80+ Great Apps and Online Tools for Entrepreneurs and Startups

The Best Free Apps and Online Tools for Entrepreneurs

Starting a business is hard, especially when you don’t have the right tools. But how do you knows which tools are the best to use?

Ask someone smart, efficient, and experienced–like Rob Fitzpatrick, a serial entrepreneur, author of a great book on how to talk to customers, and a partner at Founder Centric, designers and teachers of top-tier startup education.

Rob put together a brain dump of tools he frequently turns to for his projects. Some are more obvious, others fairly unusual, but each can be extremely useful for startups:

Talking to Customers

intercom

Intercom – Tasteful chat and help widgets for your site, plus good automated email triggers.

GetDrip

Drip – Email courses and signup widgets for your site.

mailchimp

Mailchimp – Newsletters and decent signup widgets.

Buffer

Buffer – Easier way to run your twitter and facebook accounts.

Team Collaboration

slack

Slack – Chat and messaging to reduce internal email load, with one room per major project.

GitHub

Github – Repository for your source code plus task lists and collaboration with your developers.

DropBox

Dropbox – All company files should be here, not on email attachments or personal folders.

Streak

Streak – Simple CRM plugin for Gmail to manage and share your sales leads.

Trello

Trello – Digital kanban board for project management.

Basecamp

Basecamp – I use it for project management with external teams who don’t know our Trello workflow.

stormboard

Stormboard – Digital sticky notes for remote brainstorming and workshops.

meldium

Meldium -Team password sharing and management.

Domains

leandomainsearch

Lean Domain Search – Suggests all available .com with a given keyword somewhere in the name.

instantdomainsearch

Instant Domain Search – Quickly check specific domain availability.

namecheap

Namecheap – Register your domains without getting screwed.

Payments

squareup

Square (US) or iZettle (elsewhere) – Accept credit card payments with your phone, e.g. for market stalls and contractors.

stripe

Stripe – Best payment processing online.

gocardless

GoCardless (UK) – Accept direct debit payments.

gumroad

Gumroad – Easily sell digital files like PDFs, videos, and links.

Analytics

google analytics

Google Analytics – Free and good enough for all your analytics needs.

Google Adword

Google Keyword Planner – See how many people are searching relevant terms.

facebook

Facebook Ads – Use the targeting options to compare the approximate size and location of various interests and demographics.

Physical Products and Print-on-Demand

createspace

Createspace – Upload a PDF, sell a printed book via Amazon.

newspaperclub

Newspaper Club – Ever wanted your own newspaper?

thegamecrafter

The Game Crafter – Prototype and sell your board and card games.

shapeways

Shapeways – High quality 3d printing in a wide range of materials including gold and silver (for jewelry) and ceramics (for household goods); great for prototyping and market-testing physical products.

alibaba

Alibaba – Cut out the middle man and buy anything you want directly from the manufacturer; if you’ve ever wanted a 40′ shipping container full of go karts, this is the place for you.

Building Websites

squarespace

Squarespace – Visual site builder with good themes and integrations with stores, payments, newsletters, etc.

Strikingly

Strikingly – Easy site builder for nice single-page sites like manifestos, personal/company pages, or landing pages.

shopify

Shopify – For eCommerce and online stores.

themeforest

Themeforest – If you need something custom, start by buying a $30 theme and editing it.

Art

Glyphicons

Glyphicons – Icon set

500px

500px – Non-cheesy stock photography.

flickr

Flickr Creative commons – Search for photos with the appropriate usage rights.

subtlepatterns

Subtle Patterns – Pretty much what it says on the tin; for backgrounds and textures.

People

fiverr

Fiverr – Pay $5 (or a bit more) for tasks ranging from logo design to copywriting.

99designs

99designs – Crowdsource design tasks (especially logos) for a few hundred dollars.

dribbble

Dribbble – Browse designer portfolios, many of whom also freelance.

clarity

Clarity.fm – Pay-by-the-minute advice from various startup specialists.

upwork

elance – Various freelancers (assume you’ll hire several for trial projects before finding good ones).

Phones

CallHippo - The Virtual phone system for small business

CallHippoThe phone system for startups, small business & enterprise. Set up your support center in less than 3 minutes.

textit

TextIt – Create SMS applications without programming (e.g. for the developing world).

Twilio

Twilio – Makes phone calls and SMS as easy to program as websites.

Legals

docracy

Docracy – Open source legal documents.

Companies Made Simple

Companies Made Simple (UK) – Set up and manage a UK corporation for 19.

duedil

Duedil (UK) – Nice interface over companies house interface to research industry and competitors.

FormSwift - Legal Document library

Formswift– Free legal forms library.

