Small businesses are often short-handed yet never short of work. Use one of the 20 must-have free business tools we’ve reviewed below to take control of your workload and push your business forward.

Table of contents
  1. Our Top Picks
  2. What To Look For In Business Tools and Software
  3. Our Top Free Business Tools Recommendations
  4. CRM and ERP Business Tools
  5. Automation Business Tools
  6. Email Business Tools
  7. Task Management Business Tools
  8. On-the-Spot – Point of Sale Business Tools 
  9. Analytics Business Tools
  10. Business Development Tools
  11. Design Business Tools
  12. Why do you Need Small Business Tools? 
  13. What are the Benefits of Small Business Tools Software?
  14. FAQs
  15. The Bottom Line On Tools For Small Business Owners

Any small business owner is intimately familiar with the feeling that there aren’t enough hours in the day. From meeting with clients and managing your growing team to keeping on top of communication and administrative tasks, work never ends. With so much on your plate, it’s easy to become overworked and exhausted.

Having the right tool for the job can make a huge difference in pushing the productivity and performance of your team forward. But choosing the right software for your needs is easier said than done. You need to find the kind of software that will help your team realize its potential and lighten your load as their leader. 

We’ve done all the hard work for you and collected the 20 best free tools for small businesses that will propel your company forward.  

Our Top Picks

1. Connecteam – Best all-in-one business & employee management tool.

2. Google Docs – Best for collaborating on documents.

3. Join.me – Best for digital meetings. 

Start Managing Your Deskless Teams with Complete Ease and Efficiency

Streamline your process with one powerful yet intuitive app – from managing operations and communication to handling HR matters and everything in between.

What To Look For In Business Tools and Software

When looking for good tools to run your business, keep an eye out for the following aspects and features:

  1. Ease of use: It’s easy to set up and offers an intuitive user experience. 
  2. Customizability: It’s customizable to suit your team structures.
  3. Addresses your needs: It provides you specifically with the tools you need to simplify your processes.
  4. Price: It is cost-friendly and suits your budget.
  5. Support: It comes with good customer support to help you with any issues.

Our Top Free Business Tools Recommendations

All-in-One Business and Employee Management Apps

Business owners juggle multiple roles at any given moment, but there’s really no need to do it all yourself anymore! With advancements in automation with business tools, you can keep your finger on the pulse with very little of your own input, so you can focus on the bigger picture of what really matters. Only a handful of free business tools even offer the total all-in-one package.

But here’s one that does! 

Best: All-in-one business & employee management tool.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.8

Without a doubt, Connecteam is the best free small business tool for you. Designed especially for deskless and remote teams, Connecteam is a leading business tool that makes your business and employee management absolutely seamless. With a free plan for up to 30 users, you’ll get all of the below (and hours of your time back!):

You can easily – 

  • Create and share an efficient job schedule when you easily assign a schedule (use drag & drop, templates, etc.) that’s based on different requirements. For each shift, offer additional key information so your team has everything available in a tap like address, tasks to complete, time, and more. Employees can accept or reject shifts, check-in when they show up to the site, and more – while on the go!
  • Track your employees’ work hours via a self-serve, GPS-tracked time clock that syncs automatically with Quickbooks Online, so when employees clock in and out from their phones, a real-time timestamp and GPS location is automatically tagged. This creates more efficient and easy to manage timesheets, not to mention, an 100% accurate payroll. 
  • Create interactive communication with group or one-on-one chat and share GIFs, videos, and pictures. Let your team engage with your update with likes and comments or if it’s a one-way announcement to keep everyone on the same page.
  • Manage reports on the go and in real-time like an incident report, expense reimbursement, operational checklists, and more so you can ensure compliance from top-to-bottom.
  • Offer a better training and onboarding experience so your team has direct access to training resources, such as the employee handbook, safety protocols, benefits, etc.
  • Boost engagement through announcements, newsletters, and updates that you can segment per group and channel to avoid information overload. Share goals met, new sales landed, key protocols, and more.
  • Use the searchable employee directory to keep all work contacts on the app instead of your personal phone, easily find the contact needed with a quick search (name, job title, location, etc.) and quickly engage with the contact through action buttons like a phone call, email, or chat.

