What are the Types of Tools Used for Managing a Business?
There are numerous business management tools, each catering to different aspects of a company.
Some are specific to project management, business process management, customer relationship management (CRM), financial management, human resources, and communication, while others offer an integrated solution for various business functions.
These platforms typically allow users to manage tasks, track time, collaborate with teams, generate reports, share files, and automate emails, among many other features.
Knowledge Management Tools
Reports, processes, and documentation require proper organizing and cataloging so everyone can use them efficiently and effectively. Knowledge management tools help you answer repetitive questions and onboard new employees faster.
Looking for a powerful knowledge base to host your company information and to stop the endless onslaught of repeated questions? Say it once, store it in Tettra, and form a new communication habit for your team.
AI-powered features with Kai help your team find answers with Slack, giving you a response with the supporting documentation right at your fingertips.
- Answer team questions directly from your chat tool, using Slack or MS Teams
- Search your knowledge base with AI, getting instant answers
- One of the earliest Slack apps
- Create more context around processes than what you can do in task management software
- Verify, ask for updates from subject matter experts, and have a single source of truth for internal communication
- Basic: $5 per user/month
- Scaling: $10 per user/month
- Professional: $15 per user/month
Bit.ai is a modern document collaboration platform. It allows teams to collaborate on documents in real time, making it a great tool for creating, sharing, and managing all your documents in one place. With Bit.ai, you can embed digital content like YouTube videos, Google Docs, Excel spreadsheets, and more directly into your documents.
- It provides a versatile platform for creating interactive documents.
- Supports real-time collaboration, enhancing team productivity.
- Enables smooth integration of rich media into documents.
- The platform may be complex for users accustomed to traditional document editors.
- The interface could be more intuitive.
- The pricing can be high for smaller teams or startups.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $8 per user per month.
“I like how the interface looks so clean, and the tools are organized perfectly for better use of them and boosting productivity.“– G2
Project Management Tools
These platforms allow you to plan, execute, and track the progress of your projects. They provide functionalities like task assignment, time tracking, and milestone tracking. They help businesses organize their workload, improve collaboration among team members, and ensure projects are delivered within the set timeline.
Monday.com is a dynamic team collaboration and project management platform that stands out with its color-coded, intuitive design. It allows businesses to plan, track, and manage projects, tasks, and workflows, all from a centralized location. Monday.com places a special emphasis on visual project management, enabling teams to see the progress of their projects at a glance.
- Offers a visually appealing and intuitive interface for managing tasks and projects
- Supports a wide range of templates to suit various business needs
- Enables excellent team collaboration with features such as team mentions and real-time updates.
- Advanced features may be locked behind higher-tier plans, making them inaccessible to small businesses.
- Due to its visually busy design, it may not suit companies looking for a minimalist interface.
- The mobile app could use some improvements for better usability.
Pricing: Free trial available. Paid plans start at $8 per user per month. Compare Monday and Asana.
“Monday.com is extremely accessible and user-friendly for users with all ranges of experience in business and project management software.”– G2
Trello is a popular project management tool known for its simplicity and flexibility. It uses a unique card-based system to help teams organize and prioritize tasks and projects. Trello is ideal for teams looking for a lightweight, straightforward tool to manage their projects without the fluff of overly complicated features.
- It provides a straightforward, card-based system that’s easy to grasp.
- Flexible and adaptable to various workflows.
- Features a user-friendly interface that teams love.
- The basic plan should include advanced features such as reporting and time tracking.
- It may not suit larger teams with complex project management needs.
- Integrations with external tools can be limited to lower-tier plans.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $12.50 per user per month.
“We manage our projects and share tasks and boards, to boost productivity and admin our team’s daily tasks. I can confidently say that it has been a game-changer for us.”– TrustRadius
Notion is an all-in-one workspace where you can write, plan, collaborate, and organize. It essentially combines notes, tasks, wikis, and databases into one platform. Notion is versatile and customizable, making it a tool that fits almost any workflow.
