10 Best Project Management Tools for Small Business

For a small business, nothing is more important than making sure everyone on the team is on the right track.

For anyone who has ever managed a project, they are familiar with deadlines, limited resources, critical stakeholders and demanding clients. To deliver projects within the deadline and budget, teams need to pen down information, plan deadlines, and share documents and individual members of the team need to be in continuous communication with one another.

So the challenge is: how do we go about organizing people and resources – and preparing for unforeseen challenges?

The solution is to use project management software. But how do you choose the one that’s most relevant to your business?

In this article, we have compiled a list of 10 great project management tools for small businesses that should help you and your team work much more efficiently.

Best Project Management Tools for Small Business

TeamWave

Best for small to medium-sized businesses 

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TeamWave is designed to be more than just a project management tool. It is an all-in-one, integrated platform for CRM, Project Management & HRMS. The platform enables users to manage tasks and projects, track time, organize contacts, and generate reports for their business.

TeamWave is extremely easy to use and does not require extensive training or tutorials. Collaborate with your team, clients and even vendors. The platform also integrates with a wide range of applications such as Google Suite, Quickbooks, Dropbox, Slack, and MailChimp.

Pricing: Starts at $39 /Month. For UNLIMITED Users.

PROS

  • Affordable monthly costs
  • Easy to use
  • Well-designed UI
  • Customizable feature set
  • CRM
  • Numerous Integrations

CONS

  • Not suitable for large businesses

Asana

Best for managing day to day business

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Asana is a web and mobile-based project management platform that specializes in handling the workflow of your team by allowing team members to create tasks, set deadlines and track the progress of each task.

In Asana each task can have subtasks, followers, attachments, discussions, and tags. This platform is great if you already have a business with a growing team.  With depth analytics and tracking options, you can quickly see how your team is progressing and how your budget is being spent before the completion of a project.

Pricing: Starts at $9.99/user/month

PROS

  • Affordable monthly costs
  • Easy to use
  • Well-designed UI
  • Customizable feature set
  • CRM
  • Numerous Integrations

CONS

  • Not suitable for large businesses

LiquidPlanner

Best for rich tracking and resource management

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LiquidPlanner is a project management software with a distinctive scheduling methodology that helps you see what is happening in real-time. It is a comprehensive project management tool for individuals, teams, and businesses that need to take control of their important workflows and leave nothing to chance.

LiquidPlanner offers tools for projects to remain on time and on budget with its time and expense tracking features.  It also provides in-depth analytics and plans start at $45 per month depending on the number of users.

Pricing: Starts at $45 per user per month

PROS

  • Excellent customer service
  • Rich Tracking
  • Good Resource management
  • Good public reputation

CONS

  • Steep learning curve
  • Expensive
  • Poor mobile apps

Teamwork Projects Review

Best for managing both your customers and your team

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Teamwork Projects is a cloud-based project management tool that helps you to plan and manage your company’s growth and bring clarity to the chaotic pipeline.  With a simple and intuitive design, optional kanban view,  integrated calendar, TeamWork is truly designed to be the everyman’s project management software.

One of the main features of Teamwork Projects is its central file management system where users can access all of their files, attachments, and comments from a central location.

Pricing: Starts at $69. Unlimited users.

PROS

  • Reasonable monthly cost
  • Easy to use
  • Varied integrations

CONS

  • Buggy
  • Inconsistent Customer Support

Zoho Projects

Best for communication

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With rich communication features and excellent time-management tools, Zoho Projects helps you in planning projects, collaborating with employees and clients, keeping track of time, managing documents, and generating charts and reports.

In Zoho Projects, teams work on a central platform where they can keep track of progress, discuss ideas, communicate easily and stay updated.  It also has smart, social-oriented features like forums, design wikis, and built-in instant messaging that help to nurture open lines of communication.