Key Features

  • Employee scheduling

  • GPS-time tracking

  • Dedicated work chat

  • Forms & checklists

  • Task management

  • Training & onboarding

Pros & Cons

  • Intuitive and easy to use

  • All-in-one solution

  • Great customer support

  • Budget-friendly

  • Integrations in development

Connecteam: the #1 Free Business Tool for 20,000+ Businesses (and Counting)

Try Connecteam’s all-in-one employee and business management app, and see how it gives your business hours back of your time! With a free-forever plan, and a 14-day free trial of all paid plans – what have you got to lose! No credit card required.

Communication and Collaboration Business Tools

As your business grows, so does your team of employees, contractors, and service providers. Managing communication, collaboration, and cooperation between everyone can become a time-consuming task for you, as a manager. These tools can help you streamline these processes and save you the time you might be spending as an information conduit for your subordinates and partners. Check out more here about how to create 

Check out our guide to solving communication issues in the workplace here.

Best for: Collaborating on documents.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Capterra rating: 4.7

Google icons business tool

When it comes to free tools for small business owners, you can’t avoid mentioning Google, so we’re going to start with the internet giant everyone knows. This is a great tool when you need to collaborate on files. 

When it comes to sharing files and collaborating on documents, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are the way to go. The files are stored in your Google Drive and are a wonderful way to avoid those endless back-and-forth emails when collaborating on various documents.

Key Features

  • Document creation

  • Collaboration tools

  • Comments

  • Project management

Pros & Cons

  • Secure platform

  • Easy to share information

  • Difficult to use with poor internet connection

  • Insufficient organizing tools

Price: 

  • Starts at $6/month per user

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: Yes

Best for: Digital meetings.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.3

Join.me by LogMeIn small business tool

Gone are the days of conference calls. Well, maybe not gone but definitely changed. Solutions like join.me conferencing tool let you present to multiple employees or clients from the comfort of your home or office chair, saving you long trips and even confusing team chats.

Key Features

  • Direct messaging

  • Screen sharing

  • Recording

  • File Sharing

Pros & Cons

  • User-friendly

  • Easy to navigate

  • Prone to bugs

  • Less adopted compared to similar tools

Price: 

  • Starts at $12/month per user

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: No

CRM and ERP Business Tools

Keeping track of sales processes and inventory gets increasingly harder as your lead acquisition channels vary and your operation grows. By digitizing your inventory and sales process tracking, you can save a lot of time and complete sales faster and more effectively.

Best for: Customer relationship management (CRM).

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Capterra rating: 4.5

Hubspot crm business tool

One of our favorite small business tools of all time, Hubspot is a free CRM solution that promises to stay free forever and offers automation features that help track customer interactions. You can also create and follow sales-related tasks and get a good overview of your sales funnel at any given time. It’s a nice little productivity business tool

Key Features

  • Contract & license management

  • Lead distribution

  • Customer database

  • Performance metrics

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to navigate

  • Clean user interface

  • Geared toward enterprises

  • Expensive add ons

Price: 

  • Starts at $45/month

  • Free trial available: No

  • Free plan: Yes

Good for: Managing projects.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Capterra rating: 4.5

proofhub business tool

This easy-to-use project management and team collaboration software is a great small business tools option. By replacing the multiple tools required for task management, collaboration, time tracking, communication, file sharing, and reporting with a single all-in-one software, it gives teams a central source to find whatever they need.

