2021’s Best Project Management Software For SMB

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Part of a team, company, or venture that is undertaking a project? No matter how small or large, no small business wants to get caught in workflow purgatory. Every detail of a project needs to be clear and concise to get the best outcomes. Furthermore, there is a need for a solid plan B when things don’t hit the mark.

Enter project management software – the new wave of essentials in a successful small business.

What is Project Management Software?

Project management software does what it says on the tin – it ‘manages the project.’ While many of these platforms boast automation of menial tasks like scheduling – there is a need for human involvement! We’d love applications to do all the work for us – but project management software exists to streamline organizational workflow.

The software’s aim every time is the completion of a successful company project. It keeps everyone on the same page. Teams get assigned tasks, update their status, and allocate resources. No entities demand rewarding project management software more than small businesses, who need the helping hand.

What is the Best Project Management Software for Small Business?

The best project management tool is like project managers themselves. How effective are they at accomplishing tasks within budget, on time, and with the best team outcomes? Good platforms tend to organize workflow well, are very accessible to teams, visually intuitive, and manage tasks proficiently. Communication channels, notifications, and degrees of flexibility are also pluses.

In parallel with small business ideals – these are the project management software I consider the most competitive.

  1. Trello
  2. Asana
  3. Monday.com
  4. Hive
  5. Wrike
  6. LiquidPlanner
  7. Smartsheet
  8. Workzone
  9. Basecamp
  10. Zoho Projects

10 of the Best Project Management Software for Small Business

I have chosen 10 of the best project management software for small businesses based on functionality, intuitiveness, viability, and price. Find a more detailed analysis of the picked platforms below:

Let’s start with one of the most popular project management software. Not only do small businesses enjoy its easy-to-use, card-based interface – but large corporations use it to streamline their workflow, too! The features integrate almost seamlessly to create a rewarding application in sharing and completing tasks.

Trello is a cloud-based task management platform and very effective for remote teams. Web and mobile apps are available to make the project management software accessible anywhere – targeting project completion as hassle-free as possible. Everything about Trello looks and feels sublime for all involved in an assignment.

Highlights:

  • Task management is a simple process
  • Card-based interface, very intuitive for all users to keep on top of the project
  • Many media uploads supported
  • Scaled to handle any sized project

There are two arguably beautiful things about Trello to make it one of the best project management software for small businesses. First, its visual approach makes it highly adaptable for any sized teams and projects. Second, it’s free project management software – our favorite price. The downside is the file uploads limit without purchasing a business tier – but the subscription fee is very affordable at $9.99 a month!

If there is any project management tool that helped whip tasks to shape, it would be Asana. The platform serves as a bit of a taskmaster with its tracking functions. However, this is extremely helpful in getting things done! Asana is very clean and colorful to breathe some fresh air into task assignment and management – and makes sure everything goes to plan.

Small businesses tend to enjoy the task list, progress, milestones, and timeline features that ensure the project doesn’t go astray. It’s easy to navigate and get yourself immersed in the project details, no matter how technologically adept you may be. Asana centralizes every aspect of managing projects into a palatable interface with streamlined communication methods – highly desirable for a small team with a lot to do.

Highlights:

  • Create dedicated teams and assign tasks with a few clicks
  • Project dashboards for a glance at how things are going
  • Excellent tracking features to make sure the project stays in scope
  • Make task management as detailed as you need without cluttering the screen

Asana is undoubtedly a preferred choice for many small businesses. They have free project management software to get you started – but functionality is quite limited compared to the premium versions. The accommodating platform suits teams that dedicate to keeping projects within set parameters. It’s one of the best project management software for keeping workflow in the cloud – not heads!

I think Monday.com is the most appropriately named project management tool. Garfield may hate Mondays – but project teams can find a lot to love about the effectiveness of this small business tasktool. Honestly, you won’t get a resource management tool that makes workflow look so beautiful. The features are perhaps some of the best collaboration mechanics available, as well.

Apart from the clean and intuitive layouts – the assignment, reporting, and tracking features make task management a breeze. Teammates can easily communicate with each other about tasks. Integration with popular project platforms like Google Drive, Slack, and Dropbox keeps file exchanges and uploads lightning quick. There’s a project management app to keep on top of unlimited projects without being blinded by numbers.

