Article Note: This article “18 Smart Tools to Help You Solve Your Startup Problems” was first published on 11th December 2019. We last updated this article on 3rd October 2022 with fresh information.
There is a little difference between an obstacle and an opportunity, those who understand the difference can turn both to their advantage. It’s an all-to-familiar for a business, especially a startup. Every startup founder knows from the start that there will be obstacles, both anticipated and unanticipated. Sadly, many may not even know how to respond.
According to startup stats, on average, there are over 50 million new startups launching every year — but barely half of them survive the challenges that have changed the very nature of today’s business world.
This is where technology comes in. Yes, startups struggle. And there are no exceptions. But there is a myriad of tools and apps that can be used to overcome the challenges that any startup face today. All businesses, in general as well as startup businesses, have to do is find the tools that will enable them to be more efficient and match their specified budget and skillsets.
In this particular post, we are going to talk about some of the smartest startup tools that really fit well with the world of startups. These are basically the tools that startup businesses could use to anticipate, overcome problems and attain the degree of success they have hoped for.
Small startup businesses can record positive growth in terms of revenue and size if they leverage affordable online tools that increase productivity. The following tools and resources are a stepping stone to startup success, and for those aspiring to join the highest valued unicorns category in the near future.
1. MailChimp for email marketing
MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing platform that specifically focuses on getting the word out with email, social ads, landing pages, and effective CRM. With the MailChimp tool, startups can create branded emails with their easy-to-use email builder and engage better with their audience.
“The main benefit is that we can make our emails look a lot better than the technical expertise that we have.” – Nick Sapia, the chief digital officer of Alps & Meters.
- MailChimp offers pre‑designed templates and a drag‑and‑drop editor that makes creating branded emails a breeze.
- MailChimp content studio lets you store and manage all images and files of your campaign in one place.
- This tool offers real-time analytics to give you a better idea of how your campaign is working.
MailChimp lets you get started for $0. Furthermore, it offers a range of flexible pricing plans, including a Standard plan that starts at $14.99 per month and an Essential plan that starts at $9.99 per month.
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2. Moz for search engine optimization (SEO)
Moz is a SaaS-based SEO and marketing analytics software. Startups can use this tool to get key SEO insights, improve search engine ranking, convert more traffic, and drive measurable results.
“Moz Pro gives us the data we need to justify our projects and strategies. It helps us track the ROI of our efforts and brings significant transparency to our industry.” – Jason Nurmi, the Marketing Manager of Zillow.
- Moz helps to understand customer search intent and find traffic-driving keywords and search phrases.
- The rank tracking feature of Moz lets you track how you (and your competition) are ranking for keywords.
- Moz site crawl allows you to dig deeper into your site’s performance.
- Moz link explorer lets you check the backlink profile and Domain Authority of any site.
Moz Pro comes with a 30-day free trial. For more pricing details, get a quote from the vendor.
3. Zoho CRM for customer relationship management (CRM)
Zoho CRM is an award-winning CRM solution designed to help businesses grow your business faster and close more deals in less time. The software provides multichannel support that enables businesses to connect and communicate with target customers via phone, email, live chat, social media, and other channels. With the Zoho CRM tool, a startup gets a 360-degree view of their business and boosts their lead-to-deal conversation ratio.
“From using spreadsheets to Zoho CRM, we have managed to capture data in a more versatile way and has also minimized our sales cycle.” – Sreeparna Roy, the Business Marketing & Strategy Manager.
- Zoho CRM serves as a unified customer experience platform that helps businesses provide an exceptional experience to customers across every stage of their purchase cycle.
- Visitor tracking and email analytics feature in Zoho CRM lets you know what customers are looking for and find potential opportunities to engage.
- Zoho CRM helps to automate repetitive tasks, thereby allowing teams o pay more attention to their customers and leads.
- Zoho CRM lets you customize your CRM interface as per your preference.
Zoho CRM comes with a 15-day free trial. Additionally, Zoho CRM offers 5 paid plans. The most popular plans are the Enterprise plan starting at $35/user/month and Ultimate Edition starting at $100/user/month. (billed annually).
4. Amberscript for converting audio and video to text
Amberscript offers automatic transcription of audio and videos through the speech recognition feature that saves time. The fast, accurate, and secure app accommodates 35 International languages.
“Amberscript offers their service cheaper than the competitors, thanks to a largely automated process. Besides, the customer service is great. Usually, everything runs so smoothly that I don’t even notice anything during the whole process.” – Jochen Hummel, Executive at the Grundi Institute
- Allows importation of video and audio files in different formats.
