essential tools for startup

Startups struggle the most because of scarce resources. This often leads to inefficiency, low productivity, and delays that affect the business negatively.

Thus, an entrepreneur has to leverage the available tools to ensure their business grows despite the challenges.  

And so, to help startups make the most of the scarce resources and scale their businesses, this article highlights 24 tools that every small business should strive to acquire for efficiency. 

These tools are diverse, and therefore, you do not need all of them. Just stick to the few that meet your day-to-day business needs. 

  • Wave

Wave is simple accounting software that helps startups with their financial management. 

The software has several features that help startups manage a wide range of services, including payroll management, accounting, receipt scanning, invoicing, payment tracking, finance management, and billing.

Wave has a free version that has limited functionality. Startups will still find the free version helpful because they can receive accounting reports and create and scan invoices and receipts. 

The premium version costs $19 per month. This version goes a notch higher to allow integration of employee payroll in the system.

  • MailChimp

MailChimp is a big name in the tech industry, and for a reason. It is an efficient newsletter service provider for businesses big in email marketing. 

MailChimp offers a wide range of services, including email templates, audience segmentation, customer relationship management, and campaign personalization, among other features that help startups run powerful email campaigns that fetch results. 

This email marketing tool helps startups design beautiful email newsletters and campaigns, boost customer engagement, and access analytics on email campaign performance.  

  • MoonSend

Moonsend is an email marketing tool that helps startups create, schedule, and track the performance of email campaigns. 

Moonsend has a forever free plan where users can have up to 1000 subscribers. The paid plan starts from $8 per month and allows access for up to five team members. 

The paid plan has advanced features such as phone support, landing pages, and transactional emails that are not available for free users. 

  • Asana

What started as Facebook’s in-house project management tool has become a household name that many small businesses can’t do without. 

Asana allows entrepreneurs to manage projects, organize work, create and assign tasks, set deadlines, access log reports and users’ activities, and coordinate projects on a single dashboard. 

The platform also allows for file attachment and communication within teams. 

The beauty of Asana is that it’s flexible enough for teams to customize it for different purposes. As the goals evolve and the team grows, the users can configure it to match their changing needs. 

Startups can also use Asana for customer relationship management (CRM). With CRM, teams can manage the different stages of the sales pipeline and adopt the system to their sales process. 

  • Trello

Apart from Asana, small businesses also find Trello helpful for project management. This collaborative tool helps users assign tasks and track the projects being worked on. 

It gives a snapshot of the work in progress, the different stages of the projects, and feedback when action is taken on a card.

Trello allows for collaboration between team members. It enhances productivity and ensures all the projects are organized.

This project management tool can be used for all kinds of projects ranging from big tasks to the daily to-do list. 

The platform is free, making it accessible to all startups struggling with organizing tasks and working on team projects. 

  • Zoho Desk

Zoho desk is a tool that helps businesses manage customer support effectively. The cloud-based support tool helps startups improve their customer support by logging, tracking, and closing customer tickets across all the customer support platforms in one place. 

Zoho desk is an important tool because it helps businesses analyze the customer support team performance and take the necessary steps to improve. The tool has contextual Al that gathers useful data to help startups better their customer self-service support. 

Zoho desk capabilities equip startups with powerful customer support tools that make customer support teams perform their duties with the utmost efficiency, responding to customers’ needs in real-time. 

  • Invoiceberry

Just like the name suggests, Invoiceberry makes it easier for startups to create invoices. The online invoicing software is designed to build professional-looking invoices for businesses across the board. 

Invoiceberry allows users to customize invoices and track their finances with ease. It helps entrepreneurs save time and focus on business growth because it has automation options to streamline their invoicing workflows. 

  •  Breezy HR

Breezy HR is a simple human resource tool that allows anyone to conduct HR functions effectively.

The tool incorporates a tracking software that enables the hiring team to manage job advertisement, candidate management, and collaborative hiring with ease.

