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Grow Your Business Technology

The 30 Tech Tools Small Businesses Rely on Most

The 30 Tech Tools Small Businesses Rely on Most
Credit: Violet Kaipa/Shutterstock

Small business owners use social media and cloud storage more than any other technology tool, new research finds.

The study from SurePayroll revealed that 94 percent of small businesses use at least one social media platform for their business, while 85 percent use a cloud storage provider.

Overall, the four technology tools that are most commonly used by small business owners deal with social media and cloud storage apps. Specifically, 44 percent of those surveyed use Facebook for business purposes, 36 percent use LinkedIn, 34 percent use Google Drive and 23 percent use Dropbox.

The research found that the least commonly used tools are those involving customer relationship management and social media management. Just 10 percent of those surveyed use social media management apps, with only 19 percent using a low cost CRM tool.

"Small businesses with only a few employees are typically not going to have a lot of resources for extensive technology systems," SurePayroll general manager Andy Roe said in a statement. "Fortunately, there are some really beneficial, low-cost tools available."

For the third year in a row, SurePayroll uncovered small business owners' favorite tech tools in a variety of categories, including social networks, cloud storage, organization, email marketing, customer relationship management and social media management. [See Related Story: How to Use Google Apps for Business]

Here is SurePayroll's complete list of small business owners' favorite technology tools in each category:

Social network

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Cloud storage

  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Apple iCloud
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Box


  • Google Drive
  • Evernote
  • Microsoft Outlook/OneNote
  • Trello
  • Slack

Email marketing

  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact
  • HubSpot
  • Benchmark
  • Infusionsoft

Customer relationship management

  • Salesforce
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • SugarCRM
  • Zoho
  • Act

Social media management

  • Hootsuite
  • Hearsay Social
  • Buffer
  • Sprout Social
  • TweetDeck

The research was based on surveys from SurePayroll's Scorecard, which compiles data from small- and micro-business owners, primarily those with one to 10 employees. The businesses surveyed had an average of six employees.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.