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The Best Small Business Apps to Work Smarter in 2024

profile picture of Shana Cesaire, freelance writer for Jobber Academy
Shana Cesaire
June 25, 2024 18 min. read

The best small business apps let you work with the expertise and efficiency of a big business—without a big business staff or budget. If this sounds like what your business needs, look no further.

Use this guide to find the best small business apps to manage your business’s marketing, scheduling, accounting, and other essential tasks. You’ll get a sneak peak of the pros and cons of each to determine which ones belong in your toolkit.

How we chose the best small business apps

We did the initial work of determining the current most popular and trusted apps for small business owners so you don’t have to.

Our first step was to develop categories that cover all parts of a small business’s operations. We settled on these nine categories:

  • Operations management apps
  • CRM apps
  • Accounting apps
  • Scheduling apps
  • Invoicing apps
  • Payment processings apps
  • Payroll apps
  • Collaboration and communication apps
  • Marketing apps

From there, we used websites such as GetApp and Software Advice to find the highest rated apps for each category to pull out the best of the best.

Finally, we combed through multiple app reviews and demos to get familiar with each app’s features, including their pros and cons. The result is this comprehensive guide for you to start your search for the best apps for your business.

Best operations management apps

Operations management apps are an all-in-one solution to help you manage multiple parts of your business. 

This type of small business app both speeds up and simplifies each of your workflows, including customer bookings, team coordination, invoicing, and other day-to-day activities.

Jobber

To kick off our list of the best small business apps is Jobber.

Jobber is an operations management software trusted by 200,000+ service pros across 50+ field service industries, including landscaping, HVAC, residential cleaning, painting, and more. 

Jobber helps home service businesses run smoothly by consolidating all the key tools and information needed to run your business, reducing administrative work at every stage of the job. 

Use Jobber to streamline important yet time consuming daily tasks, such as quoting, scheduling, invoicing, and collecting payments. By using one easy-to-use tool, you accomplish more in less time–time that you can use to grow your business.

Check out Jobber’s website to find the right pricing plan for your business.

ProsCons
• 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

CoConstruct

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, track leads, coordinate construction schedules, manage timesheets, and run a more efficient small business.

For pricing, you have to visit CoConstruct’s website and book a demo.

ProsCons
• 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

HoneyBook

HoneyBook is one of the top apps 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.

Visit HoneyBooks’ website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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 CRM apps for small businesses

A customer relationship management (CRM) app is one of the most essential small business apps for success.

The best CRM apps help you manage customer information and track the success of your sales, marketing, and customer service activities.

Use these CRM apps to offer a personalized, memorable experience to your customers.

Zoho CRM

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 CRM small business apps.

Zoho 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.

Check out the Zoho website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Copper

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 stores conversations and files from your Gmail into your CRM records, saving you from double entry and keeping all customer details up to date.

Check out the Copper website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is one of the best apps for small business owners looking to manage their sales processes from start to finish.

Pipedrive’s intuitive interface makes it a great introductory CRM for small businesses. It has strong contact management features to easily keep track of your customers and gain insights on how you can better service them.

Check out Pipedrive’s website for pricing.

ProsCons
• Intuitive interface 
• Live dashboards
• Customer communication tracking
• Limited customization capabilities
• Challenges with third-party integrations

READ MORE: See our full list of the best CRM apps for small businesses

Best accounting and bookkeeping apps

Good accounting is key to keeping track of your business’s success, so it’s important to have the right small business apps with strong accounting features in your toolkit.

Use one of these top accounting apps to keep track of cash flow, expenses, profitability, and your business’s overall financial health.

QuickBooks Online

A list of essential small business apps is not complete without QuickBooks Online.

As the leading accounting app for small businesses, QuickBooks Online provides a full set of accounting and bookkeeping tools. It helps you track income and expenses, generate financial reports, and manage accounts receivable and payable from one place.

Although it offers some of the most advanced accounting tools available, QuickBooks Online is accessible for businesses with all levels of accounting experience.

Visit the QuickBooks website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Better yet, strengthen your QuickBooks workflow by integrating it with other small business apps for a streamlined solution.

Jobber integrates with QuickBooks Online to keep your customer, invoice, and payment information accurate without any double-entry.

My bookkeeper has praised Jobber for how easy the app syncs to Quickbooks Online. That makes my world easy.

Paul Jamison Host of the Green Industry Podcast (via Best AI Tools & Apps for Your Service Business)

Wave

Wave is a free accounting app for small business owners and freelancers on a tight budget. 

Wave 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.

If your business needs more extensive accounting features, there is also a Pro version of the app. 

Check out the Wave website for details.

ProsCons
• 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

Freshbooks

Freshbooks caters to small businesses, freelancers, and service-based professionals who need simple yet powerful accounting and invoicing solutions to manage their finances effectively.

With features such as a customer online portal and time tracking, Freshbook simplifies your accounting tasks and improves your overall financial organization.

Check out the Freshbooks website for pricing.

ProsCons
• User-friendly interface
• Integrates with multiple payment gateways
• Organizes customer contact information
• No live customer support available
• Easy to outgrow its limited features

READ MORE: QuickBooks vs. Freshbooks

Best scheduling apps

If your business relies on deliveries and house calls, you’ll need to consider small business apps with strong scheduling capabilities.

Pick a scheduling app that helps you efficiently book client appointments, create team shift schedules, and set up team meetings.

Calendly

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.

