30 Best Business Apps for Small Business Owners, From Convenient to Essential

Updated on March 11, 2021
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Whether you love it, hate it, or hate to love it, your smartphone is absolutely crucial—and, if you load up that phone with some of the best business apps, you can turn it into a toolbox that will help you run your business better.

But, as you likely already know, there are millions of productivity and business apps—plus lots of software with accompanying apps—out in the digital marketplace. So, to narrow down that seemingly endless store, we made a list of the best business apps that only include the highest user reviews—and really make the biggest difference in workflow, according to our research.

That also means that this list of the best business apps isn’t exhaustive, so you may be wondering why your go-to app for small business didn’t make the cut. Here, we tried to strike a balance between those classics (like LinkedIn), while also introducing you to some brand-new business apps that, we hope, will make it to your home screen (Todoist, perhaps?).

Browse through the 30 best small business apps on this list—listed, in order, from the nice-to-have to the can’t-live-without—that’ll supercharge your efficiency as a small business owner. (And, yes, some are totally free!)

1. Magnet

Magnet is a window-management tool for the Mac that lets you arrange your opened windows into clearer configurations. It’s a ridiculously simple idea, but it can revolutionize the way you work: Rather than toggling back and forth between hidden tabs and documents, you can clearly see and compare every window at once, which makes this a must-have business app for multitaskers.

With Magnet, you can:

  • Organize screens side-by-side, in quarters, thirds, or any combination of the three
  • Drag and drop windows, create keyboard shortcuts, or use a menu bar to easily access preconfigurations

Pricing: Magnet is $0.99 on the Mac App Store.

2. Bear

Bear is a streamlined, flexible way to write anything you want—from half-formed sentences to fully-fledged essays—on your iOS devices. This app isn’t made specifically for businesses, but you can use Bear to jot down and organize your personal thoughts, ideas, recipes, dreams, to-dos, to-buys, to-reads, and anything else that’s cluttering your brain so you can be at your most highly functional when you step into the office.

More features of the Bear app include:

  • Markup and editing tools
  • Multiple conversion options, including PDF and Word docs
  • Theme and typography choices
  • Syncs with the cloud

Pricing: The standard version of Bear is free. You can opt to sign up for Bear Pro, which offers advanced features, at $1.49 monthly or $14.99 annually.

3. Be Focused

Be Focused is a dedicated time-management tool to help you stay on top of all your (many) daily tasks and maximize productivity. With the Be Focused app, you can:

  • Break individual tasks into smaller, timed intervals
  • Schedule long or short breaks
  • Create daily goals

Pricing: Free!

4. Todoist

Essentially, Todoist does exactly what it sounds like it should: It’s a digitized version of your daily, weekly, or monthly to-do list. Sounds simple, but its clean and intuitive interface makes tracking your tasks a lot more pleasant than consulting reams of notebook paper. You can use Todoist for yourself, or you can sign up for their business app.

With Todoist for Business, you can:

  • Easily add and organize tasks
  • Add one-time or recurring deadlines
  • Plan projects and assign tasks
  • Measure productivity trends
  • Share and comment on files

Pricing: Todoist Business costs $28.99 per user per year.

5. Dropbox Paper

You’re likely familiar with Google Docs, which enables users to collaborate on the same document in real time. So, you might see some similarities with Dropbox Paper, the file-sharing app’s word processing software.

But some reviewers say that Dropbox Paper is simpler and more intuitive than Google Docs, with easy sharing capabilities, a clean interface, the ability to assign tasks with due dates, and easily embedded GIFs, emojis, YouTube videos, and even Google Map directions (if that’s your office’s thing).[1]

Be aware, though, that you can’t print Dropbox Paper files, so if your business needs hard copies, then you might be better off using Google Docs.

Pricing: Dropbox Paper comes free with all three Dropbox Business account tiers:

  • A Standard account costs $12.50 per user per month
  • Advanced costs $20 per user per month
  • Contact Dropbox directly for a quote on an Enterprise account, which gives you a customized package according to your business’ needs.   