Key Features

  • Project scheduling

  • Productivity analysis

  • Issue management

  • Client Portal

Pros & Cons

  • Feature-rich

  • Good collaboration tools

  • Unintuitive user experience

  • Difficult to manage notifications

Price: 

  • Starts at $45/month

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: No

Best for: Managing sales processes.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Capterra rating: 4.4

Sellsy small business tools

One of the challenges with managing sales processes can be combining sales process data from various channels (online, PoS and inside sales). Sellsy is a free small business tool that combines client relations and contact marketing, as well as inventory management and even time tracking.

Key Features

  • Activity dashboard

  • Billing & invoicing

  • Collaboration tools

  • Campaign management

Pros & Cons

  • Good analytical tools

  • Easy to use

  • Unintuitive user experience

  • Lacking capabilities

Price: 

  • Starts at $25/month per user

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: No

Best for: Distribution management.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux

Capterra rating: 4.2

xTuple tool for small business owners

The path from product manufacturing to sitting in the hands-on of your customers can be complex. xTuple is a free small business tool that’s an open-source ERP solution with an integrated CRM system, intended mostly for companies producing products rather than services.

Key Features

  • Fixed asset management

  • Purchase order management

  • Quality management

  • Quotes & estimates

Pros & Cons

  • Feature-rich

  • Customizability

  • Insufficient capabilities

  • Complex to learn

Price: 

  • Pricing isn’t publicly available

  • Free trial available: No

  • Free plan: No

Automation Business Tools

You might not even notice, but some of your precious time is spent in two of the most unpleasant activities: waiting and catching-up. You wait for replies to messages or responses from clients. And try to respond as quickly as possible when you miss communication or customer action.

By automating as many of your business processes and tasks as possible, you can save precious time you might currently be spending doing something a simple algorithm can.

Best for: Managing integrations.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux

Capterra rating: 4.5

IFTTT tool for small business owners

“If This, Then That” is a much-loved free small business tool: it’s a simple but flexible automation system that integrates hundreds of apps and services to create automated processes for things, getting them ‘talking’ to one another. For example, you can create an IFTTT so that leads from your website turn into contacts in HubSpot, or even improve your internal communication via automated channels. 

Key Features

  • Integration management

  • Data security

  • Cloud data integration

  • Pre-built connectors

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to set up

  • Frequent updates

  • Prone to bugs

  • Limited capabilities

Price: 

  • Starts at $2.50/month

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: Yes

Good for: Automating workflows.

Platforms: Web

Capterra rating: 4.7

Zapier business tool

Similar to IFTTT, Zapier is a more business-oriented automation tool that integrates with significantly more apps and services than IFTTT. So before selecting one or the other, you should ensure it communicates flawlessly with the small business tools and services you currently use.

Key Features

  • Compliance management

  • Business process automation

  • Workflow configuration

  • Access controls & permissions

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to set up

  • User-friendly

  • Limited capabilities

  • Lacks error handling functionality

Price: 

  • Starts at $19.99/month

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: Yes

Email Business Tools

Many online experts like to claim that email is dead or dying. It really isn’t. Email is still the most common tool for external and even internal communication in business, and that’s not about to change, just evolve further.

Today’s challenge is cluttered inboxes and difficulty keeping track and measuring the effectiveness of email correspondence. Some tools are out there to replace your current messy inbox. And others just try and make email communications a lot more effective for your business.

Best for: Managing business emails.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Capterra rating: 4.4

Thunderbird business tool

If you’re not a fan of Google’s free small business tools and prefer your email client and messages stored locally on your device? Thunderbird is your solution. It’s a free all-in-one email, tasks, calendar, and team chat, somewhat reminiscent of Microsoft’s Outlook experience of old.

Key Features

  • Email account

  • Address book

  • Attachment reminder

  • Message archive

Pros & Cons

  • Good customizability

  • Lacks mobile access

  • Insufficient spam detection

  • Unintuitive user experience

Price: 

  • Thunderbird is available for free

  • Free trial available: No

  • Free plan: Yes

Best for: Scheduling email sequences.

