Best Tools for Startups
Launching your own startup isn’t easy — nor is it cheap. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, free or low cost startup tools to help you start, maintain, or grow your business sounds like music to your ears. The best startup tools help almost every aspect of business ownership, from naming your startup to doing market research.
Benefits of Startup Tools
- Budget-Friendly: Using affordable startup tools can save you valuable resources that you may have used by hiring a professional.
- Increase Productivity: With startup software and tools, communication and task completion is the priority. This means easier project management and more important goals reached.
- Save Time: Time management is one of the most important aspects of startup ownership, and these tools can save you time and energy, keeping your startup well-managed and organized.
We’ve curated a list of the best startup business tools available for entrepreneurs. Continue scrolling, or jump ahead to the types of startup resources you need!
Successful businesses start with good ideas. That requires creativity, but you don’t necessarily have to completely think of a good idea on your own. In addition to talking with family, friends, and colleagues, these startup tools can also help with ideation.
1. TRUiC Business Ideas Generator
If you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit and a general interest in creating a business, choosing a business idea is easy using the TRUiC Business Ideas Generator. This is a free tool that allows users to refine their interests into a buildable startup idea.
2. TRUiC Business Name Generator
If you’ve already got your business idea squared away, your next step is to choose a business name. Deciding on the right name for your startup is important and can be a lengthy, difficult process. With the TRUiC Business Name Generator, you are provided with unique names for your startup based on the industry and general information. The best part, it’s free!
3. Google Workspace
Google G Suite Workspace is the full Google package, including every tool offered such as Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites. So, basically all of the Google office tools your startup needs, including a custom business email account. For teams that could use a little help collaborating and brainstorming, productivity is optimized by having all business tools in one place.
Pricing: $6/user/month - $18/user/month
Create notes and develop mind maps on your own or collaboratively with Coggle’s brainstorming platform that makes working easy as an individual or as a team. Coggle is free to start, and if you find it’s not your cup of tea, you have unlimited diagrams that you can refer back to even if you cancel your subscription.
Pricing: Free - $8/month
Startup Planning Tools
A business plan lays out the path forward for your business. It’s how you get from an idea to a successful company. Here are some navigational tools to help develop your path forward and plan.
5. TRUiC Business Plan Generator
Your startup’s business plan is the roadmap to the steps needed to achieve important business milestones, and it’s absolutely necessary. Fortunately, with the TRUiC Business Plan Generator, you can easily craft a business plan to outline the first three to five years of your business’s life cycle cost-free.
LivePlan is kind of a catch-all platform that allows you to create a business pitch, make a budget and business forecast, and compare your numbers with competitors all on one platform. Not to mention, you can connect the app with other business tools such as Quickbooks or Xero to easily manage your startup’s finances and oversee budgets with the LivePlan dashboard.
Pricing: $15/month - $20/month
Leanstack is the industry leader for lean startup tools. From business planning to mentorship, Leanstack provides startup entrepreneurs with the tools to develop a plan for a sustainable business model that is primed for rapid growth.
Pricing: Free - $120/month
Every business today needs a website, but you don’t have to know coding to create one. Guides make it easy to find and register a domain, while plug-and-build interfaces let you customize a site for your business.
GoDaddy is basically a one-stop-shop for your website building needs. Not only does the platform host websites, but you are also able to design unique, mobile-friendly websites that include marketing features as well as manage reviews and social media. If you’re hoping to keep all of your startup’s online platforms organized into one space, GoDaddy has some great options for you.
Pricing: Free - $24.99/month
Zyro offers easy and budget-friendly website creation. One-year domain registration is free with one of the affordable monthly hosting plans, which are priced to be within even small startups’ budgets. The builder itself is intuitive, but there’s 24/7 customer support should you need help.
Web.com holds your hand through the website building process. All new customers receive 1 hour of free customer support, and the interface itself is easy to use. Higher-end plans include basic search engine optimization and payment processing, so you don’t have to spend more on these particular services.
Pricing: $10–$20/month or $50–$100/year
Award-winning, user-friendly design is the hallmark of SquareSpace. Users can design their website for free using their two-week free trial and upgrade the site as they go to include premium marketing features. Squarespace works for a range of startup types, whether you’re selling and marketing goods or scheduling appointments — their a la carte style allows you to choose what your startup website needs and leave the rest.
