Small Business Advice

What Software Do Small Businesses Use?

Today, small businesses have to use software to stay competitive. The eight most important types of software for small businesses are described below, along with our recommendations for the best individual software solutions.

If you're running a small business, you know that software is a key ingredient for success. The right solution will save your team considerable time, streamline your operations, and help your business grow.

However, it's not easy to identify the most important types of software to invest in, or the best solutions.

It turns out that there are a few types of software that are used by almost all small businesses – accounting software, document management software, and HR software.

Beyond these must-have software tools, small businesses frequently use the following types of software:

  • Collaboration software
  • Electronic signature software
  • Marketing software
  • Project management software
  • Website builder software

Below, we explain what each of these software types is used for, along with our top recommendations of individual solutions for small businesses.

The analysts at SoftwarePundit have spent months researching each category, and hand-testing each of the solutions that we recommend. To learn more about how we research and rate software tools, read about SoftwarePundit’s review methodology.

Table of Contents

Must Have SMB Software: Accounting, Document Management & HR Software

There are three types of must-have software for small businesses – accounting software, document management software, and HR software. Almost all small businesses use these systems to manage foundational functions.

Accounting Software

Accounting software is one of the most widely used among small businesses. For less than $100 per month, it's possible to get a system that automates the collection and organization of financial data, generates insightful reports, and streamlines tax preparation.

Accounting software typically comes with several of the following features:

  • Accounting Reports
  • Invoicing
  • Expense Tracking
  • Inventory Management
  • Payment Processing
  • Customer CRM
  • Vendor CRM
  • Payroll
  • Tax Form Generation
  • Time Tracking
  • Receipt Capture

If you're interested, you can learn more about why you need accounting software to manage your business.

Most Popular Accounting Software: QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online
Rating: 94
Starting Price: $25 per month

QuickBooks online is the most popular accounting tool for small businesses. It includes all features a small business needs to keep track of its financials, and most accountants are very familiar with using the tool. QuickBooks Online has over 70 financial reports, integrations with many third-party tools, and a powerful payroll add-on.

Pros:
  • Best overall accounting platform for most small businesses
  • Most accountants and bookkeepers are trained in using QuickBooks
  • More than 70 reports included - the most of any accounting software
  • Allows multiple users to access the system at the same time, and work simultaneously
Cons:
  • Customers report that the software is not as user-friendly as other accounting tools
  • More expensive than other accounting platforms
  • Learning how to best navigate the application takes time
  • History tracking (audit log) is difficult to use

Best Solution for Business Owners: Xero

Xero
Rating: 91
Starting Price: $11 per month

Xero is an accounting software that's used by more than 2 million customers worldwide. It includes all essential accounting features like reporting, invoicing, inventory management, and tax form generation. It's a great option for most small and medium businesses in any industry.

Pros:
  • The software is as equally accessible to business owners as it is to accountants
  • Connections with over 800 third-party software applications available in the Xero Marketplace
  • The software has a great balance of being advanced yet user-friendly
  • One of the most advanced platforms, though still relatively inexpensive
Cons:
  • The reporting section is a bit thin compared with reporting in QuickBooks Online
  • Slightly difficult to get in touch with the customer support team
  • Reports did not always generate on demand
  • Xero doesn't offer accounting, bookkeeping, or tax services, which many alternatives have

Most User-Friendly Accounting Software: Wave

Wave
Rating: 86
Starting Price: Free

Wave is a freemium accounting tool designed for freelancers and small businesses. With features like invoicing, accounting reports, payroll, and bookkeeping services, Wave is a great option for service-based businesses with standard accounting needs.

Pros:
  • Wave offers features for free that most alternatives charge for
  • Extremely well-built and user-friendly interface
  • Wave offers bookkeeping services for those without a dedicated bookkeeper
Cons:
  • It's very difficult to get in touch with the Wave support team
  • Payroll comes at an additional monthly cost
  • Lacking inventory management features that many businesses require

Document Management Software

Document management software is another core system that's almost universally used. If you want to create and store digital files, or send business emails, you'll need one of these. The two most popular systems are Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.

These systems have many functions including document creation, document sharing, document storage, and team collaboration. Google Workspace also includes Gmail, Google Meet, Google Groups and Google My Business.

Our Top Choice: Google Workspace

Google Workspace
Rating: 95
Starting Price: $6 per month per user

Overall, Google Workspace is a powerful document management solution used by a diverse range of businesses. It’s best for businesses interested in content creation and team collaboration. Businesses looking for an entire suite of business tools rather than simple document storage features will find Workspace particularly beneficial.

