Products for Startups
I am starting to build up an essential list of products that a startup should consider using immediately to build a sustainable framework going forward. Too many startups today try to get their initial customer and look for money without building a framework from which to launch the company forward. Besides a framework, companies need to build on their future immediately and not lose time in emails that aren’t distributed, spreadsheets, presentations, word documents that are evenly shared or easily found. Today you have no excuse for not spending 2-3 days at the outset and building a framework that can capture your companies needs for the first year and allow to to move rapidly to your MVP, first customer and beyond.
Have all of your docs available to be signed online from day one and on. This one is really cheap and easy to use, and $1/user/month. https://www.cudasign.com
Slack is a great way to communicate and form channels of info using the hash (#) sign… https://slack.com Use this as your foundation for communication. Don’t lose your communication early, keep it flowing. It’s also got a pretty good FREE package.
A link to Fresh Desk makes it look like you have customers the FREE Customer Support package from Freshdesk does well http://freshdesk.com Even without customers, you look like you have them and are supporting them.
If you ever need design for your site/product Iuse these crowdsourcing sites: Cheap Design http://99designs.com http://www.designhill.com http://www.designcrowd.com they are good enough to get your product out the door.
If you get to need some HR backend (once you have employees) this one is FREE and really good: http://www.zenefits.com
https://www.toggl.com/pricing for keeping time tracking
CRM tools – Pipedrive https://www.pipedrive.com popular with those who like “kanban” style interfaces https://clinchpad.com Clinchpad is the easiest to use, and cheap…. For Google apps integration https://www.prosperworks.com Properworks is the best. Pipeline https://www.pipelinedeals.com people also like, but requires more configuration.
Awesome FREE prototyping tool from Invision
You can get a lot of free help as a new company, take advantage of
- Amazon FREE stuff http://aws.amazon.com/free/ plus this great stuff ….http://aws.amazon.com/activate/
- IBM has an awesome startup package with $120,000 of FREE services , be sure to look at Bluemix http://www-01.ibm.com/software/info/ecod/cloudoffer/startup.html
- Google – Some FREE service https://cloud.google.com/developers/startups/
- Microsoft – Be sure to watch yourself here. While they give away a lot of free time, when you are off of their free stuff, it gets pricey fast.
If you want to start building you thoughts around launching your company in a logical manner, then use the FREE Business Model Canvas from Eric Reiss and the Lean Startup team.
The grandaddy of all sites for links helping startup go is from Steve Blank. Enjoy this link to Steve Blank’s Startup Tools list