- Highly customizable, allowing teams to create the workspace that suits their needs.
- Combines notes, tasks, wikis, and databases into one.
- Features a clean, minimalist design.
- The platform can seem complex and intimidating to new users.
- Real-time collaboration can be improved.
- Mobile apps lack some functionality compared to the desktop version.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $8/user/month.
“I love how customizable Notion is. I can format it, store and link back to pages, and organize how my brain functions. I have every business idea, job I’ve applied to, and monthly and yearly goals in one place. Now with the integration of AI, I don’t get writers block, and it helps me get things done.”– G2
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
CRM platforms help businesses manage their relationships and interactions with current and potential customers.
They provide features like contact management, sales funnel tracking, and customer support ticketing. Businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, increase customer retention, and drive sales growth by using a CRM tool.
Salesforce is a powerhouse in the world of business management tools. Known primarily for its robust CRM functionality, Salesforce also offers a diverse range of business management tools, making it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. Salesforce’s tools are designed to aid businesses in handling sales, marketing, customer service, and analytics, effectively forming the backbone of many companies operations.
- Features a powerful CRM that is one of the best in the market
- Highly customizable according to specific business needs
- Offers robust analytics for informed decision-making.
- The platform can be complex and intimidating for beginners
- The cost might be prohibitive for small businesses
- It requires a significant time investment to leverage its full potential.
Pricing: No free plan. Paid plans start at $25/user/month (billed annually).
“Great CRM, highly scalable and extendible as per our business needs. The Salesforce Platform is vast and has many capabilities to customize itself. It has various cloud offerings to help Sales and Marketing Teams Easily Track and Manage their potential leads and opportunities.”– G2
Hubspot is an all-in-one marketing, sales, and service platform built to help businesses grow. It is well known for its comprehensive CRM and provides many other tools to manage email marketing, content creation, social media, and analytics.
- Provides a comprehensive suite of marketing tools.
- Offers a robust and free CRM.
- Features an easy-to-use interface.
- The cost can be high for smaller businesses or startups.
- Advanced features require upgrading to higher-tier plans.
- The platform can feel overwhelming to new users due to its extensive features.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $50/month.
“Great Tool to hit the ground running. It’s a great way to reduce your need for marketing tools. It can condense your tech stack into a manageable list, but also, you’re not giving up much product flexibility in doing this.– G2
Financial Management Tools:
These tools provide a broad range of features to handle financial tasks such as bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll processing, expense tracking, and financial reporting. They help businesses monitor their financial health, ensure regulatory compliance, and make informed financial decisions.
QuickBooks is a leading name in the realm of financial management software. It offers a comprehensive range of features for financial management, including bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll, expense tracking, and tax preparation. QuickBooks makes managing finances a breeze, making it the go-to choice for businesses of all sizes, particularly those with substantial financial transactions.
- User-friendly interface that makes financial management easier.
- Comprehensive financial tools that cover all bases.
- Offers excellent customer support.
- Limited third-party integrations can hinder overall productivity.
- Some users may find the pricing high compared to other solutions.
- Some aspects of the software can be improved for better functionality.
Pricing: Free trial available. Paid plans start from $20 per month per user to $150 for up to 25 users per month.
“An easy-to-use and affordable accounting software solution. QuickBooks is easy to set up and start with. You can create an account in minutes and start tracking your finances immediately.”– G2
Freshbooks is a user-friendly cloud-based accounting software designed to streamline invoicing, expense tracking, and time management for small businesses and freelancers. With its intuitive interface and robust features, Freshbooks allows users to efficiently manage their financial tasks and focus on growing their businesses.
- User-friendly interface: Freshbooks is known for its intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface, making it accessible for users with varying levels of accounting knowledge.
- Invoicing made simple: The software offers a range of customizable invoice templates, automated recurring invoices, and the ability to accept online payments, enabling users to send professional-looking invoices and get paid faster.
