10 Best Business Management Tools for 2021 (By Use Case)

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Inefficiency affects businesses of all sizes, from independent contractors to international corporations. And the reasons for inefficiency don’t vary much based on business size: A lack of processes, poor internal communication, and time-consuming administrative tasks. 

Barriers to efficiency tend to build upon each other, with communication and processes becoming more fractured over time, and administrative tasks piling up or slipping through the cracks. With the right business management software, however, companies can get organised, improve efficiency, and get back to what matters most: Sales!

So, where do you begin? How do you decide which software can restore order, and preserve it as your company grows? Keep reading, we’ve got some tips for you.

10 Best Business Management Tools (By Use Case)

If you don’t have time to find the best business management software for your company, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of what we think are the best business management tools available today. 

These business software solutions offer tiered pricing, so many of them are accessible for small firms and independent contractors. Most also offer free trials, so you can explore solutions without committing. Read on for summaries about what these business management tools do, their key features, and pricing information.

Best Project Management Software: Smartsheet

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Smartsheet is a project management tool that consolidates all assets in a single platform. Data is presented in several views, so users can choose the one that helps them work most efficiently. Keyboard shortcuts and drag-and-drop features make this platform easy to use.

Task-tracking and progress monitor views help users see whether projects are on-track, and custom “program rollups” show clients the status of projects and project milestones. Smartsheet also includes forms that capture structured data. 

Key Features

  • Free template library
  • Multiple app integrations
  • CCPA and GDPR compliance accelerators
  • Sales pipeline tracking and reporting
  • Automated administrative tasks
  • Activity log
  • Analytics integration

Pricing Plans

Standard monthly plan pricing (billed annually) is £11 for the Individual version (up to 10 users), and £19 for the Business version. Pricing for Enterprise and Premier versions—as well as the top-tier 10,000ft by Smartsheet—is available upon request.

Best Business Communications Software: RingCentral

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Ready to ditch the landline? With RingCentral, you can. This all-in-one phone, SMS message, and video conferencing platform helps businesses communicate internally and with customers. 

Cloud-based management allows you to create a RingCentral phone number on a mobile phone, so you can take calls “at your desk,” even when you’re not in the office (and you can keep your personal phone and work phone separate, within the same device).

RingCentral’s app lets you create dedicated messaging threads for projects, invite users to team chats, share files, and convert a team chat into a live meeting where you can share your screen. You can also set up scripts for agents to improve the customer call experience and increase efficiency.

Key Features

  • Real-time call center insights
  • Omnichannel messaging
  • HD audio and video
  • Social platform messaging integration
  • Automated chatbot responses
  • Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 integration

Pricing Plans

Per-agent, per-month pricing (billed annually) is £7.99 for the Entry version, £14.99 for the Standard version, £19.99 for the Premium version, and £24.99 for the Ultimate version.

Best Digital Asset Management (DAM) Software: Brandfolder

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Brandfolder’s digital asset management platform helps enterprise-level marketers and creatives store, organise, and share files, and establish workflows that prevent bottlenecks. Advanced search, filtering, and tagging features enable users to quickly find, move, and merge assets.

With many built-in design and editing functions, users can work on content within Brandfolder instead of opening multiple programs. Brandfolder’s analytics helps creative teams evaluate the performance of content across all channels, and plug-ins allow for easy integration with popular tools like Jira, Salesforce, and HubSpot.  

Key Features

  • Adobe Creative plug-in
  • Advanced in-app video editing
  • Updates to e-commerce listings push to all channels
  • Open API
  • AI image recognition
  • Print-optimized preview pages
  • Bulk uploads and editing
  • Automatic file compression and formatting based on end-user browser

Pricing Plans

Brandfolder offers premium and enterprise versions, with pricing available upon request.

Best CRM Software: HubSpot

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HubSpot’s CRM software is composed of individual units that can be purchased separately: Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, and CMS Hub. A free CRM platform is also available. 

Users who have all paid versions of the four Hubs can manage lead generation, sales pipelines, social calendars, email marketing campaigns, contacts, website content, and more, all within a single interface. 

(While HubSpot’s interface may not be as intuitive as some of the other business management tools on our list, their customer support team is helpful in walking users through functions and features).

Key Features

  • Landing pages
  • Traffic and conversion analytics
  • Email engagement analytics
  • Predictive lead scoring
  • Sales automation
  • Ticketing
  • Customer service automation
  • Gmail and Outlook integration

Pricing Plans

Pricing ranges from £38 per month to £2,624+ per month.

Best Financial Management Software: FreshBooks

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FreshBooks is designed to help employers, freelancers, self-employed workers, and businesses with contractors manage all financial aspects of their work. Users can create invoices, issue or accept payments, track time, and keep an accurate ledger, all within the FreshBooks interface. Freelancers and other contract employees may find that FreshBooks tax-management features are especially useful.

Higher-tier versions of this company management software offer advanced accounting functions (including the ability to invite your accountant to your FreshBooks platform). All versions allow users to accept credit card and bank transfer payments. 

Key Features

  • Customized and automated invoices
  • Alerts for invoice views and payments
  • Expense tracking and categorization
  • In-app mobile mileage tracking
  • Task timers
  • Sales tax summary reports

Pricing Plans

Monthly pricing (billed annually) is £4.40/mo for the Lite version, £7.60/mo for the Plus version, and  £12/mo for the Premium version. Pricing for the Select version is available upon request.

Best Payroll Software: Paychex Flex

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Paychex Flex lets users manage payroll at the office or from a mobile app. The self-service employee portal gives employees 24/7 access to information, which means payroll managers can field fewer questions about deductions, withholding, and—if applicable—the availability of PTO and vacation time. 

