When you decide to bootstrap your company, (self-fund on a budget) every penny counts. Using spreadsheets can only take you so far. You need tools to help with work flow, marketing, and automation to grow your company. Here are some of the tools that we used at ezClocker when we first started out:
- Buffer is one of the top social media tools out on the market where you can schedule your posts. You also can look at analytics to see which ones performed the best, and then have the ability to re-post them. The free plan only allows you to have 10 posts in the queue, but the paid version of the plan is very reasonably priced. This will allow you to schedule all your social media posts at once.
- Slack is a communication tool that has gained in popularity over the past couple of years and is known for it’s ease of use. It allows you to organize your team in groups called channels or you can send a private message to an employee. It also lets you share files including pdfs and images.
- FullContact is a contact management software where you can list all of your contacts, add notes and tag them as leads, follow up, or any other tag you wish. The tagging system helps with categorizing your contacts in buckets. The premier version has the capability to scan business cards and sync multiple accounts.
- Pablo is another tool from the Buffer folks. It helps you pick images for your posts or blog articles. They have over 600K images to choose from. One of the features we found useful is the ability to upload an image and add text to it. You can experiment with the contrast filter to see what works best, which is super helpful when you are trying to post an image to your social media.
- LeanKit is an agile project management tool that helps you organize your tasks/cards in virtual whiteboards. They have a free lite edition that we found sufficient for our needs. It allows you to create a backlog of stories and organize them by category such as pending, pre-release, or finished. This will help your team organize their tasks and know what to work on next.
- MailChimp is an email marketing tool that is very popular, and allows you to send better emails to your customers and leads. MailChimp has a large amount of templates to choose from and allows you to see what the open rate of your emails is. It is perfect for creating newsletters and email marketing campaigns.
- LeanTesting If you have a software business you will need a tool to keep track of your defects and assign them to the engineers to fix or to the testers to re-test. We found LeanTesting a great tool to accomplish this. You can setup multiple projects, assign to team members, set flags like priority, severity, release version and attach screens shots to the bug report to help explain the issue.
- Google Drive is a well known tool but still worth mentioning. Use drive to keep track of all your documents and organize them in folders. Designate who from the team has access to the folders and let them add files for team collaboration.
- SEMrush is a website that helps with competitive data analysis. Enter your competitor’s website and get data like top paid keywords they use, sample ads they’ve run, backlinks and other useful information. The free version is limited but you still get a lot of useful information from it.
Have you found a tool that helped your business grow? Please share.
Author: Raya Khashab
Raya is the CEO and co-founder of ezClocker. She is passionate about customers and building products that change the way people run their business. She is also a big supporter of the startup community and helping people achieve their dreams.