19 Best Small Business Apps to Work Smarter in 2023
Looking for apps to help you manage your small business’s marketing, scheduling, accounting, and other essential tasks?
Choose the right apps and you can work with the expertise and efficiency of a big business—without a big business staff or budget.
Use this guide to find the best small business apps for all purposes in a range of industries, and see the pros and cons of each before building your new tech toolkit.
Best operations management apps
Operations management apps help you manage multiple parts of your business from one tool. This type of business app helps you speed up and simplify customer bookings, team coordination, invoicing, and other day-to-day activities.
Starting price: $9/month
Quoting, scheduling, invoicing, and collecting payments can be time consuming, especially when those tasks are spread across multiple tools. Jobber streamlines that workflow in one easy-to-use tool.
Jobber is operations management software that helps home service businesses run smoothly. By consolidating the tools and information you need, Jobber reduces administrative work at every stage of the job.
Jobber is trusted by 200,000+ service pros across 50+ industries, including landscaping and lawn, HVAC, residential cleaning, painting, and more.
|• Includes a CRM to organize customer details and job information|
• Highly rated Jobber Mobile App provides easy access to job information from the field
• Automated texts and emails allow for great customer service with low effort
• Syncs with 2,000+ apps through Zapier
• Award-winning support available via in-app chat, phone, and email
|• Some features are unavailable offline|
• Not ideal for product-based businesses
Starting price: $339/month (when billed annually)
CoConstruct is construction management software that helps you run complex construction and building projects.
With CoConstruct, contractors can speed up the bidding process, manage purchase orders, keep track of leads, coordinate construction schedules, manage timesheets, and run a more efficient small business.
|• Client portal helps customers view and approve documents they need|
• Strong budget tracking feature
• Integrates with QuickBooks Online
• Large library of training videos
|• Complex software that takes time to learn|
• Limited estimate customization
• Limited functionality on the mobile app
Starting price: $16/month (when billed annually)
HoneyBook is a reliable operations management app for small creative teams and freelancers. It offers tools to help you plan projects, manage client appointments, exchange project documents quickly, and get paid for work.
Attractive proposal templates make HoneyBook ideal for businesses that specialize in advertising, branding, and design, but this business app is adaptable to all kinds of project-based services.
|• Quick setup and onboarding|
• User-friendly for new business owners
• Advanced reporting tools
• Live chat, phone, and email support
|• Basic project pipeline with limited customizability|
• Limited integrations
• Limited inventory management features
Best client relationship management apps
Client relationship management (CRM) apps help you manage customer information and track the success of your sales, marketing, and customer service activities. Use these apps to offer a personalized, memorable experience to your customers.
Starting price: $14/user/month (when billed annually)
Zoho CRM helps small business teams of all sizes manage leads and customer relationships. At an affordable price, Zoho offers more sales, marketing, and customer service features in a single app than most small business CRM software.
This CRM app is great for capturing new leads, managing your sales process in a customizable pipeline, and keeping contact records organized. Customers can also access their documents through a convenient self-serve portal.
|• Detailed contact records and communication history|
• 500+ native integrations
• Easily customizable sales pipeline
• Free plan available
|• Navigation menu can be confusing|
• Number of features might overwhelm new CRM users
Starting price: $23/user/month (when billed annually)
Copper is the best CRM software for small businesses using Google Workspace apps like Gmail and Google Drive.
Along with typical CRM features like contact management and task automation, Copper automatically saves conversations and files from your Gmail into your CRM records, saving you from double entry and keeping all customer details up to date.
|• Easy setup process|
• Quickly search documents by client
• Same look and feel as Google Workspace products
|• Customer support can be slow|
• Limited integrations with software other than Google
• No contact merging available
READ MORE: See our full list of the best CRM apps for small businesses
Best accounting and bookkeeping apps
Use one of these top accounting apps to keep track of cash flow, expenses, profitability, and your business’s overall financial health.
Starting price: $22/month
QuickBooks Online is the leading accounting app for small businesses that need a full set of accounting and bookkeeping tools. It helps you track income and expenses, generate financial reports, and manage accounts receivable and payable.
Although it offers some of the most advanced accounting tools available, QuickBooks Online is accessible for businesses with all levels of accounting experience.
|• Fast onboarding and migration from offline accounting software|
• Provides clear balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements
• Advanced reports and analytics available
• Connects with popular payment processing apps and e-commerce platforms
|• Limited project management features|
• Number of features can be overwhelming to new users
Starting price: Free for accounting. Optional payroll feature available for $25/month.
