We know how hard it is for small businesses to choose the right business management software. New tools are constantly coming out, and they all take different approaches and specialize in making other parts of your business life more manageable.
Used correctly, business management software will help your business accomplish more as a solo effort or a multi-team machine.
That’s our goal at UpFlip, too.
So we’ve tested various tools and always ask the business owners we interview about the software that helps them succeed. We compiled the best business software solutions based on personal experience, expert interviews, and Trustpilot reviews.
What is business management software?
First, let’s work with a clear definition. Business management software (sometimes called business process management software) refers to systems or applications that help business owners or employees support, manage, and automate business processes.
The software provides tools for designing, executing, and automating business workflows to improve business results.
What is the best business management software?
The best business management software varies depending on the needs of your company. We ranked the top 45 business management software today based on their average Trustpilot review score and the number of reviews.
Our minimum average ranking was 4.0, and our minimum number of reviews was 50.
|Business Management Software
|Average Review Score
|Number of Reviews
|Bigin by Zoho
The business management software in this category ranges from HR to project management to all-in-one business management tools. Read more about each software below.
Homebase: Best Employee Management Tool
You can get free timesheets and tracking, scheduling, messaging, and hiring for up to 20 employees with Homebase. The paid plans add additional functionality and unlimited employees. You can add payroll to any plan for $39 per month plus $6 per employee.
This business management tool also has integrations with popular apps and companies like:
- Wells Fargo
Sage offers accounting, an HR system, and timeslips to help businesses manage their finances. There are packages for small and medium enterprises and accountants to help them provide their customers with financial reports.
QuickBooks is a financial management and payroll system by Intuit. Almost every company management system integrates with it. The highest plans help you manage estimates, invoices, inventory, and bookkeeping.
It will also make accounting easier during tax time because Quickbooks and TurboTax are in the same company.
Want business management software that seamlessly integrates every aspect of your business? Zoho One helps make your company data more accessible by using a company management system with over 40 seamlessly integrated apps to simplify data storage, sharing, and workflows.
Plans cost $45 monthly for all employees or $105 monthly to add the employees you need.
Companies with global teams might consider Deel for their HR and payroll needs. With plans ranging from free to $599 per month, you can handle everything you need to hire employees or contractors.
One of the critical pieces of business management software is customer relationship management. Pipedrive is the first business management platform that focuses explicitly on turning leads into sales with features like automation and AI task management.
The most popular plan is $59.90 monthly. But there are plans ranging from $21.90 to $119 per month.
Small businesses can manage customer relationships, projects, finances, and banking with a single software. It’s called Bonsai and has everything you need from a business management system for $25 to $79 monthly. Each additional user is only $10 monthly.
Housecall Pro is a great business management platform for service businesses. This business management solution makes managing the customer relationship as easy as can be.
While you can use the $65 per month plan, the $169 monthly plan has some crucial features in a business management solution like Quickbooks and Zapier integrations.
Pro Tip: I’ve tested this software, and it was the most user-friendly client management software I’ve ever used. I particularly loved the client onboarding and review process.
This comprehensive business management software is European. It helps you manage projects and customer relationships, but some catches might impact business operations and growth planning. You’ll want to be aware of the following:
- Teamleader doesn’t charge in USD, so your cost will vary based on exchange rates.
- There are only quarterly and annual payment options.
- The price per user drops after six users.
AI powers this time-tracking software and automatically assigns time to specific projects. As you use the project management tool, the software learns which project each time-tracking task should be classified.
Timely charges for time-tracking based on the number of users and features. The minimum is $11 per user monthly, while the most advanced features are $28 per user monthly.
Bigin by Zoho
Most business management software is built with employer organizations in mind, but solo entrepreneurs can drastically improve their efficiency with Bigin by Zoho.
The free plan is the best business management software for solopreneurs, and the paid plans are $9 per month or $15 monthly. They offer more features than the Zoho One free plan but slightly less than its paid plans.
On the surface, there isn’t anything special when you look at this business management tool. Then why’s it on the list? Almost every review for this business management tool mentions their support is phenomenal, and the project management features make resource management more accessible.
The only negative review for ProWorkflow was from 2015, and it was because they made a change to their invoicing without providing the proper training. No reviews mention that issue afterward.
Start with the $20 per month plan and build from there.
Met Average Review Score Threshold
These business management systems scored above the minimum threshold of 4.0 but did not have over 50 reviews. That means reviewers were happy with them, but more reviews would build our confidence in the average rating.
These business software applications may eventually make it to the list of best business management tools, but they need to keep proving their chops for now.