- Expense tracking: Freshbooks allows users to effortlessly track expenses by importing bank statements or manually inputting transactions. This feature helps in categorizing expenses and provides valuable insights into business spending.
- Time tracking: The built-in time tracking feature helps businesses accurately record billable hours, allowing for precise invoicing and project management.
- Collaborative capabilities: Freshbooks enables users to collaborate with team members, contractors, or clients by sharing documents, assigning tasks, and managing project timelines.
- Limited accounting features: While Freshbooks offers comprehensive invoicing and expense tracking functionalities, it may lack advanced accounting features required by larger businesses or those with complex financial needs.
- Integration limitations: Although Freshbooks integrates with popular apps such as PayPal and Shopify, it may have limited integration options compared to some other accounting software.
Pricing: Free trial available. Paid plans start at $8.50 per month.
The best solution for all your accounting and expenses management issues. I think it’s one of the best tools for small and medium-sized businesses. It can track and handle multiple projects and tasks simultaneously smoothly and accurately.– G2
Communication and Collaboration Tools:
These platforms streamline external and internal communications, making it easier for teams to collaborate and work together. They offer features like instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, and task collaboration. They are crucial for businesses in today’s digital age, particularly those with remote or distributed teams.
Slack is a communication and collaboration platform that has transformed how teams communicate. It streamlines team communication, file sharing, and integration with various business tools.
With Slack, teams can create dedicated channels for different projects, topics, or teams, ensuring everyone stays in the loop.
- Facilitates real-time communication, reducing the need for lengthy email threads.
- Integrates well with many external tools.
- Offers robust file sharing and search capabilities
- Quickly integrate with Tettra to easily share knowledge
- The platform can become disorganized if not properly managed.
- Advanced features like video conferencing are less robust than specialized tools.
- The cost can be high for larger teams.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $6.67 per user per month.
“The Best Tool for Work Teams to Communicate. One of Slack’s key benefits is its ability to streamline team communication. Channels can be developed for special projects, departments, or anything else requiring its location to gather and share information.”– G2
11. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a team messaging platform that integrates with other Microsoft products, such as Outlook and Office 365. With Teams, teams can communicate and collaborate in real-time, share files, and organize meetings.
- Comprehensive suite of tools and features for business management and communication, including chat, video conferencing, file sharing, task management, and more.
- Seamless integration with Microsoft Office
- Can accommodate businesses of all sizes, from small teams to large enterprises. It offers flexibility in terms of customization, allowing businesses to create channels, tabs, and apps tailored to their specific needs.
- Robust security features such as GDPR and HIPAA
- Extensive third-party integrations, such as with Tettra
- Some users may initially find it overwhelming due to its extensive features and functionalities
- Notification overload: Teams can generate a significant amount of notifications, especially in larger teams or channels with active discussions
- Performance issues in low-bandwidth situations
- Over-reliance on Microsoft ecosystem
- Limited external collaboration
Integrated Business Management Solutions
These are comprehensive tools that offer a range of functionalities to manage various aspects of a business. They typically include project management, CRM, financial management, HR, and communication tools in one platform. By using an integrated solution, businesses can enhance their efficiency and eliminate the need to switch between different tools.
12. Zoho One
Zoho One is a comprehensive suite of integrated business applications. As an all-encompassing platform, it’s suitable for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a solution that covers every corner, from CRM and project management to finance, HR, and collaboration tools. With its extensive range of applications, Zoho One allows businesses to simplify their processes by meeting all their needs in one place.
- Provides an extensive range of integrated applications
- Reduces the need for multiple platforms; customizable to specific business needs
- Offers excellent customer support.
- Due to its vast range of features, it can be overwhelming for new users
- The user interface could use some improvements for ease of use
- While it offers extensive integrations, some key third-party applications may need to be included.
Pricing: Free trial available. Paid plans range from $45 per month per employee to $1080 per year for licenses for any number of users.