6. Evernote

Evernote is a cloud-based notebook in which you can digitally organize all your notes, ideas, to-do lists, memos, and even receipts, bills, and invoices, across all your devices. For small businesses, Evernote is an especially useful tool for organizing and sharing personal agendas and brainstorming with colleagues.

Use Evernote Business to:

  • Simply organize your day-to-day tasks
  • Annotate and share documents
  • Allow multiple team members to access and comment on your documents
  • Scan and search business cards

Pricing: Evernote Business is $14.99 per user per month, but individual small business owners or freelancers might find Evernote’s free, Basic plan more useful. An in-between option is Evernote’s Premium account, which costs $69.99 per year.

7. When I Work

When I Work eliminates the logistical nightmare of coordinating all your employee schedules and monitoring clock-ins. With this small business app, users can easily oversee and manage every scheduling concern through an intuitive interface.

Among other features, When I Work lets business owners:

  • Easily schedule employee shifts
  • Find replacements to cover shifts by sending notifications to available employees
  • Receive and manage time-off requests   
  • Communicate with staff through group email or one-to-one messaging
  • Integrate with business accounting software, including QuickBooks

Pricing: The When I Work app comes free with your When I Work account, which is also free if you’re managing up to 75 employees. But you’ll need to contact the company directly if you have more than 75 employees.

8. MailChimp

If you don’t have an in-house marketing professional (or even if you do!), MailChimp is the best small business app for keeping all of your email marketing materials organized and automated. MailChimp’s app brings this easy and intuitive tool directly to your iOS or Android.

With MailChimp’s app, you can:

  • Create and send professional, on-brand, templated emails
  • Receive sales alerts and daily performance accounts
  • Track metrics and customer behavior on a mobile dashboard

Pricing: MailChimp’s app comes free with your account plan, and the account prices vary.

  • The New Business plan is free
  • The Growing Business plan starts at $10 per month, depending on the number of subscribers on your email list
  • The Pro Marketer plan costs $199 per month, in addition to the cost of your Growing Business plan.

9. Hootsuite

Whether you’re a social media pro or newbie, Hootsuite is an essential tool to keep in your marketing arsenal—it’s an automated, hands-off way of organizing and posting your social media content, so you can literally generate leads in your sleep.

With Hootsuite’s dashboard and app, you can:

  • Automatically schedule posts across all your social media platforms
  • Access content stored in the cloud
  • Designate team leaders to approve content
  • Track key metrics and build reports
  • Integrate with popular analytics apps

Pricing: The Hootsuite app comes free with your account. Hootsuite’s account pricing varies according to the size of your business and the amount of features offered.

  • The Professional package allows 10 social profiles and one user—this basic package costs $19 per month
  • Team allows 20 social profiles and three users, and it costs $99 per month
  • Business accommodates 50 social profiles and up to 10 users, and costs $499 per month
  • With an Enterprise account, you’ll receive a custom package for your small business. You’ll have to contact Hootsuite for pricing.

10. LogMeIn

As a small business owner, you probably wish you could be in two places at once—and one of those places is likely the office. Luckily, there’s an app for that: LogMeIn allows users safe, remote access to their home and work computers (both Mac and PC) when they’re on the go, from either their phones or tablets. With this business app, you can access every desktop capability on your phone or tablet, including editing files and printing.

Pricing: LogMeIn subscriptions vary depending on the package you sign up for:

  • Individuals: With this package, you can access up to two computers, plus additional features, at $349.99 per year
  • Power Users: Access up to five computers, plus all Individuals features, at $839.99 per year
  • Small Businesses: Access up to 10 computers, plus all Power Users features, at $1,539.99 per year.

11. Skype

You might already be using Skype to keep in touch with long-distance loved ones, but this video-conferencing app is a must-have business app if you and your team work remotely from one another.

