20+ Free Apps to Take your Small Business to the Next Level in 2022
As the world is returning to normalcy, it is time for small businesses to make the most out of it and cover-up for the losses incurred in the past year. There is no denying that small business owners already have a lot on their plate. But some of the work can be reduced and done efficiently with the help of mobile apps. App developers have been hard at work building innumerable apps and tools to cater to the needs of business, however small businesses usually prefer free or inexpensive versions of apps, mainly because they can't afford the paid one, and also their requirements are fulfilled in the free version.
To make it easier for small businesses to find the right apps to manage their business activities, here is a list of 25 free apps for small businesses in 2022.
25 Free Apps for Small Businesses in 2022
It is already hard for small businesses to sustain themselves in the highly competitive market. As a small business, if you are already looking for mobile apps to manage your business, the following are the best free apps to consider in 2022.
More than just communication, seamless communication is the need of the hour as organizations plan to continue with remote and hybrid working models. Moreover, real-time collaboration software is believed to increase productivity by 30%. Slack is one such app that makes instant messaging work-friendly. It is a popular collaboration tool among startups. Employees can chat with their team in dedicated channels, share documents, or set up automated tools to make their work lives a little easier.
- Reference links to channels & pinning messages
- Manage & track documents
- Use shared channels across workspaces
- Quick navigation
- Streamline the sidebar
2. Skype for Business
Thanks to the global popularity and user-friendliness of Skype, it has become one of the favorite communication apps in the business world. Till 2017, 55% of organizations were already using Skype for Business. This figure is a clear indication that Skype still rules the market despite its numerous competitors. If small businesses are yet to explore the app, it is time to check out what it offers in terms of functionality and simplified management.
- Enhanced accessibility
- Integration with office apps
- Record meetings
- Control dashboard for meeting participants
- Whiteboard tools
Accounting & Bookkeeping Apps
This cloud-based accounting program is simple and powerful. QuickBooks can help with a range of things, from profit analysis and tax accounting to payroll and inventory management. It depends on the app version that a business chooses to use. Whether it is a single person running the company or a growing business, Quickbooks has something for everyone. Not to forget that Quickbooks access can be shared with accountants to make tax payments and other accounting-related tasks much smoother.
- Cloud accounting
- Cash flow management
- Time tracking
- Multiple users
Wave is the ideal choice for service-based small businesses that need small invoices and doesn't need to track inventory or payroll. It is also the perfect choice for freelancers, as it is enough for all their accounting needs. The app will seamlessly handle the foundational accounting activities such as invoices, taxes, payments, payroll, and much more. An exciting feature of Wave is that it cleverly manages the receipts and expenses. Either thing can be scanned in the mobile app, uploaded via the web, or emailed to the account, and the app will take it from there.
- Customizable invoices
- Invoice scheduling
- Recurring billing
- Invoice payment reminders
- Online client portal for invoices
ZipBooks is a web-based financial software that comes with a solid range of accounting features. It is one of the most suitable free apps for small businesses that want to upgrade from doing accounting in spreadsheets. The free plan, known as ZipBooks Starter, includes basic bookkeeping functionality. Even though it is free, it is also easy to outgrow. As the business requirements increase, you may need to upgrade to the premium version.
- Unlimited invoices
- Manage unlimited customers & vendors
- Accept digital payments through PayPal & Square
- Multi-currency support
- Expense management
Inventory & Shipping Apps
Shopventory is a perfect choice for small and medium-sized businesses as it is user-friendly and comes with an advanced inventory management system. You can identify the sales trends, know the profit margin, and compare multiple locations. Businesses need to be aware and cautious about items in their inventory. Restocking unnecessary items must be avoided as part of maintaining a healthy supply chain and investments must be diverted towards popular products which happen to be in demand. It is even more crucial for small businesses to have this data on hand, and Shopventory offers that.
- Sales analysis & forecasting
- Inventory control
- Multi-channel, multi-user, & multi-location
- Sales channel auto-sync in real-time
- Product bundles creation & management
The Odoo inventory application can effortlessly integrate all the basic warehouse operations of a company. The software is equipped with the most efficient stocking method and, at the same time, can improve the internal operations of an organization. Moreover, the job of inventory managers is made easier with Odoo's smart double entry inventory system. How? Well, with this system, there is no stock input, output, or transformation. Instead, all the operations are just stock moves in-between locations.
