There's never been a better time to launch a startup. With so many innovative tools in the marketplace, it's possible for even the smallest startup to gain access to big time resources. From marketing to sales to project management, there's a product or service for virtually any need.
1. Slack (for Internal Communication)
If you've never tried Slack, the wildly popular team collaboration app, then you're missing out. Slack is an intuitive app that lets teams collaborate and share without the delays and complications that are often associated with other forms of communication.
Slack reduces internal email, consolidates communication into a single place, and makes it much easier to control remote or fragmented teams. All of this leads to increased productivity and engagement.
2. Moz (for SEO and Analytics)
For startups, there's always a lot of initial pressure to establish a strong SEO foundation. Typically this results in one of two decisions: (1) hire an outside SEO and pay a pretty penny, or (2) manually handle everything yourself and extend your workday by a few hours. Neither option sounds great, so many forget all about SEO. Unfortunately, this isn't the right choice, either.
That's where Moz comes into play. Moz products decipher valuable data so that you can reach your full online potential. With products designed for search marketing, content marketing, and analytics, you can amplify your efforts and spend less time doing it.
3. Optimizely (for Split Testing and Optimization)
Part of the challenge of being a startup is that you aren't always completely certain what your target market wants (or even who your target market is). In terms of web design and development, this can leave you with lots of question marks. Optimizely helps you find some clarity through A/B testing and real-time analytics. It's the quickest way to hone in on what works.
4. Google Analytics (for Website Analytics)
Few tools are as powerful or necessary as Google Analytics. From tracking web traffic goals to optimizing user experiences, this powerful analytics platform gives you access to thousands of unique data points. And the best thing about it is the price tag: free!
5. botkeeper (for Bookkeeping and Accounting)
Your startup needs accurate financials and reporting to measure performance and make business decisions. But doing it yourself or hiring a bookkeeper/outsourced firm costs time and money that you don't have.
botkeeper allows you to automate your bookkeeping and includes a CPA for advice, quality control, and any of the custom nuances or questions that might come up. Pay your bills, invoice your customers, track expenses, perform reconciliations, and generate reports in the dashboard without having to lift a finger.
6. Evernote (for Project Management)
Evernote is a do-it-all app that can be used by your entire startup team to streamline productivity and enhance project management. There are thousands of different ways to use Evernote, but it's most commonly used for brainstorming ideas, taking notes, getting feedback, and sharing files. There are both free and paid options.
8. Zenefits (for HR and Payroll)
As your startup grows, HR will become increasingly important. With Zenefits, you can access everything online for better automation. Features include payroll, benefits, time and attendance tracking, compliance, management, and talent onboarding and recruiting. It's one of the easiest ways to consolidate your HR into a single platform. The best part about Zenefits is that it's totally free. They get paid by benefits providers, which means it's free for startups and businesses to use.
8. Square (for Accepting Payments)
If you sell physical products, Square is the service for you. While Square is perhaps best known for the small magstripe readers that can be attached to mobile devices to process transactions, it's also a full-service credit card processing solution for businesses. With square, you can accept virtually any payment from anywhere. It's great for startups that sell products online, in-store, and on the go.
9. Buffer (for Social Media)
Managing social media is a full-time job...unless you have Buffer. With Buffer, you can manage all of your social media accounts from a single platform. It lets you schedule content, post to multiple accounts at once, and even create powerful multimedia elements that boost engagement. Plans range from free for individuals to $399 for large agencies.
10. RescueTime (for Productivity and Time Management)
Find yourself getting distracted frequently throughout the day? Not sure how well you're spreading out your time across multiple tasks? RescueTime is here to help. This simple time management software helps you eliminate distractions and tracks the time you spend on certain applications and websites. As a result, you're better able to shape your daily schedule moving forward. There's a free version that lets you experience the basic functions, as well as a premium version for extended use.
Arm Your Startup With the Right Tools
In order to thrive in today's market, you need to arm your startup with the right products and services. When considering any product or service, make sure you're doing your due diligence, reading reviews, and studying the details. As a young startup, it's imperative that you take a cautious approach to aligning your business with any third party resource. Just as the right tool can help you move forward, the wrong one can set you back.
With tools like these, you can quickly rise above the competition and scale your company into the business you want it to become. Keep these in mind as you carefully evaluate the needs of your business.