Pros:
  • You can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in Google Workspace
  • Google Workspace comes with powerful communication tools like Gmail, Google Meet, and Google Chat
  • Google Workspace’s version history shows exact edits made by your teammates
  • Google Workspace’s various applications facilitate collaboration better than any other document management software
Cons:
  • Google Workspace’s workflow automations have a very steep learning curve
  • You cannot make comments on files without opening them
  • Google Workspace’s file recovery cutoff date is far shorter than it is in Dropbox Business and Box

Best for Microsoft Office Enthusiasts: Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365
Rating: 95
Starting Price: $5 per month per user

Microsoft 365 is a full featured document management solution used by a wide range of businesses. Microsoft 365’s suite of tools help your business manage not only your documents but your team as well. We highly recommend Microsoft 365 for any business that prefers Microsoft over Google, and wants to take advantage of internal chat and team management tools like Microsoft Teams.

Pros:
  • You can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft 365 conveniently packages its document and team management features in Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft 365’s workflow automations are more accessible than in Google Workspace
Cons:
  • Microsoft 365’s version control is not as detailed as alternatives
  • Microsoft 365’s file recovery cutoff date is shorter than it is in Dropbox Business and Box
  • You cannot make comments on files uploaded to OneDrive

HR Software

HR software is critical for managing any business. While HR software has several functions, payroll processing and compliance are the two most necessary. All businesses need to pay their employees and maintain compliance with state and federal government policies.

HR software typically comes with several of the following features:

  • Recruiting
  • Onboarding and offboarding
  • Payroll
  • Time tracking
  • Compliance support
  • Benefits
  • Performance management
  • Expense management
  • Analytics and reporting

Best All-Around Solution for SMBs: BambooHR

BambooHR
Rating: 89
Starting Price: $99 per month

BambooHR is a human resource software solution best for businesses with 25 to 300 employees. It is primarily used by businesses to create job postings and time track employees. Its standout features are its recruiting capabilities, as well as its onboarding and offboarding features.

Pros:
  • Job postings are very user-friendly and simple to set up in BambooHR
  • BambooHR can automate and track onboarding and offboarding processes
  • Monitoring employee hours is easy to visualize with BambooHR’s calendar
Cons:
  • Payroll, time tracking, and performance management modules all cost additional money
  • BambooHR does not support expense management
  • You cannot run benefits directly in BambooHR

Best HR Software for Payroll: Gusto

Gusto
Rating: 92
Starting Price: $39 per month

Gusto is a human resource software solution used by more than 100,000 businesses. Gusto started as a payroll solution, but has since added a variety of HR features including benefits and compliance support. Gusto is generally used by small businesses with less than 500 employees.

Pros:
  • Payroll is very user-friendly and simple to set up in Gusto
  • Gusto offers features that help your business stay compliant with state and federal policies
  • Gusto allows you to create highly customizable and detailed reports
Cons:
  • You cannot post and manage job listings with Gusto
  • Gusto does not include a dedicated applicant tracking system
  • Employee benefits are not available for 11 states in Gusto
  • Gusto does not include expense management features

Nice to Have SMB Software: Collaboration, Electronic Signature, Marketing, Project Management & Website Builder Software

There are dozens of types of software used by small businesses. However, there are a handful of categories that are more popular than the rest, and more valuable.

These are the nice-to-have software tools: collaboration software, electronic signature software, marketing software, project management software, and website builder software.

Collaboration Software

Collaboration software is used to facilitate team communication. There are different types of collaboration software including team chat, video conferencing, and email clients.

If you decide to use Google Workspace as your document management system, you'll be happy to learn that it comes with a chat application as well as video conferencing. In contrast, Microsoft 365 comes with Microsoft Teams, which competes with Slack.

Best Internal Communication Software: Slack

Slack
Rating: 96
Starting Price: Free

Though Slack isn't a project management system on its own, it can be a powerful tool to help teams collaborate more closely on projects, and can serve as an excellent supplement to your project management system. By facilitating more collaboration within the team, team members will be able to quickly tackle any roadblocks that may prevent them from delivering their work on time. In addition, Slack integrates with most major project management systems, which makes it a powerful collaboration tool that every team should consider using.

