Startups are surging due to the ongoing pandemic. However, building a business is a challenge.
Entrepreneurs and business owners need to make sure they meet customer demands, track resources, and maintain a positive brand reputation.
To stay on top of tasks and make sure your business grows, consider introducing some of the best startup tools to your workflow.
In this article, we’ll go over eight solutions to increase productivity and manage work, starting from project management tools, team collaboration software, to customer support tools.
Read on to find out what they are and decide which ones you can use to create a smarter environment for your startup business.
1. Website Platform: Hostinger
Number one on our best startup tools list is Hostinger – a web hosting and domain name provider to get your startup online.
It offers a vast selection of products, including WordPress and eCommerce hosting, making the provider a versatile tool for those starting an online business.
Compared to others on the market, Hostinger offers an unbeatable pricing point.
Starting at £2.99/mo, the WordPress hosting package includes advanced features such as unlimited bandwidth and free domain registration.
In addition, all plans come with customer support tools to help your team members navigate any issues, which is vital for keeping your startup running smoothly.
Another detrimental aspect to creating a successful business is a custom email address.
Hostinger lets you build a strong brand presence using its business email hosting. With it, you can convey professionalism and build trust.
It’s also possible to check for domain name availability using its domain checker tool. That way, you’re guaranteed to find a unique and ideal domain for your startup website.
2. Marketing and Analytics: Google Analytics
When running an online business, understanding your audience should be a top priority. Among many marketing tools available, Google Analytics is one of the best for your startup.
It offers a complete view of customer behavior so you can deliver great experiences and drive better results.
The tool is easy to use and comes with robust analytic features, such as reports and data visualizations.
You can measure active users based on their interactions with your website per time frame and visualize the data for more accurate monitoring.
From there, you can decide what works and which area to improve.
It’s also possible to integrate with other Google products for a more comprehensive insight on your business.
For instance, you can add Google Ads to see your advertisements perform. You can also import your Analytics data into your Ads account for a seamless view.
The free version is sufficient for small to medium-sized businesses. As your startup grows, you can upgrade to Analytics 360 for more advanced features.
3. Project Management: Hubstaff Tasks
Hubstaff Tasks is a project management tool to help startups organize their business. It makes prioritizing, assigning, and keeping track of tasks with team members easy.
It comes with features for project planning and team communication to streamline collaborative work remotely.
Team members can finish large projects faster using sprint planning so team members can stay focused and productive.
Everyone can also add personal to-do lists for everyday tasks, starting from daily, weekly, to monthly entries.
It’s also possible to switch between different views to better understand your team. Toggle from Kanban to Timeline view to see what each team member is working on.
This is great for keeping projects on track and avoiding bottlenecks.
Time tracking for all members is also available with integration with Hubstaff time-tracking.
There are routing check-ins and reviews to help prevent mistakes. It helps spot minor issues before they become major problems.
This project management tool and team collaboration software are free to use for up to five users. If you need to add more members, the pricing is at $5 per user.
4. Sales: Drip
Drip is a sales and marketing tool for growing eCommerce startups.
With it, users can run multi-channel marketing campaigns through email, SMS, social media platforms, and onsite pop-ups – all from a single dashboard.
It’s possible to send personalized emails and texts to drive more revenue.
Drip can deliver product recommendations based on the customer’s purchase history or liked items.
The tool can also help send abandoned cart items, unique discount codes, and top-selling products to turn visitors into shoppers.
What’s more, these messages are easy to craft with their visual builder. With it, you can put your store data into the tool’s dynamic content, creating an engaging and attractive marketing campaign.
Sending scheduled and automated messages using pre-made templates is another useful feature that comes with Drip.
The options vary from Welcome to Win-Back series.
Taking these instant actions will not only convey professionalism, but also foster a strong customer relationship with your online business.
This marketing tool is available for a 14-day free trial.
If you’d like to continue using it, the bundled version starts at $22 per month for 100 contacts and increases accordingly.
5. Team Collaboration: Google Workspace
Formerly referred to as G Suite, Google Workspace is a complete team collaboration suite for businesses of all sizes.
It is a paid tool with various pricing plans, which starts at $8 per user per month for the Business Starter plan.
That said, businesses can have a 14-day trial before committing to a plan.
All plans provide a custom email for your online business and include Google-based applications, starting from Gmail and Google Calendar, to Google Docs and Google Forms.
Team members can use shared calendars to see when others are available and schedule meetings with automatic email invites.
Furthermore, you can add a link to a video conference using Google Meet which is accessible from any camera-enabled device – be it desktop, phone, or tablet.
Real-time collaboration is also easy. Multiple team members can work together on documents, spreadsheets, and slides across devices.
Changes are saved automatically and it’s possible to see edits, communicate through built-in chat, and ask questions in comments.
6. Customer Service: Zendesk
Zendesk is a customer support service that works across channels.
Your team members can answer customers via website live chat and mobile messaging app like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
To enable 24/7 support, consider adding an Answer Bot so customers can get help even when agents aren’t available.
All interactions and conversations are stored in a centralized workspace so each team member can understand the customer’s history and provide useful information any time they have a question.
There are plenty of message customization options to enhance the customer experience. For instance, Zendesk offers Proactive Messaging such as sending a notification about a customer’s order progress.