Learning

paulgraham

Paul Graham’s Essays – Read the whole archive.

tropicalmba

Tropical MBA – 250 podcast episodes comprising the best source of knowledge on location independence and manufacturing businesses.

Seth Godin's Startup School

Seth Godin’s Startup School – 15 audio episodes covering a Seth’s take on getting entrepreneurial.

moz

Moz Learn – Solid knowledge base on inbound marketing.

News

HackerNews

Hacker News – Daily news for startup folks and hackers.

producthunt

Product Hunt – Daily new products.

Investors

f6s

f6s – Listing of all accelerator programs (and lots of other info) and a social network for startups and angels.

AngelList

AngelList – Social network and funding platform for startups and angels.

Capitallist

Capitallist – Like Angellist, but focused on London and the UK.

thefunded

The Funded – Reviews and testimonials of investors from the founders’ perspective; do your investor due diligence here.

Crowdfunding

Indiegogo

Indiegogo – Crowd-fund via donations with a focus on arts and creative projects, including some which aren’t allowed on KickStarter.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter – Crowd-fund via pre-selling your products.

Seedrs

Seedrs (UK) – Equity crowd funding.

Crowdcube

Crowdcube (UK) – Equity crowd funding.

Email management tools

SalesHandy

SalesHandy – Data Analytic’s and communication tools to help inside sales team become highly productive. Features like Behavior Tracking, Share Files, Email Tracking, Focused Live Meeting, Sales Performance Tracking, Lead Tracking etc.

Boomerang

Boomerang for Gmail – This handy little tool allows you to write and schedule your emails for a more “appropriate” sending time.

Streak

Streak – This tool will suit a wide variety of businesses. Use it to manage the hiring process, to keep track of investment and fundraising projects, to manage deals, and much more.

Project Management Tools

Trello

Trello – It’s a great tool for listing out stock you need to buy, for prioritizing tasks with your team, and for playing around with ideas, thanks to the super easy drag-and-drop functionality built into the app.

Asana

Asana – It’s still a useful tool that is taking strides to become ever more elegant and relevant!

Tools that will save you time

LastPass

LastPass Password Manager – You can also create folders and share them with other LastPass users—giving access to only those passwords you want to share, and keeping the important stuff private.

Google Dictionary

Google Dictionary extension – If you’re working on important documents and don’t want to get spelling wrong (especially if you’re working in the cloud), this handy extension is for you.

AdBlock

AdBlock extension – AdBlock gets rid of everything—Google ads, banner ads on websites, YouTube video ads, you name it.

Tools for information collectors and note takers

Evernote

Evernote Clearly extension – Evernote Clearly extension, which will strip the page of all elements except the body content and body images, letting you read entirely without distraction! This is especially useful if you’re working through a dense document.

Google Keep

Google Keep – It probably works best on your mobile device but, if you have a smartwatch (in my case, the Moto 360), you can even use it on that, recording notes by voice, or just swiping through your saved notes

Listly

List.ly – Collect content from all over the web and organize it into lists.

Goodreads

Goodreads extension – Goodreads is a lifesaver as it allows you to unload your brain and toss the Post-it notes reminding you to buy this or that book.

The simplest invoicing, accounting, and payroll tools

Wave

Wave – You can create an unlimited number of accounting reports, create and send unlimited invoices, scan receipts, manage your personal finances, and get access to free email support.

Hiveage

Hiveage – It is to create invoices, learn how to use the application with the dashboard and Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable graphs.

Check out more accounting software here : Top Accounting Software

Marketing Tools

mailchimp

MailChimp – It’s the easiest email tool out there. With drag-and-drop features, dozens of free templates, and the ability to send drip email campaigns, this tool with revolutionize your marketing.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn – It’s simplest, it’s a great place to manage and make new connections, to find and hire employees, and to build a portfolio that showcases your skills, experience, and abilities.

Branding and design tools for the DIYer

Canva

Canva  It completely free (you only need to pay for any stock photos you use), but it also requires minimal learning, has a number of templates, and is chock-a-block full of free graphics, icons, and shapes.

about.me

About.me – About.me page is your online business card. Beyond putting a face to your name and your credentials, this is a great place to collect the links that are relevant to you.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey – This tool makes online photo editing easier than you’d believe.

Infogr

Infogr.am – Infogr.am is a whole lot easier to use than Excel. Change colors, input data, and publish your graphic online all within minutes.

Monitor and build your brand

Google Alerts

Google Alerts – Google Alerts will allow you to monitor any mentions of your brand, your own name, your competitors’ names, and anything else you wish to keep track of.

HARO

HARO – HARO will send media coverage opportunities directly to your inbox, filtered by category.

Twitter

Twitter Lists – It’s a great way to “collect” all those people whose thoughts, links, and commentary you want to stay on top of.

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Source : inc.com | Bplans.com

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