- A single account can have several users.
- It is GDPR compliant to ensure user safety.
A ten minutes free trial is available for their Pre-paid, Subscription, or Manual transcription options. Their Pre-paid deal goes for $8 for 1 hour of uploaded audio or video.
5. Zendesk for live chat
Zendesk is a customer support ticket system and support platform that makes engaging with customers easy and efficient. Startups can use the tool Zendesk chat, formerly known as Zopim, to reach out to customers and provide faster, efficient support via the web, mobile, and messaging. With Zendesk, your customers are 3X more likely to make a purchase and 5X more satisfied.
“Live chat lets agents handle multiple chats at once, so the wait time is reduced and customers have a better experience.” – Jorge Vernetta, the Global Operations Manager of Foodpanda.
- Zendesk chat and messaging allow you to reach out and talk to customers before they even ask a question.
- The Zendesk suite offers all the startup tools that you need to have seamless customer conversations across phone, chat, email, social media, and any other channels.
Zendesk comes with an initial free trial. The Zendesk Suite is available for $89 per agent per month. And Zendesk Chat is available for $59 per agent per month (billed annually).
6. QuickBooks Online for accounting and invoicing
QuickBooks is a cloud accounting software designed to help professionals and small businesses manage their sales and keep track of their daily transactions. With the QuickBooks tool, a startup can keep all its accounting data organized in the cloud. You can track every sales and expense, create GST reports, and manage invoices without the need for creating excel or google sheets.
“QuickBooks is the perfect online accounting solution, in terms of features and cost, that every growing startup needs.” – Sharat Khurana, the Hiring & Recruitment Solutions of Belong.co.
- QuickBooks isn’t just for expert accountants and finance experts—anyone can use it.
- QuickBooks lets you import transactions automatically with online banking.
- This tool connects with your bank account and popular apps to provide a real-time view of cash flow.
- QuickBooks allows you to create professional GST invoices, quotations, budgets, and purchase orders.
- Features like invoice tracking and payment reminders help to manage accounting and finances anytime, anywhere.
QuickBooks comes with a 30-day free trial. Additionally, QuickBooks Subscription starts at $25 per month.
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7. Evernote for tasks organization
Evernote allows startup teams to organize their notes and access them from their devices anywhere they go. It makes project planning easy and keeps materials like emails, and PDFs in a single place.
“Evernote is a powerful tool that can help executives, entrepreneurs, and creative people capture and arrange their ideas. All you have to do is use it.” – Forbes.
- Evernote users can use its templates to create quality notes.
- This tool allows integrations with other commonly used apps like Zapier, Google Drive, Slack, Gmail, etc.
- It has a search feature that enables users to filter and find documents, attachments, images, and more.
Evernote has three plans for individuals and teams that include, free, personal, and professional. The personal plan goes for $7.99 per month.
8. Calendly for scheduling automation
Calendly is a game-changer tool that allows startups to schedule meetings and appointments promptly with their customers. The tool facilitates meeting scheduling depending on the availability of parties involved. By doing this, startups can increase sales and retain clients.
“Calendly has increased meetings with customers by 216% for our Vonage team.” – Chris Williams, Head of Customer Success UK/EMEA.
- Startups can screen and select people they wish to meet through Calendly’s routing forms.
- Productivity is achieved through its integrations and extensions with other software like Hubspot, Zoom, and WebEx, among others.
- Startups can use Calendly’s integrations like PayPal and Stripe to manage bills and make timely payments.
Calendly has a free plan that startups can always upgrade to enjoy more features. The paid plans can be billed monthly or annually.
9. ProofHub for project management
ProofHub is an all-in-one project planning software designed to help teams easily plan, collaborate, organize and deliver projects of all sizes. With the ProofHub tool, startup owners and project managers can have ultimate control over how work is being done. And for the teams, ProofHub makes meeting deadlines and being productive super easy.
“ProofHub has unified all our communications, brought our internal teams together, and made everyone accountable for their time in order to work smarter.” – Matt Cooper.
- ProofHub offers all the tools a team or a startup organization needs, under one roof.
- This tool makes on-time project delivery and on-point team accountability easy with features like Gantt Chart, Kanban boards, Chat/discussions, timesheets, custom reports, and more.
- ProofHub lets you customize the whole project management experience with features like white-labeling, custom roles, multilingual support, IP restriction, etc.