Platforms: Web

Capterra rating: 4.7

MixMax business tool

Keeping track of emails is time-consuming and often annoying. MixMax is a browser plugin that helps you track correspondence, schedule emails, and use sequences and reminders. Unfortunately, the free version is limited to 100 tracked emails and 10 scheduled emails per month, so if you’re looking for one of the best small business tools for your email communication, the paid version will likely work better for you. 

Key Features

  • Activity tracking

  • Email monitoring

  • Event-triggered actions

  • Response management

Pros & Cons

  • Feature-rich

  • Template options

  • Insufficient reporting capabilities

  • Unintuitive user experience

Price: 

  • Starts at 49/month per user

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: Yes

Best for: Email marketing.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.5

MailChimp business tool

Email communication with clients and partners is often based on regular newsletters, and few solutions do it better than MailChimp. With a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) template editor and tracking of open and click rates, this tool is the top free business tool for any business managing a newsletter. The service is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails.

Another cool feature worth mentioning is integration with the automation platforms we mentioned earlier which lets you get creative with how you maximize the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

Key Features

  • Automated scheduling

  • Email tracking

  • Click tracking

  • Collaboration tools

Pros & Cons

  • Good automation options

  • Great email marketing capabilities

  • Complicated to use

  • Limited capabilities

Price: 

  • Starts at $11/month for up to 3 users

  • Free trial available: No

  • Free plan: Yes

Task Management Business Tools

The bigger your team is, the harder it gets to keep track of all the various tasks of all the employees, contractors, and partners. Without a management solution, these tasks can get lost and not completed, falling between the proverbial chairs of everyday work. Alternatively, you’ll find yourself wasting too much time micromanaging your workers’ tasks. And no one wants that.

Good for: Managing team projects.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.5

Asana business tool

This simple and free task management solution (up to 15 users) is easy to use and rather flexible. Much like asanas in yoga. This free small business tool lets you create repeating tasks, assign them to team members, and keep track of the task progress from a single customizable dashboard.

Key Features

  • Goal management

  • Due date tracking

  • Requirements management

  • Resource scheduling

Pros & Cons

  • Engaging user experience

  • Intuitive interface

  • Lacks recurring tasks functions

  • Limited notification options

Price: 

  • Starts at $10.99/month per user

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: Yes

Good for: Running multiple projects.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.5

In real-time, Wrike is a top free small business tool that allows you to analyze performance insights with clunky spreadsheets. Customize everything to your needs, from the dashboard to automation, add comments, live edit, share information with stakeholders, look at individual tasks or team projects, and more. Wrike can also integrate with various tools like GitHub, Slack, Box, SalesForce, and more.

If you like the sound of Wrike, then check out and get started with Connecteam’s free task management tool! It’s that much easier to allocate tasks, even on the go, to build transparency and hold your team accountable. 

Key Features

  • Backlog management

  • Budgeting & forecasting

  • Business process control

  • Change management

Pros & Cons

  • Feature-rich

  • Good functionalities

  • Unintuitive user experience

  • Poor customer support

Price: 

  • Starts at $9.80/month per user

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: Yes

On-the-Spot – Point of Sale Business Tools 

Once upon a time, you needed a cash register to keep sales organized in your store. Those things were expensive, bulky, and aside from the famous “ka-ching” sound, they had little to offer in terms of features. Those days are gone, and now all you need is a basic desktop computer (and a solid set of free business tools) to manage your POS activity.

Best for: tracking customers’ purchase history.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Chromebook

Capterra rating: 4.7

Loyverse tool for small business owners

This free POS tool, as the name implies, is a free small business tool that’s a POS and loyalty program solution for deskless businesses like beauty salons, florists, and small retail stores. It includes analytics as well as inventory management and is available for free on Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

Key Features

  • Loyalty program

  • Point of sale (POS)

  • Sales reports

  • Delivery management

Pros & Cons

  • Good reporting options

  • Easy to use

  • Capabilities lack refinement

  • Some features can be confusing

Price: 

  • Starts at $5/month per user

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: Yes

Best for: Processing timed sales.

