It’s a joy to see your business grow. But, along with your business, the complexity of your business operations also grows. In which case, manual workflow systemsfor business process management (BPM) might create bottlenecks.
Inefficient BPM often results in diminished profits. You should streamline and automate your processes to achieve maximum operational efficiency. Workflow management tools will help you boost productivity by automating workflows.
But what are the best workflow management tools? How will you choose the right tool from a myriad of choices? Let’s look at a comprehensive list of workflow software for small businesses.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
Categories of Workflow Management Tools
First, let’s cover some workflow management basics. A workflow is a set of clearly defined steps to achieve a business goal.
Your business has many activities that you need to streamline and automate, such as:
- Project management
- Everyday processes
- Sales and marketing
- Customer support
Establishing a well-defined workflow for your processes has many benefits:
- Improved productivity
- Better visibility and accountability
- Better risk management
- Better employee and customer engagement
Let’s look at the different categories of workflow management tools that will help you optimize repetitive tasks.
Tools for Team Collaboration
Is your team distributed across the globe? They might be struggling to collaborate over email, calls, and messages, which tends to reduce productivity.
To enable effective team communication, you need to follow an efficient communication workflow. Many workflow management tools are available to facilitate efficient team collaboration.
Slack is a chat-based alternative for email threads. It’s a user-friendly collaboration tool to discuss, review and plan tasks in a single chat window.
Key Slack Features:
- Create unlimited chat threads (channels)
- Easy file sharing
- Basic workflow automation
- Easy integration with productivity apps
Best team collaboration tool for: Business teams with diverse geographies.
Pricing: Free (with limited features). Premium plans start at $6.67/month/user when billed annually.
Confluence is a collaboration tool that’s useful for document management and idea-sharing.
Key Confluence Features:
- Create WordPress like blog posts
- Attach files to the blog posts
- Review, ask questions and provide feedback
- Custom document templates
Best team collaboration tool for: Document and idea-sharing.
Pricing: Free (for 10 users with limited features). Premium plans start at $50/month for every 10 users.
Other Tools You Might Consider
- Fleep: Combines team collaboration with simple task management and issue tracking.
- Yammer: A Microsoft-powered tool that functions as social media for your team members.
Tools for Project Management
If everyone in your team has a clear picture of their tasks and roles, it will boost productivity. However, complex workflows might still cause bottlenecks in your projects.
Project management tools efficiently solve that issue. They will help you design and automate custom workflows.
Fortune Business Insights predicts that there will be a boom in the project management software market by 2028. Here’s a list of no-code business applications which you can quickly adapt to your business needs.
Trello is a simple project management tool that’s especially useful for small businesses. It provides a card-based notice board functionality to monitor your tasks.
Key Trello Features:
- Creation, assignment, and tracking of tasks
- Simple Kanban board facilitating drag-and-drop task management
- Intuitive dashboards for agile projects
- Ease of use
Best project management tool for: Small teams with relatively simple projects.
Pricing: Free (with limited features). Premium plans start at $10/month/user when billed annually.
ProofHub is a project management system with real-time document review functionality. It’s beneficial for event managers and creative agencies.
Key ProofHub Features:
- Collaborative document proofing
- Real-time review and editing of designs and article drafts
- Automated task assignment and monitoring
- Automated document approval process
- Easy integration with productivity apps
Best project management tool for: Document and design reviews.
Pricing: Plans start at $45/month when billed annually.
Other Project Management Tools Worth Exploring
- Wrike: Suitable for complex projects with a hierarchy of tasks. It has excellent time tracking and workload management systems.
- Backlog: A project management tool for product and software developers. It provides bug and issue tracking features along with code collaboration.
Tools for Business Process Management
The efficiency of your business processes often determines your success. You need to streamline and automate repetitive tasks to boost productivity.
When the number of customers, employees, and vendors grows, BPM becomes challenging.
Think about it.
If you have several ongoing processes like hiring, employee onboarding, payroll management, invoicing, and time tracking, managing them through emails and spreadsheets will be chaotic.
For that reason, we will look at some of the workflow management tools that can help you automate your business processes. They will help you define, finetune and run your operations effectively.
Frevvo is a process management software specially designed for small businesses. It helps small companies create and customize efficient workflows.
