Discover the Productivity that Lies Hidden in These Free Tools for Startups
If you are the CEO of a startup, you are probably already well aware of how many challenges you face every single day.
Managing projects, running on a tight budget, hiring the right people at the right time, and raising capital for the next round are just a few issues to mention.
Did you know that according to Fortune, 9 startups out of 10 are likely to fail in the long run?
So, what’s the difference between a successful entrepreneur and the average one?
It all lies in their ability to cope with these difficulties quickly and effectively.
That’s where this list of free tools for startups can help you out.
Let’s review these tried and tested tools one by one. Hopefully, some of them can help you become the next big success story like AirBnB or Instagram.
Marketing Tools for Startups
It should come as no surprise that the right marketing strategy will be one of the cornerstones of your success.
Ubersuggest helps you come up with ideas for what keywords people are typing in Google and which ones you could capitalize on. It shows you the SERP results of the top 100 sites ranking for relevant keywords.
You can start working with Ubersuggest with no additional training or preparation.
This is a perfect tool for specialists interested in targeted advertising. It is particularly helpful for those struggling to operate in languages and regions they are not familiar with.
For instance, suppose you need to promote a pet shop site in London. You’ll have to consider the local district names and London slang – things that may not be familiar to you if you’re not from the area yourself.
You might want to use, for example, the word “Bexley” – a district of London. You can see this term being suggested the screenshot below.
This tool can help you find all sorts of other relevant keyword ideas that you may want to include in your articles.
It also highlights the vital keyword metrics like search volume, average cost per click, and keyword difficulty.
Ahrefs is the best tool for in-depth backlink analysis. Though it’s a paid tool, you can use its free features to get the essential info on the backlink profiles of your competitors.
Basically, this tool analyzes the link profile of a site. With it, you can identify the backlinks of a site and check their parameters. It’s great for analyzing your competitors and building your own strategies as well. The tool gives you several options:
- Reveal the number and sources of backlinks. This analysis shows how many links a site benefits from, including their IP addresses, the number of text links, the “notfollow” attribute, and redirect and image links.
- Anchor list view and export. You can view all the anchors for the links a site gets. You can sort them to find the most popular ones.
- Positions analysis. You can view the top 100 search results according to any search term used 35 times a month or more.
- Search for the most linked pages of a site. Go to ”Reports → Your Project → Pages” to see which pages have the most backlinks.
- Subdomain link analysis. This option gives you an idea of what subdomains are used more frequently.
- Domains with the most links. See which domains publish the majority of links to a selected site.
- Last found backlinks.
- Frequent linking countries and domain zones.
This is just a small subset of the features available in the paid version of Ahrefs.
If you’d like to discover more SEO tools, check out this page.
Sales tools for startups
Appoint.ly is a top-notch platform for scheduling calls and online meetings.
It is irreplaceable for companies that have offices scattered around the world and/or work with international clients.
In other words, it is a calendar with business features that can be shared by many users.
With Appoint.ly, you can create schedules and arrange meetings. It synchronizes various time zones.
Every user gets email notifications about events that are relevant to them. The application is available for all devices and platforms.
With manual availability settings, personal links, break scheduling, and other useful features, this software can replace personal secretaries and facilitate cross-country communication.
HubSpot is a simple but effective CRM tool for the sales team. It is aimed at automating and optimizing various activities related to capturing and nurturing leads.
HubSpot covers all fields of internet marketing, including SEO, blogs, social networks, content, and target page management.
The system also provides a wide spectrum of email marketing services.
On top of that, it functions as a content management system, allowing you to provide fresh content and optimizing it for mobile devices and search engines. You can even personalize a site for a single visitor. Hubspot CRM saves all contacts and details, including your history of communication via phone and email.
Social Media Resources for Startups
Buffer is a professional tool for scheduling your posts on various social media platforms. You can schedule up to 10 posts using the product’s free trial. This service lets you share photos, videos and links through social networks.
It offers integration with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. Its main advantages are:
- RSS channel setup
- Up to 100 messages and/or Tweets
- Several social networks supported
- Shared profile management
- More than 50 applications and additional functions
- Business planning
Tweetdeck is a useful free tool that can help you manage multiple Twitter accounts. This services comes as a web application and as desktop software.
Using Tweetdeck, you can systematically manage messages, mentions, responses, activity, scheduled Tweets, collections, and trends.
