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April 13, 2016

The Best Tools for Helping Startups Get Started

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

If you plan on starting your own business, it’s a fundamental truth that your work will consume a large portion of your life. But it doesn’t have to consume it all.

In today’s advanced society, the digital world has provided entrepreneurs with a bounty of tools that will help launch a new business. These tools have made it possible for solopreneurs to go it alone and do the work of many. Everything from project management to lead generation, collaboration, invoicing, and so much more can all be simplified through the right apps. One of the best ways to ensure success is to load up your virtual toolbox with tools that will help move the needle.

If you are ready to embark on a new path and go into business for yourself, or if you are just looking for some more useful weapons to add to your arsenal, look no further. Here are five must-have tools for launching a business.

1. Socedo

Socedo is an automated lead generation tool that will help you identify and engage with prospects via social media to help drive your goals. This nifty and innovative app locates potential influencers, consumers and others you need to engage with your brand by entering target audience information. Socedo will provide users with a list of pre-defined target audiences such as Startup Founders, or you can create your own custom audience. Next, you select the goal you are looking to achieve; either driving website visits or starting conversations with prospects, and establish your engagement workflow. The workflow will automatically engage individuals on Twitter and LinkedIn through liking tweets, following prospects and sending messages.

The software will then scour Twitter to uncover individuals who meet the set criteria. It does this through tweeting various keywords or having included keywords in their bio information. Once you approve prospects, Socedo will automatically engage them. With each prospect you approve, you are building a pool of qualified leads to draw from.

Socedo also provides reporting data on activity trends, audience growth graphs, keyword breakdowns, and more so that you can continually fine-tune your strategy to engage with the most promising leads possible. This can help your new business expand its reach in a very short period of time.

2. Unbounce

As a new business owner, you will constantly be looking for ways to increase sales and the efficiency of your sales funnel. When it comes to the secret sauce of sales, Unbounce can be your best friend.

Unbounce assists businesses in designing and implementing the most efficient landing pages for conversion optimization and offers more than 300 templates to work with. The landing page is where your audience is likely to gain its first impression of your business so it is vital to make that impression a lasting one.

This tool is extremely easy to use and allows landing pages to be created with zero HTML or coding knowledge. The drag and drop interface makes constructing and rearranging landing pages a cinch while advanced design features such as parallax scrolling or full page background images make pages look like they were built by a seasoned designer. Unbounce also offers up WordPress integration, mobile responsive landing pages and tons of other features.

3. WorkflowMax

Consider WorkflowMax your new business partner. This ultra-versatile tool encapsulates project, time, invoice and reporting management software. WorkflowMax houses everything you need to help manage your business.

Used by more than 6,000 companies across various industries, WorkflowMax has a suite of tools that can manage new clients and leads, provide quotes, maintain timesheets, and so much more. When it comes to project management, the complex yet intuitive tool provides document storage, collaboration tools, a mobile site for on-the-go administration, and various other features to make sure that your projects are hitting the mark every time.

Since WorkflowMax has been acquired by Xero, the software seamlessly integrates with the company’s array of business tools, such as Xero Accounting Software and Online Bookkeeping. This is literally one-stop shopping for a whole host of essential business processes. Perfect for the solopreneur or small business owner.

4. Hiver

E-mail is the cornerstone of corporate communications. If you are not implementing tools and tactics to keep you e-mail organized and under control, things can get out of hand fast. Without smart e-mail communication, you waste time and potentially risk crucial connections and dialogues.

Hiver eliminates that worry as it turns a Gmail account into an ultimate collaboration tool. This software will allow you to supercharge your organizational skills and communication efficiency through shared notes, labels, contacts, and similar features.

When applied, shared labels will automatically copy to teammates’ inboxes so that no one is ever out of the loop. Shared contacts will automatically sync across colleague accounts so that a client is never accidentally dropped, shared notes allow for teams to co-ordinate with ease, and shared templates will help everyone across the company use the same, consistent voice when interacting with clients and customers.

5. Startup Stash

Since you are starting a business, you are likely going to need a lot more tools than just the four listed above. How about a tool for finding tools? Enter: Startup Stash.

Startup Stash is a curated directory of more than 400 tools and resources for startups to utilize. With categories ranging from idea generation to design, marketing, presentations, analytics, and tons more, there are loads of tools for the average entrepreneur to leverage. In fact, more than 300,000 entrepreneurs have already used this powerful offering to help get them started. Startup Stash has also been ranked as the No. 1 up-voted product of all-time by Product Hunt, and featured in Business Insider and Entrepreneur.com. It has also been listed as one of the 100 best websites for entrepreneurs in 2015 by Forbes Magazine, so you can trust it’s a goldmine for launching your business.

If you’re the brave soul leading the charge on a new business vision, you’re only as powerful as the tools you choose. Find the ones that fill in the voids you most need assistance with, and your dreams stand a better chance of becoming reality.

In your opinion, what is the one tool that entrepreneurs cannot do without? Where do you most need assistance?


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Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile

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