startup tools

Top Startup Tools

Brandon Uttley Resources And Tools, Starting A Business, Top 10 14 Comments

The love of tools is deeply engrained in our DNA.

As entrepreneurs, we can thank our hunter-gatherer ancestors who started using tools some 2.6 millions years ago. The first known use of stone tools has been traced back to the Ethiopian town of Gona.

Since then, every generation has been enabled by the set of tools handed down to it, including modern-day entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial tools help startups execute and manage their tasks easier, better and faster. They help reduce work-load, increase productivity and boost efficiency.

Without further ado, here are some of the top startup tools to consider.

Top startup tools for incorporating

  • Northwest Registered Agent  — We used this fantastic firm to set up Go For Launch as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and serve as Go For Launch’s registered agent
  • LegalZoom is also a good resource to help incorporate your business and handle other small business legal matters

Top startup tools for domain registration and web hosting

  • GoDaddy and IWantMyName great places to register and manage your domain names
  • WP Engine  — for reliable and secure WordPress hosting. They are the hosting provider of Go For Launch. I also use Siteground (to host BrandonUttley.com).
  • LeadPages  — to quickly create attractive, cost-effective landing pages. Even before launching this website, I used LeadPages to test getting traffic (and traction) while capturing emails in tandem with ConvertKit.

Top startup tools for email and phone service

  • Google Apps — for primary email accounts, plus document/file storage, company calendars and more
  • Grasshopper — for affordable small business phone service

Top startup tools for project and general management

  • Dropbox — to store all sorts of files in the cloud and share them within others seamlessly
  • Asana and Trello — for managing multiple projects, collaborating with different teams and engaging in other aspects of centralized project management. For more granular time tracking and project management of distributed teams, check out Hubstaff.
  • Quora — for getting valuable opinions about everything from managing a project to running your entire business. From Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg to Ashton Kutcher, Quora has an elite population that excels in providing actionable tips and insights.
  • StackOverflow — Another high-quality Q&A site; it has been around longer than Quora and is geared to providing more technical advice

Top startup tools for boosting workplace productivity

  • Evernote  — an essential tool for storing virtually any kind of information about your company
  • Slack  — for communicating with co-workers in any location, along with integrating with dozens of other apps to boost your team’s productivity and cut down on email
  • HelloSign  — to reduce the amount of documents you have to physically sign. It uses digital signatures integrated within Google Mail to make signing documents easier.

Top startup tools for sales and marketing

  • HootSuite  — for managing multiple social media accounts from a single web-based dashboard. You can automate content marketing by providing a list of preferred keywords, themes and industry segments. The software curates content, save itfor your review and let’s you publish updates easily.
  • LinkedIn  — to make professional connections from around the world and grow your network
  • Google AdSense  — for information, suggestions, learning resources and other help on paid search advertising
  • MailChimp  — for email marketing. It allows you to send up to 12,000 emails for free each month. Aweber is another excellent email campaign management system (used by Go For Launch!).
  • SalesForce or Nimble  — to manage and track customer relationships in the most comprehensive way possible.
  • Streak  — for managing customer relationships with the help of Google plugins. Streak allows you to keep track of your sales funnel and more, all inside Gmail

Top startup tools for time tracking and invoicing

  • Harvesta great system for creating and managing projects, tracking your time and billing customers (including online payment options)
  • InvoiceHome — a free and/or low-cost way to create and send simple invoices and get paid online, if you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles

Top startup tools for web analytics

  • Google Analytics  — to get comprehensive details about the performance of your website and sales and marketing strategies, as well as suggestions, tips and free learning resources
  • SEMRush  — for insights into your ranking for competitive keywords and tips for improving your website traffic, search rankings and other marketing performance
  • MOZ  — for similar help, except at a cheaper cost
  • KISSmetrics  — for a more personalized assessment of your website and marketing performance. Unlike Google Analytics or other analytical software, KISSmetrics focuses on the “people aspect” of performance. It tells you who is coming to your website and how your site is performing vs. competitors.

Top startup tools for outsourced help

  • Replace Myself — is an excellent source for finding virtual assistants
  • 99Designs — for affordable graphic design

What Are Your Favorite Startup Tools?

See something missing that you love? Please leave a comment below!

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About The Author

Brandon Uttley

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Brandon Uttley is Commander and CEO of Go For Launch, LLC, his fifth startup. He is passionate about helping others launch and grow successful businesses. When not working on his business, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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  • We are huge fans of Trello. It’s our primary organization tool and works awesome. We’ve moved away from DropBox and use Google Drive instead for the collaboration tools. Of course, a healthy combination of Pandora, Google Play unlimited Music, and XM Radio (app) makes me my own DJ to keep me lively. Then again, the coffee pot helps with that as well. 🙂

    • Corey, glad to hear how much you like Trello. We are migrating to it from Asana. It’s just easier and cleaner.

      I like the music suggestions. Sometimes, I like playing Coffitivity in the background instead of music when I’m trying to concentrate!

  • Remi

    Maybe you could add to this great list some Business Modeling tools?

    The Business Model Canvas is really good for designing Business Model : http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas/bmc

    I can also suggest the Business Model Forecast (I’m the author, and I share it for free! 🙂 : http://www.businessmodelforecast.com/

    It’s a usefull and super easy tool to use in addition to the Business Model Canvas to work cash issues of Businesss Models.

    • Remi, thank you for sharing your Business Model Canvas tool!

  • Stan Chris

    I use Hostgator for web hosting and I also would prefer using serpstat.com for web analyses. This tool gives me access to over 45 million database of keywords which can be used to take advantage of competitors’ positions. it also will analyse website structure and give the possibility of getting topic ideas for contents using the “question tracking algorithm”.

  • Kuba Rogalski

    I’d also add https://brand24.net for tracking keywords and reputation management. Once you set up a project, the tool gathers the mentions on a certain topic in a user-friendly dashboard, and the collected data can be further analyzed in terms of sentiment, influence etc. Definitely worth having a look at for every startup that wants to make its job easier.

    • Thanks for the tip, Kuba! Brand24 looks pretty slick.

      • Kuba Rogalski

        Thanks for replying! It’s been in a phase of constant improvement recently so it’s going to be even better 😉

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  • Jerry Bruckner

    Hi Brandon, that’s an amazing list of tools for a startup. You could also add a section for top accounting software and include companies like Sage, QuickBooks, Xero, and SlickPie.

  • Ema Brook

    Brilliant list! Very informative. But my favorite project management tool missing from the list- Proofhub. Ive been using this tool from the past one year and is by far the best PM tool i’ve used. Trust me, ive tried many!! Its very professional, efficient and easy to use!

  • Jop

    Good list!
    I would add another great tool: http://www.crowd.site

    Crowdsite is one of the most popular European website that helps you to run contest for the services that you want from people. Different people will be taking part in it and you need to pay for the design selected by you. It is a popular website for running the contest and gets your work done in required time. Crowdsite has number of freelance designers associated with it and these designers take part in the contest.
    Crowdsite has more than 58K designers working with them and these designers had contributed over millions of designs. Crowdsite is the website that provides you with crowdsourcing of flyer, namefinding, logo, T-shirts, website, and graphic designs.