Are you planning to launch your own startup? Being an aspiring entrepreneur marks the beginning of a challenging journey. Although you cannot completely avoid the many hurdles that are about to come your way as a young startup, we can definitely help make your journey a lot less strenuous. Luckily, there are a plethora of free tools and startup resources online that are perfect to help you save some of your precious time and money, which you can then divert elsewhere.
We have curated a comprehensive starter-pack of all the startup tools and resources you may require, divided into 6 categories based on function. Read on to check out these 18 user-friendly startup resources and tools that you absolutely should not miss.
Startup Resources & Tools to grow your business
The key to a successful business is a strong foundation. The ideation process is the first and most important stage because it involves ideas and planning that governs the development of your startup. One can really let their imagination run wild and come up with innovative ideas to make the startup unique.
However, implementing these ideas properly and efficiently can be a tough job. Here are some startup resources for ideation that can be beneficial in giving your enterprise a proper shape:
With more than 14 million users, Mindmeister is the perfect online mind mapping tool that allows you to plan and share your ideas visually. It helps you collect ideas, concepts and information, and put them into action. Mindmeister also provides other applications including creating to-do lists, project planning, designing timelines, and brainstorming.
Price: Starting at 4.99 USD/ month
2. The Lean Validation Playbook
The Lean methodology helps an entrepreneur understand whether their startup idea is at all viable and operable. The lean validation process has four distinct stages which include validating the problem, market, product and willingness to pay. If the idea passes all four stages, the development process can begin smoothly. Research and feedback in the idea-validation process help to understand if the idea has real demand or if it is too risky.
Price: 299 INR for the Kindle version
Germ.Io is an ideation and project management tool which helps you execute abstract ideas and concepts. This application provides ready-to-use templates that include startup ideation kits, outlines to design marketing campaigns, and problem statements. This tool allows interaction with clients in the ideation stage itself, making your plans look all the more professional.
Launch tools help you automate and streamline your operations and analyze the product before launch.
The following tools are the best launch tools you can use to create a buzz for your product:
1. Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a community-based website that helps launch your products or services wisely with the help of real users. It simply connects people who develop the product with people who want to test this new product. The users engage with the product makers, solve their queries, and provide valuable feedback. These features attract not only more customers but also investors.
Price: 59 USD/ month for a yearly subscription
Sba.gov is an online tool designed especially for small businesses. It provides you with technological help such as tutorials, video testimonials, and other tips to grow your business. It helps you understand your competitors and make strategies accordingly.
Unbounce is another popular launch tool that will help turn your business plans into reality. It is a platform to create landing pages, and provides several features like drag-and-drop functionality, lead generation, mobile-responsive template galleries, and dynamic text replacement. This tool will help you launch your campaigns without any bottlenecks.
Price: Starting at 80 USD/ month
Promoting and developing your product or service is a very vital aspect of any startup. Here are some startup resources you can completely rely on when it comes to marketing:
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best free online tools that will help you understand your target audience and analyze your website traffic. There are several sections within the application which includes dashboards, shortcuts, intelligence events, real-time audience acquisition, behavior and conversions.
Mailchimp is an extremely user-friendly newsletter tool that provides a platform where you can build your website. It has automated messages that will reach the right audience at the right time, thus expanding your business. It has other exciting features as well, such as social sharing, e-mail delivery and templates, geolocation, and multi-user accounts.
Price: The basic pack is free, but you can upgrade, starting at 770 INR/month
Hemingway simply measures how readable your article or text is. It has colour divisions like yellow, blue, purple, and red- each colour having a distinct role. For example, if your text gets highlighted in yellow, it means your sentences are complex and needs correction. This is an indispensable tool to make sure your promotional content reads error-free and pitch-perfect.
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Financing or Fundraising Tools
Financial balance is a must for any business.
These financial tools will help you keep a check on the revenue and expenditures of your startup:
Through PayPal, you can send donation requests and accept online payments without any hassle. It is a safe platform for transactions with easy withdrawal facilities. It supports multiple language selection, which makes it extremely versatile and inclusive of various demographics, helping you overcome any language barriers, and all queries are resolved via emails.
Xero is a cloud-based application that helps to manage multiple transactions. It has other features including online invoicing, inventory and asset tracking methods, and customer quotes or reviews. Xero allows you to create an organizational budget that will help you seamlessly keep track of your funds or grants.
Price: starting at 20 USD/ month
Fundera is your ultimate financial guide. It connects you with lenders and loan specialists and provides a wide range of financing options to choose from. If your startup is new, it allows startup business loans as well as short-term business loans.
Design tools add bling to your product or website to attract an audience.
Check out some of these design tools mentioned below that can help you choose and apply the right aesthetics to your product or website:
Unsplash is a community where people share high-resolution photos for others to use under the Unsplash license. The photos are free and you can use them to amp up your website or editorials visually without the fear of copyright issues.
With a drag-and-drop interface, Canva is one of the most preferred web-designing tools. It includes preset photo filters, stickers, frames, borders, illustrations and fonts to make quirky posters and flyers for your brand. You can also discover new teams and join them for various projects.
Price: Free, but you can upgrade starting at 12.95 USD/ month
Visme is a design tool that helps you make your content look more engaging with the help of a plethora of customizable templates, audio content, filters, transitions, and an extensive media library. It offers other features as well, including activity tracking, collaborative workspace, and offline access.
Price: Free, but you can upgrade starting 15 USD/ month
Social Media Tools
Social media plays a vital role in expanding your business, especially in 2020. You must build interaction with your target audience regarding your products and services for long-term success and a dedicated user-base. Try out these amazing social media tools that will definitely help you gain an edge over your competitors, and contribute to your growth:
Hootsuite has made social media marketing way easier than it used to be. This tool helps in planning, scheduling and organizing social media posts. It allows you to share information as well as cater to the needs of your audience, add collaborators, and edit posts when you need to.
Price: Starting at 1915 INR/ month
Followerwonk is a twitter-based analytical platform that helps you engage with brand influencers and followers. Interacting with influential Twitter users can exponentially increase your reach. You can view follower losses or gains and analyze your competitors using Followerwonk as well.
Price: Free, but you can upgrade starting at 29 USD/ month
Socialoomph is another social media management tool that has excellent scheduling features. It saves your time by managing and queuing social posts. It also helps manage multiple Twitter accounts and offers a handy keyword search feature.
Price: Free, but you can upgrade starting at 20 USD/ month
We have curated these tools especially for you after thorough research and consideration. Using these exciting and innovative startup resources, you can minimize your costs while getting maximum output. These tools will provide the necessary support throughout your journey, while you achieve your dreams of a successful startup.
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