Software Every Startup Needs

Starting a business can be an exciting and scary experience. You may have a great idea, but you need to know if it will work. There are many things you should consider before starting your business.

The first thing you need to do is determine what type of business you want to start. You can either choose a retail store, service or manufacturing company. This will determine what type of software you will need to run your business effectively. If you plan on opening a retail store, you will need accounting software that allows you to track inventory and sales transactions. If you plan on offering services, then accounting software is not required because there are no inventory items or sales transactions involved in providing services.

If your plan calls for manufacturing products, then accounting software will not be enough; however, it can still be beneficial since it allows businesses owners to monitor inventory levels and keep track of customer orders and payments made through the system.”

Software Every Startup Needs

1. Productivity—Google G Suite

It’s the elephant in the room, and you can’t ignore it because it’s just too good. Microsoft Outlook fought the good fight, but as Cloud services became the rule and not the exception, Google G-Suite became our shared destiny. 

There’s a reason Gmail has amassed 1.2 billion users worldwide since it launched in 2004—it’s the most intuitive and reliable webmail platform. G Suite allows you to customize gmail accounts to a branded domain name. With that Gmail account comes cross-compatibility with a host of intelligent G Suite apps, including but not limited to:

  • Google Calendar, which integrates with everything. 
  • Google Drive with sub apps Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides as a cloud-based alternative to Microsoft Office.
  • Google Keep, a Cloud-based notepad.
  • Google Hangouts, an easy-to-use teleconferencing app.

The Google Cloud is one of the most stable in the world, with a record of 99.9% uptime. It’s also extremely affordable and, most importantly, leads the market in security, compliant with ISO 27001, HIPAA, and more. This makes it easily one of the best SaaS tools for startups. The competition doesn’t even come close.

2. Team Communication—Slack

Instant messaging was obviously not new when Slack came along, but Slack changed the game and now it owns the space. This end-to-end chat tool allows direct one-on-one messaging, as well as team and group chats, company-wide chats, and “channels” for discussions on specific topics, making it one of the best startup tools for team communication. 

Whether team members are communicating with each other from across the office or across oceans, Slack beats the competition in terms of UI. Best of all, unlike other communication tools designed for the workplace, admins can’t read private DM conversations without direct permissions, allowing for privacy, autonomy, empowerment, and trust.

But Slack is more than just a chat app. It can also be used to share files and easily create a searchable knowledge base or cloud-based filing cabinet for collaboration.

3. Project Management—Asana

Google G Suite and Slack provide startups and established companies alike with powerful Cloud services for communication and collaboration. Asana is something different. In a real way, Asana is the office. 

Teams scattered across the globe can log into an Asana workspace and assign tasks to team members, discover tasks assigned to them, and keep track of the progress of tasks assigned to themselves and others. Especially for new companies that choose to embrace the remote-work model, Asana is one of the best SaaS tools for startups out there.

Project management in Asana comes in the form of columns and cards. Columns can be created for any number of categories (i.e. “To Do,” “In Progress,” “For Review,” etc.) Team members can create “Cards” in each column, and move them between columns as needed. Cards can be: 

  • Assigned to team members. 
  • Assigned due dates.
  • Given category labels.
  • Given checklists.
  • Preserve a chain of comments.
  • Receive file attachments.

Asana, effectively, becomes the organized “to-do” list of your entire organization. It also integrates with more apps than almost any other Cloud-based project management app, including G Suite, Hubspot, and WordPress.   

4. Marketing Analytics—Google Analytics

For most startups, the website is the hub of customer activity. Without marketing analytics in place, it’s impossible to know how well (or poorly) the website is doing its job. How many people are visiting? How long are they staying on the page? Which pages are they spending the most time on? How many visitors convert to sales or leads?

Again, Google leads the pack with a free suite of marketing analytics tools—code snippets you embed into your website to track visitor behavior at four separate levels:

  1. User: actions performed by each unique visitor.
  2. Session: actions take on each unique visit.
  3. Pageview: each page visited.
  4. Event: link click, video view, etc.

By gathering data on user behavior, businesses can gain valuable insights about customer wants, needs, and behaviors that they can apply to their marketing strategy, as well as uncover weaknesses to shore up and reclaim lost customers. Google Analytics is one of the most critical startup tools to track customer interactions in the crucial early days of operations. 

5. Marketing—Hubspot CRM

“CRM” is short for “customer relationship management.” No business relationship is more important, especially to a startup, than a company’s relationship with its customers. There’s no excuse for managing those relationships in a slipshod manner—especially since Hubspot exists.

Hubspot earns its name by acting as a “hub” for all your marketing and lead collection assets, which—let’s face it—can get overwhelming. There’s your landing pages, your contact forms, your email, your blog, your social media assets … Hubspot interacts with them all to collect leads in the most comprehensive, user-friendly marketing platform in the Cloud, making it one of the most useful startup software tools for a new company.