Platforms: Windows

Capterra rating: 4.9

KeyHut tool for small business owners

If you’re more into old-style DOS desktop registers, Cash Register by KeyHut is your free small business tool solution. And if you’re not, it’s still worth checking out the grumpy humor and 90s-style website of the developer for the laughs, at the very least. 

Key Features

  • Discount management

  • Barcode scanning

  • Point of sale (POS)

  • Customer accounts

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to set up

  • Good customer support

  • Prone to bugs

  • Limited features

Price: 

  • Keyhut is available for free

  • Free trial available: No

  • Free plan: Yes

Analytics Business Tools

Managers of small businesses should keep an eye on how their brand is performing online, this ties directly to sales and shows you where more effort is needed.

Best for: Analyzing customer website behavior.

Platforms: Web, Android

Google Analytics tool for small business owners

Google shows up on our list once again because its capabilities are wide in scope, not to mention, free. Google Analytics shows you how and from where your customers are coming from on your website. This allows you to enhance your marketing strategy to generate more leads, while also not spending any money (but also knowing where you’re likely to make the most money, by reading the analytics!). 

Key Features

  • Data aggregation

  • Website analytics

  • Customer journey mapping

  • Time-on-site tracking

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to install

  • Good reporting options

  • Unintuitive user experience

  • Difficult to learn

Price: 

  • Pricing isn’t publicly available

  • Free trial available: No

  • Free plan: Yes

Business Development Tools

As a small business owner, you are always learning new things to help push your business forward and into a money-making machine. As you can see from our list, there are lots of free small business tools and resources available so that you can gain the knowledge as you’re developing your business from start-up to raking in the cash.

Best for: Discovering business insights.

Platforms: Web

SBA.gov tool for small business owners

Taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website can really make a difference: it’s one of the best free tools for small business owners so you can learn more about writing up business plans, how to finance your business, insights and tips for entrepreneurs, and so much more. Whether you’re just starting out or have been running a business for years, SBA is a valuable source of information.

Key Features

  • Business guide

  • Funding program

  • Learning platform

  • Federal contracting

Pros & Cons

  • Good learning tools

  • Provides government-level insights

  • Insufficient customer support

  • Prone to bugs

Price: 

  • SBA.gov is available for free

  • Free trial available: No

  • Free plan: No

Best for: Receiving business consultation.

Platforms: Web

SCORE tool for small business owners

SCORE, a non-profit, has been around for 50+ years and is an amazing resource for helping small businesses get off the ground. It offers free learning opportunities online, in-person mentoring, and more.

Key Features

  • Live webinars

  • Business training library

  • Mentor program

  • Startup roadmap

Pros & Cons

  • Good customer relations

  • Consistent support

  • Narrow service

  • Available on limited platforms

Price: 

  • SCORE is available for free

  • Free trial available: No

  • Free plan: No

Design Business Tools

Creating gorgeous design assets for your website, social platforms, and email marketing is a must in today’s day and age.

Best for: Designing logos.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.7

Canva design tool

Hiring a professional graphic designer is a costly expense and one you might not be able to afford straight away. With Canva, you have pre-formatted templates for EVERYTHING. Including social media banners, marketing flyers, events, documents (presentations, letters, reports, etc.), and so much more. Canva is super easy to use and the results are stunning – it’s one of the most popular free small business tools online, and for good reason!

Key Features

  • Business card maker

  • Logo maker

  • Menu designer

  • PDF editor

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to use

  • Engaging user interface

  • Features could use refinement

  • Poor customer support

Price: 

  • Starts at $119.99/year per user

  • Free trial available: Yes

  • Free plan: Yes

Why do you Need Small Business Tools? 