Pros:
  • Chat channels help compartmentalize topics of discussion and make communications more efficient, particularly in organizations that have many teams
  • Powerful integrations with more than 1,000 applications, including Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Trello, and Jira
  • Built-in phone calls, video chat, and screen sharing features
Cons:
  • Occasionally has availability issues that prevent users from accessing the app
  • Slack is priced per active team member, so it can get expensive if you have a large team

Electronic Signature Software

Electronic signature software is used to create, execute and store legal documents. While many businesses still use pen and paper to manage physical documents, it's not recommended.

PandaDoc has one of the best free software plans in the world. Its free plan allows you to upload and send an unlimited number of documents.

Most Powerful Solution: DocuSign

DocuSign
Rating: 92
Starting Price: $15 per month

DocuSign is the most popular electronic signature tool used by over 500,000 customers to automate their document agreement processes. It is the most robust software solution in the market, but remains very easy to use. Overall, it is an ideal solution for companies of all sizes that should definitely be on your short list.

Pros:
  • DocuSign includes support for mass signatures and in person signing
  • DocuSign integrates with over 350 applications
  • DocuSign allows you to integrate payment methods into documents
Cons:
  • DocuSign does not support the ability to edit uploaded documents
  • You can only upload a limited number of document types (PDF, Docx, Excel)
  • DocuSign only offers unlimited documents for uploading and sending for Advanced Solutions users

Best Free Plan: PandaDoc

PandaDoc
Rating: 90
Starting Price: $25 per month

PandaDoc is an electronic signature tool used by over 20,000 companies. While PandaDoc can be used for any type of legal agreement, it does have a specific focus on supporting the deal process for sales professionals. This solution is best for sales professionals, and any organization that has a more complex document workflow.

Pros:
  • PandaDoc’s free plan allows you to send unlimited documents
  • PandaDoc offers a library of over 450 templates
  • Includes valuable sales features like interactive quotes, a content library, and in-document payment processing
Cons:
  • Its document editor is missing standard editing features like being able reorder pages
  • The ability to collect mass signatures comes at an extra cost
  • PandaDoc does not give you the ability to receive recurring payments through the platform

Best Value: signNow

signNow
Rating: 89
Starting Price: $20 per month

signNow is one of the most popular electronic signature tools with over 45,000 customers. The application is robust – it includes many nice-to-have features and options not found in most other solutions. signNow is also reasonably priced compared to its competitors. It is an ideal solution for companies that need an advanced electronic signature solution, and prefer to save money by not purchasing DocuSign.

Pros:
  • signNow allows you to edit and sign documents using a mobile application
  • signNow supports mass signatures and in person signing
  • signNow lets you to collect payments in documents through Stripe and Payeezy
Cons:
  • signNow does not include a template or content library
  • signNow does not give you the ability to receive recurring payments through the platform
  • signNow’s custom branding is limited to adding your company’s logo – you cannot customize colors or the design of your documents

Marketing Software

There are thousands of marketing software tools for small businesses. These systems help small businesses engage potential and existing customers across all marketing channels.

When selecting marketing software for your business, the first thing you should determine is the marketing channel you want to invest in. Email marketing is an extremely valuable channel that most small businesses begin with. After that, you might decide to invest in search, social media, live chat, or SMS marketing.

Best Email System for SMBs: Mailchimp

Mailchimp
Rating: 90
Starting Price: $9.99 per month

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Atlanta, MailChimp has quickly grown into one of the most recognized email marketing services in the world, and is currently used by over 14 million businesses. One of MailChimp's primary selling points is that it requires minimal technical expertise, and no coding capabilities, in order to create professional marketing campaigns.

Pros:
  • The platform includes a wide range of marketing tools thare are well-organized and easy to use
  • Using Mailchimp does not require advanced technical expertise
  • Mailchimp includes over 250 built-in integrations to third-party platforms
Cons:
  • Paid plans are less affordable than many of its competitors
  • Marketing automation tools are less robust than some competitors
  • Mailchimp does not offer built-in integrations with Shopify

Best Customer Engagement Platform: Podium

Podium
Rating: 90
Starting Price: $399 per month

Podium is an Interaction Management™ Platform used to generate and manage online reviews, streamline customer interactions through messaging, and monitor customer sentiment. The company has over 45,000 customers in healthcare, home services, retail, auto services, professional services, and hospitality.

