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Top 24 Tools & Resources for Successful Startups in 2018

If you want to find the best startup tools and resources for you and your team, you'll LOVE this list.

These are all tools we've used ourselves, or our community members have used and implemented into their day to day operations.

These tools will cover; project management, marketing tools, productivity and much more.

Let's check them out!

#1 Your Local Co-Working Spaces! Duh 🙂

Given who we are we just had to mention this tip somewhere...so we thought why not first? 😉

You’ve run the numbers, and there just isn’t enough money in the budget for private office space somewhere that's convenient for you and your co-founder. Working from your house, however, is out of the question, who can stay focused with all that food in the fridge?!?

In all seriousness, a co-working space is much more than the desk (and coffee) you are paying for. It's about community! With weekly events, mentorship programs and the opportunity to collaborate with other startup founders all the while using the super high-speed internet, how can you pass that up?

 

Get Started: Hop onto sites like sharedesk.net and coworker.com to find instant office spaces in your city and around the world, if you are in San Antonio, book a tour to see us!

co-working-space

#2 You Can Book Me for Easy “Calendar Juggling”

you-can-book-me-startup-tool

Do you ever find yourself spending too much time just trying to schedule a meeting? I know we have...

Put an end to calendar juggling and streamline meeting management with You Can Book Me. This tool integrates with your team’s Google and iCloud calendars so that you can take everyone’s availability into consideration when scheduling meetings. The platform also works great for service businesses that take appointments from customers.

Get Started: Try out the tool’s features by signing up for a free account at Youcanbook.me.

#3 MailChimp for Email List Building & Email Marketing

mailchimp-startup-tool

Use the email marketing tool MailChimp to stay in contact with your most engaged customers and clients. Use the free plan for a list up to 2,000 email subscribers. Their customer service is also excellent if you run into issues.

Get Started: Sign up for MailChimp’s free version to optimize your startup’s email marketing campaigns.

#4 Asana for Project Management

asana-startup-tool

Asana is a project management tool that offers a central location for your team’s requirements documents, budget data, and schedules. It’s perfect for both local and remote teams. It integrates with chat tools like Slack as well for some additional cool features.

Get Started: Visit Asana.com to see a demo of the product’s powerful features. I also like Trello and the capabilities of it's free version.

#5 Your Local Small Business Development Center!

Need access to capital or help understanding financial statements to grow your business? Your city’s Small Business Development Center has free tools, training, consulting, and informational resources to give your startup a boost.

Get Started:  Locate the nearest branch in your area, in San Antonio, go to https://sasbdc.org/.

#6 Canva for Quick, Easy & Professional Graphic Design

canva-design-tool

Whether it's your first business card or a YouTube thumbnail to help increase the number of clicks to your company's latest video, Canva helps the non-designers "get by" with thousands of template design options. With Canva, you can get professional-looking graphics without using special photo editing skills.

Get Started: Explore Canva’s robust graphic design features for free by downloading the application at Canva.com

#7 Understand Your Website’s Performance Using Google Analytics

google-analytics-startup-tool

How does your website traffic factor into your business plan? Seeing how your site is performing in search engines, or how users are engaging with your site is critical to seeing success online with your business.

Use detailed Google Analytics reports to develop advertising campaigns that improve lead generation, conversion rates, and sales.

Get Started: Sign up for a free Google Analytics account now and get it installed on your site ASAP! 

 

#8 Use Platforms Like Coursera to Learn New Skills & Train New Hires

coursera-startup-tool

Coursera is an e-learning platform that delivers professional development and degree programs in a number of subjects. Courses are 100 percent online, and you can tailor them to match your team’s schedule. When it's hard to find the time to train employees, platforms like Coursera can be a huge difference maker in taking some of the training burden off of you.

Get Started: Register for classes at Coursera.org. You can audit a class for free, but you’ll need to pay for the course if you want credit.

#9 You Need A Budget for Managing Your Startup’s Finances (YouNeedaBudget.com)

ynab-financial-tool

Many new businesses experience cash flow problems that impair growth. With the proper budget, your startup doesn’t have to be a statistic. Financial management startup tools such as You Need a Budget (YNAB) help you to create and execute a budget to meet your company’s financial goals. Of course,  more traditional bookkeeping software can be an option, Xero or Quickbooks however, YNAB is very simple, easy (and cheap) to get started with.

Just export your transactions at year end and send to your accountant to complete proper tax documents.

 

Get Started: Sign up for a free trial account with YNAB at YouNeedaBudget.com

#10 Read Business Books for Wisdom Beyond Your Years

What do you need to learn? Management? Strategy? Finance?

Whatever it is, you better believe there is a wealth a good resources on all those different subjects. Readers are leaders? Right?

Get Started: Check out the “Personal MBA” reading list by best-selling author Josh Kaufman.

#11 Use Clarity (Or Tap Your Network) for Mentors & Business Coaching

clarity-mentorship-tool

Looking for advice for your startup?

If you don’t have the budget to retain a consultant on contract, you can get on-demand advice from seasoned experts in your field with Clarity. You can also find enthusiastic mentors and business coaches through trade associations.