Manual business management is a thing of the past. Today software solutions have provided small businesses (and large ones as well) with more efficient workflows

Software business tools are automated so that your company information is held: 

  • Accurate
  • Up to date; kept in real-time
  • Completely secure

The beauty of software is that you can run your business anywhere, at any time. The information follows you so that you can have eyes on your business at your own convenience. As an added note, if you’re looking to grow as a business, this is where business tools really come into play:

The opportunities are limitless, and that is why anyone can get value out of small business tools. 

What are the Benefits of Small Business Tools Software?

When you’re running a small business, it doesn’t matter what your title is because eventually, everyone on your team will be doing more than their job description. 

Having more responsibility than you signed up for is part of the charm of a small business, but it can also be part of the chaos that starts creeping in. When there is so much going on, it’s easy to forget to communicate and then waste time on overlapped work. It is crucial to make sure everyone on the team knows exactly what is on the agenda. 

Software business tools will help you hit your goals with:  

Time Management– automate time spent on activities to know where your business stands on productivity.  

Communications– make calls or chats accessible so that employees can directly collaborate even when they’re working remotely. 

Workplace Happiness– employee burnout is a major contributor to unhappiness in the workplace. With more efficient workflows in place, time & energy are more carefully spent. 

Financial Management– helps keep an eye on how much money is going into overtime and can provide insight on which employees or tasks are costing the most. 

Scheduling– let employees know exactly where they are meant to be and the details of their day’s, week’s, or month’s tasks. Have your workload laid out in front of you.

Common Resistance To Using Small Business Tools

No Time

You’re not the only one either. Over 80% of small business managers still use a pen, paper, and spreadsheets to run their workforce. And like most SMBs, it’s very likely that your outlook is strongly influenced by your current focus on day-to-day operations. When you’re buried up to your ears in work, it’s hard to find the time and energy to find solutions that help you shift your focus from day-to-day operations to strategic growth.

You don’t need to wait for your team and operation to grow to introduce technological solutions and tools. Often, it’s their implementation that affects business growth.

It’s too expensive

That’s just part of the equation. The second part is the cost. Until recently, business operations software, such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), was considered to be too costly to implement for small businesses. But that’s all changing now. Business software has become easier to implement and much more affordable. For a fraction of the cost, SMBs can get their hands on the latest software. Sometimes, even for free.

So, now that we have successfully removed all fear and cost considerations are no longer an obstacle, it’s time to choose the easiest, and more importantly free, business operations management tools out there

FAQs

What is a business tool (meaning)?

A business management tool is a system, application, or methodology that businesses use to help them operate more effectively, maintain a competitive position in the market, and improve their performance.

Are business tools important?

Digital business tools play a significant role in boosting productivity, which is one of the main factors in running a successful company. Having the right business tools enables you to run your operations more smoothly, which in turn also increases employee motivation and job satisfaction.

What are the different tools in business?

There are different types of digital business tools that can help you improve your processes and save valuable time and money.

In this article we discuss:

  1. CRM and ERP Business Tools
  2. Automation Business Tools
  3. Email Business Tools
  4. Task Management Business Tools
  5. On-the-Spot – Point of Sale Business Tools 
  6. Analytics Business Tools
  7. Business Development Tools
  8. Design Business Tools

The Bottom Line On Tools For Small Business Owners

You don’t need to become a mobile phone expert or software developer to use technology to grow your business with free business tools, be it a local grocery shop, a plumbing service, or a toy manufacturer you can quickly and easily set up any of these tools to start managing your business operations.

That being said, just implementing a bunch of tools doesn’t guarantee success. You need to be strategic about how you operate your business. But fear not more tips, strategies, tactics, and more are available in our comprehensive blog posts

The Best Free Small Business Tool of Them All: Connecteam

Manage all of your daily processes and employees, with Connecteam’s free plans! Or, try a 14-day free trial of our paid plans – no credit card required!