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.

I build out my docs using awesome FREE legal docs I from Cooley  https://www.cooleygo.com  Things like “Terms” of Use” and “Privacy Policy” need to be up there ASAP considering the business you are in.  The ones generated from Cooley are fine for this, you just need to add them to your site.

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

For funding make sure you have links on Angel List https://angel.co (update yours) and Gust  https://gust.com , seedinvest.com  ,  fundable.com  All of these are FREE to list on.

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

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