Pricing: $12/month - $40/month
Teams have to stay connected, to remain efficient and effective. Leverage technology with these communication tools so that your business’s team can constantly share ideas, updates, issues, and solutions.
Every business owner knows that communication is key to operating a successful business. With Slack, communicating within your team is quick, easy, and intuitive. Unlike communicating through email, users use instant messaging to chat with individual team members, public channels, and organized private groups. Additionally, you can add an unlimited number of members to keep communication strong as your startup grows.
Pricing: Free - $12.50/user/month
Ooma offers business phone support with big-business features but on a small-business budget. Once set up, the service comes with a virtual receptionist, extension dialing, call conferencing, holding music, and in-field calls for employees who travel. Although the setup is DIY in order to keep costs low, a guide makes it easy enough to set up your business’s phones in just a few minutes.
Phone.com has customizable business phone services, so you can keep costs low by only paying for what each employee actually needs. Whereas other phone services sign each employee up at the same plan level, Phone.com lets you individually sign each user up for the Basic, Plus, or Pro Plan. You’ll probably want the pro plan’s call recording, voicemail transcription, call analytics, and CRM integration. Employees who work part-time might only need the Basic’s 500 minutes per month.
RingCentral brings employees and customers alike together through robust communication capabilities. Even the most basic plan supports up to 20 users — enough for many small businesses — and toll-free phone numbers. The higher plans support 200-participant video meetings, advanced call handling, real-time analytics, and device status updates, and integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and industry-specific software. This is a truly comprehensive phone service for businesses that want extensive call data.
Startup Incorporation Tools
Incorporating your business provides important legal protections, and it’s easy to do with a guided service. From designating a registered agent to actually filing Articles of Organization, these tools will get you officially registered.
16. Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent doesn’t just help you file articles of organization for your business. The business continues to help you after filing, namely by offering registered agent services. Using them as a registered agent affords your business privacy, and Northwest itself promises to never sell your data. Of course, the service forwards all physical and digital mail appropriately.
Pricing: $29 business formation; $125/year registered agent service
17. Tailor Brands
Tailor Brands is a platform that helps with business formation, branding, and website building. Its mission is to empower entrepreneurs to quickly launch their startups by providing a one-stop shop. Overall, Tailor Brands offers the best premium package for founders who want both LLC formation and tools for establishing their brand and online presence.
Startup Funding & Financial Tools
Need financial investment beyond yourself, and family and friends? Secure capital through these funding and financing tools, and you’ll have the financial resources needed to grow your business.
Foundersuite is a platform that offers entrepreneurs a litany of tools to find, manage, and receive funding for their startup. Their CRM tool allows users to organize investor funnels, develop a venture capital database, and includes a Investor Updater tool that provides monthly reporting.
Pricing: Free - $150/month
Gust offers funding opportunities and tools to start, grow, and fund startups. The focus of the platform is to provide tools that help to build a sustainable startup model that is geared for success. Once you’re ready to launch your startup, Gust provides you with funding sources tailored to you, giving you the best shot at raising the necessary funds.
Pricing: $300/year - $3,000/year
Outsourcing keeps costs low while giving you access to quality talent. These platforms afford access to a literal world of workers, who offer everything from budget services to highly specialized expertise.
Fiverr is a freelance service platform that makes hiring contractors more affordable with projects starting at $5 a job. On Fiverr, you can find freelancers in a variety of fields. Whether you are looking for drop shippers or web developers, Fiverr’s proven business experience and customer success management will make you feel confident hiring from their app.
Pricing: Starts at $5/job
Are you thinking of hiring freelancers for your startup? Upwork makes finding contractors in almost every field — from web design to copywriting — super simple. With their rating and reference system, you can feel confident about your short-term hires by diving into their skill level, background, and reviews from other clients.
Pricing: Free - $849/month
AngelList has an extensive network of over 8 million workers, with a tech-heavy focus among that workforce. Companies with great growth stories, such as DoorDash, Roblox, and Peloton, have used the platform. It has the help you need to go from startup to success too.
