At Dasheroo we spend a ton of time using online tools to run our business. So, we've got a pretty good idea of the types of tools and the bang for the buck you'll get (if you even have to spend money!)

So Team Dasheroo thought of the top tools that our startup can't live without and neither should yours. Here's what we came back with, feel free to share and add to the list!

For communications Slack can't be beat. It takes the place of exercise if you're in the same office, meetings and awesome if you've got to chat with someone offsite. Our QA Manager Court Sansom loves Slack. "A very cool thing about Slack is the integration support, we can get constant real-time updates from our Pivotal Tracker, server infrastructure (DataDog), social media (Twitter), and view support requests real-time (Zendesk)." It has a robust free tier and paid plans which we haven't even needed yet.

"Email threads gone wild! Not with Zendesk, they've taken the headaches out of managing and keeping track of the status of our email support requests, says Alf Brand, VP Customer Success. "No matter who picks up the ticket and runs with it, our customers get one consistent voice and experience from email to knowledge base. Zendesk makes it simple for us to solve issues and ensure happy users all while reinforcing the brand along the journey." From $1 per agent/month to $195/agent per month depending on your needs.

CRM. You gotta do it. You gotta integrate all of these cool products to track the customer touch points you have. Just use one. Salesforce is $25/user/month. Insightly is free up to 2 users but you get more for just $12/user/month.

Our co-founder Josh Feinberg loves Zoom. He says "Sometimes Slack isn't good enough in terms of real-time chats. We need a virtual face-to-face chat so we can hash out an issue we're stuck on or do a quick screen share to walk through a workflow or reproduce a bug." It's free to a point (you get 40 minutes a meeting) but great quality as long as your internet works! Our Director of Inside Sales, Mimi Diagle loves Zoom too, it's how she gives all of her sales demos.

"Basecamp is a great online tool and keeps all of your company's projects in one spot, transparent and shareable." says John Hingley, CEO and co-founder. "Bring in Google Docs or upload files for any project you need to keep track of, and anything is searchable. It's killer. Plus we just dig Jason Fried." Ten projects will cost you $20/month, 40 projects will cost you $50/month and very much worth it. Bonus - you can archive projects that may have been paused or gone dormant and they don't count toward your limits.

These products are essential (we've used them all!) for managing your social media posting. You can automate your posts, manage posting to all of your social networks, get some reporting on what you're posting and actively follow, Like, ReTweet right from these products. Shout out to Co-Schedule, a nifty product that automates scheduling right from within WordPress in a great looking calendar. Hootsuite starts at $10/month, skip the free version, SproutSocial is $59/month, Co-Schedule is $15/month.

Is there any other blog software? Something like 84 Million sites and counting, they say they power 24% of the internet. Nuff said. It's free.

In our business it's essential that we need to record "how-to" videos taken from a screen for our customers or internally for training purposes. These are no-brainer solutions and are worth every penny of the $99 one time purchase you need to make. If you need to create a video less than 5 minutes, use Jing, it's free.

Moz is great for getting a wakeup call that your website pages suck or don't, by grading them A-F. It tells you what to correct on the pages, but also you get to see how you've been ranking by the keywords you track over time. Steeply priced at $99/month but if SEO is important to your business you need to bite the bullet.

We love this tool because it tells you not only what keywords you rank for by monthly search volume, it also tells you what you competitors rank for as well. Just by using this tool we increased our organic search (read NO PAYING to get visitors) by over 55%. It's about $58/month if you buy it annually. This product is killer and gets my personal vote.

I can't just pick one because I've used them all and was the CEO of the last one! Mailchimp and VR have free versions other than that it's based on your list size and number of emails you want to send. Bottom line, you'll definitely get a positive ROI from any of these.

Ever wonder who is clicking on which pages to your site or app right before they buy? Alf Brand does so he loves Mixpanel. "Want to track cohorts of people around your site to see what they do and how long it takes them, so you can learn and make changes to your app or website fast?" asks Brand, "And because you know all of this you can send notifications and emails to them at just the right time to increase your goal conversions and sales. That's MixPanel, it's huge, and if you're building apps, it's is a no-brainer. Plus, they have a great free edition if you add their badge to the bottom of your site."

Obviously. Free. Awesome. A little complex, but so much great info!

"Our go-to app for managing application requirements and release management is Pivotal Tracker," says Josh Feinberg. "It allows us to project manage super-granular user stories and then assemble them (via labels) into releases." It's free up to $300/month depending on the number of users and storage you need.

Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides)

"We use Google Drive and Docs extensively to collaborate on planning monthly releases" says our Sr. Product Manager Nivi Kumar. "Our company can't survive without the ability to create and share information." Free!

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention our own business dashboards startup Dasheroo for measuring your business analytics across your entire business. We built this so we could use it for ourselves and it's absolutely addicting. It will open your eyes to metrics you didn't even know you had! It's free up to 12 reports and 4 dashboards.

There you have it, feel free to add to it and share!

Published on: Oct 22, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.