Project management tools provide you with heaps of benefits. They keep you organized, allocate resources, report on and analyze your workload, and help you hit your goals.
While project management software is practically ubiquitous in large organizations, there are plenty of small businesses that are going without it.
It’s not impossible to run a small business without a project management tool, but if you count yourself among this group, you’re not making your life any easier by eschewing it, unless you enjoy having a desk littered with sticky notes.
First, let’s cover some of the common reasons people say they don’t want or need any project management software:
- My business can’t afford the expense
- We already use enough software tools, and any more will be too many.
- I’m going to end up spending so much time using the software it will detract from the amount of actual work I can get done.
- I don’t know how to use it and don’t have the time to learn.
These are all sensible reasons on the surface. However, the way in which the B2B software landscape has changed over the years has increased the accessibility of tons of products; this is certainly true for project management software.
Let’s take a look at 7 project management tools well-configured for small business.
The 7 Best Project Management Tools for Small Businesses
Without further ado…
Basecamp is about uniting all your “stuff.” The home screen provides a broad overview of everything that’s happening across your company, and from there you can drill down to get a more detailed look into projects, teams, and communication.
The tool aims to make every project go smoother by features like:
- To-do lists
- Automatic check-ins
- Discussion boards
- Document sharing
- And much more
Basecamp’s pricing model is unique in that it’s flat for your whole business and not on a per-user basis, so it may not be a good option for the smallest of small businesses, but it comes through when it’s time to scale.
Pricing: $99/month for the entire business; Free for students & teachers; 10% off for non-profits & charities.
Popular Integrations: Hubstaff, Tick, Zapier, Easy Insight, ActiveCampaign
Avaza is an ideal tool for small, client-focused businesses. It has all the expected project management features like kanban, Gantt, and list views, as well as project budgeting, resource allocation, and more.
The reason this tool is so useful for client-based businesses is its broader functionality for things like time & expense tracking and quoting & invoicing.
Price: Free package; $9.95 Startup package; $19.95 Basic package; $39.95 Business package
Popular Integrations: Xero, Slack, Jira, Dropbox, Evernote, QuickBooks
ActiveCollab is a great tool for small businesses as it’s grounded in its simplicity. To help you manage every part of a project, it combines:
- Task management
- Team collaboration
- Time tracking
This is a great tool for a small business looking to scale as it has tons of add-ons and integrations. It’s also worth noting that pricing does not change with the amount of functionality, but only the number of users
Price: $25/month up to 5 users; $49/month up to 15 users; $99/month up to 30 users; $199/month up to 60 users; $299/month for unlimited users.
Popular Integrations: Slack, QuickBooks, Xero, Paypal, Hubstaff, Zapier
Asana is not one of those tools designed uniquely for small businesses and their customer list is diverse, but just because they can boast some big customers like Uber and Zappos doesn’t mean the product can’t be perfect for a small business. The tool includes…
- Team calendars
- Project checklists
- Kanban view
Asana has just about everything else you would want from a project management tool while remaining relatively easy to use.
Price: Free for up to 15 members with basic functionality; $9.99/member per month for premium.
Popular Integrations: Slack, Zapier, Salesforce, Timely, ActiveCampaign, Dropbox, G Suite, Okta
Paymo is another tool that bills themselves as optimal for any size of business (who can blame them? No need to alienate certain business segments).
The truth is, the product offers a ton of functionality and a multi-tiered pricing model that enables them to tailor plans to nearly any business. The tool includes features like:
- Gantt charts for project planning
- Resource scheduling
- Kanban boards
- Time tracking
- And more
Price: $4.45/user/month for the basic package; $10.75/user/month for the business package; $22.45/user/month for the professional package.
Popular Integrations: Hubstaff, Zapier
Trello is another example of a project management tool that can work for just about any business, no matter the size. Trello is best known for their cards which enable you to organize projects in a number of ways.
The tool can be used to display sales pipelines, product roadmaps, or even for simple organizational tasks like noting which team every employee in your company is on (that’s one of our uses for Trello at ActiveCampaign). Its multi-tiered pricing means you’ll only pay for what you need (if you pay anything at all).
Price: Free package; $9.95 Business Class; $20.83 Enterprise
Popular Integrations: Slack, Jira, Google Drive, Salesforce, Dropbox, Evernote
Teamwork projects is another tool that offers an array of features which you can get at a low price. You can track and manage everything that goes into a project including:
- Individual tasks
In addition, the software enables you to send messages to coworkers, track time, and bill clients.
Price: Free; $9.99 Pro package
Popular Integrations: Zendesk, Box, Xero, OneDrive, FreshBooks