Wave is a completely free accounting app for small business owners and freelancers on a tight budget. This app offers invoicing, receipt scanning, and expense tracking so you can handle your accounting needs from a single platform.
Users only need to pay credit card processing fees when accepting online payments through Wave.
|• Accounting reports are easy to create|
• Free to add unlimited users
• Tools are easy for accounting amateurs to understand
|• Limited reporting features compared to paid alternatives|
• No time tracking feature
• Customer support is email-only
Best scheduling apps
Pick a scheduling app that helps you efficiently book client appointments, create team shift schedules, and set up team meetings.
Starting price: Free plan available, or $10/user/month to connect two calendars.
Calendly creates booking links that you can share with clients and employees to simplify appointment scheduling.
Set up your availability, and Calendly will build a shareable booking page where individuals or groups can select a meeting time that fits everyone’s schedules.
|• Simple set-up process|
• Easy to set and manage rules around your availability
• Integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook, and Zoom
• Offers group scheduling options
|• Limited functionality on the free plan|
• No phone support
• Limited customization on the scheduling page
READ MORE: How to make a schedule for employees
Starting price: $16/month (when billed annually)
Acuity Scheduling is online appointment scheduling software that helps trainers, marketers, healthcare providers, and other service-based businesses manage appointments, meetings, and classes.
Use Acuity Scheduling to set up your availability, accept bookings, and send automated reminders to clients.
|• Clients can easily cancel and reschedule themselves|
• Customizable appointment booking page
• Automatic time zone detection
• Integrates with Google Calendar, Zoom, QuickBooks, and popular CRM apps
|• Steep learning curve|
• No dedicated mobile app
• Limited reporting options
Best invoicing apps
Invoicing apps help you create, send, and track professional invoices that encourage faster payment. These are the best invoice apps for small businesses.
Starting price: $5.99/month
Invoice2Go provides a mobile invoicing solution for small businesses that need to invoice customers on the go.
For teams that don’t have offices or spend the day working at customer properties, Invoice2Go offers advanced invoice customization and tracking in a user-friendly platform that takes little time to learn.
|• Easy to set up and navigate• Professional-looking invoices• Connects with QuickBooks Online• Add unlimited users to one account||• No instant payouts (processing takes 3-4 business days)• Unlimited monthly invoices only available on their Premium plan• Free trial doesn’t include all features|
Starting price: $79/user/month
Bill is a trusted invoicing app with advanced invoice customization, automatic payment reminders, batch invoicing, and more essential tools to get you paid faster.
Use Bill if you need to invoice and pay vendors and want to improve your accounts payable process. If you only invoice customers and don’t typically deal with vendors, consider Invoice2Go or Jobber instead.
|• Add multiple approvers to your invoices• Detailed transaction audit trails available• Accept electronic ACH payments||• Setup and implementation can be complex• More expensive than other invoicing apps• Customer support can be difficult to reach|
Best payment processing apps
Using one of these convenient and trusted payment apps will make it easier for your customers to pay you the way they want—and pay you on time.
Starting price: 2.9% plus a fixed fee that varies by currency
Paypal is another popular and trusted payment app for small businesses that need to accept online and credit card payments.
While Paypal is a trusted name for online payments, it has fewer customization options than Stripe, so it’s better suited for smaller teams and freelancers that only need a basic payment portal.
|• Highly rated customer service|
• Easy to navigate
• Strict security measures
|• High chargeback fee and complicated dispute process|
• Lacks CRM system for tracking customer records
• High international transaction fees
Starting price: 2.9% plus 30 cents per successful card charge
Stripe is our top choice for small business payment processing apps, thanks to its convenience and simplicity.
With Stripe, you can tailor the payment experience to your customers’ preferences, get paid out instantly, and make international transactions with over 135 different currencies.
|• No upfront costs• Instant payouts available|
• User-friendly payment platform
• Customizable reports that help you evaluate item sales
|• Some integrations and features require more tech expertise|
• No project management features
Best payroll apps
Choose from one of these payroll apps to manage employee compensation, calculate payroll taxes, and reduce your administrative workload.