Check out the Calendly website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling is online appointment scheduling software that helps trainers, marketers, healthcare providers, and other service-based businesses manage appointments, meetings, and classes.

Acuity Scheduling is one of the best small business apps for setting up your availability, accepting bookings, and sending automated reminders to clients.

Check out the Acuity Scheduling website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Deputy

Deputy is one of the best apps for small business invoicing. It is especially popular for industries with shift-based work, such as retail and manufacturing.

Deputy simplifies employee scheduling, time tracking, task management, communication, and more to improve your business’s overall efficiency.

Check out the Deputy website for pricing.

ProsCons
• Easy to use interface
• Customizable to your business needs
• Generate employee reports to review productivity
• Does not sync to Apple Calendar
• Limited color coding options for schedules

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 business owners.

Invoice2Go

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.

Visit the Invoice2Go website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Bill

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 to invoice and pay vendors and improve your accounts payable process. However, if you only invoice customers and don’t typically deal with vendors, consider Invoice2Go or Jobber instead.

Check out the Bill website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Hiveage

Hiveage is one of the best apps for small business billing as it is easy to use and inexpensive.

Hiveage offers a range of features to simplify transactions and improve cash flow management, from recurring billing to payment processing integrations.

Check out the Hiveage website for pricing.

ProsCons
• Multi-currency invoicing 
• Comprehensive reporting capabilities
• Save images, PDFs, and other files to customer accounts
• Customer service is not always responsive
• Cannot track expenses by year
• Limited customization

Best payment processing apps

Your collection of small business apps is incomplete without 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.

Stripe

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.

ProsCons
• 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

Paypal

Paypal is a 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 more advanced apps such as Stripe, so it’s best suited for smaller teams and freelancers that only need a basic payment portal.

For more information on Paypal’s fees, check out their website.

ProsCons
• 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

Square

Square is one of the most popular small business apps for payment processing, especially for those looking for versatility in the way they accept payments.

The app simplifies secure payment processing for credit cards, debit cards, and mobile wallets. Transactions are processed quickly, and funds are deposited into your business’s bank account within one to two business days. 

Visit Square’s website for pricing.

ProsCons
• Free to start
• No monthly fees in Basic Plan
• Choose from multiple hardware options
• Account can freeze due to irregular activity
• No phone support

Best payroll apps

Choose from one of these  small business apps for payroll to manage employee compensation, calculate payroll taxes, and reduce your administrative workload.

Gusto

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.

ProsCons
• 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

QuickBooks Payroll

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.

ProsCons
• 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]

Run by ADP

Many businesses use ADP for their payroll, but Run by ADP is an app made specially for small businesses. 

The intuitive interface makes Run by ADP simple to use, so that you can pay your employees more efficiently. With flexible pay options and 24/7 support, Run by ADP is a great choice of app for small business payroll.

Check out the Run by ADP website for pricing.

ProsCons
• Built-in tax and compliance
• Step-by-step screens for payroll and HR tasks
• Several affordable pricing structures
• Sometimes long hold times for customer support
• Creating custom reports can be complicated

Best apps for collaboration and communication

Use apps for small business communication and collaboration to save time assigning tasks and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. Plus, these small business apps offer the project views you need to get a better picture of upcoming work.

Asana

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 timelines, you’ll benefit from Asana’s straightforward timeline view, subtasks, and comment threads that keep you and your team on the same page.

Check out Asana’s website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Trello

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 and collaboration.

Check out the Trello website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Slack

We can’t talk about small business apps for communications without mentioning Slack.

Slack is one of the best apps for small business collaboration. The app is especially effective for remote teams to stay connected, no matter when each team member is in the world.

Use Slack for messaging, file sharing, calls, and more. Plus, Slack integrates with many third-party apps to streamline your workflows.

Check out Slack’s website for pricing.

ProsCons
• Free plan available
• Customizable for each user
• 2,500 integrations available
• Some plans are very expensive
• Message history gets buried

Best marketing apps

To attract new customers, a marketing app that lets you easily create appealing emails, ads, landing pages, and other materials that make your business look great.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the best apps for small business marketing. 

Mailchimp 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.

Check out the Mailchimp website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Pro tip: To send effective marketing emails faster, use a tool that prepares email templates and audiences for you.

When you use Jobber to create email campaigns, you can choose from premade templates built to fit your company’s branding and meet your goals.

A customer re-engagement email from a landscaping company built with Jobber Campaigns. Surrounding it are email elements that can be customized and a rich text editor.

After editing the email with details on your services, you can edit your client segments. This means you can choose what group of clients you want to email—from past clients to all clients.

You can even select clients using tags, job history, or by a particular service you provided.

A graphic of email engagement results for a “Re-engagement campaign,” including open rate, click rate, and revenue.

HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the best small business apps to 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.

Check out the HubSpot website for pricing.

ProsCons
• 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

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media marketing app that helps businesses manage their social media accounts, schedule posts, engage with their audience, and more.

Hootsuite connects with social media apps such Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to give your business visibility across all platforms and help maintain a consistent posting schedule.

Check out the Hootsuite website for pricing.

ProsCons
• Multiprofile scheduling
• Unlimited posts
• Post time optimization
• Free trial requires a credit card
• Support can be slow to respond

Final thoughts: Choose the best small business apps for your needs

To choose the best app to meet your business needs, we recommend starting 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 accounting app.

Here are the features you should look for in small business apps:

  • 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.

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