Pricing: Starts at $45 per 15 users per month

PROS

  • Communication Features
  • Time-management tools
  • Straightforward interface
  • Reasonable monthly cost

CONS

  • Not ideal for large teams.
  • Inconsistent Customer Support
  • Poor support materials

Basecamp 3

Best for small teams

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Basecamp has always been one of the best project management tools for small businesses. It offers various features such as —  message boards, to-do lists, documents, use file storage,  schedules, communication in group chats, direct messages, and more.

One of the main USP of Basecamp is the client portal feature which allows you to forward clients to-do’s, messages, emails, and more in one single area. It also lets you send email links to people who are not on Basecamp.

Pricing: Free plans. Paid: $99 per month/unlimited users.

PROS

  • Powerful search and useful filters
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Reasonable monthly cost
  • Risk and issue tracking

CONS

  • Limited feature set
  • No integrations

Wrike

Best for integrating with other apps

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Wrike is an online project organizer software that provides customizable dashboards in which you can adjust to your different projects and be flexible with your software development. With Wrike’s timeline feature, you can just drag and drop the task to set dependency and visualize the workflow.

Wrike created a digital space for status updates on projects, resource allocation, and group communication. It is a robust and versatile tool designed to improve the working speed of a team or a group. It also integrates with a wide range of applications such as Google Drive, SurveyMonkey, Slack, and HubSpot.

Pricing: Paid plans start at $9.99 per user per month.

PROS

  • Easy and quick setup
  • Great feature set
  • Varied integrations

CONS

  • Poorly-designed user interface
  • Inconsistent Customer Support
  • Difficult to use

Trello

Best for very small businesses

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If money is an issue for you, consider Trello, a free online tool that can set up a project with Kanban cards representing different tasks and different boards for different progress of the project.

Trello offers the basic collaboration tools of a project management platform. However, the lack of key advanced features such as reporting tools or billing and time tracking features are few reasons that users are seeking Trello alternative platform.

Pricing: Paid plans start at $9.99 per user per month  (when paid annually)

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Kanban boards
  • No learning curve

CONS

  • Rudimentary feature set
  • Not suitable for large businesses

Proworkflow

Best for  enterprise-level work management

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ProWorkflow is a web-based project management software that is intuitive, versatile and extremely easy to use. It has comprehensive project management features with time tracking and hierarchical control. It enables users to manage tasks and projects, track time, organize contacts, and generate reports for their business.

One of the key characteristics of ProWorkflow is its ability to promote better communication and boost efficiency in day-to-day operations. It also offers an excellent built-in timer which is reinforced by similarly well-conceived timer and desktop widgets.

Pricing: Paid plans start at $10 per user per month  (when paid annually)

PROS

  • Excellent customer service
  • Well-designed user interface
  • Easy to use
  • Open API.

CONS

  •  It’s not suited for companies aiming for a flat org chart.
  • Limited integrations

Clarizen

Best for comprehensive project management with social engagement

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Clarizen is the first tool that merged project management with social engagement. It is a comprehensive work management and project management platform that centralize the tasks, communication, and scheduling that happen around project work.

Aside from creating stories, planning sprints, tracking issues, and shipping up-to-date software, teams can also generate reports, and create their own workflows.  Though Clarizen is easy to start using, it’s a bit expensive and less slick than other options.

Pricing: Paid plans start at $60 per user per month  (when paid annually)

PROS

  • Automated processes and workflows
  • Budget tracking and expense management
  • Includes chat app
  • Open APIs.

CONS

  • Not particularly fast, slick, or responsive.
  • Very expensive
  • Steep learning curve
  • It’s not suited for small businesses.

Basecamp vs Asana

Project management software is a must for any process-driven company and two of the most popular tools in this space are Asana and Basecamp: they help your team get organized with task groups, progress tracking, and facilitate collaboration. While both Asana & Basecamp offer an exceptional user-experience, they have not been built with an holistic approach to help small businesses.

TeamWave is a complete platform to manage &  streamline everything (including projects) in your company: Project Management, CRM & HR. Moreover, TeamWave is at par with other popular tools in terms of usability and features.