Payroll administrators can access the dashboard to see notices about how much cash is required for the next payroll date and easily share information between Paychex Flex and other HR platforms. 

The enterprise version gives users the ability to manage workers’ compensation payments, employee background checks, and garnishment payments. Paychex Flex markets its ability to help companies switch payroll software—you provide some basic information, and they handle the process of moving everything into their platform.

Key Features

  • Automatic payroll tax calculation
  • Automatic tax payments
  • Time-off requests and approval
  • Direct deposit, paper paychecks, and prepaid paycards
  • Online pay stubs 
  • 200+ compliance experts to answer customer questions

Pricing Plans

Pricing for Paychex Flex is available upon request. 

Best Inventory Management Software: inFlow

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InFlow’s feature-rich inventory management platform for B2B and B2C companies includes tools for managing purchasing and sales, and it integrates with Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, and SquareSpace. 

Businesses can use inFlow to make and accept payments in a variety of ways, with options to invoice customers, accept and track partial payments, accept payments by batch, and more.

Vendor payment and management features and one-click PO generation help users reduce time spent on administrative tasks. With inFlow’s details on incoming and outgoing shipments and transactions, users can get an accurate day-to-day picture of supply chain logistics. 

And with more than 30 custom reports, you can get a granular look at how every aspect of your inventory management is performing.

Key Features

  • Setup assistance
  • Unlimited inventory locations (standard and plus versions)
  • Optional inFlow Smart Scanner 
  • Barcode generation
  • Detailed reporting
  • QuickBooks integration 
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Pricing Plans

Monthly pricing (billed annually) is USD $71 for the Light version, USD $179 for the Standard version, and USD $449 for the Plus version. The Standard version offers a 14-day free trial. 

Best Email Management Service: Google Workspace

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Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite) allows businesses to use their own domain name when setting up employee email accounts. Businesses can also set up team inboxes (such as “support@yourdomain.com”), and because most office workers have experience using a personal Gmail account, there’s little to no Gmail training required for new employees.

Gmail can be integrated with many project management and team communication platforms, so users can respond to software notifications from their inbox, without having to open a new window or log into another account. Gmail also offers ample cloud storage. 

Key Features

  • Custom folders
  • Detailed search function
  • Custom away messages and forwarding options
  • Company signature integration
  • Message filtering rules
  • Follow-up reminders
  • All Google Workspace products included

Pricing Plans

Monthly pricing per user is £4.14 for Business Starter, £8.28 for Business Standard, and £13.80 for Business Plus. Enterprise pricing is available upon request. 

Best Project Planning Software: TeamGantt

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TeamGantt’s project management platform features colour-coded Gantt charts that show project progress, as well as individual team member progress and capacity. Users, including clients, can communicate within this platform and within individual tasks, and clients can decide which members of their team have access to projects and tasks.

The premium version allows users to see estimated vs. actual time, which can help project planners develop more accurate forecasting. You can also track how much of your budget has been used for each project, to keep projects within scope.

Key Features

  • Kanban boards and calendar views
  • Mobile app
  • Project health reports (premium version)
  • Drag-and-drop task ordering
  • Task dependencies
  • Time-tracking
  • Project plan templates

Pricing Plans

Monthly pricing (billed annually) starts at USD $19.90 for the standard plan and USD $24.45 for the advanced plan. A free plan with limited features is available for teams of up to three people. 

Best Employee Recruitment Software: Zoho Recruit

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Zoho Recruit software is designed to help recruitment agencies, temporary staffing agencies, and corporate HR departments manage all aspects of employee recruitment and hiring. 

This software integrates with major job search engines, allowing recruiters to make a single job posting that pushes to all desired platforms. A recruitment automation feature tracks where applicants are in the interview and hiring pipeline, keeps the process moving along, and allows team members to independently evaluate candidates. 

With the ability to store CVs and other documentation in the platform, the entire recruitment and hiring process can be paperless.

HR departments can use Zoho Recruit to manage onboarding and new employee documents (also paperless), and temp agencies can manage employee timesheets within the platform. With an entirely digitized interface, Zoho Recruit is ideal for businesses that are looking to hire remote workers. 

Key Features

  • “Apply with LinkedIn” integration
  • Employee referral feature
  • Mobile app
  • Video interview capabilities
  • Candidate status analytics
  • Social recruiting

Pricing Plans

Per-agent, per-month pricing (billed annually) is £20 for standard and £40 for enterprise (HR version); and £20 for standard, £40 for professional, and £60 for enterprise (staffing agency version). Monthly temp agency pricing is £1 per temp and includes up to 500 temps. All plans offer a free trial.

Best Business Process Management Software: Process Street

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Process Street  is a simple document and process management tool that allows you to quickly create templates and documents, assign workflows, and submit content for approval. Users can set conditional logic to route documents to the appropriate team member, based on certain actions or requirements.

Process Street’s checklist function is useful for both internal employee onboarding and client onboarding, ensuring that all onboarding steps are completed in the right order. 

Key Features:

  • Zapier integration with 1,000+ apps
  • Drag-and-drop dashboard feature
  • Document rich media integration
  • Progress updates and notification
  • User permission controls

Pricing Plans

Per-agent, per-month pricing (billed annually) is USD $12.50 for the basic version and USD $25 for the standard version. Enterprise-version pricing is available on request. All plans offer a 14-day free trial that includes standard features.

Which Business Management Tools Are You Going to Try?

Now that you’ve reviewed our list of the 10 best business management tools, which one do you think will be best for improving your efficiency and meeting your sales goals? 

 

Ryne Knudson

Author

    Ryne Knudson – Senior Content Marketing Specialist, Brandfolder
    Ryne leads content marketing at Brandfolder, the world’s most intuitive digital asset management system. He has a passion for connecting audiences with content and stories that meet their interests.

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