Starting price: $40/month, plus $6/user/month
Gusto helps employers run payroll faster and more accurately. It automates payroll calculations, tax filings, and all other essential tasks that ensure your employees get paid.
The Gusto app also offers tools for managing employee benefits, taxes, time tracking, employee onboarding and offboarding. You also get access to HR experts for advice and support.
|• Simple employee onboarding experience|
• Offline clock-in and clock-out timer
• Clear and concise tax information
• Easy self-service portal for employees
|• Limited customization for reports|
• No dedicated mobile app
Starting price: $42/month, plus $4/employee/month
QuickBooks Payroll, an additional tool set bundled with QuickBooks Online, lets you pay employees via direct deposit, manage employee data, and see payroll reports.
It also simplifies payroll taxation by automatically calculating, paying, and filing federal and state payroll taxes.
|• More advanced tax calculations than other payroll apps|
• Includes job costing feature
• Unlimited payroll runs
|• No self-serve payroll onboarding for employees|
• Must pay additional filing fees for employees in other states
• 24/7 support only available on their Elite plan
READ MORE: 30 small business tax deductions to save money when filing [free checklist]
Best project management apps
Use a project management app that saves you time assigning tasks and offers the project views you need to get a better picture of upcoming work.
Starting price: Paid plans start at $10.99/month (when billed annually)
Asana is project management software that helps teams create and assign tasks, set deadlines, track work progress, and communicate about projects.
If you work on complex projects or have long project timelines, you’ll benefit from Asana’s straightforward timeline view, subtasks, and comment threads that keep you and your team on the same page.
|• Multiple project views (including board, timeline, list)|
• Customizable workflows for task assignment and completion
• Easy to create task templates
|• Interface can be confusing for new users|
• Limited free version
Starting price: Paid plans start at $5/month (when billed annually)
Trello is a board-based project management app that allows you to move project tasks across different stages (like “in progress” and “waiting for review”) until completion.
Although it’s best known for its board layout, Trello also offers calendar and list views to help with task organization.
|• Clear visual representation of work progress|
• Easy set-up and navigation
• Integrates with Google Drive, Slack, Dropbox, and other popular apps
|• Limited search functionality|
• No way to restrict users from editing project data
• No live time tracking feature
Best marketing apps
To attract new customers, use a marketing app that lets you easily create appealing emails, ads, landing pages, and other materials that make your business look great.
Starting price: Paid plans start at $17.63/month
Mailchimp is a marketing platform that helps you promote your small business with email marketing, Facebook and Instagram ads, and audience reports.
You can use Mailchimp to create, schedule, and send marketing emails with pre-built templates that are easy to edit.
|• Easily customizable email templates|
• Advanced tools for audience segmentation
• Email A/B testing and automation are easy to set up
• Free plan with 1,000 monthly email sends
|• Audience segmentation rules can be confusing|
• Limited automation options for complex workflows
Starting price: $45/month
HubSpot helps small businesses attract and engage potential customers through email, ads, and social media campaigns.
With advanced reporting and automation features, HubSpot helps you make smarter decisions for your marketing efforts.
|• Easy marketing email builder with attractive templates|
• Marketing materials and workflows are highly customizable
• Large report library with pre-built reports
• Many training resources to help users learn the software
|• Steep learning curve that requires training|
• Customer support can be slow
• Can be pricey for small businesses
How to choose a small business app
Start with the business apps that will help solve your biggest day-to-day problems. For example, you might have a great scheduling system already but are struggling to keep up with finances—so you’ll need a strong bookkeeping app.
Here are the features you should look for in any small business app:
- Ease of use. It should be easy to find the tools you’re looking for. All software requires some learning, but apps that are too complex can eat into your workday and waste more time than they save.
- Customization. Choose apps you can adapt for your business’s specific needs. If it’s too hard to customize to fit your current workflow, it might not be worth the hassle or costs.
- Task automation. A strong business app can turn repetitive tasks into automatic, effortless work that runs in the background while you focus on growing your business.
- Analytics and reporting. If you need detailed insights into your sales, accounting, or marketing activities, pay close attention to the analytics and report customization that each app offers.
- Integrations. Does the software connect and communicate with other apps that you already use? For example, syncing your existing client management software to your new accounting app could save you from manual data entry.
- Customer support. See what each app’s users say about the customer support team. Are they responsive and helpful? A great support and setup team can also show you how to get the most from your small business app.