Download the Skype for Business app for business-specific capabilities, including:

  • Domestic, North American, and international calling
  • Meeting recording
  • Up to 250 people can attend meetings from any device
  • Collaborate in real time with PowerPoint upload and Whiteboard

If your small business doesn’t need Skype for Business’ supercharged features, you’ll probably find the basic version of Skype suitable, which enables up to 25 people to join calls.   

Price: Skype for Business starts at $5 per user per month, but the basic version of Skype is free.

12. Dropbox

Dropbox is yet another app that you may already have for personal use, but it could also make your office run a whole lot smoother—in fact, this file-sharing software comes in a just-for-business iteration. Some of the biggest businesses use this app, like Under Armour and National Geographic, but any business that regularly shares files should keep Dropbox Business in their digital toolbox, no matter the size.

With the Dropbox Business app, you get:

  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • A simple drag-and-drop interface
  • Ability to link up personal and business Dropbox accounts
  • Ability to request and share files with external users

Pricing: Dropbox Business starts at either $12.50 per month or $20 per month, depending on which plan you sign up for.

13. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a standard, but it’s worth confirming—this is one of the best ways to professionally discover, connect, and keep in touch (i.e., network) with friends, peers, colleagues, and other small business owners.

The LinkedIn app brings all of the networking platform’s features directly to your phone, including:

  • Building and maintaining a professional profile for yourself and/or your company
  • Listing jobs
  • Following companies and groups

Pricing: A basic LinkedIn subscription is free. But you can upgrade to a Premium account to access more features that help you grow your business, discover sales leads, and find and hire talent in your area.

  • Premium Business costs at least $47.99 per month
  • Premium Sales costs at least $64.99 per month
  • Premium Hiring costs at least $99.95 per month

14. Workable

Whether or not you have a dedicated recruiter at your small business, using a specialized recruiting app makes the process of finding qualified employees much faster and easier.

Although LinkedIn is probably the world’s most popular recruiting tool, the Workable app gets near-perfect user reviews for its “secured, streamlined, and smart” capabilities to source, research, and connect with hiring candidates.[2]  

A few key features of the Workable app include:

  • Create a branded careers page
  • Easily research candidate profiles
  • Customizable pre-screen question template
  • Manage hiring pipelines and track applicant status
  • Schedule interviews
  • Email and calendar integration
  • Assisted onboarding process

Pricing: Workable offers four plans:

  • The Pay As You Go and Starter packages are both $50 per job per month, billed monthly, but the Starter package offers a complete set of features.
  • Contact Workable directly for quotes on a Pro or Custom plan.

Just a heads up: Currently, Workable only has an Android app. If you’re an iPhone user, check out Proven for a highly rated alternative.

15. LastPass Password Manager

It’s highly likely that you need to keep track of—and keep private—a lot of passwords for all the apps and logins you use to run your small business. LastPass stores all of those easily-forgettable, occasionally vulnerable passwords in one secure vault for every user.

LastPass has two packages, depending on your business’s size and needs. Regardless of which package you sign up for, you’ll get:

  • An individual password vault for every user
  • Automatically synced passwords and logins across devices
  • Secure access to LastPass with Touch ID
  • The ability to let trusted users (like friends, family, and colleagues) access your vault in case of emergency
  • Security notifications

Pricing: Sign up for the Teams package, for less than $2.50 per user per month, if your small business is 50 employees or fewer. Larger businesses can sign up for the Enterprise package, which comes with additional features, for $4 per user per month.

16. Podium

Podium makes it incredibly easy to interact directly with your existing or prospective customers via text, so you can efficiently respond to their questions, comments, and reviews.

More specifically, the Podium app allows users to:

  • Aggregate and respond to incoming messages from Facebook, Google, Podium’s Webchat, and text all in one place
  • Assign messages to employees
  • Invite customers to review your business via text
  • Easily monitor reviews
  • Collect visitors’ contact information

Pricing: To receive a quote, you’ll have to contact Podium directly and provide some basic information about your business.

17. Slack

If you’re constantly communicating with several employees all day, don’t keep using your personal text or email—download Slack instead. This business app is literally made for messaging, calling, and collaborating in the workplace, regardless of whether your small business is comprised of two or 200 employees.

