9 Essentials Small Business Tools to Use in 2023 (Free & Paid)

Starting a small business can be an exciting journey, but it can also be a daunting one. There are so many different apps and services out there that it can be really overwhelming to know where to start. Are you in the same position, just starting your small business?

Let’s see what else you need, apart of a dedicated brand strategy and good website.

Need small business tools and software?

From web hosting and invoicing apps to email marketing platforms and password managers, this article covers 9 essential tools and software that every small business should use. With these tools in hand, you’ll be able to streamline your operations, boost productivity, and focus on what really matters: growing your business.

These tools to run your business can actually fit most small and medium-sized businesses. So read on to learn more!

1| Web Hosting Platform

Every small business needs a website, and to have a website, you need a reliable web hosting platform. A web hosting platform is essentially a service that allows you to host your website files on their servers. There are many web hosting platforms to choose from, but some of the most popular include Bluehost, HostGator, and SiteGround. When choosing a web hosting platform, consider factors such as reliability, uptime, customer support, and pricing.

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For my business (and my client’s websites) I am using SiteGround’s (Grow Big Plan) — it’s one of the best hosting for a presentation website, online store or blogging.

2| Emailing Services App

Email is still one of the most important forms of communication for small businesses. Whether you’re communicating with customers, vendors, or employees, having a reliable emailing services app can make a big difference.


Popular options include Gmail and Outlook but you can also communicate with your customers through a dedicated CRM software like HelpScout or Hubspot CRM. Consider features such as spam filtering, integration with other apps, and ease of use when choosing an emailing services app.

3| Accounting Software

For a business to thrive, it must sell it’s product or service, isn’t it? But, keeping track of invoices and payments can be a time-consuming task for small business owners. That’s where an invoicing app comes in. An invoicing app allows you to create and send invoices, track payments, and generate reports, when needed. There are some popular invoicing apps include FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and Zoho Invoice, but it’s best to check if they can be used in your country.

For advanced functionality, when choosing an invoicing app, consider features such as automatic payment reminders, integration with accounting software, and the ability to accept multiple payment methods. 


If you don’t want to get it all complicated, just pick an app that is easy to use and issue the invoices, and manually email the stripe or paypal links to your customer. If your business is global, yet you’re more comfortable with the wire transfers, you can use an Wise account to have multiple currencies to work with.

4| Email Marketing Tool

Email marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses to reach out to customers and drive sales. Normally, an email marketing platform allows you to create and send email campaigns, track open and click-through rates, and segment your audience. Some popular email marketing platforms include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. When choosing an email marketing platform, consider features such as automation, personalization, and analytics.

My #1 favorite for email newsletter: Mailerlite
My #2 favorite for email newsletter: Zagomail

I personally have tested and loved MailerLite (one of the best free plan for up to 1000 subscribers) and Zagomail (paid only, but it comes with a dedicated WordPress Form Plugin that replaces any fancy and expensive contact forms apps).

5| Contract Signing Platform

While your small business grows, please, don’t neglect the contracts!

And having a contract signing platform can simplify the process and save you time. You can send contracts electronically, track the signing process, and store signed contracts securely.

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Some popular contract signing platforms include DocuSign, PandaDoc, and Digisigner (most affordable platform for contract signing). Consider factors such as ease of use, pricing, language (for non-English-speaking countries) and integration with other small business tools when choosing a contract signing software (like payments, your email marketing tool).

I decided to go with Digisigner platform because it is the most easy to use for both me and my customers. It allows me to create “signing links” and place them on my website so that people can read and sign the contracts before placing an order, even on the most affordable plan (the PRO plan).

Plus, since I care about the data privacy, they have servers in Europe too! So if you’re an European business use this link to signup and keep all your data in European data servers: https://www.digisigner.de/

6| Virtual Place for Face Calls

In today’s digital world, face-to-face meetings don’t always have to happen in person. A virtual place for face calls, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, allows you to communicate with customers, vendors, and employees from anywhere in the world. You can now discuss project briefs, monitor project progress and more, all in a virtual session.


Best apps for this are Google Meet (free), Zoomnotes (has a free plan) and Whereby (has a free plan) and they both allow for screen sharing and recording, as needed.

7| Organize Notes and Projects

Running a small business involves juggling many different tasks and projects, and keeping track of everything can be a challenge. That’s where an app to organize notes and projects comes in.

Well… the best project management tool is not easy to find, since there are SO many available.


Popular options include Evernote, Trello, and Asana. But over the past years, Notion has increased in popularity for note-taking and projects organizing. Nevertheless, when picking your platform, consider features such as collaboration, integration with other apps, and ease of use.

8| Designing Tool for Small Businesses

Visual content is a powerful tool for marketing your small business. Creating eye-catching graphics, social media posts, and flyers can be a challenge if you don’t have a design background. That’s where a design app like Canva comes in handy.


Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design tool that allows you to create professional-looking graphics, social media posts, and marketing materials quickly and easily. It offers a wide range of templates, fonts, and graphics that can be customized to suit your brand. Canva also offers a free version with limited features and a paid version with additional features.

For the past 1-2 years businesses have also decided to use Figma app, to collaborate on their brand’s designs with their designers.

9| Affordable Billboard Advertising

As a small business owner, you should definitely consider investing in billboard advertising constantly! It’s a fantastic way to get your brand out there and reach a wide audience. Billboards are eye-catching and placed in strategic locations where lots of people pass by every day.

When you create an attention-grabbing billboard with a catchy message and captivating visuals, it can leave a lasting impression on potential customers. Plus, by targeting specific areas where your target audience is located, you can ensure that your message reaches the right people. No more talking to crickets!

And, you can do that using an Blindspot – a very affordable advertising solution that works 100% online (plus you get a 25USD discount code when you register).

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With billboard advertising, you have the opportunity to increase brand visibility, drive more foot traffic to your business, and boost overall brand engagement. Don’t miss out on this effective and impactful marketing tool that can help your small business grow!

Pick Your Best Small Business Tools

I hope that, chosing the right apps and services can make all the difference in helping you run your business efficiently!

It’s also worth noting that while these apps and services are important, they’re not the only things you need to consider when starting a small business. Other factors such as business strategy, marketing, and finance are also critical to your success. However, having these essential apps and services in place can help streamline your operations and free up more time to focus on these other areas.

As always, consider your specific needs and budget when choosing these apps and services, and don’t be afraid to try out different options until you find the ones that work best for you. With the right tools in hand, you’ll be well on your way to building a thriving business.

And let me know in the comments: what are your favorite small business tools to do business like a pro?

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