AUG 28, 2015 18:44 PM
50 Tools Your Startup Probably Needs
by Drew Hendricks
Your startup is all about disruptive, game-changing ideas. However, to make that idea into a business you not only need your strategy, but you also need many tools to build your business out. Think about adding these 50 tools:
Website Building, Design, and Hosting
1. Hostwinds helps build up your website presence with website design and e-commerce solutions as well as domain name purchases. They specialize
2. Foundry is a modular HTML website builder tool that provides a way to design your website with numerous concepts and pages that have been created that you can add to your website or use to create a brand new one. Foundry also offers Variant Page Builder to easily develop your own pages.
3. Hostt offers you free website hosting for multiple domains as well as 24/7 technical support and various hosting options that provide a way to scale up your Web presence as your startup grows.
4. Disqus allows you to add discussion feeds to your website, increasing engagement. It also provides a results-focused, below-the-fold monetization solution to turn your website into a revenue machine.
5. Sortfolio puts you in touch with a freelance website designer by providing a way to search by city to find one nearby, if that is important to you, or you can browse portfolios to find a website designer that fits your style and budget.
6. BrowserStack provides a way to conduct live, Web-based browser tests of your website and landing page with instant access to all desktop and mobile browsers.
7. Envato is a marketplace that has over 4.5 million digital products to browse and use for your website, including photographs, videos, illustrations, vectors, music and sounds, plug-ins and 3D models.
8. Mobify helps you build mobile websites that enhance the shopping experience, which is a must-have now that consumers and businesses do so much research and purchase so many products directly from their smartphones and tablets.
9. Wix is a great free solution for creating and launching a website or a blog with thousands of professional drag-and-drop templates that can be customized to fit your startup brand. You can also regularly refresh that design to update your website look as your business evolves.
SEO and Optimization
1. Searchmetrics delivers competitive data to improve your SEO strategy, including tools for a site audit, position tracking, keyword difficulty, and domain versus domain.
2. Agency Analytics offers one of the largest databases of tracking of URL's so you know exactly where your business ranks at all times.
3. LinkTrackr gives you the power to track the money-making ability of ad campaigns and affiliated links through this Web-based analytics tool.
4. Crazy Egg helps you learn why website visitors are leaving by showing you on a heat map what they click on and what they scroll through.
5. Yoast SEO is a WordPress plug-in that provides regular analysis of all website content on your WordPress website and provides keyword recommendations to enhance optimization.
Marketing and Publicity
1. Clickbooth has a mission of empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs by creating a performance based marketplace, allowing anyone to compete on a level playing field with the largest brands in the world.
2. Buzz Stream is a way to research, locate, and contact those influencers who can help you market your business, and it allows you a way to build a prospect list to develop those valuable relationships.
3. Perfect Audience gives you a way to improve your retargeting strategies through a comprehensive platform that addresses mobile, Web, and Facebook, offering analytics that help you measure and manage all your strategies.
4. Mail Chimp help you design cost-effective, results-oriented email marketing campaigns that can help you build the traction you need.
5. Affiliate Window provides a way to get you more customers through the affiliate marketing channel. They work with millions of affiliates who will push your product in all different verticals.
6. Brand24 is an effective solution for staying on top of all company mentions on the web and social web to immediately respond, collaborate, and interact with your audience.
7. Google Alerts is another way to track any press mentions with updates delivered to your inbox as they happen and it’s free!
8. HARO is a site that allows you to get free publicity by connecting you with reporters looking for content and story ideas. Short for "help a reporter out", this is a great site to start your public relations tactics as a startup. I get a lot of press with this tool.
Social Media Marketing
1. Sprout Social brings all your social media platforms into one feed so you can publish and track feedback all in one place, plus it integrates with Zendesk, UserVoice, and Salesforce to enhance your CRM initiatives.
2. Buzz Sumo helps connect you to the key influencers who would want to read and share your content. This tool also provides a way for you to see trending content and what your competition is sharing across all social media platforms.