A business software solution on this list works remarkably, but they may need more marketing to stay in business long-term. Check other review sites before purchasing these software applications for business.
|Business Management Software
|Number of Reviews
You’ll find a communication app, a business management app, and two project management apps in this category.
Chanty focuses on helping team communication. This business management software is similar to Slack but half the price. Most teams can use the free version forever, but it’s only $3 per user each month if you need more.
Connecteam is one of the best business management software for small businesses because it offers ten users for free. The Small Business Plan has all the features of the Expert plan.
You can get three types of accounts: operations, communications, and HR. When you buy one, you get limited functionality of the other two.
Once you have more than ten employees, you’ll have to upgrade to paid memberships, which are $59 monthly for up to 30 members. Each additional team member is $1.80 per month.
Learn more about Connecteam’s pricing.
ProofHub is a communication and project management platform that allows unlimited projects and unlimited users for $99 per month or up to 40 projects and unlimited users for $50 monthly.
Having unlimited projects and users is especially useful for businesses like construction, which work with multiple companies and industries to get a job done.
Learn more about ProofHub’s pricing.
Basecamp is similar to ProofHub, but it will save you money if you have up to four users. Otherwise, just use Proofhub, as Basecamp is three times the price for unlimited users.
Met Review Quantity Threshold
Many people use this business management software, but they came in below the minimum review score threshold of 4.0. Even so, anything above a 3 deserves your attention.
Most of the software in this group is well known, but their review score could be lower because they try to be everything for everyone. As many successful business owners have found, sometimes it is better to focus on doing one thing well.
As you look into these services, avoid those with reviews mentioning inflated prices, a bad user experience, and poor customer service.
|Business Management Software
|Average Review Score
|Number of Reviews
Since HoneyBook, Monday, Trello, and Freshbooks barely missed the list of best business software, we’ll review them below.
HoneyBook allows you to track inquiries, automate workflows, send forms and questionnaires, book and schedule, sign contracts, send invoices, accept online payments, and manage projects.
Honeybook is effectively a comprehensive suite for business operations—as long as you get the $39 per month plan. They also have a $19 monthly that lacks business process automation and a $79 monthly plan that allows unlimited users.
Yes, monday.com is one of the more sophisticated business management platforms. Unfortunately, the way it charges is less than friendly to small businesses.
It charges by seat, and you’ll need to pay a minimum of $60 to make it where most core business processes are automated.
The main advantage of monday.com is that it has more templates than any of the best business management software. Check out our monday.com business management software review.
Trello provides a user-friendly project management solution. While there is freedom in how you use the service, you generally attach tasks to “cards,” which you can click and drag through a series of steps you define.
The free version could work for solopreneurs and small companies. The paid versions range from $5 per month to a monthly per-user fee for larger companies, and they progressively unlock features like new workspace views and increased automation.
Trello project management is typically the management software that software development teams prefer. Our design team likes Trello, but our content team chooses ClickUp.
FreshBooks is another financial management tool. The plans vary dramatically in what they offer. The $8.50 plan has unlimited expenses and estimates but limits you to unlimited invoices for five clients and only provides tax reports.
More expensive plans add additional features, like more clients, recurring billing, other payment options, better reporting features, and mileage tracking.
FreshBooks is also less expensive than QuickBooks, which may benefit your business, assuming the savings aren’t eaten by complicating your tax filing.
Business Management Tools That Failed To Pass
These business management tools failed to pass the minimum thresholds of 50 reviews and an average review score of 4.0 stars on Trustpilot. For that reason, you’ll want to research them more heavily.
But just because they did not pass our criteria doesn’t necessarily mean they are the wrong tools. Reasons for failing to meet our thresholds include:
- Too few reviews: Trustpilot penalizes companies with a small number of reviews by lowering their scores. One five-star review can equal a 3.2 score overall.
- Company Doesn’t Focus on Trustpilot: Many small business owners love Jobber, but the Trustpilot reviews aren’t good. If they directed reviewers to Trustpilot, the score might rise.
- New Company: Simply put, it takes time for a company to establish a reputation.
- User-Friendliness: Some software could be more user-friendly, and people abandon it due to challenges.
- Support: One of the most common complaints about business management software is that customer support could improve.
|Business Management Software
|Average Review Score
|Number of Reviews
Pro Tip: I have used Jobber and found it to be very useful for a service company.
Business Management Software with No Reviews on Trustpilot
The following business management software did not have any reviews on Trustpilot. That’s not an indicator that it shouldn’t make the list of top business management software—just that side-by-side comparisons don’t work based on our standards.