ProofHub comes with an initial 30-day free trial. Plus, it offers two simple pricing plans (no contracts, no per-user fee), including the Essential plan available for $45 per month (billed annually for unlimited users and the Ultimate Control plan available for $89 per month (billed annually) for unlimited projects and unlimited users.
10. Woopra for analytics and lead generation
Woopra is a real-time customer analytics solution that helps organizations to boost leads and sales by optimizing the customer life cycle. With the tool Woopra, startups can connect with customers like never before. They can make smarter, data-driven decisions about their customer journey.
“The biggest problem was that we didn’t know what our customers were doing. Woopra made information immediately available for us to find answers to specific questions, map out the customer journey, and act as the baseline for our customer data.” – Scott Smith, VP Sales, CloudApp.
- Woopra allows your sales team to optimize every touchpoint in the customer experience.
- The tool supports real-time individual-level analysis.
- Woopra helps to trigger personalized interactions with built-in automation.
Woopra offers a Core plan that starts at $0 per month (it’s a perfect plan to get started). Additionally, Woopra offers a Pro plan that starts at $999 per month and an Enterprise plan that can be customized as per your needs.
11. Dialpad Meetings for conference calls
Meetings by Dialpad is a modern cloud communications platform that lets you have better meetings and conversations via voice, video, and messaging. With the Dialpad Meetings tool, startups can reap the benefit of AI-powered video/voice conferencing. Furthermore, they can integrate seamlessly with the apps they use every day and stay productive.
“We’re excited to work with innovative companies like Dialpad Meetings to drive businesses’ productivity and make the conference calling experience more collaborative.” – Chris Yeh, VP of Box.
- Dialpad Meetings has a rich interface that allows you to have better meetings anywhere, anytime.
- Dialpad Meetings makes HD video/audio conferencing ridiculously easy.
- In Dialpad Meetings, you have the ability to share your screen, application, or a specific tab with other participants.
Dialpad Meetings is available for $0 per user per month (up to 10 participants). Additionally, it offers a business plan that starts at $15 per user per month (up to 100 participants).
12. Social Champ for social media management
Social Champ is a to-go-to social media management software for startups looking to organize their social profiles under one tab. It comes with automation features and integrations that make it easy to schedule and share content in multiple accounts simultaneously.
“Hands down the number one thing I like the most about Social Champ is their integration with GMB, I can easily add and schedule Google My Business posts. Not many software companies are offering this type of feature.” – Josh Bernthold, Agency Owner, The Hotshot Group.
- Social Champ allows startups to publish content on several social media platforms while utilizing features like geo-tagging, queue, recycling, etc.
- The Engage feature in Social Champ enables startups to group, monitor, and reply to messages, reviews, comments, and mentions on all platforms.
- Social Champ also has an Analytics feature that startups can use to generate weekly or monthly reports and identify highly performing posts.
- Startups can get a grid view of content across all profiles and use drag-and-drop functionality to make changes such as editing, deleting, or rescheduling.
Social Champ has a free plan for startups who cannot enroll in their premium plans immediately, although it is limited to only three social media platforms. Their paid Champion and Business plans have a 7-day free trial. Champion subscription starts at $26 per month, covering 12 social media accounts.
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13. Zuant for sales and marketing
Zuant tool has made the lead generation process for most startups effortless by allowing them to capture information about qualified leads. The tool is resourceful for event teams, marketing and sales managers, and CRM teams. Startups can easily upload data and generate reports on request.
“It’s fabulous to upload information really quickly and then allows me to generate any type of sample requests…It’s easy to access, instead of taking a bunch of information down it automatically loads.” – Mike Freeman, SR. Regional Director of Sales, Ergodyne.
- Zuant has a Scanning that allows the importation and saving of data from business cards, NFC chips, or QR codes.
- Startups do not need to rely on connectivity to use Zuant because it has an offline working mode.
- The showroom feature allows users to share digital content like videos in custom presentations.
Zuant has a base plan that starts at $380 per month for 20 users.
14. With Content for authoritative content marketing
Tech startups can rely on With Content for help in delivering quality, optimized, and relatable content that wins and retains customers. Their strategy involves generating editorial and visual content that tech companies can use to thrive in the market. Through their team, With Content has helped many startups achieve their content marketing goals.
“Thanks to With Content, the depth and breadth of our thought leadership have thrilled members, partners, and everyone across our alliance. If you work with them, you get not only a well-rounded team that is intelligent, patient, and flexible but also a true partner who you can bounce off ideas and seek guidance on what they do best in delivering great B2B content.” – Ellyne Phneah, Brand & Communications Manager, Bridge Alliance.