3. Topsy gives you a search and analysis tool of the social Web across different categories to narrow or widen your search, including tweets, photos, videos, influencers, and links.
4. Buzzstarter is a content distribution platform that helps deliver content to nearly any audience at scale as an in feed editorial article
5. Klout helps you create relevant and targeted social media content that can help get traction and attract a larger following of influentials.
Time and Project Management for Collaboration and Communication
1. Redbooth provides similar project management and collaborative tools to Basecamp, but at a fraction of the cost, which is ideal for a startup with a tight budget but a remote team.
2. Blossom is specifically for software development teams, providing an online platform for collaborating and building products together.
3. Podio is an online platform for structured work between your team as well as with customers in a customized way that fits your specific workflow.
4. Trello is a free online platform for organizing work that lets you forget about paper processes, expensive software, and endless email threads.
5. Conceptboard takes the conference board whiteboard and makes it virtual so you can brainstorm and collaborate on ideas in a similar fashion with your remote team members.
6. Wiggio allows you to create online groups so you can work with others, communicate through virtual meetings, plan tasks and schedules, and upload and share files.
7. Asana proves you don’t have to use email at all to run your day, team, or company because you can use this web and mobile tool to keep conversations and tasks in one place to respond and collaborate from anywhere in the world.
8. JIRA is one of the simplest project management platforms available that is a step up from spreadsheets but does not complicate work with the sophistication of the larger platforms. Instead, it gives a bird’s eye view of what everyone is doing on a project with a cross-departmental framework and a very low monthly fee.
9. Google Apps for Business provides an entire communications and productivity suite at a very low price that brings together email, calendar, online video conferencing, document collaboration and storage and more.
10. Slack is a free, real-time messaging system that improves communication among your team members with a running feed that can be accessed and used from both the Web and mobile platforms.
Time Tracking, Invoicing, Accounting, and Payment Portals
1. Due gives you a free time tracker for projects and clients that integrates into its free invoicing templates and platform for creating professional invoices that clients receive in their email and can pay directly from with many widely used payment portals.
2. Hiveage provides a way to create timesheets and invoices quickly by using the time tracker data it collects as you work on different projects.
3. Invoice Ninja is an all-in-one tool that allows you to do quotes, time sheets, job costing, invoices and integrated project management, which provides a comprehensive solution for all types of startups.
4. Fusebill is ideal for a subscription-based business that needs a solution that manages recurring billing and subscriptions, including sending out bills and receiving payments.
5. Kashflow is a full accounting solution that includes payroll, invoice templates, automated invoicing and more that can be used anywhere, including offering mobile functionality.
6. Expensify helps you track every dollar spent in your startup, including what can be expensed and dropped easily into readable reports that can be shared with others involved in the financial health of the business.
7. Stripe makes it easy to accept online payments, including those customers that prefer to pay by credit card, and is built for developers so it can be integrated into any website.
8. Authorize.net is a widely used (400,000+ merchants) payment gateway that is an ideal tool if your startup has an e-commerce component with month-to-month pricing and features that grow with your business.
1. PandaDoc helps you reduce sales collateral paperwork, including estimates, contracts, agreement forms and proposals by offering an online template library to keep all that information in digital form. Even better is the ability to accept and send e-signatures.
2. Adobe Document Cloud for Enterprise provides a way to create a 100% digital business, including electronic signatures and cloud storage of documents and files. Different plans fit all sizes and types of businesses.
Talent Acquisition and Outsource Solutions
1. Upwork connects you to talent quickly in the categories you are looking for to work on a project or short-term basis, including web and mobile developers, creative and designers, writers, virtual assistants, accountants, customer service agents, and more.
2. Freelancer puts you in touch with more than sixteen million talented individuals from all over the world who are looking for freelance work across all types of projects and industries.
3. iFreelance is another site that provides a wealth of talent, including ways to view their portfolios and past experience to find the best fit for what you need to accomplish.
These tools provide a solution for every aspect of your startup, offering free or low-cost ways to improve productivity, build traction, enhance cash flow and complete the projects necessary to build out your business.