20 TOOLS EVERY STARTUP SHOULD HAVE
Finding the courage to start something of your own never comes easy, and although, we might not be able to magically gift you that courage, we can surely help you obtain twenty absolute must-have tools needed for every startup to make a mark!
These tools enable your startup to function in a more organized way as they specifically cater to entrepreneurs’ unlimited and diverse demands. Moreover, the best part is that most of them are free, so they remarkably cut down on costs and always seem worth a try!
1. Microsoft Teams
This video-conferencing tool makes the list without saying since each startup is built on communication. The only slight surprise is that ZOOM was not the top choice. Due to increasing privacy and security concerns regarding ZOOM, Teams seems like the better alternative. It includes similar features like screen sharing and recording meetings. Additional features consist of access to Office apps, 1TB of OneDrive storage and more. There is a free and a paid version available, but Microsoft has begun a six-month free trial of the paid version during the pandemic, which will be followed by charging each user $5 per subsequent month. Google Hangouts Meet is another similar and viable option
2. Google Docs
This popular tool is a must for all startups due to its ability to simplify viewing, sharing, and editing important documents/proposals. It even allows team members to add comments and detect the presence of another member working on the same document. Moreover, it displays the exact time when the document was last edited. It has many other benefits and serves as a great tool to ensure everyone is literally on the same page (Yes! PUN INTENDED!)
It reveals valuable information about startup related issues by listing out startup jobs, investors, etc. It even provides several filters to streamline searches and quicken the process of finding exactly what you are looking for. Thus, this is a tool that can’t be ignored.
Canva is currently the largest platform for designing graphics. It offers plenty of templates to choose from with numerous free options available. There is no shortage of the number of aesthetic images and graphics present within this platform. It’s convenient and easy to navigate around, which makes it very attractive for entrepreneurs who wish to creatively position their brand in the market without hiring a graphic designer.
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5. Product Hunt
This tool is a discussion platform for new products, apps, tech innovations etc. and was tailor-made to make the launch of startups a more straightforward process. It provides many benefits such as voting systems and user comments. But most importantly, it comprises a large group of enthusiastic testers that are willing to give your product/idea a try. Even if all these reasons are not enough to convince you, let me reveal the biggest takeaway here – it’s completely free!
Now, this is no secret that it is essential for each startup to have its very own website. In today’s world, you cannot compete without a digital presence, and WordPress enables you to devise an impactful, customizable website free of cost.
It is perfect for up and coming businesses because of its easy and quick to use features, its reliability and security, its highly responsive designs and never-ending themes as well as its focus on SEO optimization.
Creating your website is just the beginning. If you don’t put in enough effort to market your idea/website, chances are that you will never reach your complete potential. This is exactly why MailChimp is a part of this list.
MailChimp allows you to exploit the benefits of email marketing strategies in a convenient manner. Besides, the interface is easy and customizable.
It offers a free package, specially for startups, with basic features, but you can upgrade to the premium version ($ 10 per month) at any time.
8. Google Analytics
Another significant step after successfully creating your website is analysis, and this tool helps you achieve that for free (limited to 5 million impressions per month).
Google Analytics employs superior algorithms to ensure accurate tracking of website traffic, which in turn urges you to pay close attention to how many of your targets are being achieved. It pinpoints the exact source of failure or downfall and motivates you to engage in better customer management and user experience.
For these reasons, this tool is bound to enhance your conversion rates.
This tool is so necessary because it allows you to capitalize on great opportunities in terms of forming new connections and raising capital.
The free version of Crunchbase is a decent place to get started as it will provide you with access to connecting with experts, other entrepreneurs, investors, market researchers, sales professionals, and much more. However, it is recommended that you take advantage of the paid premium version which has additional features like advanced searching, personalized alerts, the ability to connect with anyone, etc.
10. Fresh Books
No one will deny that no matter how ground-breaking or creative the idea is if it is not backed by sound financial planning, the startup is bound to be doomed from day one.
This tool assists you in keeping all your finances in check.
It is used as an accounting tool as it turns bookkeeping into a convenient and secure task. Its features include tracking payments, expenditure reports, financial statuses, taxation documents as well as invoicing and following up with clients. It comes integrated with MailChimp.
The only issue is that it is not free with users having to pay $15 a month for the most basic plan.
As the founder of the startup, it can get troublesome to manage all activities at once, but Asana is a project management tool that ensures your job is made easier.
Many renowned companies like Facebook and Uber use it to maintain high productivity and to ensure smooth functioning among everyone within the team. Its main features consist of assigning specific tasks according to respective roles, adding new team members, viewing reports and task activities as a project team, etc.
There is a free version available and you are permitted to upgrade to the paid premium features anytime.
In this day and age, marketing is incomplete without the use of social media. Hootsuite enables better management of your social media marketing/advertising strategies.
It has a dashboard with all the social media apps and accounts in one place. It also allows you to schedule your posts in advance.
Thus, it is perfect to manage social media teams, interact with followers, and track content on all social media platforms.
It has a free trial available for 30 days, while the paid version starts from around $17 a month.
This tool was devised to take care of HR services. It improves the pace of handling repetitive and complex tasks such as hiring, health insurance, employee benefits, business finances, workers’ compensation, and much more.
This tool is not free of cost and will require you to pay at least $6 per month for the most basic plan.
This is a very simple and basic tool to help with easy scheduling.
It greatly helps in scheduling appointments, calls, interviews, and more without involving emails and phone tags.
This is something like Microsoft Powerpoint, but better, and everyone knows that presentations are not going to go extinct anytime soon. So, this is a must-have!
This presentation tool features captivating templates, unique graphs as well as customer analytics. It also offers a free version with limited features.
Every top company will tell you that the key to success is keeping your customers happy and satisfied, and this tool does everything in its power to help you achieve that.
It is an all-in-one solution with CRM, a help desk, surveys, data analysis, and much more. It even possesses an integration with MailChimp.
It offers a free trial, but thereafter you will have to pay a price starting from $39 a month.
This is a tool built for communication between team members, and it has been proven time and time again that this trait can either make or break a team.
It allows the option of having discussions in groups or one-on-one and organizes all meetings by topics which makes the organization less of a hassle. It has its own mobile app, and thus, it’s very easy to access.
The free version should suffice most of your needs, but if you can’t live without voice and video calls, then you might have to shell out some bucks for the premium version.
As am entrepreneur, you and your team can never reach a dead-end when it comes to learning, and chances are you will be required to master some new skills very quickly. Hence, Skillshare deserves a spot on this list.
It has a variety of classes on business, tech, design, and other skills that you can get equipped with even in less than an hour!
It offers a free 3-month trial before charging its users.
19. StartUp Podcast
Starting a company all on your own can seem scary not just due to the kind of hard work it involves but also because it can feel lonely.
Hence, this list includes this podcast which explains the risks and rewards involved, the process of getting funding, company naming, and much more. It has highly useful lessons involved and is put together in an interesting manner to make it worth watching.
Perhaps, your journey won’t seem so secluded after binge-watching this one.
Managing and working can take a toll on your team’s mental health, which is why it’s so important to take out some much needed time for relaxation purposes.
This meditation and sleep app has countless categories ranging from mindfulness practices, sleep enhancement to balancing personal life, and relationships with work.
Sometimes, we get so engrossed in making our dreams come true, we forget about the little things in life that make us happy, and this app will make sure to prevent that.
So, there it is! This is all you need to get started on your new idea, and of course, courage. Once you feel brave enough to go ahead with your big plans, give this list a try.
After all, the only thing worse than failing is not trying at all ☺