Highlights:

  • Collaboration tool features scale to any sized team without overwhelming the tool
  • Highly customizable project views including Gantt chart and Kanban board
  • Integrates with many popular workflow and resource management applications
  • Clean visuals give breathing space to complex project planning

There are a couple of cons about Monday.com – mainly that you can’t create recurring tasks. The pricing plan seems to require a bit of advanced math as well. Besides that, it’s one of the best project management software for small businesses. Once you navigate the appropriate price point for your organization – you can get its value.

A project management tool name like Hive would surely be an ode to the efficient worker ants of the world, right? This application is fantastic in providing an all-in-one hub for resource management. It creates a home for everything you need to assign tasks, accomplish targets, and complete unlimited projects within the timeframes and expected criteria.

Hive has ‘smart’ analytics tools to present how effectively you are delivering on tasks. The customizable views allow the project manager to set the most significant sectors of the project progress at the forefront of the boards – where the project team can get a good understanding of what needs to be accomplished. The adaptability of this app is definitive in small business success.

Highlights:

  • Very flexible to the needs of any small business managing projects
  • Internal communication and collaboration to keep work in one place
  • Desktop and mobile project management app available for faster work
  • Facilitates thousands of app integrations

Small businesses might shudder at the $12 a month per user paid plan. Hive is a great project management tool for any organization, however. It understands that small businesses with a creative team can take on unique projects. The flexibility of the platform is very beneficial in laying out project tasks in a palatable fashion (Gantt chart and Kanban board view anyone?). The calendar functionality could be better – but can be overlooked for the sake of its adaptability.

What’s a Wrike? A writer taking a hike, perhaps? Jokes aside – that concept doesn’t seem to stray too far from the truth. The project management features are excellent for small businesses on the go with its versatile web and mobile app. Timelines, dashboards, and workflow are all highly configurable from wherever and whenever. It presents project planning features making it ideal when working with projects on tight deadlines.

Navigation is one of the most outstanding aspects of the platform. Users and teams can easily switch between messaging, dashboards, files, and tasks for the rapid accomplishment of their assignments. The ability to address tasks with a thoughtful and productive approach is something Wrike does very well. There are plenty of tutorials available as well – ensuring every team member is on board.

Highlights:

  • Model projects and tasks into understandable assignments and reports
  • Keep workflow steady with platform access from anywhere
  • Present consideration options for every objective without complicating the scope
  • Customizable to a wide variety of working styles

There’s one thing that’s slightly obnoxious about Wrike, and that is it is online software. For all its mobile prowess – if your internet connection is interrupted, you couldn’t use it. Besides that, its small business potential is nearly limitless. It’s well-priced at just under $10 per month per user, and the wealth of easy-to-use functionality helps teams hit their targets with no hassle.

LiquidPlanner may be a project management tool created around typical larger firm tasks. However, it certainly has potential for small businesses with big plans for the future. The tracking and assignment tools ensure that projects scale in the most rewarding fashion – keeping an eye on all those deadlines. There’s more to LiquidPlanner than the typical task management functionality.

All the team collaboration resources are present – sharing files, messaging, and allocating tasks. The standout features include financial allocations and hour tracking keeping tabs on project cost and output data like hours spent. LiquidPlanner delivers a magnificent insight into your project, with its smart engine consistently analyzing as it goes along.

Highlights:

  • ‘Smart’ scheduling arranging the priority of each task with minimum effort
  • Palette of task management tools for enterprise or ambitious small businesses
  • Financial integrations to manage costs as well as workflow
  • Good looking dashboards to overview project progress

What use would LiquidPlanner be for small businesses? Fortune 500 companies use it the most – but that doesn’t mean the tool isn’t for the little guy! The toolset is adaptable for small teams, and the management assets help in efficiently completing every task. Ambition is significant here – so if sustainable growth is on your mind – this might be the way to go. The only downside – LiquidPlanner is very expensive at $45 a month per user.

In a ‘best of’ software list – there always needs to be one for small businesses that thrive on breaking boundaries. Smartsheet fits the part when it comes to the best project management software for small businesses. This platform focuses on flexibility and customizability. It creates a workable environment for any task and assignment.

