August 8, 2023
min read
Last updated:
August 23, 2023

Ultimate guide to small business project management software

August 8, 2023
min read
Last updated:
August 23, 2023

Ultimate guide to small business project management software

The power of project management software for small businesses 

Becoming a pro at efficient project management is the secret recipe for success for small companies. To beat the competition and make sure your projects are on time, small businesses deserve a top-notch project management software. It should not only makes life easier, but also helps teams work together and get more stuff done. 

Why small businesses need project management software 

Why settle for average when you can have project management software that's a total game-changer? For small businesses, it's the ultimate tool to plan, do, and keep an eye on projects. The benefits can make your business soar:  

  • Streamlined operations 

Small businesses are like magicians, making the most of limited resources. Project management software acts as their trusty assistant, centralising all project-related tasks, documents, and communications all in one platform. 

  • Improved collaboration 

With project management software, it's like having a superpower of real-time communication and collaboration. Shared calendars, task assignments, and commenting systems make it a piece of cake to stay updated and work together. 

  • Enhanced productivity 

With effective task management, teams stay organised and focused on saving the day. Task prioritisation, deadline tracking, and time tracking help to optimise productivity and deliver projects with lightning speed. 

  • Better decision-making 

Project management software provides real-time insights into project progress, resource allocation, and budget tracking. Armed with data-driven decisions, small business owners can spot bottlenecks before they become issues and ensure their success. 

Must-have project management features for small businesses  

Project management ensures smooth operations, streamlined workflows, and successful project delivery. Even though small businesses may not have the complexity of larger organisations, they still need powerful project management solutions. Here's what to look for:  

Streamlined task management 

It’s common for a small business to juggle multiple tasks at the same time. That’s why it needs to be easy to create tasks and track their progress to ensure deadlines are met. From clear task assignments to progress tracking, effortlessly manage your workload and meet project milestones with the right software.  

Time tracking 

Time is of the essence! Time tracking features help small businesses in monitoring the time spent on each project and task. This provides valuable data for improving productivity and resource capacity planning.  

Advanced financial planning and reporting 

Budget is always important and staying on top of them for projects can be difficult. As a small business, each pound counts even more – money definitely matters! The ideal project management software has advanced project financial management features to help plan project finances effectively and monitor them.  

Reporting and analytics 

Insights into project performance are key for informed decision-making. Robust reporting and analytics features to track project progress help to identify bottlenecks and optimise workflows.  

It also helps to have simple dashboards the show you where your projects are at easily. You don’t want to wade through tons of data to find out your project is in the red! RAG status impact reporting is handy when it comes to understanding where your project is at quickly.   

Project templates 

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Pre-defined project templates can save time for small businesses. They serve as a starting point for common project types, streamlining project setup and project planning.  

Enhanced collaboration 

Effective collaboration is vital for small teams. The chosen project management software should provide communication tools, file-sharing capabilities, and real-time updates. This all promotes seamless collaboration among team members and stakeholders. 

Integration with existing tools 

Small businesses may already utilise various tools for communication, document management, and other purposes. The selected project management software should seamlessly integrate with these existing tools to avoid doubling efforts. 

What else should the software provide? 

Aside from ensuring the features you need are actually met, there’s also a few other factors which are important. These are just as important as the features because they ensure the software is used to the best of its ability. 

User-friendly interface 

With limited resource challenges, small businesses need software that’s simple to use and empowers team members to quickly adapt. There’s nothing worse than an investment that hasn’t been adopted – especially for a small business! 


As small businesses aim for growth, their project management needs evolve. A scalable solution adjusts as a small business meets their ambitious goals and has future growth, leading to changing project requirements. 


Financial constraints are common for small businesses and any software needs to offer affordable pricing. A solution that doesn’t comprise on essential features but aligns with the business's financial capabilities is a must. 

Reliable customer support 

The robots may be taking over, but you don’t want to be stuck talking to one. Dependable customer support is key should a small business encounter technical issues or have questions about software functionality.  

5 steps to choose the software for a small business 

With so many options on the market, how do project managers know they’re choosing the right one? Don’t be dazzled by glitzy marketing, use the steps below to make sure you get the best bang for your buck.  

  1. Assess your needs 

Identify the specific project management requirements of your small business. Considering factors such as team size, project complexity, collaboration needs, and budget constraints. 

  1. Research and compare options 

Conduct research on project management software suitable for small businesses, comparing features, pricing plans, scalability, customer reviews, and customer support. 

  1. Request demos and trials 

Request demos and free trials from shortlisted software providers to gain hands-on experience with each platform. Evaluate user-friendliness, customisation options, and how well the software aligns with your team's workflow. 

  1. Involve your team 

Include key stakeholders, team members, and other decision-makers in the evaluation process. Gather their feedback and insights to ensure the selected software meets everyone's needs and preferences. 