Pros:
  • Customers can leave Google reviews in two clicks
  • Highly-rated mobile app allows you to manage customer conversations on-the-go
  • Includes a team chat tool for individual and group conversations
  • Each account gets a client success manager
Cons:
  • Does not include a business directory listings tool
  • Customer survey feature is more limited than some competitors
  • Conversations that start with webchat must be handled via text message

Best Online Search Software: Semrush

Semrush

Semrush

Best Overall SEO Software
Rating: 96
Starting Price: $119.95 per month

Semrush is the best all-in-one search software tool for keyword research, competitive analysis, position tracking, and more. It will save you hours finding new high-volume keywords to target in paid and organic search, give you visibility into your competitors' online marketing tactics, and help you monitor your website's SEO performance.

Pros:
  • Keyword research tool to discover popular search terms for paid campaigns & high-volume keywords to target with SEO
  • Competitive analysis tool to identify your top competitors & spy on their online marketing tactics
  • Excellent keyword rank tracking tool to monitor how well your site is ranking on Google over time
Cons:
  • DeepCrawl and Screaming Frog are superior for on-page SEO auditing
  • Ahrefs is slightly better for backlink analysis
  • More expensive than free tools like Google's Ads Keyword Planner

Best Social Media Management Software: Sprout Social

Sprout Social

Sprout Social

Best Overall Product
Rating: 94
Starting Price: $99 per month

Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management platform used by over 20,000 organizations to manage Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media channels. In addition to basic features, Sprout Social includes advanced features such as a chatbot and digital asset library. Sprout Social is the best overall solution for SMBs, but is priced at a premium to other options.

Pros:
  • Efficient workflow for creating, scheduling and publishing social media posts saves considerable time
  • Ability to respond to all customer messages from one interface saves considerable time
  • Analytics help your team monitor KPI performance and add rigor to your social media programs
Cons:
  • More expensive than alternative social media management tools
  • Not a full-featured replacement for managing paid social campaigns
  • Some marketers prefer multiple stream inbox over Sprout's single-stream inbox

Best SMS Software: SlickText

SlickText
Rating: 90
Starting Price: $29 per month

SlickText is an all-in-one SMS marketing tool that has been used by over 70,000 businesses. It is ideal for small and medium sized businesses looking for a SMS marketing solution with flexible subscriber data collection and powerful list building options. Although SlickText is an all-in-one tool designed for all types of businesses, ecommerce stores might prefer more specialized solutions for their use cases.

Pros:
  • SlickText's web forms are extremely effective for capturing subscriber information
  • SlickText's unlimited custom fields enable marketers to collect data for segmentation and personalization
  • Analytics are highly detailed with individual pages dedicated to every campaign and automation you build
Cons:
  • SlickText is one of the more expensive SMS marketing solutions
  • SlickText is not as specialized for ecommerce businesses as SMSBump or Postscript
  • SlickText does not offer a diverse selection of native integrations, although Zapier is supported

Project Management Software

Companies with more than five employees benefit from project management software. These tools help you keep track of the different projects and tasks happening at your business.

When evaluating them, it's important to decide how complex of a project management system you need. Smaller companies with more basic needs are a perfect fit for a simple, cheap solution like Trello. Larger companies managing complex projects are better off with a solution like Asana.

Best Overall: Asana

Asana
Rating: 95
Starting Price: $9.99 per month

Asana is a cloud-based project management software system that helps companies assign, prioritize, and manage tasks across teams. Used by organizations like Pinterest, NASA, Spotify, and Airbnb, Asana offers a wide range of customizable options and features—more functionality than most teams will need—but enables users to pick and choose which features they prefer to utilize in order to increase productivity and create the most effective workflow for their needs.

Pros:
  • Excels at breaking down complex projects into actionable tasks and subtasks
  • Dashboards help users visualize progress and prioritize tasks that matter most
  • Organizes projects into Kanban-style boards or linear lists
  • Provides quick-start templates as well as the option to create your own templates
Cons:
  • Offline access only available on mobile apps; no desktop app or installed version available
  • Currently there is no way to convert a list into a board, or a board into a list, though this may be developed in the future
  • User interface could use some improvements. For example, pressing "Enter" creates a new task even if you didn't mean to do so

Best for Technical Teams: Jira

Jira
Rating: 86
Starting Price: $10 per month

Jira Software is a powerful project management tool designed for Agile software development teams. Launched in 2003, Jira Software is primarily used by software development teams, and it's one of the most popular project management systems in technology companies. Incorporating customizable Scrum and Kanban boards, users can plan and organize tasks at a project level, set priorities for each task, and collaborate with team members. Teams can also establish processes by building custom workflow maps, which helps to standardize workflows across projects.