- Inventory adjustments
- Barcode scanners
- Smart scheduler
- Activity log
It is a visual inventory management and asset tracking app created especially for small businesses. Sortly allows customization of the system to track any detail across multiple locations. What's more? You don't need any technical expertise for the same! While we are on the topic of customization, Sortly also allows you to modify every entry with notes and tags. Lastly, business owners can give limited access to multiple users, which will enable employees to make changes/updates via the web version or mobile app.
- Activity tracking
- Audit management
- Inventory management
- Inventory optimization
Square is well-known as the POS provider that revolutionized the world of free small business apps. It has improved the way small businesses process credit card transactions. The app also has a free reader to swipe credit cards. The best part is that this reader can be attached to a phone or any other device to process the payments quickly.
- Barcode scanning
- Retail management
- Stock management
- Tax management
10. PayPal Here
PayPal Here boasts of no sign-up cost or charging direct fees from the users. Apart from this, it can process checks, credit cards, and invoices on the phone. Unlike the Square app that offers more features such as inventory and order management, PayPal Here provides a simple and easy way to accept payments on the phone. An important point to note is that PayPal Here will work only through a PayPal account and not a bank account. So, a small business owner needs to make sure that it is properly synced up.
- Express checkout
- Barcode scanning
- Inventory tracking
- Mobile card reader
- Online invoicing
Project Management Apps
Project management software has become almost a necessity with teams working on too many things simultaneously. Trello is an appropriate choice for managing larger and complicated processes. It has a card-based system that will allow you to create, assign, monitor, and complete various tasks easily. Not to forget that it integrates seamlessly with other free small business apps like Slack and Evernote. In short, using Trello is a great way to ensure that everyone is productive and efficient.
- Define tasks & track progress
- Delegate tasks & make to-do lists
- Customize the workflows
- Integration with Slack & Google Hangouts
- It runs on Mac, Android, iOS, & Windows
3.5 million accounts signed up by 2021. The number itself speaks volumes of the popularity of the Basecamp app. The basics of Basecamp is that it allows you to organize the projects in 6 categories. It is unlike the to-do list format of Trello and Asana. The team can access the chatroom, a message board, task list, calendar, documents and images bank, and a recurring check-in system. Even though the app works with a different workflow philosophy, it has proved to be the right choice for many organizations.
- To-do lists
- Chat platform for real-time communication
- Hill charts
- Message board
- Automatic check-ins
Asana has a slightly different approach than Trello. Instead of the visual cards like in Trello, Asana uses a customizable list format designed as per your needs. However, the basic idea is the same—using a project management system to improve the entire team's productivity. Asana can also be integrated with email and calendar platforms. There is also unlimited storage for files up to 100 MB each.
- Create to-do lists & reminders
- Include due dates, comments & instructions
- Share images from other applications
- Track everything that the team is working on
- Ideal for Android & iOS
Customer Relationship Management Apps
14. Zoho CRM
Happy customers are loyal customers. To ensure an optimum customer experience, businesses today need CRM software. Zoho CRM is the perfect solution for small businesses as it contains a robust set of sales and marketing features. This CRM software will help small businesses to organize contacts, manage sales, market their brand, offer customer support, and much more. Furthermore, Zoho CRM can also be integrated with the other marketing tools that a business is already using.
- Lead management
- Automated workflow
- AI assistant
- Advanced analytics
- iOS & Android apps
15. Hubspot CRM
The Hubspot CRM, it seems, is built for the modern world as it is intuitive and automatic. The software takes care of all the details like logging emails, managing data, and recording calls. In the process, it frees the valuable selling time of employees. The CRM is an optimum choice for small businesses as it is cost-effective and has an excellent interface. The best part is that you can see the entire sales pipeline on a single dashboard.
- Personalize email sequences for leads & customers
- Real-time notifications of lead behavior
- Integration with popular tools like Salesforce & Shopify
- Custom filters to sort contacts
- Schedule tasks, emails & create tickets
Sales & Marketing Apps
16. Zendesk Sell
Zendesk Sell boasts a clean and straightforward interface that allows you to see all prospect details in a single place instead of switching tabs. The platform also has an in-built database to add new leads. Both B2B and B2C businesses can use it to cut down on manual overhead expenses with the help of a sales automation module, communication management, pipeline visibility, and insightful reporting.