- Clarizen: This unified business management suite is only helpful for companies that can afford $1,620 per user paid upfront for a three-year subscription.
- WORKetc: Looking for one business management software to run your whole company? WORKetc will work, but there are less expensive options.
- BlueCamroo: People seem to like BlueCamroo, a customer relationship management software. It comes with a free version that allows up to two users, and more advanced paid packages start at $5 per user monthly.
- StudioCloud: This desktop software works offline and uploads information to cloud storage services. There’s a free version and a paid version.
- beSlick: This is a business process management tool with drag-and-drop automation capabilities and compliance monitoring.
- Bit.ai: This is a cloud-based business management tool multiple Ivy League schools use to manage their content.
Other notable software that failed to get ratings were:
- Kissflow Workflow
- Todo. vu
Specialized Business Management Software
Next, we’ll cover types of specialized business management software that small business owners have explicitly recommended.
Booking Koala is by far the most impressive software I have tested in nearly 10 years of testing business software. I was first introduced to it by Cristobal Mondragon while writing our blog about how to start a cleaning business.
Booking Koala provides custom quotes online and lets the customer book without talking to someone. The detail you can add to quotes is impressive. It helps you stop wasting time talking to people who aren’t your ideal clients.
The software costs $27 monthly, but most businesses will want to use the $57 plan. There is a 14-day free trial. The downside is it isn’t entirely comprehensive—you’ll need to integrate it with other software.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
There are so many different CRM programs people can use. The one you choose will depend on what your business needs. I’ve tested 10 CRMs, and there are three that I find genuinely user-friendly:
- Housecall Pro: Easy to use
- Jobber: Not as easy, but popular
- ClickUp: We use this at UpFlip because we have more workflows than many businesses.
Other valuable CRMs that are much more complex include Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, and Zoho CRM. And based on reviews, Begin by Zoho is the most highly regarded CRM. I hope to test it soon and provide a review.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
ERP systems integrate various business processes, including accounting, HR, inventory, and customer relationship management. Some popular ERP software options are SAP, Oracle NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics.
The business management software in this category tends to be pricier and will need the assistance of a developer or software development company to use it most effectively. It’s more robust than the standard solutions because you can create anything.
Project Management Software
The best business management software will vary depending on the industry and necessary tasks. Good project management software should help you with:
- Project planning: This includes creating a timeline budget, assigning tasks, and creating Gantt charts to track progress and dependencies.
- Task management: After you assign tasks, you’ll need to track changes against the expectations and adjust the timeline and budget accordingly.
- Project accounting: A business needs to know whether every project is going according to plan or whether expenses are over budget.
- Expense tracking: Expense tracking helps you stay under budget. You can also use this feature for time and expense billing methods.
- Time management: Tracking time is crucial for tracking expenses, especially if you have people working overtime. Overtime pay can quickly impact profits compared to a billing rate at regular wages.
Human Resource Management (HRM) Software
HRM software streamlines HR tasks, such as payroll, employee onboarding, and performance management. ADP, BambooHR, and Workday are reputable HRM solutions.
Check out our reviews of the best HR software.
To handle financial matters, consider using QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks for small- to medium-sized businesses. Given that we’ve already discussed QuickBooks and FreshBooks, let’s briefly discuss Xero.
Xero: Writer’s Favorite Accounting Software
Xero qualifies for the main list, but I held it out because I’ve rarely found U.S. businesses that use it. With its primary team being across the world, you may experience challenges with customer service. You’ll also get your best results if you have an accountant and developer team on hand.
Xero is a small business management software company based in New Zealand. It is popular among small and medium enterprises in Australia and other countries. Its Trustpilot rating is 4.3 stars with around 5,900 reviews, making it the fourth most reviewed management system for business.
This program automates processes in accounting and can be integrated with other business management software, like human resources or inventory systems, to improve your business intelligence.
I particularly liked Xero’s automated expense classification, which allows you to customize how expenses are treated based on the store or other factors.
Inventory Management Software for Small Businesses
You can either get inventory management as part of your complete business management software, or go with a specialized offering, like:
- Sortly: Sortly has a 4.1 score across 125 reviews, which meets our standards. There’s a free version, but you’ll need the paid version if you have over 100 items or need custom fields.
- Zoho Inventory: Get inventory as part of Zoho One.
- ShipBob Merchant Plus: You might like this if you combine self-fulfillment with dropshipping or print-on-demand. With a 3.8 rating, it just barely misses our cutoff.
