Are you a newbie to the startup world? If yes, then you must be definitely knowing that starting up a business is no cakewalk. It is one of the toughest tasks and involves a lot of risks. Especially, if it’s a startup, you come across a lot of roadblocks that you never thought would ever crop up. Factors such as budget, limited manpower and time can also affect your business or startup when the workload starts piling up and the bills come rolling in.
But fret not! With the help of right tools and an effective team you can easily come over these hurdles and can reach your business potential. There are many tools and products available out there which can prove to be super beneficial for your business in the long run. Below mentioned is a curated list of some important products that every business must use, irrespective of its size, in order to take your business to new heights over the course of time:
Domain name suggestion
Booking the right domain name is the first step of any startup launch. But it is very difficult to get a desired .com domain name under your budget, however, you can try some hacks and find the domain name that best fits to your business name.
- domainwheel(generate different variations of your desired domain name)
- domainhack(take advantage of different TLDs and hack your domain e.g hy.pe)
- agiledomainsearch(generate domain names by adding some random but related word)
- domaindart(Generate domain name by adding prefix or suffix)
Domain Name Booking
Booking domain is not free but privacy, email forwarding and DNS can be free. Consider these free resources before selecting registrar.
Logo designing charges may vary from $10 to $10,000 but here is options to get one for free.
- canva(Do It Yourself)
- squarespace(Do It Yourself)
- wix(Do It Yourself)
- hipsterlogogenerator(Generates only hipster logos)
- logomakers( Custom made by designers, only for open source or free products)
Create website by yourself
If you are not a web developer or a designer but need simple websites, then you can make it yourself for free or at a nominal cost with the help of these products. You don’t need to worry about hosting and setup also.
- squarespace(starts from $12 / month)
- google sites
- sheet2site(convert your google sheet into a dynamic website)
- carrd(Create Personal Website)
Blogging is an important way to grow your business online. These tools can help you pull in your target audience.
- wordpress(self hosted cms, you need to pay for server or hosting)
- Managedwordpress hosting, free with wordpress.com sub domain
- WP Buffs – Managing WordPress websites with 24×7 support
- medium( $75 on time for custom domain)
- tumblr(use with your custom domain for free, limited features)
- blogger(everything is free. use your domain, customize theme.)
- jekyll-now(host your blog on github)
Create Ecommerce Website
You can use open source software and host on your server, but must have prior knowledge of server management and PHP & Mysql.
If you don’t have technical background you can start from these hosted version of e-commerce platforms.
- wix for ecommerce(free)
- shopify(starts from $29/month)
- squarespace(starts from $26 / month)
- bigcommerce(starts from $29/month)
Host for free
Hosting your website can result in a recurring cost since many of the shared and cheap hostings are not able to provide more than 99% uptime but you can opt for some reliable hosting services for your needs that are free or almost free. It requires some technical skills to deploy your website.
- github pages(host only static website)
- google cloud($300 free credit for 1 year and some resources are forever free)
- firebase hosting(host only html pages but some backend process can be handled with nodejs by writing cloud functions )
- google appengine(supports Go, Java, Python, PHP)
- aws(1 year free resources)
- aws s3(host static website)
- microsoft azure
- sh(host static website)
Interact with your team or clients.
- google gsuite(starts from $5 / user/month)
- hangouts(free for gmail/gsuite users)
- facebook workplace
If there are any details which are missing from your lead you can get more details by name, company name or email Id
- io(100 leads/month)
- linkedin sales navigator(only for premium users)
Get Work done
These all services are paid starting from $5
Analytics & Tracking
Website Traffic Monitoring
Having a good statistics package working in the background is important for your site. You must know what works and what doesn’t and also the trends that will make your website the next stop for visitors every day.
- google analytics(worlds most popular analytics)
- google webmasters(monitor your search trafifc)
- hotjar(free till 2,000 page views / day)
- mixpanel(5M data points per month free)
- matomo(self hosted)
- clicky( 3,000 page views/day)
- fullstory(records and reproduces real user experiences, 1,000 monthly sessions are free)
Scheduling and tracking emails is important, especially if your clients are in different time zones.
Tracking links of your competitors and those of your web pages is an essential part of SEO strategy.
Create Awesome Social media Posts
“A picture is worth a thousand words”, so make it stand out with the help of these tools.
Manage Social Media Accounts
Social media management tools can help you make the most of your social presence and reach a wide number of audience.
Create Promotional Video
Create engaging online promotional videos affordably with these tools.
- Adobe Creative Cloud Express
- pexels.com(free stock videos)
- co(free stock video)
Get your startup enlisted in these communities and create a good audience base.
In order to build a personal knowledge database, the good old note taking is undoubtedly one of the best ways.
Project & Task management
Managing projects and tasks can be a little difficult. But don’t let anyone tell you this. Manage everything on your own with these tools.
File Hosting & Sharing
Share and host files seamlessly with these tools.
These tools come with a wide range of applications and are ideal for those who are mostly digitally connected workers.
Forms can be a great asset for your business sites. Create one for yours with any of these:
Transactional & Newsletter Emailing
All the email services are paid but they offer a free tier until you start growing
- mailjet(200 emails / day)
- mailerlite(free till 1,000 subscribers)
- emailoctopus(free till 2,500 subscribers)
- sendgrid(2,000 contacts and 100 emails/day)
- mailchimp(2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month)
- sendinblue(300 emails/day)
- aws ses(62,000 emails/month using SMTP only)
Chat & Support
There are many chat service providers for your website who offer free plans but restrict the contact limits. Here I am mentioning the options which do not restrict them.
- crisp chat(2 agents, limited features)
- freshworks live chat software (10 agents, unlimited contacts)
- to(completely free)
- skype webcontrol( use with your skype account )
These tools help you receive payment from any corner of the world. These are safe and secure to use.
On Site Search
For the times when you want to allow your visitors to search on your website or your database.
- Google Custom Search Engine(add the power of google search engine in your website)
- algolia(most recommended search engine for your application. free till 10,000 records)
- elastic(self hosted, you need to pay server cost)
- aws elasticsearch-service( managed elastic search service. start with aws free tier)
Having an insight of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses can help you create a good strategy
- mention(Starts from $29 / month)
- alexa(most popular website ranking probider)
- builtwith(check what third party technology powering a website. free , paid plans starts from $295)
- whatruns(Discover what runs a website, when you open a website.)
These tools help make your business fast and safe.
- cloudflare(Protect your website from DDos attack)
- letsencrypt(Get Free SSL for website)
- securityheaders(Check website security header )
- lastpass(save your password securely)
Lets you save important stuff that you need to get onto later.
Good engagement tools help your product grow in the best possible way.
- addthis(Add sharing buttons)
- sumo(Grow your subscriber list)
- sharethis(Get sharing buttons)
- onesignal(cross platform push notifications)
- mailmunch(captures leads from your website)
Free Stock Photographs
Finding good images is difficult. These tools make your work of finding them an easy task.
- burst(free stock photographs for e-commerce website)
Instead of directly marketing to a large group of your consumers, you can get or hire influencers who can do the work for you or on your behalf.
If you find anything that we have missed, then please let us know in the comments.
Article contributed by Vijay Nagar, marketing manager at BetaPage, a startups & early adopters community