Key Frevvo Features:
- Streamline diverse business processes — finance, recruiting, and human resources
- Design and automate mobile-friendly forms
Best process management tool for: Small businesses
Pricing: Plans start at $375/month when billed annually.
Hubstaff is a process management tool for businesses that employ freelancers and remote teams. The tool has many features for time management.
Key Hubstaff Features:
- Time and activity tracking
- Automatic invoicing based on timesheets
- GPS based tracking facility
- Integration with payment gateways to automate pay-outs
- Basic task and budget assignment
Best process management tool for: Freelancers and remote teams
Pricing: Free (with limited features). Plans start at $5.83/month/user when billed annually.
Other Process Management Workflow Solutions To Consider
- Pipefy: Helps to create automated forms for vendor and customer requests. It also provides automated emails and collaboration over chat.
- Harvest: A tool with diverse time tracking and invoicing features. Best for businesses that employ freelancers.
Tools for Sales and Customer Support Workflows
Automated customer support and sales processes will make your customer’s buying journey smooth.
You might encounter several sales and customer relationship management (CRM) workflows in your business, such as:
- Lead management
- Quote generation
- Order fulfillment
- Customer support
- Marketing campaigns
- Issue tracking
Sales and support workflow management tools will ensure customer satisfaction.
Key Creatio Features:
- Create a 360-degree customer profile
- Automated customer support over email and chat
- Service tools to follow up customer issues
- Email marketing and lead management support
Best customer management tool for: Businesses that need constant customer interaction.
Pricing: Free (with limited features). Premium plans start at $720/year/user.
WorkflowMax is a workflow management tool with an emphasis on lead management along with sales and accounting.
Key WorkflowMax Features:
- Quoting, scheduling, and invoicing
- Manage cash flow and capacity planning
- Accurate and professional-looking quotes
- Process automation via application programming interface (API)
Best customer management tool for: Businesses that have a large number of leads.
Pricing: Plans start at $20/month/user.
Other Tools for Sales and Customer Support Workflows
Drag: It’s a Gmail plug-in that facilitates better collaboration on business emails. It automates customer support workflow by converting emails to tasks. It helps you manage your email marketing campaigns as well.
All-in-One Workflow Management Software
Now that we have seen workflow management tools for specific business use let’s explore tools that integrate all these features.
nTask is an integrated solution to manage all your projects and business processes.
Key nTask Features:
- Create multiple projects and assign tasks
- Employee collaboration
- Time tracking and timesheets
- Project visualization with Gantt charts and Kanban boards.
Best all-in-one workflow management system for: Businesses that have multiple projects and complex tasks.
Pricing: Free (with limited features). Premium plans start at $2.99/user/month when billed annually.
monday.com is one of the most widely used workflow management tools. It helps to streamline and automate the project and process workflows of your small business.
Key monday.com Features:
- Spreadsheet-like interface to monitor tasks
- Manage business stakeholders like employees, vendors and customers
- Highly customizable project and task features
- Drag-and-drop task management dashboards
- Tools to support human resources, management and development
- Automated workflow creation
Best all-in-one workflow management system for: Businesses with complex projects and diverse teams.
Pricing: Free (with limited features). Premium plans start at $8/month/user when billed annually.
Key Zapier Features:
- Facilitates WordPress integration with productivity apps
- Automate blog posting from Google Docs draft
- Post WordPress blogs across social media
- Automate tasks related to e-commerce stores based on WordPress
Best all-in-one workflow management system for: WordPress-based websites and small businesses.
Pricing: Free (with limited features). Premium plans start at $19.99/month when billed annually.
Small Business Workflow Software
In addition, check out these alternative workflow management tools for small businesses.
Final Thoughts: Best Workflow Management Tools for Your Small Business
You should migrate from manual business processes to automated workflows as your business grows. There are a significant number of workflow automation software available on the market to help you manage workflows. These will help you:
- Enhance team collaboration
- Streamline business process
- Manage projects and tasks
- Enhance sales
- Support customers
Although the diversity of workflow management tools can be overwhelming, you can select the best workflow software through research and trials.
If you are looking for more ideas to excel in your small business, contact Bluehost.