Startup Networking Tools
Networking is now digital, on social media platforms and other tools. Make sure you’re visible on the ones below, both so you can see and be seen in the digital realm.
LinkedIn is a networking app and website used by business professionals worldwide to build communities that can support a startup’s success. Not only does LinkedIn help connect you with fellow entrepreneurs, but it can also be used to find, vet, and communicate with potential new hires.
Pricing: Free or LinkedIn Premium Business: $59.99/month
Shapr takes the concept of a networking app and expands it to include a litany of business communication resources. On Shapr, entrepreneurs can network with other business owners, find potential employees, raise funds, and find impactful mentors all on one easy-to-use platform. The best part, Shapr was created with startups in mind and focuses on helping startup entrepreneurs create strong business networks.
Pricing: Free - $99.99
CoFoundersLab is a networking app that connects entrepreneurs to create startups together based on compatibility. The platform boasts a community of roughly 400,000 users to network and connect with as well as business resources and mentorship classes.
Pricing: Free - $19.99/month
Startup owners have to answer countless questions and make endless decisions. When you need a little help, Clarity offers access to world-class experts. All you have to do is search their database and request a call. You’ll connect directly to a professional who’s been in your shoes.
Pricing: Per minute based on expert’s rate
Accounting & Payroll Software
As a business owner, you need a solid command of your business’s financial inner workings. Hire a professional, and they’ll undoubtedly use some of these bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll apps. Manage financials yourself, and you’ll want to use these apps too.
ADP is a business management app that makes payroll, recruiting, time management, and HR services easy using one user-friendly platform. If you aren’t sure that you’ll need all of the services ADP has to offer, however, you can also choose the ones you need and leave the rest so that you aren’t paying for any services you don’t need.
Pricing: Varies depending on business needs
Effective accounting is crucial to the financial health of any business. QuickBooks provides accounting software to track sales and expenses, view profit and loss reports, pay employees, and examine financial statements. With Quickbooks’ easy-to-use dashboard, all these features are intuitive and easily accessible, which makes accounting and bookkeeping for your startup easier than ever before.
Pricing: $7.50/month - $75/month
Freshbooks helps ensure the accuracy of your business’s books. The software is capable of invoicing, tracking expenses, tracking time and projects, making payments, generating reports, and more. Double-entry tools help reduce errors.
OnPay provides a comprehensive payment processing solution, complete with online payments, recurring payments, in-app payments, invoicing, and customized receipts. On the back end, you get a powerful desktop app, PCI compliance, extensive reports, and more.
Zoho can take care of almost all your business’s software needs, as it offers CRM, marketing, communication, and IT services. It can also take care of business finances, too. Bundle invoicing, bookkeeping, expensing, payments, and inventory management together, and you could save both on time and on subscription costs.
Spend less on accounting without sacrificing expertise. 1-800Accountant uses the efficiencies of ecommerce to bring down accounting costs. You still get a dedicated CPA, who manages your LLC business taxes and can be reached anytime you have a question. You just don’t have to pay your accountant as much.
Your business’s online image is the first thing potential customers will encounter, and that image must be professional and engaging. Use these tools to design graphics that will capture attention.
33. TRUiC Logo Maker
A startup’s logo is used on everything from business cards to signage; therefore, having a well-crafted logo is crucial to branding the business. Using the TRUiC Logo Maker, you can design a logo of your own with the easy-to-use generator that asks only a few simple questions to provide you with a logo that represents your startup’s brand.
34. Tailor Brands Logo Maker
Tailor Brands Logo Maker can make logos with just a few details, and without any design knowledge on your part. Simply input basic business details, and then select your style and fonts. The logo creator will generate several ideas from templates, which you can then customize so it matches your business.
Pricing: Free - $12.99 per month
Envato has a database of more than 60 million creative assets, which include but go beyond stock photos. Anything you could need for a website or presentation is here: graphic, video, and presentation templates, photographs, 3D renderings, videos, and royalty-free music.
Balsamiq brings the notepad to the computer (or phone) screen. Sketch out as you would on paper or a whiteboard, and the software will help you translate those sketches into websites, apps, and more. It’ll take you from concept to wireframed structure in five steps. You take it from there to create the actual content.
