13 Small Business Communication Tools and How To Choose One

Updated October 31, 2022

In order for any business to find success, there has to be a certain level of effective communication in the workplace. This may be between individuals, among teams or with external customers and clients. There are different tools available for the workplace that can facilitate this communication, ensuring that messages remain viewable, projects stay active and all parties can continue a discuss without the correspondence getting lost in email inboxes.

In this article, we define communication tools, explain what to consider when you're choosing a communication tool for your organization and provide a list of 13 communication tools to explore. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Related: Guide To Improving Team Communication in the Workplace

What are communication tools?

Communication tools are the programs and software that businesses use to collaborate and share messages with both internal staff and external stakeholders like customers and clients. While communication tools can include email, telephones, text messaging, social media and online conferences, there are many other tools that streamline productivity and allow an organization to collaborate more.

Related: Q&A: Why Is Communication Important?

What to consider when choosing your communication tool

If your business would benefit from having a communication tool, explore these considerations to make when you're reviewing your options:

  • Company size: Some tools are best for smaller businesses, while others are made specifically for enterprise-level organizations. Consider who will use the communication tool and if there'll be a need to scale it in the future to include other employees.

  • Use of the tool: Think about how the organization will use a new tool to determine what the best program is for the job. There are communication tools that focus on project management and others that are only a communication tool so remote employees can stay in touch.

  • Cost: As with most items that a business needs to purchase to enhance operations, communication tools come at a cost. Although you may have a budget for a communication tool, it's also important to discuss terms with the vendor to understand how they'll bill your business for the product, what your contract terms are and if they can make pricing adjustments if you only need to use certain features or have a few employees who'll use it.

  • Supplemental technology: Sometimes communication tools can work on their own, but other times, your organization must have the technology to support it. Research more about the communication tools you're interested in to see if they need a specific operating system to run or can integrate with the existing applications and software your team uses.

  • Privacy: Especially if the communication tool you select will house confidential company news or secure customer information, it's imperative that the tool has certain privacy barriers in place to protect these details from hackers and other cybersecurity threats.

  • Employee adoption: No matter how well made a communication tool is, it's only going to work well if employees welcome the idea of using it. When choosing a tool, think about the difficulty level of using it, the training that employees will need to feel comfortable with it, the amount of time staff members may take to complete a task in the tool and more. The easier and more streamlined it is for employees to use, the more successful you'll likely be at a workplace integration.

Related: How To Exhibit Leadership Communication Skills

13 effective communication tools

Here are several communication tools to research more about so you can find a product that works best for your needs and the organization's goals:


Slack is an effective communication tool for any team that can benefit from communicating remotely. Slack integrates seamlessly with many other applications that an organization may use, making collaboration easy and keeping employees invested in various streams of the business, like marketing, sales and support. Plus, Slack offers organizations the ability to create communication channels that focus on specific interests or projects. For example, the marketing department may create a channel specifically for the website rebranding project or employees may create a chat channel for movie lovers.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams may be ideal for businesses that already operate on a Microsoft platform. It's a collaboration platform that also offers document sharing, supports online meetings and allows employees to collaborate on projects. You can easily integrate with other Microsoft Office applications that the team currently uses in the workplace.


Monday.com is an esthetically pleasing tool for many users, which may help with employee adoption. This platform allows teams to create workflows, organize tasks, communicate together and share files, meaning that project management is more organized and employees always understanding the progression of the project. Users can also track their time on a project, build reports and integrate with many applications already in the workplace.


If you need to communicate with external members of the team, like clients and customers, then consider TeamGantt. This online project management tool works with any operating system and uses Gantt charts to organize and manage projects within teams, including all stakeholders. You can invite key individuals to collaborate on work with your employees and easily see the project's updates and related documents.


Marketing teams may want to explore the benefits and features of Teamwork, a project management platform that includes work boards, social media content channels and data compilation abilities. You can integrate Teamwork with other applications like those for social media management, email and analytics, and you can also invite external clients to specific projects.


Hive is another communication tool that you may find has high user adoption because of how intuitive the platform is for most users. With this program, you'll have the ability to send messages to people and groups, upload documents and attach them to certain responsibilities, build important forms and import tasks from other project management tools to keep all information in one place.


The way that Trello displays information to users is helpful for those employees who may need something more visual to understand the status of a project. This communication tool shows projects that are in progress and you're able to attach files, color coordinate lists, tag members of a board and integrate with important tools like a calendar.


Explore more about Fleep if you want to communicate with those outside of your organization. Fleep users can connect with each other, no matter where they work, but Fleep also allows workplaces to use audio and video conferencing, individual chats, document management and file sharing.


As email is an important part of many workplaces, Rooftop may be the ideal consideration for a company's email management. Rooftop helps teams collaborate on emails, including those to external customers, and allows for storage, merging and auto-routing, which can streamline many internal processes. You can also label emails, set action dates to them and collaborate on best approaches to the email, all from one system.

Related: How To Increase Collaboration in the Workplace


As many businesses focus on the need to be online, Pastel can help make sure that an organization's website is user-friendly. Pastel allows you to enter the URL of a website and share that link with other people so they can provide feedback. This may be useful for organizations that want direct feedback from their customers so they can provide a user experience that will inspire customers to take action. Pastel also helps organizations identify any issues with the website so they can make quick corrections.


For many organizations, an intranet is a valuable part of the organization because it provides a way for managers and other leaders to communicate with employees, share company news, plan corporate events and view an employee directory. Business owners who want to improve the culture of the workplace, keep employees engaged and make sure that information is disseminated correctly and accurately may want to consider Jostle.


GoToMeeting provides a way for employees to collaborate via virtual communication channels, like audio and video. When managers want to host a meeting with personnel, they can create a GoToMeeting link that users join in on, then set recording, share presentations, chat with coworkers and distribute files, all in the same platform. GoToMeeting may be helpful for those businesses that have remote employees or staff members who live in different time zones.


Zoom is a video conferencing application that works on all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. With Zoom, you can record your screen, perform a screen share with current meeting attendees, upload a recording of the meeting to the cloud so absent team members can view it and share files among your group. Zoom is also commonly used for communication with customers and clients, especially if a business operates completely online, and it can be an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes.

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