Startup founders sometimes feel like they’re doing everything alone, even when they have a great team. Where is help with specialized tasks when you need it most? There are a variety of apps and tools available today that exist solely for the purpose of making it easier to run your startup or business. For specialized tasks, like email marketing, creating presentations, managing social media, handling accounting, and keeping track of your team members, well-designed tools for startups can be a lifesaver.
In this post, we will outline the top 5 tools we think every startup should be using to improve their business and marketing efforts.
Top 5 Tools for Startups
If you’re not using Mailchimp yet, you’re really missing out on one of the best tools for startups out there. Mailchimp is an email marketing tool that allows you to create, design, send, and test email campaigns to your subscriber lists. You can segment the lists, create signup forms, and perform A/B testing on your email content. There’s a Forever Free plan for smaller companies with few subscribers and paid monthly plans for larger businesses with more subscribers.
In order to have success with Mailchimp, you’ll need to build a great subscriber list with email addresses of your customers and potential leads. Your website should have a signup form easily accessible from every page on your site to ensure your visitors are aware of your mailing list and can see how to sign up.
Sure, there are other email marketing tool options out there, but Mailchimp wins in nearly every category. Don’t believe us? Check out our side-by-side comparison of Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact.
2. Buffer or Hootsuite
Your startup’s social presence is critical to your success, but manually posting updates on every social network you participate in would take all your time. That’s what Buffer and Hootsuite exist to do: Automate and improve your social media posting.
You can curate great content right from the dashboard on Hootsuite (Buffer recently removed that feature, unfortunately), schedule daily times to post by the day of the week, track engagement, trending hashtags, and more. There are a variety of plans available on Buffer and Hootsuite to fit your startup’s needs and cost constraints.
The age old question of which is better, Buffer or Hootsuite, isn’t easy to answer. It really depends on what you’re using the tool to accomplish. If you’re into reading company blogs, Buffer’s is one of the best in the business. We regularly consult their blog to learn about marketing trends and to read their interesting case studies. If you’re using social media, you need to use Buffer or Hootsuite.
Raise your hand if you’re sick of PowerPoint. Yes? You too? That’s why we love Prezi, and it’s one of our favorite tools for startups. Your startup’s business meetings and sales presentations will be more organized, have a better flow, and engage your team members better when you use this tool.
Cool “zoom in for emphasis” options, a nonlinear format (PP is linear), and the ease of sharing with team members make Prezi one of our favorite tools for startups.
Accounting is hard. Wave exists to make it easier for startups to track accounts, payments, and receipts all in one place. Wave integrates with your banking account or PayPal account, so you probably won’t need to make manual entries.
Balance sheets for investors can be generated easily using Wave, and invoicing is always free and unlimited. Isn’t Wave awesome?
5. Google Apps
The family of Google Apps for Business are the real deal. You’ve probably already used one or two of the apps in the family: Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Hangouts, Calendar, and Vault are all part of the group.
We use Google Docs everyday to draft our articles. We use Sheets to track content. We use forms to engage with and get feedback from our customers and audience, and we track our calls and meetings in Google Calendar. These are great tools for any startup or business to have on their side!