Entrepreneurs around the world are constantly wishing for more hours in the day. That is simply impossible to attain. But what if you could free up some significant time in your workday to focus on responsibilities that really matter?
In addition to that, what if you could keep your operational costs low and manage your time better? That is a pretty sweet deal that technology could help you achieve.
There are indeed plenty of tools and resources for start-ups to keep their costs low, to save time and make their business operate and work smarter. From project management to recruiting; email marketing to social media; CRM to education; and every other important tool to help you run, manage and grow a start-up; there is a tool for everything.
The only problem is that you may not be aware of these tools and the way they can help you execute tedious and mundane tasks in no time, and with very little effort.
Here are 20 of the best tools and resources to save you time as an entrepreneur in 2018.
1. The Name App
The name you select for your start-up has numerous marketing, branding and web implications, so it is something that needs to be considered very carefully. Thankfully, there is an app that helps with that.
The Name App helps you to easily find the right domain name for your start-up. It also helps you to look for suitable and available usernames for your social media profiles. You can either access it via their website or download their app on an Apple device to use on the go.
2. Read Prominent Blogs
Blogs provide insightful information for getting your start-up up and running, among other important things. Plus, they’re free!
Anything you want to learn – from social media, marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) to the latest developments in your industry – is covered in prominent blogs. Here are a few (besides this one, of course!) we suggest you check out:
Search Engine Land: This blog contains a diverse array of useful content for entrepreneurs. It provides breaking industry news as well as insightful and analytical content on search engine marketing.
Social Media Examiner: It covers anything and everything social media and is especially useful when you are handling your own marketing. It is a great place to start learning about how you can use social media to effectively market your start-up.
Small Business Trends: For small-business owners, SBT offers a tonne of how-to-advice. It covers business, finance, marketing, technology, management and other useful resources.
QuickSprout: You will find useful personal expertise from renowned entrepreneur, Neil Patel, on this blog. He offers expert marketing advice to entrepreneurs in all industries.
3. Use MOOCs
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer online courses in all topics, including business. Here are a few that are worth checking out:
New Skills Academy: Get a verifiable qualification with New Skills Academy to improve your career prospects. With over 200 courses to choose from in categories such as Admin, Business, Fitness, Personal Development, and Marketing, you’re sure to find a course that interests you.
Coursera: They offer more than 700 courses on a variety of topics. They have particularly good courses on data analysis and mobile-cloud computing.
Udemy: This MOOC offers courses on business strategy, bitcoin and thousands of other topics that could help you on your journey to becoming a highly successful entrepreneur.
edX: edX hosts online university-level courses in a wide array of disciplines to everyone and anyone that wants to access it. It is different to other sites in that it is a non-profit organisation that runs on an open-source platform.
4. Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a web hosting service that is offered by Amazon, the e-commerce mogul. It is arguably the most trustworthy web hosting service available right now, and the good thing is that it is scalable.
It offers 90 services (including content delivery, database storage and other highly useful features) and is quite flexible. It is worth looking into if you are still on the hunt for a good web hosting provider.
Email marketing services are integral to any start-up and any business that wants to survive in this age. Part of creating a successful email marketing campaign to keep your audience updated on new company developments or offers includes offering a powerful newsletter service.
MailChimp is the perfect email marketing service to do that. You have probably heard of it and you may even be using it. Indeed, MailChimp needs no introduction.
It offers a free start-up package that has basic features to set up a simple email marketing campaign. You can subscribe to a paid membership plan if you need more features and capability.
6. Ask Your Target Market (AYTM)
You will most likely need a survey tool at some stage in building your start-up. There are many tools that can help you conduct surveys (including Google Forms) but the AYTM is among the best ones.
AYTM helps you to reach the right audience that will be interested in taking your survey. This is how it works: you define your exact target market by filtering through over 4.5 million consumers in 5 countries (UK, US, CA, AU and IN). You then find your ideal survey respondents based on their demographic and psychographic attributes. You can then write out your survey.
Bonus: we recommend you keep your survey questions open-ended to get more informative and actionable insights.
Glasshat is an SEO tool that helps start-ups like you to plan their SEO and digital marketing. What it does best is analyses the competitive SEO environment by individuals’ keyword and creates a ranking list (known as activities) of recommended actions for each start-up. They additionally educate new entrepreneurs on why a certain activity is beneficial for their start-up.