It is especially useful for notifying you about specific new messages and Tweets; you can view newly published Tweets through popup messages to ensure you don’t miss anything important. Essentially, Tweetdeck gives you a variety tools for manipulating an unlimited number of Twitter accounts.
Feel free to look into more social media tools that can make your life easier here.
Content-Related Startup Tools
Grammarly is one of the best tools for entrepreneurs who want to write perfect emails and publish error-free blog posts. Going way beyond a spellcheck, this utility helps you eliminate all types of mistakes: from grammar and spelling to punctuation errors and diction.
It’s a must if you create any content. There are free and a paid versions of Grammarly.
The difference is in the number of mistakes brought to your attention; the paid version helps you fix vocabulary, stylistic, and punctuation mistakes.
A user can upload a document for saving the style. Each mistake is presented with an explanation or rule.
While obviously invaluable for all content managers, it’s also handy for anyone writing business emails, regardless of their level of English; why risk jeopardizing anything with a typo?
The application comes in desktop, online, and mobile versions.
HemingwayApp is a great tool to use if you want your posts and emails to be clear and concise – which you should!
It is somewhat similar to Grammarly, but HemingwayApp focuses on highlighting problems that affect the readability of your text.
The app marks sentences that will be difficult for readers to decipher with yellow and red (the latter indicating very problematic pieces).
Purple is used to highlight phrases and words that have simpler alternatives. The green color highlights the use of passive voice, and blue marks unnecessary adverbs.
The application is free to use.
Get more great content marketing tools here.
Medium is a free blogging platform where you can post your content and start gathering your tribe around it.
While marketologists still argue about its exact intended purpose, one thing is clear: Medium is a place you can publish notes and text content. Any person or brand can register for a free account and start writing in it. A user can publish individual pieces, write contributions for particular articles, or run their own blog. The platform devotes a lot of time to analytics, emphasizing in particular the coefficient of read materials. In other words, it shows you whether readers have read your text or not.
Graphics-Oriented Business Startup Resources
Canva is a simple tool for creating nice graphics for your blog and social media. The set templates for various channels (eg. Twitter, Facebook) are really cool. Canva is an intuitive online graphics design application with lots of ready-to-use templates and drag-and-drop functionality.
With its help, a user can create presentations, covers for social media accounts, advertisements, logos, banners, memes, invitations, and more.
Account managers will appreciate the automatic adjustments to meet Facebook or Twitter requirements, and professional designers will be amazed by the number of available filters.
Besides that, Canva has a sizeable trove of stock photos stored. Its main advantages are:
- A large library of fonts, photos, and templates
- Templates adjusted for different social media platforms
- Adjustable branding
- The ability to collaborate with others
Pexels is a repository of high-quality stock photos that you may use for free. Choose pictures from various categories for any personal and commercial purpose.This free service allows you to follow the photographers, make donations, and download their photos for free. You can conduct searches by tag or date and rank the results.
Unsplash is another source for amazing free stock photos you can use in your content. What sets Unsplash apart is its focus on quality rather than quantity. Every 10 days, the site’s editors pick 10 top photos.
Their taste is impeccable, and can save you time you would otherwise spend browsing through loads of mediocre photography.
Besides that, the service has a separate site called Made with Unsplash where you can see some of the best designs made with the stock photographic material taken from Unsplash. Draw upon this for inspiration and ideas.
Recruitment Tools for Startups
Freelancer is a great place to hire freelancers in any niche that you may need for your project. Through the online platform, you can create a project instantly, select a well-suited professional, and pay for the job done.
You can search for the professionals you like and then offer them work, or create an project and accept bids to pick the best price.
You upload your own project instructions to ensure that your requirements are clearly defined.
Handshake is a great free resource for hiring students or interns. Find rising talents for your projects here. This service is similar to the previous one.
However, it is especially focused on students. Many companies love this service for their ability to instantly search for promising future specialists. There is a premium version of
Handshake that is specialized for creating and managing a complete team or department.
Collaboration Tools for Startups
Calendly is a popular free startup tool to help you find the perfect meeting time. It makes it easy come up with the best time for a call.
The application has a subscription-based premium version that features unlimited types of events, customizable email notifications, personalized links, metrics, reports, and removable branding.
This simple tool has won popularity with companies of all sizes around the world.
Evernote is free business startup software that helps you keep your notes organized and online. The system makes it easy to search and share.
It supports synchronization, storage, and various platforms. Evergreen offers several paid plans.
The “Business” plan includes all premium features and contains more opportunities for mutual management, ensuring centralized storage of corporate information.
