Are you working on building a new venture from scratch? Are you in the initial stages of growing your startup?
Congrats! For believing in your ideas and working hard to make your entrepreneurship dreams come true. While entrepreneurship is a whole lot exciting, it’s terrifying too. There are endless tasks to be handled, plenty of things to be sorted out before you can get your startup on its feet.
The whole startup journey can be made easier when you’ve got the right tools in your bag. Using these tools not only help you make your venture more effective but also help you in saving finances, thereby not wasting your precious capital.
Here, in this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top tools that all startups need to grow their brands and increase revenue.
Let’s get started on building your business.
#1: Tools for Building your Website
All startups need to start by building their presence online, and the first step is setting up your website. You need a domain name and work on building your site’s framework. If you already have a website up and running, then you can skip this section and move on to the rest. If not, then this one’s for you.
- GoDaddy – For purchasing your domain
- WordPress – This is the easiest platform to build your website. You can choose from thousands of free and paid themes, helping you get started on your custom website. The best part, you can add advanced functionalities to your site easily using WordPress plugins.
- Shopify – Are you planning to sell your products online? Then Shopify helps you launch your e-commerce store quickly.
- Wix – Plenty of themes and templates sorted according to your specific industry.
#2: Tools to Increase Traffic to your Site
Ok, now that you’ve got a website up and running, the next step is to drive traffic to it. To grow your brand, you need to pull in plenty of visitors (and potential customers) to your site. For this, you have to spread the word about your site.
- Google Ads – It helps you display your online ads at the top of search results.
- Other Social Media Ads – Apart from displaying your digital ads on Google, you have to display them on other social media platforms frequented by your potential customers. Instagram ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads are easy to set up and help you reach a niche audience.
- Apart from ads, you need to submit articles – product reviews, tutorials, and other helpful articles on different sites like Medium, Scoop.it, Business2Community to spread the word about your brand and to grow brand awareness.
#3: Tools for Social Media Marketing
Once you have set up your site and sown the seeds for traffic generation from paid ads, the next step is to grow your business organically. Irrespective of the nature of your business and industry, improving your organic traffic pays off handsomely. It helps you to rank better on search engines, establishes your brand as an authority in the niche, thereby winning the trust and loyalty of your potential customers.
With that said, managing social media and content promotions for a business is vastly different from posting using your personal account. So, you need the right social media management tools to nail it right.
- There are plenty of social media management tools like Buffer, Postplanner, Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, SocialBakers, and others. Try out a couple of these tools using the free trial and then choose the right one that works for you.
#4: Tools for Email Marketing
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to communicate with existing and prospective customers. Emails have far better read rates when compared to social media posts and aren’t as intrusive as marketing over text messages or phone calls.
When it comes to email marketing, you have to focus on two different elements:
- Newsletters – these are emails you send out to existing and prospective customers announcing sales, new product launches, promotions and more.
- Email automation – this includes all your auto-response mails – the ones you send out when a customer places an order, enquires about your products, etc.
Here, you can find our list of recommended tools for both.
- MailChimp – This is a free platform that makes it easy for startups and entrepreneurs to send out newsletters. You can choose from hundreds of existing email templates for lead generation.
- Aweber – This works great for email automation, helping you send out the right auto-response emails to all customers.
#5: Tools for Content Marketing
You have established your online presence using your website, social media channels, and paid ads. What comes next? You have to focus on generating unique and relevant content and get started with blogging.
Content allows you to boost your page ranking organically for associated search terms. Additionally, it adds a huge impact on your online presence, increasing the reputation of your brand.
- Google Search Console – This is part of Google Analytics and helps you find out how people are landing on your site. It also gives you clear views of the search terms that people are using to find your business. Using this information, you can start writing relevant content that is useful and provides answers to the questions your audience is looking for.
- Long Tail Pro – This software helps you identify the relevant keywords in your niche.
- BuzzSumo – This tool helps you identify the content that is working well for your competitors. This gives you an idea of the type of content you need to create.
- Google Docs – While this may feel too simple, Google Docs is a great word processor, as it allows different members of your team to collaborate and work together on the same piece of content, irrespective of where they are in the world.