- monday.com: You can get free inventory management with monday.com.
- Cin7: This business management system has a 2.26 rating between their two offerings, meaning it does not meet the quality threshold.
- Ordoro: Forbes calls this software the best for multichannel sellers, but it has no Trustpilot reviews.
Time Tracking Software
We use Upwork’s time tracker for hourly freelancers, but I liked how Screenshot Monitor worked elsewhere.
Many cloud-based business management systems have time tracking software built-in, including ClickUp, but I wish ClickUp had a standalone time tracker that I could get to more conveniently.
Marketing Automation Software
To automate marketing campaigns, consider platforms like:
- HighLevel: GoHighLevel has over 1,100 reviews, and 96% are 5-star. It has everything you need for your marketing for $97 per month.
- Mailchimp: The most famous name in email automation, Mailchimp is not particularly loved by Trustpilot reviewers because of poor support and cancellation issues.
- OptinMonster: OptinMonster is what we use at UpFlip. It has a 4.0 rating across 159 reviews. Plans cost $9 to $99 per month.
eCommerce platforms function as management software for small business operations. The companies below have a store and other tools you can download to enhance critical features.
- Shopify: I find Shopify the most intuitive eCommerce platform. Its pricing is reasonable, but you’ll probably want additional apps that raise the price quickly.
- WooCommerce (WordPress plugin): WordPress and WooCommerce are some of the most used company software. It’s more expensive, at $70 monthly, and I find it cumbersome.
- BigCommerce: This eCommerce platform is competitive with Shopify pricing on the low end and goes higher for people wanting multiple stores and additional key features.
Unfortunately, none of them have great reviews because they are expensive if you don’t monetize your store quickly.
Point of Sale (POS) Software
Businesses with physical stores or in-person sales will need POS systems. Both of these companies offer a free version and additional plans.
- Square: Most people are familiar with Square. With a 4.3-star rating, those who use it are satisfied. It’s the safe bet for starting a business and needing payment processing.
- Toast: Restaurants will want to go with a company like Toast that offers critical features that restaurants need. They have a 3.7-star rating, and the highest plans have mobile ordering apps.
Business Analytics Software
Analyze your business results with analytics tools. There are both free and paid tools you can use, including:
- AirDNA: This business intelligence system for Airbnb hosts and contractors makes establishing prices easier by providing competitor pricing and demand. Cristobal Mondragon and other Airbnb companies suggest it. They only have a 2.9 Trustpilot rating, though.
- Semrush: Every business needs search engine optimization to improve its results. The Semrush software helps you analyze what you need to rank higher on Google. It only has a 3.3 Trustpilot rating, but it is one of the industry standards.
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is the other SEO tool many people use. Many consider it more challenging than Semrush, but I love how deep I can dive with it.
- Google Analytics: Every single business will need Google Analytics for business intelligence. There’s a free version most people use, but you might also consider the paid version.
Content Creation Software
Try content creation software to maximize your task management for content creation. Here’s some of the software we use at UpFlip.
- SurferSEO: The SurferSEO software supercharges content creation by helping identify the content subjects you need, then specifying certain thresholds—like blog length, the number of pictures, and the number of keywords—that can help you succeed on search engines.
- Canva: You’ll also want some design software to help create images. Canva makes it easy to create professional photos, with a limited free option and paid options for less than $15 per month.
- ChatGPT: Besides SurferSEO, we use ChatGPT to help us generate outlines for how-to blogs.
- Google Workspace: There’s a reason Google Workspace is the most commonly used team collaboration tool. Where else can you get team collaboration tools like Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, and Meet for just $6 monthly?
Want to know what our process looks like?
- CEO will assign tasks in ClickUp.
- I research keywords with Ahrefs and create a SurferSEO “Content Editor” (a tool that tells us the range of acceptable keywords in a blog).
- I write the blog in Google Docs and send it to Editing with ClickUp.
- Editor suggests edits in Google Docs.
- I make changes and send the blog back to the Editor.
- The editor sends the blog back for a second revision or sends it to Design.
- The Design team creates graphics and adds the blog to WordPress.
- The editor reviews the design, requests changes if needed, and schedules the blog.
- Our CEO requests any changes he wants.
Choose your business systems
We’ve covered a variety of business process management software. We’ve discussed solutions for HR, marketing automation, supply chain management, project planning, and other standard business processes.
Most will have a per-user billing strategy that will impact your decision-making.
We’d love to be able to review every software you could desire in one blog, but that would be the longest blog ever. Is there software we missed? Do you agree or disagree with the suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.