Walt Disney, an animator, producer, and entrepreneur, once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
At some point, taking to the skies like a bird, an expedition to Mars, or a future where artificial beings imitate human intelligence were all pipe dreams until passionate individuals decided to pour in their sweat, time, and effort to turn these dreams into reality.
That’s precisely what a startup is—a venture undertaken by entrepreneurs to bring a unique product or service to the market. Startups are not just a means to fulfill dreams but are also essential for a country’s economy, with over 3 million new jobs created in the U.S. in 2021 alone.
But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine in the startup land. In the initial stages, startups have to make do with limited resources and a small team just for survival.
So how can they grow, sustain, and generate revenue without putting extra strain on their assets?
A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Online Tools for Startups in 2023
America is the land of dreamers and optimists, giving birth to nearly 3,47,000 startups in the first quarter of 2022.
But unfortunately, not all of them make it past their nascent stage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, almost 20% of new businesses fail within the first 2 years of operations.
To stay in the game and become profitable, startups need to anticipate demand, create a tangible business plan, optimize resources, build a loyal customer base, set aside cash for rainy days, cut unnecessary overhead costs, and automate tedious activities.
Juggling these seemingly impossible tasks can be challenging for a budding entrepreneur. Besides, having tunnel vision can make it even harder to look at the bigger picture and keep your eye on the proverbial prize.
Although the road to achieving your dreams seems too bleak, an entrepreneur can rely on online tools to grow their businesses in 2023.
7 Online tools for startups in 2023
Every entrepreneur must invest in online tools—paid or otherwise—to take advantage of their various benefits, including:
- Faster set up
- Readily accessible information
- Seamless collaboration between team members
- Optimum utilization of time
- Access to business-related data anytime, anywhere
- Enhanced data management and security
- Availability of premium software at a fraction of the cost
- Ease of assigning, tracking, and reporting tasks
- Increase productivity
So without further ado, let’s look at the top online tools every startup should consider in 2023.
All businesses need access to invoices, agreements, contracts, and other business templates.
Smallpdf does just that. It’s the perfect online tool for startups, giving them access to hundreds of free business form templates for stress-free curation, management, customization, and distribution of professional documents.
Besides offering standard invoice templates, Smallpdf also offers bills of sale, receipts, and purchase orders that you can edit, sign, download, or print within minutes. Similarly, you can edit contracts, agreements, and other business templates, fill in the form details, and add text and images, such as the company logo, sign, download, and share.
With Smallpdf, you also get access to a few additional features, such as:
- You can compress, split, merge, and export your professional documents to your Google Drive, Dropbox, or Smallpdf account.
- You can directly download your documents as PDFs or Word documents or pick an alternative template format and export your documents as PowerPoint, Excel, or image files.
- Moreover, you can sign a document without having to print it out. All you have to do is create and place your electronic signatures and initials in Smallpdf’s eSign tool.
Launched in 2011, Asana is a popular project and task management online tool that promotes cross-collaboration amongst teams. It’s used by over 100,000 paying enterprises and teams worldwide as it helps organize work in a unified space.
Asana helps teams stay connected, and managers track the progress of projects irrespective of the team size. It is especially beneficial for scattered teams as it can be used across devices.
Its top features include:
- Workflow builder: helps create automated processes to keep your teams in sync.
- Timeline: helps you put together a Gantt chart in minutes.
- Kanban boards: to help you keep track of your projects and tasks.
- Reporting: makes monitoring and getting real-time insight into any project more manageable.
- Goals: assist in setting targets and tracing their progress.
- Automate: routine tasks and streamline processes to reduce time spent and minimize errors.
- Calendar: to get an overview of your team’s calendar.
- Forms: to submit and manage all work requirements in a single place.
- App integrations: Asana can be integrated with other online tools, such as Google Drive, Slack, Splunk, Microsoft Teams, Zapier, and more.
Asana offers four plans: basic (for free standard project management of up to 15 team members), premium, business, and enterprise, based on the needs of your company.
Slack is an instant messaging online tool initially developed and designed by Slack Technologies and is now owned by Salesforce. It offers a more accessible and more secure way for internal and external communications, boosts productivity, and provides a seamless workflow between people and systems.
This tool is used by over 200,000 paid customers daily in 150+ countries and is trusted by 77 Fortune 100 companies.