“Zoho One is a Great Up and Coming answer to an all-inclusive Business suite!”– TrustRadius
Odoo is a versatile, open-source ERP system designed to cover various business functions. Whether it’s accounting, inventory management, project management, or e-commerce, Odoo covers it. This modular platform allows businesses to choose their needs, making it a flexible solution that grows with the company.
- Highly customizable, allowing businesses to tailor the platform to their needs.
- Its scalability makes it excellent for larger businesses.
- Covers a vast range of business functions in one platform.
- The complexity of the platform may not suit small businesses
- Customer service leaves room for improvement
- Setup and customization may require technical expertise, which could be a hurdle for non-technical users.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $24 per app per user per month.
“Odoo CRM is a user-friendly and accurate solution. The day-to-day sales operation process can be managed through the Odoo CRM system like a Pipeline to sales quotation. the kanban view is very helpful in managing the day-to-day operation, and I very, very like to MIS report structure.”– G2
Plutio is a comprehensive business management software that streamlines tasks, project management, and team collaboration. It is designed to bring teams together and help them get more done in less time. Plutio’s integrated approach combines all aspects of project management, collaboration, and task management in one place.
- Supports a holistic approach to business management.
- Enables efficient team collaboration.
- Offers a user-friendly interface.
- Lacks the advanced customization options provided by some competitors.
- Some users may find the range of features overwhelming.
- Customer support could be improved.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $15 per user per month.
“Great all-round software for small businesses. I can do all my business management tasks in one place.”– G2
Honeybook is a business management platform tailored for freelancers and small businesses, particularly in the creative field. It offers an end-to-end solution for booking clients, managing projects, and handling payments, helping businesses stay organized and professional.
- Provides features specifically tailored for creative professionals.
- Offers a client portal for streamlined communications.
- Includes easy-to-use templates for contracts and invoices.
- The platform may not offer the flexibility needed for complex businesses.
- Some users may find it less suitable for non-client-facing projects.
- Customer support could be more responsive.
Pricing: Free trial available. Paid plans start at $8 per month (billed annually).
“HoneyBook has saved me a lot of time and reduced stress! It helps us to keep all our important agreements in one place, and the executive team has shared access to create, sign and send contracts. The templates help us save time and keep us organized and consistent.”– TrustRadius
How do you Choose the Right Business Management Software?
Choosing the right business management software is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the efficiency and productivity of your business. Given the vast array of tools available in the market, it can be quite daunting. However, keeping the following factors in mind can streamline your decision-making process:
1. Understand your business needs
Every business has its unique set of needs and challenges. Therefore, it’s essential to identify your business’s specific requirements before deciding on a tool. Ask yourself: What tasks or processes do I need to streamline? What goals am I trying to achieve? The answers to these questions will help guide your choice of software.
2. Evaluate the features
Once you’ve identified your needs, look for a tool with features aligning with these requirements. Consider aspects such as project management, task assignment, team collaboration, document management, financial management, and customer relationship management.
3. Is it easy to use?
Regardless of how comprehensive or powerful a tool is, your team might need to be more user-friendly to use it, lowering overall productivity. Opt for software that’s intuitive and easy to navigate.
4. Flexibile and scalable
As your business grows, your management needs will evolve. The software you choose should be flexible enough to adapt to changing requirements and scale with your business.
5. What do you need to integrate?
In today’s interconnected digital landscape, your business management software should integrate smoothly with other tools you use, such as email clients, CRM software, accounting tools, etc. This integration can enhance efficiency by providing a more unified platform for your business operations.
While investing in good software is essential, it must fit within your budget. Look at the pricing structure of each tool — does it charge per user or offer unlimited users? Are there additional costs for premium features? Make sure you understand the pricing before committing.
7. User Reviews and Ratings
Finally, consult user reviews and ratings on trusted platforms like G2. These reviews can offer real-world insights into the pros and cons of each software, helping you make a more informed decision.