- Content kicks off its campaigns with a content strategy that involves keyword research, competitor SEO analysis, and a content calendar.
- Content creation follows suit with editorials like blog articles, email newsletters, case studies, etc. Their visual content includes eBooks, infographics, reports, and presentations.
- Content repurposing is another aspect of With Content services. They make refreshing changes to older publishing meaning they don’t have to build content from scratch.
Content offers 3 flexible pricing options which are Starter, Pro, and Enterprise.
15. Competitor’s App for monitoring competition’s marketing strategies
Startups can comfortably observe their competitor’s activities using Competitor’s App. By doing this, startups can stay ahead of the competition by making significant changes based on their counterpart’s data.
“I spend 5 minutes weekly reading the reports about my competition, and I get updated with all the websites, social media, and keyword changes by them. What a solution! I’d recommend everyone to get it. This app is the best in the market.” – Aazar Ali Shad, CEO of Ecomply.io.
- Startups get reports regarding their competitor’s email marketing strategies and how they convert leads.
- Alerts whenever improvement-oriented changes are made to the competitor websites.
- Startups can compare their keywords to that of their competitors to measure growth and make necessary adjustments.
- Updates on competitors’ social media posts and blogs.
Competitors App pricing is affordable for small businesses and has an option of a free trial that doesn’t require a credit card. Their monthly paid plan of $9.90 has several features.
16. Gusto for payroll and benefits management
Gusto platform allows startups to manage payrolls, benefits, insurance, calculate and file taxes, including onboarding and managing talent. The software automates the time and attendance of employees and provides insights that simplify decision-making.
“Gusto has literally changed how I do business. Onboarding and self-management for staff are super easy now. Running payroll is a snap, too.” – Brian Briskman, CEO, B2 Creative Studios, Inc.
- Payroll feature that automates deductions, direct deposits, W-2s, and 1099s.
- Gusto’s time tools feature is resourceful in tracking the team’s hours, time off, holidays, etc. thus increasing productivity.
- Startups can build their employee’s financial and health benefits and also give access to emergency cash through gusto wallet.
Gusto has Simple, Plus, and Premium plans with listed features. Simple is the most affordable plan at a monthly rate of $40 plus $6/month per person. The Plus plan comes at $80/month plus $12/month per person.
17. Hippo Video for interactive business videos
Hippo Video is a powerful tool used by startups to communicate through videos hence converting leads and increasing revenue. Video engagement works all the time in building customer trust and Hippo Video allows users to customize visual messages and share them with prospects on social media and other channels.
“Hippo Video is the best video platform for sales. Ease of use and distribution to social media.” – Rob K, CEO, Kurz Solutions.
- Simplified integration with other tools like Gmail, LinkedIn, HubSpot, etc.
- Video recording and editing using an array of features like trimming and adding text.
- Video analytics to monitor user engagement on aspects like watch rate.
Hippo Video has four different affordable plans for their users that include Sales, Marketing, Support, and Team Communication. All the plans have 7-day free trials that do not require a credit card.
18. Crash Plan for backing up business data
Crash Plan is a cloud-based backup software helping startups to restore lost data following hard drive failure, theft, fire, or malware attacks. The easy-to-navigate tool also accommodates large amounts of data.
“I’m happy with CrashPlan for Small Business because it always works, I’m notified if it does not backup on schedule, recovery works as advertised, and the support staff is very helpful.” – Bill Kormoski, Owner Kormoski & Associates LLC Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
- Automated backups that run in the background guarantee continuous protection.
- Smart and encrypted protection for business files that matter
- Unlimited storage without data size restrictions
- Unrelenting customer support through chats, emails, and calls.
CrashPlan for small businesses bills $9.99 monthly for every device.
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The bottom line
So, there you go; this is the list of tools and apps that every startup should consider using in 2022 (and beyond) to get successful.
The above tools can help small enterprises to accomplish financial goals and grow exponentially. There is no limit to the number of tools a startup business can use to meet its everyday goals. Besides some tools being entirely free, startup businesses can use free trials from paid tools to decide whether to proceed with a subscription.
What do you think? What else do you think contributes to the success of a startup? Also, if you believe we have missed some tools that would have helped to make a startup successful, tell us about them in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!
This article is written by Vartika Kashyap. Vatika is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, and entrepreneurship among others, and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.