Tools give you two very important things – money and time. By automating processes, they allow you to save your resources and use them on other tasks bringing the result closer. For a startup, cost- and time-savings are at the very top of the priority list, as at the beginning a startup usually lacks both.
With proper tools, you can get your startup off the ground quicker. Browse my list of resources and tools to help you build your startup and choose the ones that suit you best. I tried to select the business startup tools that are both affordable and will help you create that Aha! moment with your users.
Marketing automation tools
While marketing campaigns should be unique and creative, you can surely automate some repetitive tasks – sending emails and push notifications, posting content on social media and the like.
Customer.io – a tool that you can use to send targeted emails, SMS, and push notifications to customers – all automated. There is a 30-day free trial, and after that, you can enroll in a basic plan of $150 per month allowing up to 12,000 profiles.
SendinBlue gives you a complete suite of marketing automation tools including social media marketing, content management, and landing page construction. The tool offers a completely free plan, however, to access the full functionality you need to subscribe to the Premium plan at $66 per month.
Your set of startup tools should include efficient customer relationship management software that allows keeping all your customer interactions under control and automates a number of routine CRM processes.
Engagebay is a great CRM solution for a small business to manage customer contacts and maintain complete customer accounts. The great thing about Engagebay is that it has a free plan with quite an impressive feature list.
MembershipWorks is a solution for businesses implementing memberships as a form of customer relationship. The tool is rather multifunctional with a member directory, calendars, and payment options in the package. For up to 50 accounts you can use the free plan, however, the other levels are also quite affordable – starting from $29 per month.
Sales automation tools
The sales team also needs automation tools to free their creative resources for more complex stuff by taking over the repetitive tasks.
Pipedrive helps you control and monitor the entire sales pipeline including lead management, communication, and reporting. Pipedrive pricing starts with €12.50 per user per month which includes the basic set of features.
Lemlist is a great tool to send automated but highly personalized cold emails. You can schedule your emails and set up follow-up messages at strategic intervals, so that to keep prospective customers engaged. The pricing starts with $29 per month but you can try the tool for free for 14 days.
Customer communication tools
Communication tools help you set up a multi-channel customer communication system including email, live chat, and SMS.
HelpCrunch is considered a wholesome Zendesk alternative. It is a highly customizable marketing and communication tool that you can use for email marketing, customer communication, and real-time support via live chat. HelpCrunch offers a 14-day free trial while paid plans start with $15 per month per team member.
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Aircall is a tool to set up a complete call center supporting voice calls (both direct and conference), voicemail, call routing and recording, as well as a number of collaboration and analytical features. The Essentials plan will cost you $30 per user per month, and there is a 7-day free trial, too.
Content management tools
There are no minor things in content management – you need to make sure it engages the user and at the same time serves its marketing purpose and is SEO-friendly. You can make content management more straightforward with dedicated tools.
Planable is a rich and intuitive content creation tool focused on social media. Use it to build eye-catching posts and schedule them strategically. You can try it for free for 14 days and then subscribe at a fee starting at $32.50 per month.
Venngage offers a wealth of customizable templates and tools to create all sorts of content – from infographics to brochures, banners, whitepapers, and newsletters. With Venngage, you can create unique and recognizable content quicker. Try the free plan to see whether Venngage suits your requirements, but to get the full functionality you need to subscribe to the Business plan at $49 per month.
Team collaboration tools
According to the GetVoIP study, 81% of employees say that collaboration apps improve productivity of the company and 70% of remote workers will use team collaboration tools by 2022. This means your set of startup tools should also include one to enable effective team collaboration at various levels.
Chanty supports multiple communication and collaboration options – chat, voice or video calls, screen sharing, task management as well as integration with other business tools, such as GitLab or Google Drive. If your team is up to 10 members, you can use Chanty’s free plan, otherwise, subscribe to the Business plan at $3 per user per month.
ProofHub is a complete project management system with time tracking, calendar, task management, communication, file sharing and a number of other features in one package. The Essential plan that allows up to 40 projects and up to 50 users is offered at $45 per month, but before subscribing, make sure you take advantage of the 14-day free trial.
I hope this list of startup tools will help you put together an effective toolset that you can use in your everyday work to make routine tasks easier. If you think I missed something, let’s discuss!
Lidia is a blogger behind HelpCrunch, an all-in-one customer communication platform. Her free time she spends searching for new marketing trends and tv shows. Follow her on Twitter @Liya_Bondarenko.
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