The best free OKR software for small businesses

by Jenny Bowes | Jun 01, 2021

time icon 3 mins

An increasing number of businesses are noticing the advantages of OKRs and have started using them to grow more efficiently. It’s easy to appreciate the benefits of having proper planning and goal setting in place – but understanding the core values of OKR management and actually putting them into practice within your business can be tricky. 

Many of our clients tell us they’d been researching OKRs and had the principles on their radar for some time – but when it came to implementing what they’d learned, they needed professional help. 

That’s where OKR software fits in, along with OKR consultancy. It’s specifically designed to help you integrate the magic of OKRs into your business, and there are lots of options out there to choose from. It’s a great tool for any business whether you have expert support from OKR specialists like us, or not. 

We recently compiled a list of the best OKR software out there, with a run-down of which types of businesses they’re best suited to and why. Some businesses simply can’t afford to invest in a paid plan, but want to start taking steps towards better managing their objectives and key results. The good news is that lots of businesses actually don’t need to buy OKR management software because their requirements are perfectly suited to the free options that are available. 

Here’s our take on free OKR management software and the pros and cons of paid options vs free options – along with tips to help you make the most of your choice.

How to find the best OKR software for your business

As every business is unique, each company’s requirements for goal management software will also be different. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution – every company will need its software to work in a slightly different way, whether its requirements are complex or basic. 

The great thing about OKR software is that it tends to be incredibly versatile, so it’s easy to adapt and mould it to suit your needs. It can also scale up with you as you grow – so as the business expands, you can upgrade your plan step by step and only start paying monthly fees when necessary.

Firstly, consider what you want or need the OKR software to do for you. Who will be managing it, and how? How many team members need access? Do you need it to be able to integrate with other software or apps you currently use within your business, like Slack and G Suite? Lastly, how much do you have to spend? The answers to these questions should help you on your way to choose the right goal management system for your business.

Free OKR software vs paid software

Budgetary constraints can sometimes dictate which resources you’re able to access – especially if you’re a small business. So is free OKR software really worth looking into? Well, to put it simply, yes!  

Smaller organisations are unlikely to need expensive all-singing, all-dancing OKR software. Large global firms may need something more sophisticated – with integrative functionality so that they can further streamline their structure and share with different teams both internally and externally. 

Both Koan and offer free plans alongside paid options. The main differences between them include:

  • Member numbers: Free plans tend to offer access for just one or two people within the account – so consider how many people in your team need to be able to have their own log-in. 
  • Fewer features: The features on a free plan compared to a pain plan will naturally be reduced – so check to see if any of these are essential for you or whether they’ll be surplus to your requirements at this stage. 
  • Reduced integrative access: If you want to seamlessly integrate your OKR management software with other applications your business currently uses, such as Office 365 or Google Suite, you may need to opt for the paid version.

So if you’re a small business, a free OKR management software plan should suit you down to the ground. Although it’s free, it doesn’t mean it’s inferior to paid options, it’s simply a matter of meeting your requirements both now and in the near future. 

Using goal management software to fuel business growth

Goal management software should be an essential tool in your business as it simplifies the process of planning, goal setting and objective outlining. You can clearly see where you’re headed, and what you need to do to get there. 

As you grow, you can track your progress and see what next steps you’ll need to take to push things further. Being able to forecast ahead also stops your business from becoming a victim of its own success, or growing too quickly, faster than you can gather resources to do so. 

Bottom line – free OKR software can be a great starting point if you want to get a handle on goal management within your small business or start-up, and although it may lack certain features and support compared with paid alternatives, you can still benefit from a great introduction to goal setting and management.

Speak to one of our Giants today for advice on OKR tools and goal management support tailored to your business.