37. Adobe Creative Cloud
Design, create, and manage your startup’s projects on one simple platform, Adobe Creative Cloud. With an extensive list of included features such as Adobe stock images, Typekit, Behance, and more, the Adobe Creative Cloud provides startups with a space to complete, share, and sync creative projects seamlessly.
Pricing: For businesses, $33.99/month - $79.99/month
Startup Marketing Tools
Startup businesses have to get their name out into the marketplace without breaking the budget. These marketing tools can help you do just that for your new or growing business.
38. TRUiC QR Code Generator
At TRUiC, we aim to provide the most advanced and reliable tools available to help your small business grow. Our free QR code generator is one of the easiest ways to improve how your business runs. A QR code, or quick response code, is a type of unique barcode that is created for devices like smartphones to scan and read. It’s easy to embed almost any type of information into a QR code — from letters and digits to phone numbers and URL links. That’s what makes them so versatile, especially for small business owners and business marketing strategies.
Aptly named, HubSpot has a marketing hub with multiple spokes. The CRM, sales, marketing, and customer service hubs are each unique apps that can stand on their own, but the true power comes when you combine their data through seamless integration. Overall, HubSpot is one of the best marketing tools for startups.
40. Product Hunt
Product Hunt aggregates services from 32 different companies that have useful products for startups. Most of the companies are software, apps, digital services, or otherwise in the tech space. There are undoubtedly some programs that you’ll use, however, and the site promises $100,000 in discounts and credits. Even though these aren’t necessarily free, that’s a great return on the $60 monthly fee.
AWeber is one of the best email marketing tools for business owners that don’t have time to study this niche field in depth. Quickly create single emails and campaigns, using the software’s email, landing page, sign-up form, and other templates. You can also automate emails and integrate with other apps as desired.
Drip automates email for ecommerce, and it uses plenty of data to do so. Quickly create email marketing campaigns with the drag-and-drop builder, and use as many of the analytics as you want to. Reports are designed so that you can quickly glean the most important insights, or you can delve into details to create fully optimized ecommerce email campaigns.
Send emails, build a website, and set up an online store with one solution. GetResponse focuses on email marketing but is capable of building those other assets too. Email marketing is the base plan, and you can add the other services as you want to.
Mailchimp excels at everything email. The drag-and-drop email marketing software stands out with beautiful designs, detailed analytics, and predictive segmentation. Set up your first email campaign, and then use the data from it to proactively improve your future campaigns. Of course, all of the basics, such as open rate, conversion rate, and automation, are included.
Publish your newsworthy stories in the press. eReleases won’t actually publish your story in papers or magazines, but it’ll distribute press releases to 1.7 million journalists who work for US publications. A big-name publication could pick up your story if the press release is truly revolutionary. Even if no major national publication runs the press release, though, the release will be posted in a number of lesser-known areas where search engines will take notice.
46. Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides website data from one of the internet’s largest companies. Google’s position enables it to gather extensive website visit data, and it can integrate that data with other Google tools (e.g. Google Adwords, Google Search Console). Not many web analytics programs for small businesses offer more data in as understandable a form, and even fewer have an informative free version that small businesses can use.
Hootsuite harnesses the power of social media, without the aggravation of having to constantly be on. Use the software to create and schedule posts, set up paid ads and sponsored posts, and build a library of branded content. Over 80% of Fortune 1000 companies use Hootsuite, and plenty of small businesses do too.
Project Management Software
Getting teams to accomplish goals requires keeping everyone informed and accountable. These project management tools make doing that much easier.
Managing your startup’s projects is made much easier with software that prioritizes communication and organization. Fortunately, Monday, the project management app, is all of these things. Create projects, add tasks, outline steps, and give instruction to team members while tracking the status of projects using this app's handy platform.
Pricing: Varies depending on business needs
Wrike claims to reduce emails by 90%, and that’s a cause everyone can get behind. With an intuitive framework and high-level planning capabilities, the project management software might actually accomplish that. Set schedules, track progress, and quickly share where projects are at from the dashboard.
Smartsheet enhances the project manager’s spreadsheet. Track company resources, individual project progress, employee tasks, and more from a combination dashboard and spreadsheet that keeps everyone current.
