This post compiles an overview of some of the favourite tools and resources for bootstrapping a startup and employing growth hacking tactics. So, these tools will help you work faster and smarter to get your Startup off the ground. They can also help your team to boost the process during and after a Startup Weekend. So, have a look at these tools first to know best which tool to use when.
Most of the tools mentioned are free or at least have free trials, allowing you to familiarize yourself with the product in advance and add significant value to your startup projects.
Keep on track
So, you want to build your own startup? First of all keep yourself accountable for making progress on your startup:
- Sign up for The 7 Day Startup, a guide to help you launch your business
- Enroll in Stanford’s famous and free Online Course How to Start a Startup or listen to it as an Audio Podcast
- Sign up for GrowthHackers to get the best growth articles in your inbox weekly or sign up for GrowthHackingIdea and receive one growth hacking idea a day
Generate and organize your ideas
If you have no idea yet, get inspired by watching these 50 Groundbreaking Startup Ideas from Twitter, Airbnb to Evernote and many more.
- germ.io lets you capture every eureka moment and very idea and take it through to execution
- MindNode Pro or MindMeister helps you mindmapping your ideas
Get a name
- The Name App Find an available name for your brilliant idea.
- Naminum Discover a perfect company name.
- Wordoid Pick a short and catchy name for your business.
- Hipster Business Name Hipster business name generator.
- Impossibility The best domain name generator ever.
- Lean Domain Search Find a domain name for your website in seconds.
- Domainr Fast, free, domain name search, short URLs.
Is your choosen name available on all services and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit..)?
- Namecheckr Check domain & social username availability across multiple networks
Design your Business Model – Lean Methodology Sources
- Business Model Canvas a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business idea
- Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas is similar to Business Model Canvas but outlines a more problem focused approach targeting entrepreneurs and startup businesses
- Experiment Board Use the lean validation/experiment board to describe, validate and refine your business idea.
Find a co-founder or outsource specific tasks
If you haven’t found a co-founder at Startup Weekend you can use these sites to find a buddy. Or if your team does not have all the skills needed you can outsource specific tasks:
- CoFoundersLab Find a co-founder for your startup in any city, any industry
- Founder2be Another online platform that helps to find a co-founder
- oDesk Find freelancers on oDesk
- Fiverr is the marketplace for creative & professional services
- Elance Find rated web developers, mobile programmers, designers, writers, translators, marketing pros, virtual assistants and more
- 99designs is the world’s largest online marketplace for design
- legal Connects startups with qualified specialists to help solve their legal issue
Do Market Research and Customer Validation
- Statista is a leading international statistics portal on the internet
- SimilarWeb Analyze your competitors’ traffic and identify growth opportunities
- Use Moat for real-time, multi-platform marketing & ad analysis of your competitors
- Google Trends Check the currently trending topic or find the search trend for any keyword of your choice
- SEMRush Find the Most Shared Content and Key Influencers
- SurveyMonkey and Google Forms is the simple way to create surveys for customer validation
- KeywordTool.io is the best free alternative to Google Keyword Planner
Pitch your Startup Idea
- Pitcherific Pitcherific helps you create, train, and improve your pitch
- Best Pitchdecks shows some of the best Startup Pitch Decks
Build your MVP – Prototyping, Mockups & Wireframing
Tools that help you build your Minimum Viable Product (MVP):
- QuickMVP help you to test your ideas, without wasting time or money
- Optimizely One optimization platform for websites and mobile apps (A/B testing etc.)
- Marvel a free prototyping and collaboration tool that lets designers transform their files into interactive, sharable prototypes viewable on any device
- POP transforms your paper sketches into click-through prototypes in minutes
- Instapage Build fully-functional landing pages on the fly
- Proto.io is enabling users to create fully interactive mobile app prototypes
- UI Faces Find and generate sample avatars for user interfaces
- Balsamiq Mockups is a wireframing tool
- Moqups is a HTML5 app for creating resolution-independent SVG mockups & wireframes
- Pixate allows you to create sophisticated animations and interactions for mobile
Get your Design ready
- Pixlr Pixlr Editor is a robust browser editor similar to Photoshop
- Placeit Free product mockups & templates
- Recite Turn a quote into a visual masterpiece
- Canva Amazingly simple graphic design for bloggers
- Social Image Resizer Tool Create optimized images for social media
- Startup Stockphotos get free images for your website/ mockups
Do Marketing, Social Media & Blogging
- Buffer is a easy way to publish on social media
- Hootsuite Best Social media dashboard tool which let you manage all social media channels from single dashboard
- Mailchimp An email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results
- Aweber email marketing software for bloggers which offers email automation, personalisation and offers pre-built template to send beautiful Email newsletter
- Buzzsumo Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor.
- Portent Content idea generator
Do Cost Calculation and Finance
- Ad Spend Calculator Should my startup pay to advertise?
- App vs. Website Should you build an app or website?
- HowMuchToMakeAnApp Calculate the cost of a mobile application
- Fastbill web-based solution for digital invoicing
- Wave accounting app for start-ups
- Invoiceable track outstanding payments, follow up on pending payments and automate invoices
Organize yourself and your team, collaborate digital
- Slack will bring all your communication together in one place through real-time messaging
- Trello Keeps track of everything and manage your To-Dos
- Evernote collect and organize your ideas, notes and inspiration
- Yanado Tasks management inside Gmail
- IFTTT helps you to automate business processes and gives control over apps you love
- Wetransfer Free transfer up to 2GB
- Dropbox Free space up to 2GB
- Drp.io Free, fast, private and easy image and file hosting.
- Asana is a handy project management tool that helps you keep your team and your projects organized in one place
- Basecamp project management tool that allows different teams to seamlessly collaborate.
Still lacking some tool to get your startup off the ground? Check out this and this site for even more resources and tools! What other resources allow startups to work faster and smarter? Do you have other suggestions for the Startup Weekend teams? Feel free to tweet any ideas to @SWWHH2015 or me directly @contenthorizon.
Are you an entrepreneur, marching to progress?
Everyone has seen the famous scientific drawing, showing the compressed evolution of 25 million years. Entrepreneurs also go through a mental evolution as they go deeper into their businesses.
I got a sale! The first fresh-faced entrepreneurs focus on volumes. Striving to increase the numbers they sell, they would use any tactic to sell more items. Ironically, huge companies (often with large inventory shipments) also capture these metrics, and looking to hit their volume metrics monthly.
The next generation of entrepreneurs are seeking revenues. No longer satisfied with just volumes, they know that pricing can make a huge difference to the perceived value of their products and services. They are carefully looking at the elasticity of their products and services. Sure they are aiming for volumes, but the true lever is revenue.
Then reality hits! Revenues have been great, but that doesn’t mean they get to keep any of it. Anybody can flit products away at discounted prices or by bolstering salespeople to hit their sales targets for commissions. However, all aspects of the cost of doing business need to be considered to successfully generate and maintain Profits.
And now we reach the modern day successful startup and entrepreneur. In this article, Jefff Bezos recently said that “cash flow per share was the most important thing for Amazon, not profit margins”. Free cash flow, matched with the profits, revenues, and volumes sum upto a successful entrepreneur and company. You just have to let evolution get you there.
Which stage of evolution are you in? Let us know in the comments below.
This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.