The Best Business Software of 2021
By Talia Cohen
When it comes to managing your business, it can seem like the number of tasks on your to-do list is never-ending. From maintaining your business website to managing payroll and marketing, there’s a lot to stay on top of. Fortunately, business software has come a long way and there are excellent tools out there that can help your small business run smoothly and efficiently.
Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or are in the process of starting a business, you can benefit from taking advantage of business software. We’ve compiled a list of the best small business software on the market today to help your company operate seamlessly.
Best business software of 2021
Creating a website has never been easier thanks to Wix. The company was founded with the purpose of helping anyone, from bloggers to online businesses, create professional websites for managing and starting a business. As one of the most popular website builders on the market, Wix provides hundreds of free templates to choose from that are completely customizable, including color and layout.
They also offer professional eCommerce and business tools that can be purchased with premium plans. These advanced, comprehensive additions include marketing and payment solutions, a logo maker, social media integrations, and customer support for over 100 languages. Wix also integrates easily with social media platforms and sites like Google. All of Wix’s paid premium plans include a 14-day free trial, free hosting, Google Analytics and a custom domain.
If you want to step up your business’ social media game to expand your presence online, Hootsuite is your solution. Hootsuite helps businesses manage their social media accounts, from answering messages and scheduling posts to analyzing your account’s performance.
The software utilizes a single dashboard so you can monitor activity and engagement on all of your social media accounts in one place. The analytics reveal trends and performance over time so that you can determine the best strategy for your brand moving forward.
Asana was one of the first cloud-based project management tools and is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. It helps teams track workflow, improve productivity, manage tasks and strengthen and team collaboration. Asana allows you to set deadlines, organize, plan and carry out tasks swiftly and efficiently, while sharing files and communicating with teammates.
This powerful tool was created to speed up workflow by reducing the need for emails and long meetings, allowing businesses to complete more projects in less time. Users can view tasks in multiple formats, including calendars, lists, and Kanban boards, a tool that organizes projects based on what stage of the project they’re in. And of all project management tools, Asana takes the cake for the number of integrations it allows, with over 100 compatible programs such as Mailchimp, Slack and Dropbox.
Monday is another cloud-based tool that has increased in popularity. Like Asana, Monday allows users to track projects, visualize progress, collaborate with teammates, and share documents on a colorful, user-friendly interface. A benefit of using Monday is that this business software utilizes a single platform to view projects in multiple formats, such as lists, calendars and Gantt charts. As a result, users don’t have to use multiple screens or tabs to view different formats.
Monday also provides integrations for around 20 popular business programs like Slack, Google Drive and Jira which makes workflow smoother. A major bonus of this software is its privacy and security features. It offers two-factor authentication for all plans, something that most project management software does not offer.
Trello is completely based on the Kanban method, allowing users to drag tasks from one task column to the next to show progress. The interface is meant to mimic a brainstorm session with sticky note-like squares for each task. This makes Trello an excellent option for multi-step projects, such as content management and website publication.
The app also provides a visually friendly project board in which tasks are moved from step to step as they are completed. These steps might include, “Editing,” “Manager Approved,” and “Published,” but can be personalized for each company.
Email marketing tools
If you’re looking for an email marketing tool that has it all, Wix Email Marketing is as comprehensive as it gets. Once you’ve created your Wix website, you can send professional emails to your customers using the built-in email editor. Create your own email campaigns, newsletters, email automations and transactional emails from scratch, or use one of Wix’s designer-built email templates for inspiration. You can choose from a variety of plans that include access to Wix’s customer support as well as lead capture forms to help you follow new leads through the marketing funnel.
Everything is customizable, so you can change color, font and background to your liking and even personalize the emails you send out. Wix’s email marketing tools seamlessly integrate with popular platforms like Shopify and Google Ads to provide detailed analytics, so you have a complete understanding of open rates, delivery rates and clicks.
Created in 2001, Mailchimp has been one of the leading digital marketing softwares for the past two decades. While it doesn’t offer as many advanced features as other email marketing services, the platform is simple, straightforward and offers an array of marketing tools, including email. Mailchimp is a great solution for small businesses trying to grow - in fact, if your email contact list is 2,000 or less, the plan is completely free. Still, this plan is fairly limited because you don’t get features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation and multivariate testing. You are also required to display Mailchimp’s branding in your emails.
Mailchimp does allow you to create all types of beautiful, personalized marketing emails to fit your brand, from complete drip campaigns to abandoned cart emails. It also offers analytics tools so you can get the most out of your marketing efforts and allows you to easily integrate with Shopify, Magento, Wix and many other platforms.
GetResponse is easy to use and simplifies email marketing for small businesses. This business software utilizes a drag and drop email builder so you can personalize and create campaigns, segment contacts, and send emails crafted for specific groups. GetResponse comes with quality automation tools, responsive forms, A/B testing, unsubscribe tracking and autoresponders so you can stay on top of your email marketing. It also integrates with third party lead generation software like Google Docs, Salesforce, and ZenDesk.