Breezy HR automates HR functions such as job posting and advertising the jobs across various recruitment platforms such as LinkedIn, We Work Remotely, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, and Stack overflow. It also automates interview schedules and applicant follow-up. 

The tool streamlines the entire hiring process and helps startups seeking to recruit talented individuals have a wider reach. Breezy HR saves time and significantly improves the hiring process. 

  • Zoho Recruit

Zoho recruit is another human resource tool ideal for small businesses that rarely hire. The tool gives five hiring positions to the user. The startup can post their job openings and track job performance until they get the right candidate. 

The tool also offers five email templates that the recruiter can use to reach out to the applicants. This makes the work more manageable if the recruiter is sending the same message to all the applicants. 

  • Deputy

Once you have recruited the employee, it’s now time to go to the next step, human resource management.

That’s where the deputy software comes in handy. Deputy is a human resource management tool that helps users track employee progress.

The tool provides a platform where the hiring manager can schedule tasks, manage tasks, and communicate any announcements in one place.

Deputy’s basic package goes for $1 per employee per month. With this package, an employer will unlock the above functions. However, if you want to incorporate features like payroll and timesheet, then the premium plan of $2 per employee per month will suffice.  

  • Xtensio

When it’s time to scale, and you want to impress those investors, Xtensio is the tool for you.

The tool helps businesses create, share, manage, and present beautiful presentations ranging from reports, agendas, pitches, and case studies. 

Xtensio has a drag-and-drop function, which makes it easy to use. It promotes consistency across its users as any changes made in the presentations sync across the team and all the devices. 

You can customize the presentations by changing the background color to match the company’s brand color, resizing the presentations, or adding videos and images.

  • Equity Net

Equity net is a free platform that helps startups looking for investors. The platform offers free crowdfunding services.

The platform’s planning and software tools allow users to plan, organize, and publish their business plans. Equity Net allows sharing business ideas with investors and other interested parties. 

Besides connecting startups to investors, the platform can also help in the ideation stage to conceptualize business ideas.

  • Freshdesk

Freshdesk is an online cloud-based customer support software that helps small businesses communicate with customers quickly and efficiently.

The software helps with ticketing, entering, tracking, and closing customer inquiry tickets. 

This easy-to-use software comes with FAQs. It supports several channels including, social media, live chat, and email.

Hence, you respond to your customers’ pressing issues on the communication channels of their choosing. 

Freshdesk has several other features that offer analytics, reports, automation, and other services such as administration, sales, etcetera. 

The software makes it easier for first-time users as it has a 30-day free trial, which doesn’t require users to give their credit card details. In case you are wondering, there’s no catch. You can cancel anytime in the trial period.

  • Hootsuite

Social media management can be draining for any business if you don’t have a social media management tool. Hootsuite helps startups manage several social media accounts on one dashboard.

The free Hootsuite plan allows a user to link three social media accounts, while the premium plan can link to up to 35 different social media networks.  

This social media monitoring tool helps you schedule posts, engage with customers, and monitor your posts’ performance in one place.

With Hootsuite, users keep tabs of all notifications, mentions, tags, and any trending topics they might jump into and increase their business visibility.

  • ProductHunt

ProductHunt is a tool that businesses use to discover and share new products. Business owners can leverage these cost-free products in running their startups.

ProductHunt allows innovators and small businesses to market their minimum viable product or launch new features for the platform users to try. 

The platform has a comment and vote button where users can share their thoughts about products and vote if they are helpful.

  • Alchemer

Alchemer was formerly known as SurveyGizmo. The software is an online survey platform that allows businesspersons to collect information among their customers. 

The platform has a free plan that allows users to get up to three surveys at a time. With the free plan, you get to view the first 100 responses. You’ll unlock more responses by upgrading to the premium plan, which is $46 per year.

The type of questions you can ask in the free plan is limited to dropdown menu, essay, rating, percentages, radio buttons, checkboxes, numbers, text boxes, emails, and dates. 

Alchemer has an option to import a word document which makes it very convenient to upload survey questions. 