Once collected as a lead, Hubspot tracks every interaction the customer has with the business, automating the process of tailored upsells. Hubspot also beats the competition in being infinitely customizable, easy to tailor to your business.

6. Landing Page—Wordpress

35% of all websites, 20% of self-hosted websites, and almost 15% of the top websites in the world are built on WordPress, the granddaddy of Cloud-based web publishing apps. 

There are lots of easy, drag-and-drop landing page builders out there, but none of them compete with WordPress in terms of:

  • Stability. WordPress is unrivaled in its uptime, reliability, and support. 
  • Customizability. Any design you can dream up can be designed in WordPress.
  • Integration. WordPress is compatible with G Suite, Hubspot, Google Analytics, and more with easy integrations.

Even if you’re not a WordPress developer, many WordPress landing page plugins, like Beaver Builder, Leadpages, or Elementor, make it as easy and fast to design a landing page as with a drag-and-drop builder. If your startup’s website is built on WordPress, using it for landing pages is even more of a no-brainer.

Final words

Every one of these startup software tools has competitors. Many competitors have their ardent defenders and adherents. But if you have the luxury of starting from scratch and want the best of the best SaaS tools for startups, these six tools are what you want.

essential tools for startups

1 Best communication tools for startups
Communication tools that startups often use include instant messaging and video conferencing tools. Instant chat tools are great for quick updates and small questions but for more complex issues, jumping on a video call is often a more effective way. Video conferencing tools are also very useful in conducting client meetings when the use base of your startup is global.

Startup Tool – Slack
Slack is our favorite tool for instant messaging. Using Slack, you can create channels to group discussions on different topics. Slack offers an extensive Slack App Directory where you can easily connect Slack with tools that your startup already use in your daily workflow or add extra functions to help you use Slack in a more productivity way. The free plan pretty much covers all the things a startup needs, just that the free plan only has limited history and can install up to 10 apps max.

Need more tips on using Slack? Check out our blog posts on Slack tips and tricks.

Pricing: Freemium with plans starting from $6.67/month per user

best startup tools – Zoom
Zoom is one of the most popular web conferencing tools on the market. Using Zoom, you can easily start an online meeting or webinar with good video/audio quality and screen sharing function. One handy feature of Zoom is that you cna create recurring meetings with the same URL, which is very useful for hosting internal team meetings for your startup.

The free plan covers the basic needs that you need to do a video call. But group calls are limited to 40 minutes for the free plan.

Need more tips on using Zoom? Check out our blog post How to use Zoom: 15+ Zoom tips and tricks.

Pricing: Freemium with plans starting from $14.99/month per host

Google Meet
best tools for startup – Google Meet
If you are looking for a completely free option for video call, Google Meet is a great choice as well. Using Google Meet, you can safely create and join high-quality video meetings for groups of up to 250 people. You can also view and present in live-streamed events that include up to 100,000 in-domain viewers

Pricing: Free

2 Best project management startup tools

Using a project management tool to organize and track progresses of projects and tasks is very helpful to enhance the productivity of your startup because at the early stages, when you are still trying to find product market fit, it’s likely that there can be numerous changes to your priorities and task arrangements. Without a right tool, things can get very messy and your teammates may find it hard to keep track of what needs to be done and the progress.

Best startup software – Trello
Trello is a Kanban-style list making tools that are helpful in project or task management. You can create boards, lists, and cards with labels, checklists and due dates to organize your team’s projects and tasks and simply drag and drop them to track progresses. There are also a lot of Power-ups (essentially apps for Trello) that you can add to Trello to supercharge its already amazing functions.

The free plan is adequate for most small startup needs but is limited to 10 team boards and 1 Power-Up per board.

Pricing: Freemium with plans starting from $9.99 per user per month

Best software for startups – Asana
Asana is another very popular project management tools among startups. Using Asana, you can organize your projects and tasks in one shared space and switch between list, kanban board and calendar views easily.

Its free plan covers most small startups’ needs and can have up to 15 teammates.

Pricing: Freemium with plans starting from $10.99 per user per month

3 Best documentation / knowledge management tools for startups

Knowledge management tools help teams better organize useful team knowledge such as frequently asked questions, workflow guidelines and other important information in a centralized hub so teammates can access important info quickly when they need them.

When choosing an internal knowledge management tool for your startup, look for tools that integrate well with other tools your team already uses, offer a powerful search, good collaborative features and built-in workflows to ensure content accuracy and freshness.

