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Last updated: 8/27/2022
There are so many startup tools and resources nowadays. It requires a learning curve to find and understand the tools you need when you’re trying to tackle all the other necessities of operating and scaling your startup (or small biz).
Over the last 5+ years of working with startups, these are the best startup/business tools that I’ve come across. I’ve rounded them up here for easy access. Feel free to bookmark this page. I am continually adding more tools here as time goes on and new platforms are launched.
This platform allows startups the ability to search for grants as a way to fund their startup without giving up equity to do so. It’s free to create an account and search the platform. Doing more in-depth and saved searches requires a paid plan.
FundStory is a solution for startup and finance teams to organize and manage their various non-dilutive capital sources. This platform is currently in its waitlist phase, and are accepting business teams to sign up for early access.
They offer different pricing tiers, but for a non-venture backed startup, you can get started on their free plan to search and apply for non-dilutive funding solutions.
Built and managed by Lolita Taub, this tool allows investors and startup founders to apply and be matched to create win-win opportunities. Preference is given to supporting historically underestimated or overlooked founders and funders.
HP Instant Ink is a hassle-free, money-saving ink subscription service that delivers ink the moment you need it for up to 50% less.
Instead of buying cartridges, you pay a low monthly fee based on how often you print. Plans start at $0.99 a month and cover, ink, shipping, and recycling.
It’s smarter to pay for prints, not cartridges. Instead of running out, ink is delivered to your door only when you need it—no stockpiling cartridges like other subscriptions. What’s even better is you only pay for the pages you print, at the lowest cost per print.
Your printer lets HP know when it’s running low on ink and they’ll send ink or toner before you run out, not necessarily every month. Every page costs the same, so you can print high-resolution photos for the same price as black and white documents. Unused pages roll over and extra pages cost just pennies. Plus you can change your plan or cancel at any time (at no cost).
I fully recommend WordPress. This site is built on WordPress and the last two startups I worked with created their websites on the WordPress platform as well.
As someone who has worked with Wix, BlogSpot, Square Space, and Shopify – WordPress is hands down the best for SEO, freedom to design various pages and widgets, no weird Terms and Conditions keeping you in line, and other issues that can cap your success later.
Some of the cheapest hosting out there. I recommend Bluehost specifically for your first year of hosting. Then I recommend moving up to the next host (below).
Bluehost is insanely cheap and if you are working with pennies and want to make your dream happen without the major costs, this is your go-to. I have used this with previous IT web design clients on a budget and it has helped keep their costs low.
This is the hosting service I currently use and have been using for about a year now. They are faster hosting than Bluehost, but about twice the cost monthly after their startup special pricing.
I don’t make it a secret that my web design is from 17th Avenue Designs on Etsy. My theme is the Uptown Theme (which is made for freelancing entrepreneurs). Overall, I recommend surfing for themes on the Etsy platform from various sellers. You’d be surprised what options you can find that allow you to move quickly on a bootstrapped budget.
That being said, I know those visiting my site are looking for themes that are more vibrant, trendy, and tech-focused. I recommend checking out this post on Colorlib’s website to find additional options for web design.
Grayson Bell saved my site. I remember when I broke my site with caching plugins and thought I had ruined two years of business building and content publishing.
Grayson and his team are great at giving quick feedback to questions and I recommend it to any WordPress site owner.
You can repair your site improve site speed, change your domain URL (it happens sometimes and you have to change this correctly!), move to a new host, make your site secure (HTTPS) and do ongoing support plans (their most popular service) as well as many other services that are ESSENTIAL.
All my policies are from Terms Feed, and I like that I can go back and edit them, redownload and update my site easily in their portal, and for free.
Please note, that this does not replace counsel from a legal professional. As you grow and integrate with other platforms or do more specific work with customers, you will require more defined policies. This platform is just a starting point.
This site is hands-down the easiest solution to create mockups of your products. Even with a free plan, you can create stunning mockups of your solution to level up your pitch deck, social posts, and website landing pages. No need to hire a designer.
You can read more in my post here about why I choose to go with Deposit Photos and this post offers more sources of stock photos you can nab for your website and social posts. This service is much cheaper than Shutterstock and I get the photos I need on a custom plan. (Cheaper than their other advertised plans.)
This platform offers stock footage for video content to supplement “talking head” videos or demo walkthroughs of your product.
This is the simplest video editing service I’ve used. This platform is great for DIY-ing your video editing without the price tag of outsourcing. It’s extremely intuitive. I learned how to use it in less than 60 minutes (and I’m no videographer). It works well for social media video editing, testimonial videos, and creating simple explainer videos. They are constantly adding on new effects, sounds, and transitions.
Email Service Provider
MailerLite is easy, free, and intuitive.
It’s easy to integrate into your site and you can easily organize your opt-in and offer forms for specific pages.
Active Campaign is a great way to level up your email marketing while having a beginner-level CRM to organize your early sales pipeline. They also offer in-depth segmentation and personalization capabilities in your email campaigns. I currently use this solution for a few of my current clients.
This highly-recommended sales platform provides the bells and whistles that are actually necessary, while not costing an arm and a leg. A huge strength is their ability to directly integrate with a ton of tools (some of which are likely already in your tech stack).
I’ll continue to add additional products and services here as I come across courses, tools, and items that really and truly help!
Have questions about your tech stack? Need help with your content marketing efforts and sales copy?