Pros:
  • Popular tool for tech teams to manage and prioritize their backlogs
  • Makes it easy to set due dates and priorities for tasks, and identify upcoming tasks that need to be completed
  • Dashboards can be standardized across teams to provide a high level overview of project statuses
Cons:
  • Can get expensive if you have many users
  • Steep learning curve for new users, and even experienced users may not be familiar with all of the nuances to the system, which may be needed in order to fully leverage its rich capabilities

Best for Small Teams: Trello

Trello
Rating: 92
Starting Price: Free

Trello is a popular project management tool that enables teams to organize projects, break them down into manageable tasks, assign deadlines, and track projects in a visually appealing, easy-to-use drag-and-drop user interface. Since Trello connects to other apps in your workflow, such as Slack, Google Drive, and Jira, you can effectively communicate and collaborate throughout every stage of your projects, from start to finish.

Pros:
  • Create unlimited number of boards to track individual and team-wide projects
  • Attach files to cards to track progress of projects
  • Easy drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to update the status of projects in real time
  • Cloud-based boards are accessible anywhere you have an Internet connection
Cons:
  • No built-in time tracking, though it is available through third-party tools and power-ups
  • Boards with a large number of cards may load slowly
  • Deleted cards cannot be recovered if you accidentally delete them

Website Builder Software

Small businesses use website builder software to create and publish websites. These systems require very little technical ability, and come with beautifully designed website templates.

Website builders typically come with the following features:

  • Website page builders
  • WYSIWYG blog editors
  • Ecommerce tools
  • Plugins, applications, and extensions
  • Online search & SEO tools
  • Analytics dashboards & reports
  • Social media marketing tools
  • Email marketing tools
  • Contact forms

Best Overall: Wix

Wix

Wix

Free Trial
Rating: 92
Starting Price: $14 per month

Wix is a website builder with over 200 million users. Its main features include highly customizable website builder, a WYSIWYG blog editor, ecommerce tools, SEO tools, and analytics dashboards. Overall, Wix is design-friendly and can support beginner website builders.

Pros:
  • Wix is user-friendly and accessible for beginner website builders
  • Wix combines ecommerce functionality with an approachable platform for non-technical ecommerce operators
  • Wix lets you customize your blog posts for SEO – including editing a post’s title, description, and URL slug
Cons:
  • Wix’s mobile app does not let you create or edit your website
  • Wix does not offers apps for malware protection, data backup, or UX & UI design
  • Wix’s ecommerce features are not easily scalable for larger online businesses

Best Designs: Squarespace

Squarespace
Rating: 90
Starting Price: $16 per month

Squarespace is a website builder with one million paying customers. Its main features are highly customizable website builder, a WYSIWYG blog editor, ecommerce features, SEO customizations, email marketing, and traffic, sales, and engagement dashboards. Overall, Squarespace is the best solution for design-forward websites and displaying visual work.

Pros:
  • Squarespace is one of the best solutions for building a design-forward website
  • Squarespace’s mobile app lets you edit your website’s pages
  • Squarespace lets you customize your blogs for SEO – including editing a post’s URL slug, description, and title
  • Squarespace includes a visitor engagement dashboard that highlights how a visitor behaves on your website
Cons:
  • Squarespace’s website builder limits your overall design to the template you choose
  • Squarespace’s website builder does not let you edit specifically for desktop or mobile
  • Squarespace does not offer extensions for malware protection, data backup, and UX & UI design

Easiest to Use: Weebly

Weebly
Rating: 89
Starting Price: Free

Weebly is a website builder solution that supports over 50 million websites. It offers an easy to use website builder, a WYSIWYG blog editor, ecommerce tools, email marketing tools, and analytics dashboards. Weebly is one of the most user-friendly solutions available in the market and best for beginner website creators and ecommerce store owners.

Pros:
  • Weebly is one of the easiest website builders to use
  • Weebly offers a robust free plan that lets you create an effective website and run a small ecommerce business
  • Weebly offers a mobile app that lets you edit your website’s pages and manage your ecommerce store
  • Weebly offers dashboards that display your traffic and sales information graphically
Cons:
  • Weebly only offers advanced ecommerce features like automatic shipping rates for different carriers if you upgrade to its $72 per month plan
  • Weebly does not offer key SEO tools – including sitemaps and web page indexing
  • Weebly does not let you display your most recent blog posts on your homepage

Industry Specific Software

All of the solutions listed above are horizontal software tools that work for businesses in any industry. There are also industry-specific software tools built for companies in a given industry.