Benefits of investing in knowledge management tools:

Speed up onboarding
Enhance team productivity
Standardize workflows and share learnings among teams
Reduce repeated questions and mistakes in your team
Top startup tools – Kipwise
Kipwise is a knowledge management tool that helps teams build up their company knowledge hub easily. It offers powerful Slack integration, browser extensions and is integrated with Google Drive, Trello, Airtable and more, so you can save and retrieve team knowledge easily, wherever you need them.

Some key features that help teams enable better internal knowledge flow:

Powerful Slack integration – Handy slash command and Slack Actions to create and search for team knowledge. You simply don’t have to leave Slack to build up your knowledge base.
Real-time collaborative editor – With rich embedding options, your team can edit the same doc at the same time and create visually appealing documentation easily.
Content review process – Set designated reviewers for your collections to ensure content is always up-to-date and accurate.
Pricing: Starting from $16/month for 10 users

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4 Best scheduling tools

As startup founders or customer-facing roles, it’s likely that you have to schedule quite a lot of meetings with different stakeholders like investors, prospects and customers. Instead of needing to send back and forth emails to schedule a time, using a scheduling tool can help you save a whole lot of time and also increase conversion rate as booking a meeting has become much easier and hassle free for your prospects and customers as well.

Useful startup tools – Calendly
Using Calendly, you can set specific time that you are available (or simply link your Calendar to block off unavailable time slots) and allow people to make a booking with you easily. Other than sharing your Calendly booking link, you can also embed the Calendly booking form in your website directly for prospects to book a timeslot with you or sales team directly.

Pricing: Freemium with plans starting from $8/month per user
Useful startup software – is another popular online appointments booking system among startups. It works well with Google, iCloud and Microsoft cloud calendars. Simply link your calendar and your customers can make a booking directly into your calendar and they will automatically get their notifications, calendar invites and reminders, etc.

Pricing: Freemium with plans starting from $10/month per user

5 Best team culture / team building tools for startups

Most startups are still operating in small teams and busy focusing on product building and customer acquisition. It’s easy for startup founders to overlook the importance of building the team culture that they would like to see in the team that will help the company grow in a healthy way. Below are some tools that can help shape the team to live the values that you care and build a team that can work cohesively together.

Tools for startups – Disco
With Disco, you can easily send appreciation to teammates directly via your company chat tool like Slack. This way, you can shape your team culture by recognizing teammates in real-time when they live your values. Disco also provides leaderboards so you can formalize recognition by rewarding your team superstars every month or quarter.

Pricing: Pricing starting from $3/month per user (they are currently having a 50% off discount in light of the Coronavirus, so starting from $1.5/month per user)

Tools for startups – Donut
Donut helps your team members get to know each other better, across departments, office locations and continents – a particular useful tool if your startup works remotely (read more tips about remote work). Donut introduces people who don’t know each other well on teams of all sizes via direct message, and encourages them to meet in person or virtually for a variety of programmes. You can also use Donut to welcome new hires, and introduce them to onboarding buddies or other teammates.

Pricing: Freemium with plans starting from $49/month for 49 users

6 Best holiday management tools for startups

Even if your startup is small, having a proper procedure on leave management is important in keeping productivity high. With proper vacation management, your team can plan ahead when employees need to take some time off and ensure your tight deadlines won’t be missed. This is particularly crucial for remote teams as teammates are not based in the same office so sometimes it’s hard for them to know who’s out of office on a particular day and might not be responding to their requests.
apps for startup – helps you manage team absences like vacations or sick leaves with ease. With its Slack integration, managers can decline or accept absence requests directly within Slack and teammates can see current and future absences easily with using Slack slash commands.

Pricing: Starting from €1.5 per month per user

startup apps – timetastic
Timetastic is another great holiday management tool that can be easily integrated into Slack to help your team prepare for a teammates’s absence in advance. With Timetastic, you can basically manage the entire “taking time off” process directly on Slack. Best for startups that want to avoid the paperwork that comes with planning a few days off for a teammate.

Pricing: Starting from $1 per month per user

7 Best automatic daily standup / status report tools for startups

Status Hero
software for startups – Status Hero
Status Hero is a lightweight tool for tracking daily goals, activity logs from your tools, and status updates from your team, all in one place. It makes checking in within a team and collecting daily goals easier. With Status Hero, your teammates will be prompted to check in and give a brief update on their progress to the rest of the team. Then Status Hero will combine the daily check-in with data from connected project management tools such as GitHub, Trello and Jira and create status reports to be sent to the team.

Pricing: Starting from $3 per month per user

software for startups – Standuply
Standuply helps to automate most common Agile processes via Slack, including standup meetings, retrospective meetings, team motivation check-up, etc. You can integrate Standuply with tools like JIRA and GitHub to build Agile charts and run complex processes, such as backlog grooming, planning poker, and more.

Pricing: Freemium with plans starting from $5 per month for 3 users


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