Other key features include:

  • Integration with crucial software like Google Drive, Salesforce, Dropbox, Twitter, and more
  • Public, private, and direct message channels
  • Easy file sharing
  • Searchable archive of all conversations  

Price: Slack’s basic plan is totally free. Bigger companies might opt for their Standard package at $6.67 per month, or their Plus account at $12.50 per month.

18. Expensify

Expensify is one of the easiest ways to track and report business expenses, which makes calculating tax deductions a lot easier, too: Just take a picture of your receipt, and the app automatically captures, reports, and submits the information.

Additional features of the Expensify app include:

  • Next-day reimbursement after expenses are submitted
  • Sync up your credit card to easily track expenses
  • The ability to separate business and personal expenses
  • Integration with accounting software

Pricing: Expensify accounts are free for individuals, $5 per month per user for very small businesses, or $9 per user per month for companies of any size, plus additional features.

19. Invoice by Wave

Staying on top of invoices is absolutely crucial—that’s how you get paid, after all. But if you’re dealing with lots of customers, that means lots of paperwork and, potentially, needing to track down late payments from more than a few delinquent customers.

The Invoice by Wave app digitizes and streamlines all your invoicing concerns. Unlike other small business accounting apps, Invoice by Wave only does what it says on the tin, and nothing more: It helps you send and organize your invoices. But, according to its 4.6-star rating on the iTunes store, it does that one job really well.

With the Invoice by Wave app, you can:

  • Create and send professional, customized invoices
  • Receive alerts when you’ve been paid
  • Check invoice status

Pricing: Wave accounting software, and their apps, are totally free (seriously!)

20. Trello

If your team is working on lots of projects at once, use Trello to organize, manage, update, and collaborate on all those moving parts. Its design is flexible and intuitive enough for you to get as macro or micro as you want on every single project.

With Trello as your workflow manager, you can:

  • Create public and private boards for projects
  • Create drag-and-drop cards for individual tasks
  • Comment on cards
  • Attach and upload files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive
  • Display cards in a calendar

Price: Trello’s basic package is free. Its Business Class package is $9.99 per user per month, and it includes upgrades like integrations with more apps, bigger file attachments, and better customer support. Larger businesses can contact the company directly for pricing on Enterprise, Trello’s premium account.

21. Asana

If your daily planner is spilling over the edges with tasks, deadlines, ideas, and big-picture plans, use Asana to convert that sprawling mess to a single, simple, digital interface. Use this feature-loaded business app on your phone, tablet, or desktop to visually map your goals, update your to-do list in real time, and sync up your calendar with your co-workers’.

Other features include:

  • Add tasks with due dates, assignees, details, and files for projects
  • Create public and private tasks
  • Give and request feedback, ask questions, and comment on tasks
  • 100+ integrations, including Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and MailChimp

Price: Asana’s basic version, which enables up to 15 users, is free. The premium package, which offers additional features and allows unlimited members, is $9.99 per member per month. Even larger companies can contact Asana directly about their Enterprise package.

22. Basecamp

Like Trello and Asana, Basecamp is a project management and team communication software that enables users to track and oversee both daily and ongoing tasks, share files, and centralize all your company’s modes of communication in one place. But we bumped Basecamp up on the list because of its app’s slightly higher reviews than Trello’s and Asana’s on the iTunes app and Google Play stores, plus its lower price.

On Basecamp’s app, you can:

  • Create tasks for projects and assign deadlines employees to those tasks
  • Have inline conversations on every project
  • Create automatic check-in questions for easy team updates
  • Oversee project activity on timelines and calendars
  • Share and comment on files

Pricing: Basecamp charges $99 per month—that’s a flat monthly fee, not per user—for every size business.      

23. Nimble

Nimble is a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that automatically syncs, updates, and stores customer information in a unified database so you can easily nurture client relationships. The Nimble app allows you to access this software’s comprehensive features on your phone or tablet.