  • Ask Your Target Market (AYTM)

AYTM is a survey platform that stands out among its competitors because it helps businesses send targeted surveys to the consumers interested in its products and are more likely to respond to the survey questions.

This automated survey platform gives brands in-depth insights into the target market, making it easy to create solutions that meet the consumers’ needs.

  • BetaList

Like ProductHunt, Betalist allows startups to share their ideas with other entrepreneurs to get valuable insights into their products or innovation before launching. 

BetaList is free, and you can submit your idea for listing at any time. However, you’ll have to wait for up to two months for your product to be listed. Another option is to pay $99 for your innovation to be listed in a few days. 

BetaList allows users to be the first to try new internet innovations before the official launch of the product. 

  • AngelList

AngelList is yet another platform that’s ideal for startups that are looking for investors.

The platform also offers job seekers hoping to work in startups an opportunity to connect with several such businesses directly.

An entrepreneur benefits from the wide array of professionals on the platform and the possibility of getting an investor. AngelList opens doors for investors to explore several startups they could invest in. 

  • Apptivo CRM

Apptivo CRM is an easy-to-use customer relationship management software that helps startups make sense of customer data.

The software offers a holistic approach to customer relationships as it integrates with several other applications such as PayPal, Slack, G-Suite, Office 365, among many others.

Apptivo CRM has a free plan comprising 500MB storage space, project management tools, and detailed reports. This plan allows up to three users. 

The premium plan goes for $8 per month per person and comes with several features that make it easy to manage customer relationships.  

Startups can use Apptive CRM for other business functions such as sales and marketing, in which case automating processes like sales promotes business efficiency. 

  • Google Docs/Sheets/ Forms/Slides

Google offers the above office tools for free as long as you have a Gmail account. The Google office tools make it easier for startups to create and share documents, presentations, forms and excel sheets. 

The Google office suite makes it easier to track changes in a document, add comments, edit and make these changes accessible to members without resharing the document again.  

Users can add specific people to view a document. They can also limit who edits or downloads the documents. 

These features make the Google office suite the most convenient method for startups to work on files within their small teams. One can access the edit history and see who made edits and at what time. 

  • Canva

With the growth of social media, Canva comes in handy in creating social media posts that are attractive and captivates the audience.

This online graphic design tool has thousands of templates that one can use to create Twitter headers, social media posts, Facebook ads, and blog graphics.  

The site has many photos, logos, fonts, and even videos you can incorporate in social media posts to tell your brand story. 

Canva is easy to use because of the drag-and-drop feature. Users can build posts from scratch or choose a template from the many templates available.

The design can be shared directly to different social media platforms or downloaded. 

Canva is free for use. However, if you want to access photos by professional designers, you can pay $1 per photo.  

  • The Name App

The Name App is great for entrepreneurs venturing into the business world. The site helps businesses create unique business domain names that communicate their startup idea. 

The site combs the web to see if the name is already taken or it’s available. This way, you can do several searches until you find an available domain name. 

The Name App further helps startups find social media usernames that align with their products or services. You can either download the name App if you are using Apple or visit the site to enjoy these services. 

  • SemRush

SemRush is an SEO tool that focuses on competitor analysis, Google Ad campaign optimization, and keyword research. The tool also helps startups conduct SEO website audits, generate keywords that help create SEO content and analyze competitors.

SemRush is fundamental for startups working towards creating organic traffic because it’s centered around search engine optimization. 

Conclusion

And there you have it, a comprehensive list of the tools startups need to ensure the business runs smoothly.

These tools allow businesses to scale without breaking a sweat because of their various features and level of functionality.

When starting, it’s important to only focus on the tools that your business can’t do without. You can sieve through the options and pick the ones that offer free plans.

Once you know how these tools work and which ones suit your needs, you can go ahead and upgrade.

About Tyler Read 

Tyler Read is the owner of Personal Trainer Pioneer which is a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study, and pass their fitness exams. Check out his free videos for the latest trends.

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