Quickbooks is one of the best all-in-one online accounting and bookkeeping programs for certain types of businesses, particularly small and medium-sized retail businesses. This small business software simplifies and streamlines processes and is extremely user-friendly, even if you’re not an accountant. For instance, you can record daily sales and utilize the inventory management software to see what you have in stock.
In addition, this business software helps your business manage projects, expenses, invoices, tax filings and more. The centralized dashboard provides business trends and company performance based on key performance indicators (KPIs), allowing users to have a complete understanding of financial trends.
FreshBooks was designed with small businesses in mind, particularly those that manage clients, are just starting out, or bill as freelancers. This small business software makes it simple to track time spent per project or client, and you can check your productivity from any time period.
On top of that, the app offers project management tools, an integrations library with some of the most popular online business tools, and automated invoice reminders in a very user-friendly interface. It is worth noting that FreshBooks is more suited for work in the United States, so if you do international business, it may not be the best pick.
Wave was created specifically for entrepreneurs looking for accounting software that is easy to use, high-quality, and, most importantly, free. Wave lets users send recurring or one-time invoices to customers and automatically syncs payment information. It also scans receipts, tracks income and expenses and organizes it all to make filing taxes as simple as possible. This small business software also has a great mobile-app that allows users to use certain features from their phone, such as scanning invoices.
While there are paid services you can add to your plan, such as accepting credit cards and bank payments and setting up payroll for employees, the basic elements are free.
Online payment tools
12. Wix Payments
Wix Payments is an easy, efficient and comprehensive solution for accepting online payments from your Wix website. A single dashboard allows you to manage all transactions so there’s no need to hop back and forth across different screens. It allows customers to set up one-time or recurring payments for products, memberships or subscriptions.
This payment tool is ideal for those starting an online business because it’s easy to use and extremely versatile. With Wix Payments, merchants can accept all major credit cards as well as get paid via iDEAL, Giropay and Pay Now by Klarna. You can also accept your payments directly to your bank account on a daily, weekly or monthly payout cycle. Wix Payments offers one fixed processing rate for all credit cards based on your businesses’ transactions, and you never need to worry about security. The software offers PSD2 SCA and PCI-compliant payment processing and well as secure on-site and in-app checkout with HTTPS/TLS data encryption.
PayPal is the largest, all-in-one online payment provider in the world, with over 21 million merchants and is easily one of the most recognizable names in eCommerce. It’s available in 200+ countries worldwide, giving PayPal bragging rights in terms of geographic compliance.
This business software allows companies of any size to accept all major credit cards or PayPal payments directly to their online stores in a secure fashion - this is one of PayPal’s most unique features. The ability to pay from one PayPal account to another is a feature that most digital payment providers don’t offer. However, a downside to PayPal is that funds are not directly deposited into your bank account. They are transferred to your PalPal account first, and then need to be transferred to your bank account, which can take up to 4 days.
Another popular online payment solution, this business software is particularly preferred by programmers and people with coding skills because of its customizable development tools. Because of this, Stripe can be a bit trickier to use for those without this technical knowledge. To counter this difficulty, Stripe does have 24/7 customer support, including developer live chat assistance, so there is always someone to help if you need it.
Stripe is extremely user-friendly and allows merchants access to their funds quickly, with money transferred directly to your bank account in 2 days. Stripe offers one flat rate for transaction fees as well as lower chargeback fees than PayPal.
Customer relationship management systems (CRMs)
15. CRM by Ascend
CRM by Ascend is an all-in-one business solution that includes a complete customer management system built into your website. This sophisticated software helps you build lasting relationships with your clients and simplifies your workflow.
The CRM includes a customizable lead capture form that allows you to communicate with potential new clients and provide them any information they may need. A particularly useful element is that messages from any channel, from social media to email, are stored in a single inbox so that you can respond to them all from one place.
It also includes an automations tool, which helps save time by allowing you to create and schedule emails in advance. Invoicing is also simple to do, and you can keep track of all transactions in a single place within the CRM. This software’s combination of comprehensiveness and ease of use makes it one of the best out there.
Salesmate won the 2020 Great User Experience award by FinancesOnline which says a lot about its customer satisfaction. The system is an intelligent, user-friendly CRM that provides an easy-to-use interface that’s easily customizable for any business.
As one of the smaller CRM companies, Salesmate is able to provide top notch customer service and tech support to its users. Salesmate is one of the more affordable CRM’s out there, making it ideal small business software for new businesses, startups, and freelancers.
Salesforce was the first company in the world to create a cloud-based CRM. Because of this, it has become one of the most well known CRM systems around the globe. The software allows companies to track analytics in real time, as well as customer success and support, customer complaints and a variety of other CRM functions.
Salesforce also offers other business solutions, such as marketing assistance and performance analysis. However, reported downsides are that the system is complex and difficult to set up and navigate. Because of this, the learning curve is extremely steep, and it can take businesses time to learn how to use it.
Image Credits Featured Image: WIX
Talia Cohen - Small Business Expert and Marketing Blogger
Article can be found on Wix Blogs at the following link:
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