- Database management
- Opportunity management
- Pipeline management
- Activity tracking
- Collaboration management
17. Hubspot Sales Hub
Hubspot's Sales Hub is a powerful and user-friendly sales CRM tool. It includes CPQ (configure-price-quote) functionality, sales engagement tools, and sales analytics for a growing team. Sales Hub is built on the HubSpot CRM platform, where everything comes together for unparalleled sales staff efficiency. If the sales representatives use the complete CRM platform, they can get richer insights and better leads.
- SalesForce automation
- Marketing automation
- Case management
- Social collaboration features
- Reporting & analytics
File Storage & Sharing Apps
Dropbox is a popular cloud computing app that will keep all the business files safe with 256-bit AES and synced. It will only download files when a user needs to access them. With more than 500 million users, it is safe to say that Dropbox is an excellent collaboration and organization tool. The key feature of Dropbox is that it also keeps a history of all the files with versioning. Due to this, any version of any file can be recovered if there is malware, ransomware, or even accidental deletion.
- File sync & recovery
- File previews & collaboration
- No-download web browser option
- Works on Android, iOS, Windows & Mac
19. Google Drive
Google Drive is another file storage and sharing app which doesn't need an introduction. It allows you to keep all your files in one place and access the same from multiple devices. You can also set the user permissions to view, comment, and edit documents. Not to forget that business owners can safely collaborate with clients from anywhere.
- Team collaboration
- Share with people outside the organization
- Advanced search features
- Drag & drop uploads
- Use the mobile app to scan straight to the drive
Wix is the ultimate website builder for small businesses as it is simple to use. You don't need any technical skills to build a website with Wix. This drag-and-drop website builder is a complete package. It is user-friendly and allows the customization of almost everything. Even though there are many other options in the market, Wix ranks among the best due to its interface and usability.
- Advanced design features
- Scroll effects
- Built-in SEO tools
- Professional mailbox
- Customizable colors & fonts
Squarespace website builder is a better choice for eCommerce websites. It will offer all the features that a small online store requires. The built-in functionality will help accept credit card payments, create gift cards, track customers, and more. Other builders need plugins to do all this. However, as Squarespace offers more advanced design tools, the learning curve is slightly steeper than Wix.
- Customizable templates
- Customizable page & content layouts
- Content types
- Design panel
- Custom CSS
If a small business wants complete control over the website, then WordPress is for them. WordPress comes with tons of themes and amazing built-in blogging. The best part of WordPress is that by adding just a plugin or two, it can give powerful eCommerce solutions. Having said that, using WordPress will also require some web design knowledge. It is not for businesses that want just a simple website as they will not harness its full potential.
- Unlimited pages, posts, products & more
- Integrated news & blog posting
- Restore deleted pages & rollback versioning
- Quickly add more website editors
- Managed website security
Productivity & Focus Apps
Station is the work app that all small businesses need. It will combine all the services in a single window and handle notifications better than any other browser. As Station centralizes everything in a single app, it goes a notch higher than regular productivity apps. For instance, the universal search bar will enable content search across all the apps. Even notifications have their tab. Lastly, the focus mode will silence notifications for a specific time.
- Smart dock
- Do not disturb
- App mute
- Auto sleep
RescueTime is one of the popular productivity apps. That's because it measures and tracks every activity of the users on computers and mobile devices and then gives insights into better time management. The free version is more than enough for most people. The paid version will provide a more in-depth analysis. Remember that RescueTime is neither a time tracking tool for freelancers nor an employee monitoring software. Instead, it is a personal tool that provides insights into how to use time.
- Automatic recording of computer activities
- Monitor time of meetings/phone calls
- Weekly summary emails
- Compare productive vs. unproductive days
- Block distracting & unauthorized websites
The term 'Kanban' refers to a method for managing knowledge work with a focus on timely delivery and at the same time not overloading the team members. Visualizing work in a team will simplify communication and lead to better efficiency. The KanbanFlow app is based on this principle. It gives an overview of the current work situation.
- Customized workflow
- WIP limits
- Recurring tasks
- Completed tasks with date
As small businesses are becoming more and more innovative in their work, so are the apps. Irrespective of the type of business, there will be an app to help track and manage the work effectively. All the business owner needs to do is find the right app. This list of free apps for small businesses is not exhaustive. There are apps available for tracking other aspects of a business, such as finances. It's time for small businesses to go ahead and achieve their goals with the help of some of these apps.