and be able to provide professional and in-time service for all their clients.
The booking page is customizable and can be added to your company’s webpage or Facebook fan-page. Flexible booking pages let you change color, etc. to your liking. The settings allow creating multiple services and service providers and linking service providers to all or a few services.
If you want to try its features at no cost you can sign up for a Simply Book.me free trial here.
Why Simply Book.me is best for your small business:
You can also read our guide to 21 of the best SaaS tools for small businesses for more options on your part. This guide covers more SaaS software categories that are not covered here.
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