You should combine it with an SEO plugin like the All in One SEO Pack if you are using WordPress as your content management system.
Asana is a project management tool that was specifically built for the social media giant, Facebook. The efficiency of Asana made it a renowned name among start-ups across the world.
It essentially helps teams to manage their workflows and track their work to achieve quantifiable results. Users can assign tasks, add assignees, view log reports, view activity feeds, and a whole lot more.
Every business knows the importance of high quality images. High quality images mean more user engagement and consequently, more time on site and more opportunities to convert.
Wave is a free online accounting software for start-ups and small businesses. It basically helps you track your expenses and income; creates invoices; generates reports; and helps to accurately file your taxes.
It has a suite of useful features that can save you a lot of time and effort from doing tedious tasks.
It has made quite a name for itself, receiving extensive media coverage from sites like Forbes, Bloomberg and Inc.
Recruiterflow is a human resources management software that helps you to manage the recruitment process quite easily, especially if you are handling it yourself.
It is an exclusive applicant tracking system and sourcing software that utilises elements of CRM solutions so you can head hunt for highly qualified talent on job boards and social media sites.
It allows you to automate your outreach and easily coordinate with your candidates. It also streamlines your appointments to keep everything flowing seamlessly.
Freshdesk is the perfect tool for coordinating your customer support by helping you track tickets and FAQs. It takes the stress out of managing customer support and coordinates your team’s efforts in a single platform.
Top features include automation, reports & analytics, multichannel helpdesk and team or department specific products.
Hootsuite is the most popular social media management tool among start-ups. That is because it helps you to manage over 30 social media networks from a single dashboard.
Most importantly, it helps you avoid the clutter so you don’t miss important opportunities from social networks.
Conversion rates are the most important and well tracked metrics for a start-up and any other business. The best way to test and optimise your conversion rates is through A/B testing.
Indeed, the aim of A/B testing is to ensure that your start-up converts efficiently. Optimizely is a well-known A/B testing software in the business world that helps you to optimise your web pages for high conversion rates.
BetaList is a traction system that helps you list your start-up before launching it. Plus, it is free of charge.
All you need to do is submit your business details, wait 2 months and then get listed. You can bypass the waiting period by paying a $99 fee.
The main benefit of BetaList is that you can showcase your start-up to community business enthusiasts and get valuable feedback.
SemRush is an all-inclusive marketing tool that helps start-ups conduct competitor research easily and effectively.
They can also do an SEO audit of your site, give you ideas for generating organic search traffic and semantic core collection, among other useful features. Companies like Amazon and Disney rely on the service.
AngelList is a start-up that connects potential investors and seasoned professionals in your field to your start-up.
It began as an online introduction for tech start-ups that needed funding. It has since evolved to connecting all start-ups, start-up job seekers and investors. You can list your start-up and get connected to reputable investors and highly qualified job applicants for free.
GrowthHacker.tv is a platform where you can watch interviews of successful growth hackers and entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves in the digital world.
The interview videos constantly play in a loop on the website and visitors can watch it for free.
You can get a paid subscription if you want to watch a past video recording. If it is your first time on the site, you can access the site’s premium member content for free for one week.
All the precious files you have been creating need a single home. Keeping them under one roof makes it easier for you to organise your files for future use and keeps them protected. There is no aggravation that compares to losing all your precious files when your computer suddenly decides to die or erase itself.
From your photos, videos, spreadsheets to other documents, Dropbox allows you to store all your files and access them anywhere and anytime for free.
The free plan comes with 2GB of storage space and easy file sharing. If you need more space and other features, you can get a paid account. If Dropbox doesn’t work for you, we suggest you find other storage accounts like Google Drive.
Evernote is a free organisational tool that keeps track of your meetings, ideas, to-do lists, voice notes and articles you may want to refer to in the future. It is available on all devices you can think of, so it is easy to keep track of everything on the move.
You can also share notes with members of your team and chat using the integrated chat platform.
As an entrepreneur, it’s all too easy for you to be caught up in the day-to-day hustles and bustles of getting your start-up off the ground. In fact, you spend a lot of your time working in your business instead of on it. Taking a short break to expand your knowledge and skills can provide you with major benefits.
All the tools and resources mentioned in this article are helpful for start-ups and small businesses alike. Use them to keep your operations running efficiently.