Boomerang is a free startup tool that lets you write your emails now and have them go out later.
You can schedule your emails so the recipients get them when they are most likely to be online.
With this Firefox and Chrome extension, you can set up custom times for your Gmail messages to be sent.
This tool is useful for anyone who works with important emails and wants to boost the chances of their messages being seen, opened, and read.
Recordit is free and effective software for recording screencasts fast! One of its greatest features is that it supports the GIF format.
This incredible free tool is irreplaceable for companies that need to explain how to use their products (e.g. tech and software companies, in particular).
As we all know, a video tutorial can explain something more effectively than a whole department of support managers.
The free version allows you to record five-minute videos. You can adjust the quality as well.
Jing is an incredibly useful tool for screenshot sharing and screencasting. The simple and efficient system can improve your workflow significantly.
It’s not just screenshot taking tool, but a basic screenshot designer. This makes Jing useful for project managers and support managers in various types of companies.
A user can mark up a screenshot a shot with lines, frames, custom text, etc.
Every shot can be saved on the device or sent to another user through a special link.
This is a simple, lightweight tool that can facilitate your daily routine.
Typeform enables you to engage your audience with conversational forms and surveys. You can get information from your visitors in a more fun and engaging way.
Use the handy tool to create polls and questionnaires for your visitors.
You can choose from three options: a form that’s built into your site, one that pops up in a separate window, or one that’s located on a separate site.
All the responses are stored in a separate page of the service.
For more tools that can improve the workflow of your team, check out this category of our site.
Other Business Startup Tools
Google Analytics is a free tool for understanding your website’s effectiveness through analytics. It takes some time to familiarize yourself with how the system works, but once you do, you can learn a lot about your audience and their interaction with your website.
The platform is a must for every company that has a website. You get the following functions and features:
- Fast integration – within hours, you can have everything set up and start analyzing your site’s data with the system.
- Comparisons of advertising companies and keywords.
- The ability to create your own setup panel and reporting system.
- Integration with AdWords and other contextual advertising systems.
- Analysis of inner searches on your site.
- Comparisons of your site’s efficiency vs. averages in your field.
- Comparisons of data acquired over various periods.
- E-commerce targeting.
- Visualizations of visitors’ paths and patterns of activity.
- Automated transmission of user reports via email.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Google Analytics is a complex tool with robust security and convenient approaches to optimization management.
Hotjar is another great tool for handling your analytics. You can watch recorded videos of user activity and explore which areas your visitors clicked with special heatmaps.
Besides that, Hotjar is used for accumulating feedback and analytics. If you better understand the needs of your visitors, you can increase conversions.
The well-engineered system will impress UX and UI designers, developers, managers, analytics, and marketers.
Its main features include:
- Click hotmaps
- Tracking of visitors’ behavior
- Conversion funnels
- Form analysis
- Creation of FAQ pages based on feedback
- A/B tests
- Analysis of traffic sources
- Advice on UX improvement
- Tester recruitment
Google Docs You can store all your reports and important notes here. It makes it very easy to share and collaborate with your teammates in real time.
Essentially, Google has made its own version of the full Microsoft Office suite and offered it as a set of web applications.
There are desktop and mobile versions as well. You can integrate your text documents, tables, presentations, and databases and keep them on your individual or shared Google Drive.
One integral feature is the customization of an access to each file. You can control which other users can read or edit any document.
At the moment, almost every modern company is taking advantage of this free alternative to standard text editors.
Trello is a popular free tool to make your work plans and progress clear and keep everyone on the same page. It’s very effective for managing your projects and keeping everything organized.
This application is popular among small companies and startups. It can be integrated with other popular tools for online work.
The interface is based on the kanban system, popular in the IT sector. Tasks or “cards” are arranged by their types and completion status. Upgrade to Trello’s paid version to avoid the limits on users and project size.
One particularly pleasant feature is that Trello has recently concluded a partnership with Unsplash – mentioned above in our section on graphics tools.
Now you have a list of some of the best tools for startups. With your own project’s needs in mind, consider which ones could make your life easier.
Of course, this list is not complete. There are a wealth of tools out there, and we have just highlighted some of our favorites.
Growthparty is aiming at becoming the largest online directory of great resources and tools to help the new generation of creators like you find the right tools for their work, startup, or side hustle.
To explore more tools like SmartSound, Trello, and Evernote that can help you do what you need to do better, check out Growthparty.