Slack fosters a digital ecosystem to connect people’s conversations with tools and services to streamline your work and automate repetitive tasks. It’s being adopted rapidly by businesses because:
- It has a simple and easy-to-use interface.
- It promotes team collaboration with access to features such as text messages, huddles, video clips, audio messages, and more.
- It helps teams stay in touch and sync on various projects.
- Teams can create channels to discuss and share information about specific projects or tasks.
- You can collaborate with teams external to your organization with Slack Connect.
- It can be integrated with over 2000 apps and integrations, such as Google Drive, Office 365, Salesforce, Zoom, Jira, Atlassian, Notion, and more.
- It has workflow builders that help automate routine and repetitive tasks.
- It makes life easier with its file search and sharing functionalities.
- It’s secure and can be used by teams of any size.
HubSpot is a free online CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform. It contains tools a business needs to scale and manage marketing, sales, customer service, operations, and content.
HubSpot’s suite of tools includes:
- Marketing HubTM: this software helps run inbound marketing campaigns so that your business can attract more customers and convert potential ones.
- Sales HubTM: this sales software is beneficial for sales teams to manage their pipeline, close more deals, and maintain better relationships with clients.
- Service HubTM: provide better customer support, and maintain and foster better customer relationships.
- Operations HubTM: easily automate business operations, and curate and sync customer data.
- CMS Hub®: this custom management software helps you fine-tune your outreach strategy and provide customers a customized experience.
New businesses must build their brand and a loyal customer base to generate revenue. So how do you achieve that without having a marketing team on call?
Social media is the easiest and cheapest medium to help you grow your business. But it’s not without its challenges. Social media marketing is time-consuming and stressful and can disrupt your plans.
This is where online tools like Buffer come in. With over 140000 monthly users, Buffer is a tool to help you build your business’s brand on social media without breaking a sweat or your bank.
You can use Buffer to take advantage of popular social channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tiktok, and Twitter. You can also use this tool to manage and update your Google business profile and Shopify account.
Here’s how Buffer will help you win over your target audience on social media:
- Publish attention-grabbing content as per Buffer’s suggested hashtags.
- Analyze your social content’s performance with the help of automated reports.
- Keep track of the comments on your post to engage with your audience.
- Easily collaborate with your team anywhere at any time.
What do you do when you know that your product or service is viable and there’s demand for it in the market? You take your startup to the next level by raising capital, ensuring you’ve room to expand your business.
Foundersuite is a free online tool that helps startups raise capital and maintain investor relations in a structured and efficient manner. With Foundersuite, you get access to the following:
- Investor CRM to manage your investor funnel. Through this CRM, you can directly collaborate with mentors and advisors.
- Investor database, which comprises 21,000 VC funds and 100,000 angels, will help you curate a target investor list.
- Startup docs consist of 80+ documents, such as cap tables, term sheets, financial models, pitch decks, and more.
This tool lets you streamline all activities related to raising funds so that you can focus on refining your product and building your customer base.
SocialBee is a tool that simplifies social media management by integrating with all major platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google Business Profile. Founded in 2016, SocialBee’s user-friendly interface and unique category-based system allow users to effortlessly schedule posts well in advance.
With plans starting at $29 per month, SocialBee is a versatile and budget-friendly solution catering to the needs of small businesses and solopreneurs.
SocialBee’s core features are:
- Effortless Scheduling: Create a calendar-like posting schedule for all your profiles.
- Multi-Platform Connectivity: Connect with your audiences across various social media platforms, ensuring a unified brand voice and message.
- Content Design: Create eye-catching visuals using tools like Canva, Watermarkly, Unsplash, and GIPHY directly within the platform.
- Tailored Content: Customize posts individually for each social media network, ensuring that your content is optimized for each platform’s unique audience.
- Content Recycling: Easily recycle evergreen posts and manage time-sensitive content.
- Analytics: Gain valuable insights into your social media account growth and post success, allowing you to refine your strategies for optimal results.
- Engage Module: Engage directly with followers’ comments and mentions from within the platform.
Online tools help startups spread their ‘wings’
Online tools are crucial in simplifying a startup’s journey to success. Use the above-mentioned tools effectively to derive the most out of them.
Author Bio: Arjun Ruparelia
Email – [email protected]
An accountant turned writer, Arjun writes financial blog posts and research reports for clients across the globe. Arjun has five years of financial writing experience across verticals. He is a CMA and CA (Intermediate) by qualification.