7 cheap tools for startup success
There have never been more resources to help get your business up and running. Nowadays it feels like there’s an app for everything – including the stuff that traditionally would have cost you an arm and a leg. Now you can do everything from your accounts to building a beautiful website at a fraction of the cost. Here are our pick of the best tools to get your startup off to an amazing 2015.
A picture speaks a thousand words – but you no longer have to be a professional designer to create slick and effective images. Banish clumsy attempts at MS Paint and instead choose Canva – a free tool for creating adverts, Twitter cards, Facebook images, posters, Pinterest images, and more. It’s foolproof, and the collection of quirky fonts and colours are a cut above other free graphic design tools.
If you think accounting means hiring a costly professional, think again. Kashflow is an app that simplifies the whole process. You can invoice, create quotes, file your taxes and more. Not only that, but it integrates with other apps and also allows you to import your previous accounts. Try out the fortnight-long free trial, and if it ticks all your boxes it’ll set you back a cool fiver a month after that – much better than an accountant, or a hefty tax fine.
Events are a fantastic way to spread the news of your business and get your brand directly to people. However if you’re not a natural party planner it can fee daunting. Luckily Picatic is around to help you organise and sell tickets. It operates on a pay-what-you-like model, so it’s suitable for any budget (including no budget at all). Now anybody can create a professional event.
Startup life is hectic and close-knit – and more and more the tools and operations that have served traditional offices for years are feeling a bit obsolete. Take email, the bane of many startup founders’ life and a big time drain. Slack provides a solution - real-time chatting with other members of the team, so everyone is kept in the loop and problems are dealt with immediately rather than the infuriating back and forth of email. It’s democratic, it’s quick, and it ensures that things don’t get lost or drag on too long (hopefully). And it’s free!
Need POS (point of sale) software to sell your products? Square is a free solution that can be used on your mobile devices – easy peasy. Using this app doesn’t just open you up to card payments, however. It also allows you to track inventory and create sales reports, drastically cutting down the time it would take to do this manually and ensuring greater accuracy.
There’s no better way to drive leads than a fantastic landing page – and now you don’t need to be a developer to create one. With Strikingly you can whip up one-page websites that can provide information about a venture in progress, get people to sign up, or simply say a little about yourself. And it’s so easy, anyone can use it.
It’s a leader in email marketing for a reason. Mailchimp is an intuitive and valuable way to go about email marketing, as it realises the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with your subscribers. Buying thousands of meaningless email addresses and spamming them is rightly frowned upon. Instead, do your email marketing right – with well-designed and customisable designs, excellent insight, and advice on best practice throughout.
Image source: Flickr Creative Commons