Some of Nimble’s capabilities include:

  • Culling contact information across social media platforms, so your customer profiles are always up-to-date
  • A pipeline manager to help you track and organize your incoming opportunities related to sales, marketing, PR, business development, and more
  • Trackable email templates
  • Business card scanner
  • Task management
  • Integration with popular apps, including MailChimp and Hootsuite

Pricing: The Nimble app comes free with a Nimble account. Nimble offers two account packages, which vary according to size, features, and price:

  • Nimble Contact allows users to import up to 5,000 contacts. It’s $9 per user per month, paid annually.
  • Nimble business accommodates up to 25,000 contacts, and it costs $19 per user per month, paid annually.

24. Salesforce

Salesforce is likely the most popular CRM software out there, and it stores all your customers’ information on a single database. With the Salesforce app on your phone or tablet, you can:

  • Track and nurture marketing and sales leads
  • Log, manage, and analyze customer data

Pricing: Salesforce offers four platform tiers, increasing in features and sizing capabilities:

  • Lightning Platform Starter costs $25 per user per month
  • Lightning Platform Plus, their most popular package, costs $100 per user per month
  • Heroku Enterprise Starter starts at $4,000 per month
  • Platform Unlimited is Salesforce’s premium package, and you’ll have to contact the company directly for a quote.

In addition to their standard platform, Salesforce offers industry-specific services, including packages for sales, service, marketing, commerce, financial services, and healthcare, at varying price points depending on the package you sign up for.

25. Freshdesk

There are lots of customer-support tools out there, but Freshdesk and its accompanying app gets some of the highest user reviews. Freshdesk offers a range of specialized software, including products for sales, call centers, customer messaging, and more.

With Freshdesk’s core customer support software and app, users can:

  • Convert incoming emails to tickets
  • Prioritize, categorize, and assign tickets
  • Save replies to common tickets and send canned responses
  • Use collaboration features, like adding notes to tickets or chatting within a ticket, to more efficiently respond to customer concerns

Pricing: Freshdesk’s app comes free along with your Freshdesk account. They offer five account tiers, which increase in sizing capabilities, features, and price. Prices range from free (for the basic account) to $89 per agent per month, billed yearly, for their premium account.        

26. Shopify

Shopify is a total point-of-sale system including an app, an app store, and a card reader that lets users safely accept a range of payment methods. If you’re selling in a brick-and-mortar store, you can choose to buy the chip and card reader, which accepts chip and magnetic swipe cards; or the tap, chip, and swipe reader, which accepts chip and magnetic cards, as well as contactless payment methods like Apple and Android Pay.

Through Shopify and its mobile app, you can:

  • Track and manage your inventory
  • Email or text receipts
  • Process refunds
  • Integrate with additional apps on the Shopify app store, including solutions for product sourcing, marketing, sales, social media, inventory, shipping, customer service, and more

Pricing: Shopify offers three packages, which increase in price and features.

  • Basic Shopify is $29 per month. This option is best for the newest and smallest businesses.
  • Shopify is $79 per month, and it’s a good option for growing businesses.
  • Advanced Shopify is $299 per month. This is best for the biggest and/or fastest growing businesses.

27. Square

Square’s Point of Sale and accompanying free app is a comprehensive POS system for new and growing businesses. The system is fuss-free, portable, and can accept major credit cards and contactless payment either in person or online.

Some major features of the Square POS and app include:

  • Payment, tip, and sign-on device
  • Send and track invoices to Square Point of Sale
  • Send receipts via text or email
  • Connect to printer
  • Apply discount and process refunds
  • Track inventory and sales data in real time

Pricing: Pricing for Square’s Point of Sale systems depends on the hardware you opt for.

  • Square reader for magstripe cards is free, and you’ll pay 2.75% for every transaction
  • Square reader for chip cards is $29, plus 2.75% per transaction
  • Square reader for contactless and chip cards is $49, plus 2.75% per transaction
  • An iPad stand for your contactless and chip reader is $169, plus 2.75% per transaction
  • A Square register is $999, or $49 per month for 24 months, plus 2.5% and 10 cents per transaction.