The interface is a very familiar spreadsheet style that formulates the project path to success. Any changes or amendments to projects are sent to users in real-time, adapting updated guidelines and criteria to completion as it goes. Being the spreadsheet-inspired app that it is – Smartsheet handles reports very well. You won’t get more comprehensive documentation for projects than this pm tool.

Highlights:

  • Familiar interface for users to get in tune with the project and task dependency
  • Very customizable for any working style or unique project requirements
  • Team collaboration tool with real-time updates in every significant detail
  • Excel export functionality

Not the cheapest one in the bunch at $14 a month per person. However, Smartsheet would serve small businesses very well as a grab-and-go style tool. Because of its similarity to Excel, teams can find it easy to adapt to the interface. The only thing it’s missing is decent color-coding capabilities for tasks!

Workzone sounds like a bit of an uninspired industrial productivity platform. That is not what it is at all – but its simple name speaks a description of its features. The software is different because it is more of an entry-level app for small businesses. Teams can quickly learn the ins and outs of this project management system.

Workzone is remarkably easy-to-use with features that balance functionality and intuitiveness. All the traditional project management tools such as team collaboration, task management, and resource allocation are there. Its features don’t extend beyond the essentials of a general project – but work very well. The support behind the project management app is also second-to-none.

Highlights:

  • General templates for the quick framework of projects
  • High-functioning notification system for team members
  • Clear-cut to-do lists for each project worker
  • Easy-to-analyze management dashboard spanning across multiple projects

The focus of Workzone is unashamedly its simplicity. The tool was developed around the concept of helping those needing a helping hand with taskcollaboration basics get an advantage. That’s why their project management features are ideally suited for small businesses, where knowledge, experience, and budget may be smaller than that of a large corporation.

For those who dislike the corporate jargon and the weighty working atmosphere – Basecamp has the solution. The software takes a more casual approach to the process – with an interface that looks more like a social media page than a spreadsheet. The Basecamp brand has decades of experience in project management software, so it’s not blase about increasing productivity.

Design meets efficiency in the software, intending to get teams immersed in the project. Unique functionality includes group chats, message boards, and card-based task assignments. It seems to keep the whole idea of project completion fun and rewarding. That makes Basecamp an incredibly well-thought-out project management tool for small businesses.

Highlights:

  • One of the best approaches to project immersion with unlimited users
  • Switch between dashboards for clients and team members for progress reports
  • Well-designed to be a visually appealing project manager
  • Casual yet professional methods of communication and collaboration

Startups and small businesses across the world are choosing Basecamp as their project management solution. The platform adapts to both the cost and culture of its workflow. A single fee will allow unlimited users onto the app. The casualness of design helps in making complex projects not seem like a drag.

Finally on the list, another simple-focused entry. I include this because I like when things are scoped to be widely usable by all team members. Zoho Projects is a platform that ticks all those boxes – planning, organizing, and managing under a refreshing interface.

Zoho Projects does everything you would need it to for streamlining projects of all sizes. It does just a bit more to make it widely acknowledged in the project management software sector. It integrates with apps like Dropbox, Slack, and Google – while also being an effective bug trackingtool. It is limited in features compared to other entries – but that’s what makes it beautiful in a general outlook.

Highlights:

  • Excellent file documents and task management features
  • Scaled-down software makes it very easy to align projects with
  • Aesthetically pleasing Zoho project dashboards such as Gantt chart and Kanban board
  • Expansion potential to get agency operations integrated into the platform

Zoho Projects is a great project management software for small businesses for a core reason – you can start small and grow as you need. The basic paid plan starts at a reasonable $5 per month for each user and more as you need to plug in more functionality and collaboration.

Choosing the Best Project Management Software for Your Small Business

Choosing the best project management solution for small businesses is like picking any organization asset – you choose the one most inclined with your working style. If you are a startup without as much task management experience – perhaps a more basic management tool will suit you. Maybe you’re planning to scale at a competitive speed? You’ll need something with a lot more functionality. Each project management solution listed here has something for everyone – most with unique features tailored to any requirements.

Conclusion

One thing guarantees success in a small business – effective project planning, task management, and collaboration. The modern age dictates that technology is essential going forward. A project management system is significant in guiding the ship. Any ambitions you have for your growing organization can be accomplished from free project management software through to task management software with a paid plan, so take the time and research the best one for you!

Scroll to Top