  1. Consider integration capabilities 

Check the software's ability to integrate with existing tools your small business uses. For example, communication apps or document management systems, to ensure a seamless workflow and avoid unneeded processes. 

5 Top small business project management software 

Discover top 5 project management software solutions designed specifically for the unique needs of small businesses. These software options are great for small businesses with limited resources and diverse project requirements. But remember to consider if they offer user-friendly interfaces, scalability, and at the right cost for your business.  

Let's explore the features, benefits, and suitability of these leading project management solutions for small businesses. 

Fluid: Empowering small business success 

Fluid: Empower your small business success with Fluid, a comprehensive and user-friendly project management software. 

Fluid PPM software project dashboard example
Fluid project management software dashboard example


  • User-friendly interface 

Fluid offers a simple and intuitive user interface. It requires minimal training, making it ideal for small businesses with limited resources and no dedicated project managers. 

  • Scalability & cost-effective 

Fluid's flexible platform allows small businesses to scale their project management needs as they grow. Accommodating changing project requirements without the need for frequent software changes.  

  • Cost-effectiveness 

Fluid offers affordable pricing plans that align with small businesses' budget constraints. As an all-in-one platform, small businesses can save money by only needing one supplier for a multitude of features. 

  • Wide ranging features 

Fluid provides easy task management, Kanban and sprint boards, a host of real-time data, advanced financials, and file-sharing capabilities. These promote seamless collaboration among team members, clients, and stakeholders. 

Suitability for Small Businesses: 

Fluid is designed with small businesses in mind, providing a user-friendly interface, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Its collaboration features enable effective communication and seamless teamwork, making it an ideal choice for small teams without dedicated project managers. 


Simplify task management and collaboration with Trello's intuitive Kanban-style boards and real-time updates. 

Trello software homepage
Trello software


  • Visual Task Management 

Trello's boards and cards system offers a visual and flexible way to manage tasks. This is ideal for small businesses seeking an easy-to-use platform. 

  • Collaboration 

Trello allows team members to collaborate in real-time, share updates, and attach files, enhancing communication and teamwork. 

  • Integrations 

Trello seamlessly integrates with various other tools, enabling small businesses to leverage their existing applications and streamline workflows. 


  • Limited advanced features 

Trello's simplicity might lack some advanced features required for more complex projects. 

Suitability for Small Businesses: 

Trello's visual boards and user-friendly interface make it an excellent option for small businesses seeking a straightforward project management solution. It is particularly suitable for small teams that prefer a visual approach to task management and value simplicity. 


Streamline your small business projects with Asana's powerful features for task tracking, team communication, and project planning. 

Asana software homepage
Asana software


  • Collaboration and communication 

Asana offers robust collaboration features, including task assignment, comments, and file attachments, fostering effective team communication. 

  • Customisable project templates 

Asana provides pre-defined templates that save time for small businesses. They offer a starting point for common project types and streamlining project setup. 

  • Intuitive task management 

Asana's task management tools are user-friendly and allow small businesses to easily assign, prioritise, and track tasks. 


  • Complex setup 

While Asana offers customisation options, the initial setup process might be more involved compared to other simpler solutions. 

Suitability for Small Businesses: 

Asana's flexibility, customisable project templates, and collaboration tools make it well-suited for small businesses seeking a versatile project management solution. It is a great choice for small teams that require a balance between simplicity and advanced features.  


Boost productivity and efficiency in your small business with Wrike's flexible workflow management and integrations. 

Wrike software homepage
Wrike software


  • Scalability 

Wrike's flexible platform can grow with small businesses, accommodating their evolving project management needs. 

  • Time tracking 

Wrike's time tracking feature help small businesses monitor the time spent on each project and task. It aids in resource management and productivity improvement. 

  • Budget management 

Wrike allows small businesses to track project budgets and expenses, providing better financial control. 


  • Learning curve 

Some users might find Wrike's interface initially challenging to navigate due to its wide range of features.  

Suitability for Small Businesses: 

Wrike's scalability and comprehensive features, such as time tracking and budget management, make it a valuable asset for growing small businesses. Its diverse set of tools cater to various project management needs, making it suitable for teams with different levels of expertise. 


Stay organised and on top of projects with Basecamp's user-friendly interface, hill charts, and central task routing for small teams. 

Basecamp software homepage
Basecamp software


  • Simple interface 

Basecamp's straightforward interface makes it easy for small business teams to get started quickly without extensive training. 

  • Communication 

Basecamp's messaging and file-sharing features facilitate efficient communication among team members and clients. 

  • Collaboration 

Basecamp provides an organised space for discussions, to-dos, and files, promoting seamless collaboration. 


  • Limited advanced features 

Basecamp's simplicity might not be suitable for more complex projects that require advanced tools. 

Suitability for Small Businesses: 

Basecamp's focus on simplicity and seamless collaboration makes it a suitable choice for small businesses. It is particularly well-suited for small teams that prioritise effective communication and straightforward task management. 

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