28. Zenefits

The smallest of small businesses might not have the necessary funds to hire a full-time HR manager—but, even without a dedicated human resources department, small business owners need to take care of their employees (and be organized about it). Zenefits is an all-in-one HR, payroll, compliance, benefits, and time-tracking platform that works both with and without an HR manager at the helm.

The Zenefits software and app can:

  • Adjust payroll according to employees’ hours, vacations, and benefits
  • Manage hiring, onboarding, and employee records
  • Help small business owners navigate ACA and small business compliance
  • Integrate with several apps, including Asana and Google Drive

Through their Zenefits app, employees can:

  • Clock in and out
  • Schedule time off
  • View insurance plans
  • Track flex benefit plans
  • Review taxes  

Pricing: Zenefits’ Standard plan is $5 per employee per month plus a $40 base fee, and their Advanced plan is $9 per employee per month plus a $40 base fee.

Payroll, Benefits, Time & Attendance, HR Advisor, Payroll Advisor, Ultimate Advisor, and Performance Management apps all come at an extra monthly cost, and they all range between $4 and $8 a month.

29. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks is one of the biggest names in business accounting software, and its QuickBooks Online Accountant App is just as trusted, with a 4.9 user review score on the iTunes App store.[3]

Like the software, the QuickBooks Online app enables users to do their most fundamental accounting activities on their phones or tablets, including (but not limited to):

  • Customize and send estimates, sales receipts, and invoices
  • Receive payments
  • Track expenses
  • View current profit & loss and balance sheets
  • Allow accountant access

Price: You’ll need to be subscribed to QuickBooks to use the app, but it’s free for those QuickBooks subscribers. Pricing for QuickBooks software can be as low as $10 a month or as high at $191 per month, depending on which package you sign up for.

30. FreshBooks

Although QuickBooks may have more name recognition, its competitor, the FreshBooks Cloud Accounting app, boasts an almost-perfect user rating on the iTunes app store.[4] Here are its key features:

  • Cloud capabilities safely syncs updates between app, tablet, and desktop
  • Create professional invoices
  • Receive payments
  • Take pictures of receipts and organize expenses
  • Track billable hours
  • Access project management tools

Price: You can access the FreshBooks Cloud Accounting app along with your FreshBooks account. Depending on which of the three packages you sign up for, FreshBooks accounts cost between $15 and $50 a month, or even less if you opt for yearly pricing. For a limited time, FreshBooks is offering 60% off for six months on Lite, Plus, and Premium plans when new users skip the 30-day free trial period and opt to buy now.

What Makes a Business App a Best Small Business App?

Again, this list of the 30 best business apps is by no means comprehensive, and, thanks to this big wide beautiful digital world, groundbreaking new apps for business owners emerge every single day. And some of the business apps on this list may not be entirely suitable for your particular small business, depending on your industry, the size and needs of your team, or simply your work habits.

However, we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find at least one of the business apps on this list workable for you—whether that’s an innovative standalone app, or software that comes with a free, highly rated, intuitive, bug-free app.

That’s because these best apps for small business fall under the widest possible range of categories related to running your small business, including accounting, project management and productivity, security, customer support, employee management, marketing, point of sale, and communications.

So, feel free to pick and choose among this list of the best small business apps to find the solutions your small business needs. Happy streamlining!

Article Sources:

  1. GizModo.com. “5 Reasons You Might Ditch Google Docs for Dropbox Paper
  2. Play.Google.com. “Workable
  3. Apps.Apple.com. “Quickbooks Accounting
  4. Apps.Apple.com. “FreshBooks Cloud Accounting
Caroline Goldstein
Contributing Writer at Fundera

Caroline Goldstein

Caroline Goldstein is a contributing writer for Fundera.

Caroline is a freelance writer and editor, specializing in small business and finance. She has covered topics such as lending, credit cards, marketing, and starting a business for Fundera. Her work has appeared in JPMorgan Chase, Prevention, Refinery29, Bustle, Men’s Health, and more.

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