Here's a list of industry specific software:

If you manage a business in one of the industries above, you're likely better off finding the right industry-specific software rather than purchasing a number of general software solutions. Industry-specific software is typically the foundational software tool that supports the most critical business functions.

A few examples of outstanding industry-specific software is listed below.

Course Creation: Thinkific

Thinkific is a best-in-class course creation platform that you can use to create and sell online courses.

Thinkific
Rating: 90
Starting Price: $49 per month

Thinkific is an online course creation solution with approximately 50,000 instructors. It helps course creators build and market their online courses and websites. It’s not the most advanced solution, but it’s powerful and easy-to-use. Overall, it’s ideal for ambitious beginners and established course creators.

Pros:
  • Thinkific offers a basic, free plan that’s ideal for testing the platform or hosting your content
  • Thinkific is one of the more affordable middle-tier solutions available
  • Thinkific offers course templates
Cons:
  • Thinkific is limited in terms of customizing the design of your courses and website
  • Thinkific does not offer a mobile app
  • Thinkific does not support ACH payments

Dental: CareStack

CareStack is our top rated dental practice management systems. It is cloud-based and comprehensive – customers of CareStack might not need to purchase patient engagement software.

CareStack

CareStack

Best Cloud Software
Rating: 94
Starting Price: $650 per month

CareStack is an all-in-one cloud-based dental practice management system that is ideal for dental practices with multiple locations. CareStack dental software comes with HIPAA-compliant, integrated modules for patient engagement, scheduling, charting, claims & billing, and business analytics. In a few short years, CareStack has emerged as a leader in dental practice management software, and has a great reputation for being extremely customer-focused.

Pros:
  • Supports global and location-specific branding in patient-facing communications
  • Includes powerful patient engagement system to create highly targeted, relevant marketing campaigns that improve the patient experience and grow your practice
  • Extremely customer centric; over half of new features built by CareStack are requests from customers
  • Average customer support response time is under 30 seconds
Cons:
  • Imaging solution is not inbuilt, but it integrates into external cloud and non cloud imaging solutions
  • Navigating between different components of the software can be slightly awkward sometimes
  • CareStack is a newer solution, so might not integrate with all your tools

Field Service Management: ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan is our top rated field service management system used by professionals in numerous industries including plumbing, HVAC, pest control, lawn care, and more.

ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan

Best Enterprise Software
Rating: 89
Starting Price: $398 per month

ServiceTitan is a popular field service management solution used by over 4,400 service businesses and over 100,000 contractors. ServiceTitan initially was used in electrical, HVAC, and plumbing, but now serves a variety of industries including garage door, chimney sweep, and pool service. ServiceTitan is best for large businesses that are willing to invest in a robust system to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Pros:
  • ServiceTitan is one of the most robust solutions on the market today
  • ServiceTitan’s eye-catching quotes and pricebook helps improve conversion rates
  • ServiceTitan offers advanced reporting and an open API
Cons:
  • ServiceTitan is a larger initial investment than alternative solutions
  • Robust solutions with many advanced features tend to have longer implementation and training time than lightweight solutions
  • ServiceTitan charges additional fees for particularly complex implementations

Fitness: Glofox

Glofox is our top rated fitness management system that is used to operate gyms, studios, and salons.

Glofox
Rating: 91
Starting Price: $100 per month

Glofox stands out from the competition with its ease of use and customization; each client receives a custom branded mobile app, which customers can download to view, book and pay for classes, courses and memberships. A booking and payment portal can also be integrated with your website or Facebook page. This level of customization makes Glofox a top solution for smaller gyms and fitness studios looking to save time, grow their community and promote their brand. Designed specifically for the fitness industry, Glofox offers a feature-rich product at a competitive price.

Pros:
  • Designed specifically for fitness businesses
  • Admin app enables customers to manage their gyms on the go
  • Includes custom branded app for members to build brand loyalty
  • Strong customer support including unlimited free training
Cons:
  • Doesn't offer direct debit integration
  • Glofox uses Stripe as its payment processor, and so only operates in countries that use Stripe
  • Currently lacks coupon and discount code functionality, as well as payroll, but these features are currently under development

Legal: Clio

Clio is the most popular practice management system for law firms.

