The love of tools is deeply engrained in our DNA.
As entrepreneurs, we can thank our hunter-gatherer ancestors who started using tools some 2.6 millions years ago. The first known use of stone tools has been traced back to the Ethiopian town of Gona.
Since then, every generation has been enabled by the set of tools handed down to it, including modern-day entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial tools help startups execute and manage their tasks easier, better and faster. They help reduce work-load, increase productivity and boost efficiency.
Without further ado, here are some of the top startup tools to consider. Visit Small Business Software, Resources and Tools for more software we recommend.
Top startup tools for incorporating
- Northwest Registered Agent — We used this fantastic firm to set up Go For Launch as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and serve as Go For Launch’s registered agent
- LegalZoom is also a good resource to help incorporate your business and handle other small business legal matters
Top startup tools for domain registration and web hosting
- GoDaddy and IWantMyName — great places to register and manage your domain names
- WP Engine — for reliable and secure WordPress hosting. They are the hosting provider of Go For Launch. I also use Siteground (to host BrandonUttley.com).
- LeadPages — to quickly create attractive, cost-effective landing pages. Even before launching this website, I used LeadPages to test getting traffic (and traction) while capturing emails in tandem with ConvertKit.
Top startup tools for email and phone service
- Google Apps — for primary email accounts, plus document/file storage, company calendars and more
- Grasshopper — for affordable small business phone service
Top startup tools for project and general management
- Dropbox — to store all sorts of files in the cloud and share them within others seamlessly
- Asana and Trello — for managing multiple projects, collaborating with different teams and engaging in other aspects of centralized project management. For more granular time tracking and project management of distributed teams, check out Hubstaff.
- Quora — for getting valuable opinions about everything from managing a project to running your entire business. From Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg to Ashton Kutcher, Quora has an elite population that excels in providing actionable tips and insights.
- StackOverflow — Another high-quality Q&A site; it has been around longer than Quora and is geared to providing more technical advice
Top startup tools for boosting workplace productivity
- Evernote — an essential tool for storing virtually any kind of information about your company
- Milanote — This is an easy-to-use tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards. It’s gorgeous and good for everything from creating “Mood Boards” to capturing notes and collaborating on mindmaps and whiteboards.
- Slack — for communicating with co-workers in any location, along with integrating with dozens of other apps to boost your team’s productivity and cut down on email
- HelloSign — to reduce the amount of documents you have to physically sign. It uses digital signatures integrated within Google Mail to make signing documents easier.
Top startup tools for sales and marketing
- HootSuite — for managing multiple social media accounts from a single web-based dashboard. You can automate content marketing by providing a list of preferred keywords, themes and industry segments. The software curates content, save itfor your review and let’s you publish updates easily.
- LinkedIn — to make professional connections from around the world and grow your network
- Google AdSense — for information, suggestions, learning resources and other help on paid search advertising
- MailChimp — for email marketing. It allows you to send up to 12,000 emails for free each month. Aweber is another excellent email campaign management system (used by Go For Launch!).
- SalesForce or Nimble — to manage and track customer relationships in the most comprehensive way possible.
- Streak — for managing customer relationships with the help of Google plugins. Streak allows you to keep track of your sales funnel and more, all inside Gmail
Top startup tools for time tracking and invoicing
- Harvest — a great system for creating and managing projects, tracking your time and billing customers (including online payment options)
- InvoiceHome — a free and/or low-cost way to create and send simple invoices and get paid online, if you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles
Top startup tools for web analytics
- Google Analytics — to get comprehensive details about the performance of your website and sales and marketing strategies, as well as suggestions, tips and free learning resources
- FirstSiteGuide — Get important info about any website. Analyze the technologies they use and how well they perform.
- SEMRush — for insights into your ranking for competitive keywords and tips for improving your website traffic, search rankings and other marketing performance
- MOZ — for similar help, except at a cheaper cost
- KISSmetrics — for a more personalized assessment of your website and marketing performance. Unlike Google Analytics or other analytical software, KISSmetrics focuses on the “people aspect” of performance. It tells you who is coming to your website and how your site is performing vs. competitors.
Top startup tools for outsourced help
- Replace Myself — is an excellent source for finding virtual assistants
- 99Designs — for affordable graphic design
What Are Your Favorite Startup Tools?
See something missing that you love? Please leave a comment below!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Also published on Medium.