There is also a Group Messaging feature, where you can add relevant parties to the chat.
A great example is adding the delivery driver to the conversation so the customer knows when to expect their item.
To get started, Zendesk offers a free trial for all plans. If you want to commit, the pricing starts at $19 per agent per month.
If you’d like to upgrade for more advanced features, Zendesk allows making changes to your plan at any time.
7. Social Media: HootSuite
HootSuite is a versatile marketing tool for your startup.
It helps manage your social media channels from a single platform, including from publishing, engaging, monitoring, advertising, to analyzing.
You can easily unite cross-channel campaigns and create project planning in a collaborative calendar.
It’s also possible to get an instant overview of published and scheduled content across all networks in a single view.
Hootsuite’s Inbox helps manage all incoming messages so you can respond to customers in a timely manner. You can filter actions such as dismissing or responding in bulk.
To stay on top of conversations, track mentions and monitor competitor activities. Get real-time insight using Hootsuite Insights where you can filter conversations based on demographics, locations, or dates.
This helps understand the perception of your brand in the market so you can stay on top of competition.
Hootsuite offers two pricing plans, ranging between $49 and $129 per month depending on the number of users and social accounts you need.
You can also request custom solutions by contacting their team for further information.
That said, a free plan is available for a single user and two social accounts.
8. Design: Canva
Canva is a beginner-friendly design tool for all types of online businesses. It offers a wide variety of templates for social media posts, presentations, banners, posters, and more.
The drag-and-drop editor is sufficient for basic editing such as text animations, image resizing, and photo effects.
That said, Canva has a PDF editor where you can edit and convert your PDF files into online designs.
From there, you can annotate, customize, and download them as shareable online files or print-ready documents.
The software is also great for project planning. Users can add and organize multiple designs for different purposes simultaneously.
It can also be used as a collaboration tool where team members can work together in real-time. This is great to ensure a seamless workflow and help your startup thrive.
It’s also possible to import media from various platforms such as Google Drive, Instagram, QR code, YouTube, and Google Maps.
From there, you can export to other channels such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Slack for a swift workflow.
You can use Canva for free. It comes complete with over 250 thousand free templates and 5GB of cloud storage space, which is sufficient for a small business.
However, more advanced features are only available on their paid plan, starting at $119.99 per year.
9. Design: BrandCrowd
For starting business owners, branding is one of the major challenges they face. To create logos, fonts, slogans, and web designs, business owners might need to shell out a big amount
of their financial resources.
Professional designers require professional fees. That is to say, exorbitant fees. And for brand starters, that’s way out of their budget. That is why DIY design tools are incredibly helpful.
For one, it’s cheap. You only need to buy a monthly or annual subscription ranging from 50 to a hundred dollars.
Then, you don’t have to pay any designer because you are the designer. And you might ask, “what if I have no experience in creating a logo or a slogan before?” No problem. Most tools have a very intuitive interface with drag-and-drop features, perfect for absolute beginners.
Here’s how they work. They provide templates that are pre-created by professional designers. And you can customize these templates using the buttons and features available per tool.
BrandCrowd is one of those helpful tools. According to Trustpilot, they’re the number one logo maker. Their database boasts approximately 75 thousand logo templates as well as templates for slogans, flyers, business cards, email signatures, social media posts, and more. There are free logos and premium logos that are available for annual or monthly subscriptions.
And like most DIY tools, it also has a beginner-friendly interface. So no matter your level of design expertise, you can create a design that will suit your creative tastes.
Even big businesses can benefit from BrandCrowd. The immense number of templates can provide inspiration to professional designers and content creators.
In fact, whatever business needs and goals you might have, BrandCrowd is your perfect destination, especially in the name of marketing designs and whenever design budget is a major issue.
10. E-signatures Meet Automation: Jotform Sign
Whether it’s onboarding employees, hiring contractors, or collecting user data, e-signatures are always handy. A tool like Jotform Sign makes it easier to collect electronic signatures and track your data.
This automation tool saves time and money by allowing you to create legally binding documents using their easy builder and embed them on your website for users to sign.
Choose from one of their 600+ templates to get started and customize your documents to match your startup branding.
Create an approval flow to make sure your documents go through the necessary departments in your organization and get notified whenever a change is made.
Use it for analytics, marketing, workflow automation, and much more. Make the onboarding process faster by creating agreement contracts for your employees to sign.
Jotform comes with a free plan that lets you create 10 signed documents. The paid plans start from $34/month and come with higher limits. There is also an enterprise plan for companies that supports multiple users. You must contact their sales team for more pricing info.
Startups continue to crowd the business scene.
To thrive and stay on top of the competition, you need to create a smarter environment for your business to increase productivity.
Here are the eight best startup tools and resources to help ease your tasks:
- Website platform: Hostinger
- Data and analytics: Google Analytics
- Project management: Hubstaff Tasks
- Marketing and sales: Drip
- Team collaboration: Google Workspace
- Customer service: Zendesk
- Social media management: HootSuite
- Design tool: Canva
- Design sercice: BrandCrowd
Equipped with these tools, your startup will be ready to thrive and grow seamlessly.
Make sure to optimize each tool by learning about its features and how it can help create a smarter environment for your startup. Good luck!