Get Started: Find a Clarity expert in your field at https://clarity.fm, and start getting answers today.

#12 Use Meetup or Your Local Business Calendar for Networking Events!

While connecting on social media has its place, nothing beats face-to-face connection.  Meetup is a networking tool that brings like-minded people together for social and professional events all across the spectrum.

 Get Started: Visit Meetup.com to find out about upcoming events in your area, or if you are in San Antonio, checkout SAbusinesscalendar.com.

#13 Use Websites Like Upwork to Source Capable Freelancers

Don’t let a small team stop you from doing big things. Hiring freelancers is a way to quickly scale up when you need extra help and scale back when demand ebbs.

 Get Started: Find your next freelance team member at Upwork.com.

upwork-freelancers

#14 Use Boomerang for Gmail to Remember Sales Follow Up

boomerang-for-gmail

Get ahead of the game with email productivity tool Boomerang for Gmail. Use the tool to automatically send pre-scripted emails anytime in the future. Never forget to send a follow up email again!

Get Started: Get a free Boomerang for Gmail account at Boomeranggmail.com to try out the platform’s basic features. Upgrade to the tool’s professional version when you need it.

#15 Send Professional Invoices with PayPal

paypal-for-business

Obviously we are all familiar with PayPal, but have we used PayPal’s business features? One of my favorites is invoicing. Easily create professional invoices using PayPal and send them off! PayPal charges a 2% payment processing fee. Similar to many others who offer this software service.

Get Started: Sign up for a free business PayPal account at PayPal.com.

#16 Find VIP’s Email Addresses with Hunter.io

Want the email address of the CEO who’s company needs to know about your innovative idea or product? Use Hunter.io to look them up and verify their email address. The free plan works great for people who don’t have to do too much email sourcing (up to 100 requests per month!).

Get Started: Try Hunter’s features for free by signing up for a basic account at Hunter.io.

#17 Edit Content & Copy Fast with Grammarly

grammarly

Don’t distract a new potential customer browsing your website with tipos (see what I did there?).  Automated grammar checker Grammarly proofreads your content for you, which saves you time and helps you figure out how to use a comma.

Get Started: Download the Grammarly application from Chrome here.

#18 Don’t Drop Your Video Call with Zoom

zoom-startup-resource

Are you tired of Skype not working? Yes, I am too. And...I have been for years! Rant over...

For hassle-free collaboration, sales calls and teleconferencing with staff, you’ll want to use a video call platform you can count on. I love Zoom, and the free plan will get you pretty far.

Get Started: Go to Zoom.us to get a demo of the platform and to sign up for a free basic account.

#19 Use Sumo Tools to Collect More Email Addresses (FAST!)

sumo-startup-resources

Sumo helps you build your website’s traffic into email list subscribers with their various strategic pop up forms and landing pages. Convert more of your traffic, now!

Get Started:The basic account for this tool is free. Visit Sumo.com to sign up and connect your website.

#20 Use Jing or Snagit to Send Screenshots & Videos

jing-startup-tool

Do you have a good tool to take screenshots or screencasts yet? Such an essential tool and a big part of clearing up communication with clients, vendors and team members.  Jing and Snagit are a couple of my favorites, and have great free options.

Get Started: Sign up with Jing or Snagit, here.

#21 Manage Your Social Media Effectively with Hootsuite or Buffer

Overwhelmed by all your social media platforms? Yes, I'm sure most people are too...but fear not! Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer makes social media management amongst many platforms much easier. Schedule your posts a week or two ahead all at once. Anything from Twitter to LinkedIn!

Get Started: Sign up for a free account with Buffer or Hootsuite here.

#22 Build Awesome Forms & Onsite Surveys with Typeform

typeform-startup-tool

A lack of feedback about your products or services can leave your business out of touch with your target customers. Typeform helps you to create conversational forms and surveys to improve the user experience.

Get Started: Learn about Typeform’s features at typeform.com, and sign up for a free basic account.

#23 Use a PageBuilder Like Divi to Build Engaging Pages ASAP

You don’t need to code to build engaging pages anymore. Great page building tools like Divi allow you to build highly engaging pages from scratch or by using templates. This is all done with the click and drags of your mouse!

Get Started: Download the Divi page builder plugin at Elegantthemes.com.

 

#24 Find Stock Photos That DON'T Suck with Unsplash

Can't get completely unique photos for your company's website or blog posts? Yeah, most people can't early on! But photos are a key to engaging and captivating your readers or audience as they work through your website.

Use Unsplash's awesome collection of beautiful photos, for free! Just show some respect to the community of photographers providing the photos!

 

Get Started: Sign up for a free account at unsplash.com

Final Thoughts

Be careful, in the world of startup tools and resources there can be certain overwhelm. While we hope our list is a helpful collection of tools and resources for you, it’s your job to filter through these and find the fewest possible set of tools to help you do your job and deliver for your customers in the best possible fashion.

But lastly...

Are there any new tools that you like that we didn't list here?

Let us know in the comments below!

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