Clio Manage
Rating: 90
Starting Price: $49 per month

Clio Manage is a popular legal practice management solution used by over 150,000 legal professionals. Clio Manage includes features that help legal professionals automate key tasks and grow their law firms. These features include contact management, a calendar, document management, time tracking, billing, and online payment processing. Clio Manage offers more third-party integrations than any of its competitors. We recommend Clio Manage for small to medium sized law firms with a complex tech stack that needs a solution with a high volume of integrations.

Pros:
  • Clio Manage offers over 200 integrations with third-party solutions
  • Clio Manage includes unlimited document storage in all subscription plans
  • Clio Manage offers exceptional support and training
Cons:
  • Clio’s CRM software, Clio Grow, must be purchased separately
  • Clio Manage does not offer robust built-in accounting in its platform
  • Clio does not include built-in texting in their platform

Mental Health: SimplePractice

SimplePractice is our top rated practice management system for health and wellness clinicians.

SimplePractice

SimplePractice

Best Overall PMS
Rating: 96
Starting Price: $39 per month

SimplePractice, founded in 2012, is SoftwarePundit's best overall practice management system. It features one of the most user-friendly, modern interfaces on the market and has a complete set of features including flexible EHRs, telehealth, and robust mobile applications. Starting at $49 per month for a single clinician, SimplePractice is a reasonably priced high-quality option.

Pros:
  • Well-designed client intake workflow that makes it easy for clients to complete documents
  • Offers Wiley Planners, customizable templates, and ability to create forms from scratch
  • Powerful mobile app with a 4.7 rating on 6,000 reviews, and client app for telehealth
Cons:
  • Does not offer immedate phone support for customers
  • The calendar solution is lacking some nice-to-have features
  • No integrated ePrescribing functionality

Property Management: Buildium

Buildium is a leading property management system that residential property owners use to manage the rental of their homes.

Buildium
Rating: 92
Starting Price: $50 per month

Buildium is a property management solution used by over 16,000 property managers. This platform is used to manage a variety of portfolio types including community associations, student housing, affordable housing, and residential properties. Buildium a powerful end-to-end solution equipped with tools to manage the entire property management lifecycle from the initial marketing of your units to inspecting your properties after tenants move out.

Pros:
  • Electronic payments are processed in 1 to 2 business days
  • Your company can add an unlimited number of users to your Buildium account
  • Offers open API access to integrate with other systems and build custom workflows
Cons:
  • Some customers find Buildium’s accounting feature to be difficult to implement. Many prefer to use third-party software like QuickBooks
  • Does not include some cutting edge features like AI leasing agents and 24/7 maintenance contact centers
  • Pricing becomes less competitive as you scale

Vacation Rental Management: Guesty

Guesty is our top rated vacation rental management system used by property owners to manage rental properties.

Guesty
Rating: 91
Starting Price: Custom

Guesty is an advanced vacation rental management software that's used in the management of over 100,000 properties. With advanced automations and API connections with the major OTAs, it'll benefit those who are looking for an intensive and advanced tool to manage a large number of properties.

Pros:
  • The platform is feature-rich and robust, but still easy to navigate
  • Two-way API integrations with OTAs will push and pull data automatically
  • Nearly 100 integrations with third-party tools available via the Guesty Marketplace
Cons:
  • Pricing is not transparent and there is no free trial of the tool
  • Connection with TripAdvisor only works if you have 15 or more properties
  • Customers have noted that platform is quite expensive, with a hefty onboarding fee

Final Thoughts

Figuring out the best mix of software tools to implement for your business is challenging. However, there's really only a handful of software types that most businesses use.

To get started, we recommend implementing an accounting solution, document management solution, and an HR solution. For a small business, these systems will almost certainly cost less than $150 per month in total.

After getting those must-have solutions in place, start researching the other common software types. There's no rush to implement several tools at once – it's better to pick one or two new software types, become an expert, and test your favorite solution. Over time, you'll become highly knowledgeable about software, and build your company's technology stack.

Finally, don't forget to research the industry-specific software that is a fit for your business. Typically, this all-in-one software can support several of your key functions, and save you money.

Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit. He leads the team's research and publishes content about software products and trends. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed technology companies, and launching new businesses. You can connect with Bruce on LinkedIn.

Bruce is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Dental software
  • Mental health software
  • SEO software
  • Social media software

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