Business management software is any solution that meets business needs via an integrated set of functionalities or applications intended to automate and streamline your business process. Similar to ERP software, business management software will help you manage projects, create reports, manage clients, and overall increase productivity and provide analytics into how your business can improve in specific areas.
Business management software usually includes functionalities such as CRM, accounting, project management, and invoicing. As a business grows in size, they’ll need advanced functionalities such as human resource management, warehouse management, and more.
Business management software can be used by both small and large businesses. Whether your business has 2 employes or 50 employees, there is a business management software that is right for you. Many business management tools let you add users as time goes on, meaning the software can grow with your business.
A business management system can be whatever your business needs it to be; from accounting and project management, to a fully-integrated enterprise resource planning software.
Business management software will organize all of your information in an easy to find manner. This means less time spent searching for the correct information. Automation capabilities will also reduce whatever manual efforts are needed in order to create needed documents, print reports, and overall manage your business. This can also reduce mistakes and errors due to human error.
An indirect benefit of getting your work done faster is saving money. More automation and less mistakes means you don’t have to pay an employee to handle this work manually. You can also avoid outsourcing tasks to a 3rd party by bringing the functionality in-house.
Some businesses can avoid hiring an employee altogether, which saves thousands each year. For already-employed staff members spending a lot of time managing the business through manual processes, their time will now be better spent working on projects and other revenue-driving activities.
There is also the benefit of reduced IT costs. Using multiple software products to cover specific needs throughout your organization can increase the strain on your IT resources. When you consolidate multiple solutions into one integrated option, you can save on ongoing software costs.
Business management software lets owners and managers stay on top of employees of tracking the status of projects. Tasks assigned to employees via a project management module can be monitored to see how long employees are taking to handle time-sensitive tasks. Employees that are able to complete work faster can be assigned to more critical tasks, which can give a peace of mind that work will be completed on time.
Having a centralized place to monitor your projects ensures that management personnel can log in and review the status of projects. This eliminates the need to manually track down an employee and speak with them in person for a status update.
The price of business management software ranges from $4 to $99/month/user for a subscription-based pricing model. This is most commonly found in cloud-based or web-based business management tools, which are advertised as easy to implement with little to no upfront fees. On-premise solutions will cost as little as $995 one-time to $4,500/one-time/user.
The biggest determination of the cost of business management software will be the types of features needed and the number of desired users. If your business requires additional services, such as migrating your legacy data into the new software, or needs continued ongoing support, you may be looking at additional upfront or recurring costs.
The top business management software for your business will depend on your industry, the functionality desired, the number of users, and your preferred deployment (web-based or locally installed). These are some of the most talked about business management software products on the market:
Zoho is cloud software that acts as a complete business suite for your needs, whatever they may be. Zoho is one of the most versatile software options on the market, as it provides an app-based approach to filling your needs. You can start with their “books” app to manage your accounting and later add on their CRM app for customer management. Need inventory? You can add-on the inventory app to manage stock levels at any time.
If you’re confused about what apps you’ll need to make your perfect business management software, Zoho does offer pre-packaged sets of apps, such as “CRM Plus” for a strong sales and marketing approach, or “Finance Plus” to cover all your accounting needs.
Pricing: Zoho will vary in price depending on the applications needed. Their CRM starts at $12/month, while their Books package starts at $9/month.
Odoo is an open source ERP and CRM solution. The software is completely free to use starting off. So why is it featured in our list of “best” business management software instead of “free”? While it does start as a free solution (one app for free for unlimited users if hosted online), you’ll find yourself paying for increased access and applications needed to run your business. Nonetheless,given its scalability, it’s still a very affordable solution and is one of the most scalable solutions out there.
Similar to Zoho, the software will let you add on an app whenever you need it, and integrating the app into your current workflow is easy and requires no advanced implementation.
Pricing: Some apps, such as the invoicing app, start at only $12/month. More complex apps such as CRM and Accounting will run you $24/month.
Developed by Microsoft, Dynamics 365 Business Central is their attempt at capturing both the small business and larger business market looking for a complete business management software. The software promises to help manage financials, automate your supply chain, improve customer service, keep projects on time, and optimize your operations.
Microsoft’s strong suit with Dynamics 365 is the ability to provide prebuilt solutions to meet your needs, while also offering 3rd party applications on AppSource. In that sense, Dynamics 365 Business Central acts as it’s own operating system that lets 3rd party developers create add-ons to meet very unique and narrow customer needs. This lets the solution be versatile in the industries and applications it can cover, outside of generic business tools such as CRM and accounting.
Pricing: Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials starts at $70/user/month.
For those not ready to make an investment into business management software, there are a number of free tools available. These products help get your foot in the door with basic features. Keep in mind that while many of these solutions start free, they are usually limited versions of larger paid options. Some may also offer their full product free, but only for a limited time.
Bitrix24 calls itself a “collaboration platform”, providing any tools you might need to get your business operating to it’s fullest potential. Bitrix24 can potentially provide you full CRM, marketing automation, project management, and even a website for your business. Used correctly, Bitrix24 can be the missing tool to store your data and manage your customers.
While the base package of Bitrix24 is free, it will only provide you with limited access to all of its functionalities. Because of this, the free version is only advised to be used for business just starting out. Once you grow in size and need a decent amount of users (around 5-6) and have a larger database of prospects and clients, you’ll want to look at their paid options.
Bitrix24 is free to use. Paid versions start at $69/month.
Knack is a free business management software from Theoretical Inc. The solution’s biggest draw is the level of automation it can provide such as issuing invoices, generating statements, and reports. The solution has its roots in CRM and grew to also provide accounting, project management, and team collaboration as equally strong features.
While Knack is completely free to use, the most desirable feature (the automation) is only included in the “Pro” version. However, lucky for most, Knack Pro is incredibly affordable, meaning once you hit the ground running with the free version, you can decide if automating certain tasks is worth the price they charge. It’s a great way to demo a program.
Knack is completely free to use and has an unlimited capacity for storing data on prospects and quotes. Knack Pro starts at $3.95/user/month.