Here is a detailed comparison of Asana, Basecamp & TeamWave:

1. Features

All the apps provide similar features – task management, reporting, document management and messaging. However, there is big difference in implementation and especially user interface of Asana when compared with TeamWave and Basecamp.

Client/Vandor Collaboration

Working with third party users is one of the crucial aspects of project management. In case of Basecamp and Asana, you can add client users by inviting client to your projects (requires multiple steps) which means you are required to mange the users as well. For example, in case your client’s employee leaves their organization, you’d have to delete the user.

TeamWave has a specialised workflow for vendor/client collaboration. Just invite just one person from your client’s team and they will be able to independently add/manage their entire team, from an independant TeamWave account with all the features. There is no need for you to manage their employees!

Time Tracking

TeamWave offers time logging as an out-of-the-box feature. You can log time spent on each task and compare that with the estimated time. Download the time log report with a few clicks (individual projects/all the projects) and upload it to any invoicing app.

But, in case of Asana and Basecamp you need to depend on third-party integrations with apps such as Everhour and Hubstaff to achieve the same functionality.

Reporting

Both Basecamp and Asana are limited in terms of reporting. Asana gives you one type of project progress chart and  Basecamp also follows the suite requiring multiple steps for visualizing and generating reports. For example, if you want to see the work load of a team member you’ll have to click on ‘Reports’, search the team member and click on ‘Run a new report’.

Note that both of them don’t have holistic view of all the team members, projects and time logs.

TeamWave’s project reporting gives you quick insights by allowing you to access pre-built reports and create custom reports as well. Here are some of the most important questions you can answer instantly:

– Which project is in a critical state with respect to overdue and total tasks?

– Which project is contributing the most to the total number of overdue tasks across all the projects?

– Which project has been continuously contributing more to the billable time log?

– Which user has maximum work load? Who has the most number of overdue tasks?

– Whether the time logged by team members has been consistently increasing or decreasing?

You can also create custom reports related to time log by selecting billable/non-billable entry, organisations, users and projects.

Third-party integration

Both Asana and Basecamp offer sizeable number of integrations ranging from reporting and time tracking to file sharing and communication. However, the primary reason behind these integrations is the lack of comprehensive functionalities that an all-in-one app for small business should provide out-of-the-box.

With TeamWave, although you have the native and tight integration of other essential apps like HR and CRM with Project Management, there are other popular third-party integrations such as Slack, Google Drive, Zapier, MailChimp. Here are some of the benefits of the application suite:

  • Sales and Projects: Important files can be copied from deals to projects (example: requirement document) with a few clicks. Comes in handy when you commence project delivery after winning a deal.
  • Project and HR: Project admin can keep track of the performance of the employees along with appreciation received from clients and log them as private notes in the HR app. During appraisal these notes can be reviewed for better decision making.

Also, the well-documented API allows you to build seamless integration with your business process.

Usability

While Basecamp has been generally known for its simplicity, Asana users traditionally experience steep learning curve. In fact, sometimes with the growth of the company users find Basecamp over simplified for a project management app. With TeamWave, the balance between usability and comprehensiveness of workflow/feature has been carefully crafted. It essentially provides the ease of use of Basecamp while delivering the power-packed features of Asana — the best of both worlds. 

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TeamWave’s Project Management App

2. Pricing

Basecamp comes with one package ($99 per month) and a free trial for 30 days. Asana’s ’Premium’ package starts at $9.99 per user per month and offers unlimited dashboards, advanced search, custom fields, private team and project. They also have ‘Enterprise’ package which provides advanced admin controls, customized UI to match your branding and same day customer support.

TeamWave has straightforward pricing – $3 per user per month (paid annually). Moreover all the plans get all the features and apps – absolutely no restriction. Coming to the crux of the topic, let’s see how pricing differs for a company of 20 people across the three apps.