#6: Tools to Measure your Marketing Strategies
By now, we’ve come a long way. We’ve set up your site, got traffic coming in, and built our unique content strategy. What next? You need to know whether the efforts you have done so far are worth it. What’s going right and what’s going wrong, so that you can revise your strategy accordingly.
You need to work on analytics. Don’t get scared by the term, as it’s quite simple when you’ve got these tools by your side.
- Google Analytics – From helping you find out where your website traffic is coming from to the ROI of your advertising, Google Analytics helps you track and monitor everything. If you are new to analytics, then Google Analytics is the best place to start.
#7: Tools for Better Office Communication
Building a successful business depends a lot on the people you hire, and how they work together as a team. While emails have been used for office communications for more than a decade, they are not the smartest or most efficient options out there. Finding a particular conversation among hundreds of email multiple threads is time-consuming and inefficient.
You need the right tools to improve office communications, thereby boosting productivity.
- Slack – Great tool to send messages, share files with other team members, or host video conferences with your team.
- Jostle – It’s similar to Slack but has several innovative features like sharing news or blog posts with others in your team or your company using a live feed. It helps to boost employee engagement.
- Trello – It helps your team set up to-do lists and work on it together.
#8: Tools for Better Allocation of Resources
As your team grows, you are likely to have multiple resources working in various shifts, from different branches, and even different parts of the world. And, not to forget you have different types of resources like – full-time workers, part-time workers, contract workers, interns, vendors, freelancers and more.
The success of your business depends largely on how you manage all these resources. As your business grows, you are likely to have multiple projects simultaneously, requiring you to allocate resource efficiently.
What with worker leaves, vacations, time schedules, and more, you need the right tool to allocate and manage resources efficiently. This is where resource allocation software comes in quite handy.
- eResource Scheduler – A simple, easy-to-use, and highly efficient resource allocation software that lets you assign the right resource to the right project quickly and seamlessly. With detailed views and customized reports, you can easily see who is working on what, thereby eliminating under or over-allocation of resources.
#9: Tools to Keep Track of Customers
Once you are starting to get traffic and visitors to your site, you need to work on building a database of your customers. You need to segment customers according to their demographics, which part of the sales funnel they are on, and more.
Keeping track of the touchpoints of your customers and what they expect from your brand is essential to maximize revenues. Customer relationship management tools or CRM, in short, can help you out.
- Salesforce – It’s one of the leading CRM tools. It helps you organize, monitor, and track your past, existing, and future customers.
- Other popular CRM tools include Zoho, Pipedrive, Sugar CRM, SAP CRM, Insightly, and more.
#10: Tools for Other Miscellaneous Purposes
These are tools that you are not likely to use every day but will help you get things done when needed.
- Fiverr or Upwork – As a startup, it may not be possible or affordable to keep on hiring full-time employees. Using freelancers for various requirements helps to reduce your overall expenses, while also providing you with the right talent at the right time. For instance, if you need a graphic designer to design your product catalog, then you can use Upwork or Fiverr to hire a freelancer in minutes. The same applies to web developers, content creators, and other short-term contractors. This way, you can focus on growing your business, and not get diverted trying to do everything by yourself.
- Lastpass – A password manager that helps you remember the login id and passwords for all your business tools.
- Canva – An easy to use tool to help you design stunning visual content.
- Typeform – An online software that helps you build surveys and other dynamic forms.
- Powertoon – A video editing software that is easy to use, and doesn’t burn a hole in your budget.
- GoToMeeting – A simple web conferencing software that makes it easy to collaborate with your team members in real-time.
- Dropbox – For unlimited cloud storage to hold your files, videos, and other documents to be shared with your team. It’s available for mobile devices too.
Growing a business is extremely hard work. Hope these tools make it a bit easier for you and help you achieve your business goals. Try out the different tools listed here, and feel free to pick the ones that work for you and your business.
Rudraksh Vyas has been working in Project Management & Resource Management Software industry for the past 14 years. He has experience of analyzing & understanding business requirements in Project Management & Resource Management areas and addressing them by identifying and implementing best-fit solutions, in organizations of all sizes. He is a certified PMP (Project Management Professional from PMI) and also holds Master of Business Administration (UTS Sydney, Australia), Master of European Studies (Hochschule Bremen, Germany) and Bachelor of Commerce (Mumbai University, India) degrees.