ClickUp lets project managers check up with a variety of charts and visualizations. See project and worker status through multiple reports, working with mind maps, checklists, priorities lists, task templates, and more. However you like to view information, this project management software can display it that way.
Organizers, this app is for you. Trello is an app dedicated to making project management and organization simple with in-app due dates, calendar commands, and more. Better yet, you can link Trello with other useful apps such as Dropbox and Google Docs to streamline the project management process even further.
Pricing: Free - Varied pricing depending on business needs
With Asana, productivity is the number one priority. The project management app helps startups streamline workflow by making organizing projects easy. Team members can communicate project stats, create projects, solidify timelines, and outline necessary steps all on Asana’s platform.
Pricing: Free - $24.99/user/month
CRM software helps you better interact with customers through detailed information. Use aggregate and individual data to optimize everything from email and website design to phone calls and in-person meetings. No other type of program merges digital- and physical-world sales as much.
Salesforce is the most-used CRM platform, and being the most used comes with many benefits. The company has developed robust tracking, reporting, productivity, and forecasting features, and many other programs have Salesforce integration. Everyone in sales and marketing can use the platform to improve efficiency, make interactions more personal, and generally grow sales.
The Freshworks CRM, Freshsales, is all about uniting your salesforce. It’s an excellent CRM for startup companies looking to streamline sales communication and and stay organized. The AI tool, Freddy, takes the guesswork out of CRM navigation so your salesforce can do what they do best: make connections.
Pricing: Free - $69 per user per month
Online banks offer comprehensive and convenient banking services. Your business will at least need a checking account, and it might want a savings account, line of credit, or other financial products. Online banks often provide some of the best terms on these products, in addition to their other advantages.
Lili does banking plus more. Get a checking account, and take care of your accounting and tax tracking in the same app. Combining these together makes a lot of sense, for both accounting and tax savings require information from your checking account.
Relay offers no-frills business checking accounts for no cost. Add on easy bill payment and automatic QuickBooks Online updating for a fee, but this isn’t necessary if you just need a checking account that you and your employees can use.
Business credit cards make paying bills and expenses easy, and they can earn you rewards if you have substantial expenses. Here are some of the more notable business credit options.
Brex combines payments, credit cards, financial capital, and spend management into a single account. You could sign up for Brex’s account, and never need any other checking account or credit card for your business.
Pricing: Free to open an account
BILL offers flexible underwriting solutions for businesses that need more capital. With multiple underwriting solutions, scalable lines of credit, and fast approval, there’s likely a financing solution that suits your business well.
Pricing: Varies depending on businesses’ situations and needs
Almost every business could have property damaged or be named in a lawsuit. Business insurance can help protect against risks such as these.
Tivly offers business insurance policies from many different carriers. No matter what size your business is, what industry it’s in, or what coverages you want, you’ll almost certainly find several suitable insurance policies here. You can easily compare the policies to see which is the best one.
Pricing: Varies depending on businesses’ situations and needs
61. Next Insurance
Next Insurance only offers small business insurance policies, so you don’t have to wade through less-than-ideal options to find something that’s a good fit for your business. Determine your coverage needs, and quickly compare several small business policies that meet those needs.
Pricing: Varies depending on businesses’ situations and needs
Startup Productivity Tools
Everyone involved with a startup business is overtaxed, and has no time to waste. Maximize your and your employees’ time with these productivity tools.
Do you depend on a well-crafted to-do list to manage your team’s projects? If yes, OmniFocus is the productivity app for you. With a focus on time management and organization, OmniFocus helps startups and their team members stay on top of important tasks and get things done.
Pricing: Starts at $49.99
The internet is a super useful tool, but it’s also the host of several work distractions such as social media and news. RescueTime helps users manage their time via detailed reporting about screen time, such as the site and applications used and the time spent on each. Based on these findings, you can set time limits for apps and websites or even restrict them to keep you on task.
Pricing: $78/year or $12/month
Another app that is best suited for dedicated to-do list makers, Todoist does just that. Create to-do lists to organize projects and tasks to keep productivity high and organization steady. You can also add tasks to the calendar, delegate tasks, discuss and track projects, and more on Todoist’s easy-to-use platform.
Pricing: Free - $5/user/month