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3. Customer Support

Both Asana and Basecamp provide support via email and ticketing system. In case of Asana, same day response is only available with enterprise tier. But, at TeamWave, we’re just a chat window away—everyone gets priority support. Send us a message whenever you’re in need of some clarification or facing difficulty. You can also log support ticket, browse our knowledge base and watch video tutorials.

Over to you

To sum up, TeamWave offers a unified platform of three essential apps (Projects, CRM and HR) required to run a small business with right balance of ease of use and robustness of features at much less price. Evaluate the options to the fullest potential before finalizing the app that will  drive productivity and bottom line of your business.


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Basecamp Alternative

Basecamp was released in 2004 as a simple project management software for small businesses and freelancers . Great usability and collaborative approach differentiated it from the existing complex project management apps. While Basecamp is a good project management tool, TeamWave is a complete platform to manage &  streamline everything (including projects) in your company: Project Management, CRM & HR.

Why TeamWave is the leading Basecamp alternative.

1. Application Suite

TeamWave is a unified platform for collaboration, sales and HR management. This means you’d get an application suite that integrates three apps. Given below are some of the benefits:

Sales and Projects: Important files can be copied from deals to projects (example: requirement document) with a few clicks. Comes in handy when you commence project delivery after winning a deal.

Projects and HR: Project admin can keep track of the performance of the employees along with appreciation received from clients and log them as private notes in the HR app. During appraisal these notes can be reviewed for better decision making.

Sales and HR: In the HR app, if you add someone as the reporting manager of a sales rep, then the reporting manager will be automatically added as a deal follower whenever the sales rep adds a new deal. This fosters collaboration and helps in progress tracking.

Here is a sneak peek of our upcoming feature:

We’ll be providing tighter integration of CRM and project management app to help you directly convert won deals into project and smoothly transfer all the required files.

Basecamp doesn’t offer CRM and HR management app. You’ll have to use Zapier to set up some form of integration and it’ll require additional subscription fee along with time.

2. Pricing

Basecamp’s pricing is $79/month if you need client collaboration.

TeamWave has a straightforward pricing – $3/user per month. For annual subscription, the pricing is $2/user per month. Moreover all the plans get all the features (including collaboration) and apps – absolutely no restriction.

Here is the cost comparison for a company with 10 employees:

teamwave-vs-basecamp-pricing

3. Time Log

Basecamp 3 doesn’t have time log feature and it can be done by integrating with third party apps (HubStaff, Everhour, etc.). But, you’ll end up paying additional subscription fee. Here is what a customer says:

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Customer Quote

TeamWave offers time logging as an out-of-the-box feature. You can log time spent on each task and compare that with the estimated time. Download the time log report with a few clicks (individual projects/all the projects) and upload it to the invoicing app.

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TeamWave’s Time Log Download Page

4. Reporting

Basecamp’s reporting features are limited and you need to go through multiple steps to find out relevant information. For example, if you want to see the work load of a team member you’ll have to click on ‘Reports’, search the team member and click on ‘Run a new report’.

Note that there is no way to have a holistic view of all the team members, projects and time logs.

TeamWave’s project reporting gives you quick insights by allowing you to access pre-built reports and create custom reports as well. Here are some of the most important questions you can answer:

– Which project is in a critical state with respect to overdue and total tasks?

– Which project is contributing the most to the total number of overdue tasks across all the projects?

– Which project has been continuously contributing more to the billable time log?

– Which user has maximum work load? Who has the most number of overdue tasks?

– Whether the time logged by team members has been consistently increasing or decreasing?

You can also create custom reports related to time log by selecting billable/non-billable entry, organisations, users and projects.

Check out the video to learn more:

5. Familiarity

Basecamp’s key features are: task management, discussion, file sharing, milestone tracking, event scheduling and client/vendor collaboration. TeamWave offers you all these along with additional features like notes, time log, reports and tag management (tasks, files and projects). All the features are simple to use and time to get started with the project management app is about 5 minutes.

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TeamWave’s Project Management App

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