This list of free startup tools will help you get more done at the low-cost of…well, free. We’ve researched and found over 60 tools for you, and what’s more, they’re all completely free. So, if you’re a bootstrapped startup working on a tight budget, then these tools are the ideal way to save money and get more done.
The Freemium Model – Great Tools…and Free
In the freemium business model, businesses offer a “free” tier of services to entice people to learn and adapt their services. Freemium as a pricing strategy provides access to the free level but often limits some capabilities. The premium version is charged and offers additional features that deliver a richer set of services.
Often the freemium model provides access to basic features based on some users or a limited set of users. For this reason, it gives early-stage businesses with the opportunity to get off the ground without incurring too much cost.
Why Freemium Works For Startups
As a startup, you probably have a limited budget and need to make your budget stretch. These tools are an ideal way to get things done but be budget minded. You can use the essential features and find out if they fit how you work and what you need, all without incurring any costs.
We’ve done a tonne of research to bring you a massive range of tools. Not just any tools though. We’ve taken a good look into reviews and how others rate the tools on the market, so we know that they are actually helpful in the field and aren’t just a great idea, poorly done.
If you’re in a hurry there is a presentation at the bottom of the page that lists all the free startup tools.
The startup tools here are also the ones we feel are also an excellent match to what startups need in their business, especially when just starting out in the industry.
The Best Free Tools For Startups – Contents
#1. Branding Tools
a) Choosing A Brand Name
NameApp will quickly search up your name and find out if both domains and social media sites are available.
Naminum is a tool that lets you play around with additional letters to your main idea – it either prepends or appends the name you have in mind.
Panabee is a good search tool. It searches social media and domains based on your choice of name.
Namechk is probably one of the best name check tools. It searches a massive array of sites based on your name. In the first place, don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of most social media sites listed. In addition, you can check and consolidate your brand name across platforms.
Create A Mood Board
Creating a mood board helps you shape the design of your brand. Moreover, it is your chance to get messy and create your own style. Throw stuff onto a mood board and take it away if it doesn’t fit. To start with use the mood board as a visual playground to create a coherent theme. As an example, use textures, fonts, cuttings and camera shots to build your dream brand design.
Spark is a brilliant tool by Adobe. You can quickly use pictures, images and blend them into a collage to create your mood board.
GoMoodboard does precisely what it says – it gives you a great platform to play around with and create your own board. The free version is more than you will ever need. Throw in lots of ideas and have a play.
Niice is another tool with a free entry-level set of features that are more than enough for creating your first mood board.
Pinterest is a social media site that focuses on visual content – things like images, infographics and gifs. It’s a popular social media site with over 250M users. Even if you don’t use it for social media, hop on and create a board. Boards are set to public, private or shared. There’s no need to worry about others seeing your mood board if you don’t want them to.
Add in images as you want. Also, if you add images from a website it carries the link through from the source.
CHOOSING YOUR BRAND COLOURS
Another early task when creating your brand is to focus on what colours are going to represent your brand. Colours mean different things in different cultures. However, generally, we associate colour with moods. For instance, black is often associated with luxury. Of course you don’t be inhibited about your choice of colours, but it is something to consider.
Equally important is choosing colours that are complimentary – that create a style together.
Colour Lovers is a fantastic site which is loaded with hundreds of thousands of colour palettes. There are plenty of inspirational colours to choose and you can easily see the hex values.
Adobe Color helps you create customised colour palettes. As a matter of fact, you can select custom and add a set of colours from colour lovers. Once you’ve added them, you can then change each one of the colours to create your ideal personal colour palette.
Zeplin is a full-blown design tool. Of course, you can use it to develop a colour palette. Needless to say, you need to practice creating a palette and also take inspiration from your mood board.
Colour helps you create a colour palette from images, a website and of course it makes it easy to view what others have created.
Some people over emphasize the use of a brand. It takes over from the rest of the design process. First of all, search on Google images for “profession”. You will see thousands of logos with a stock image that looks exactly the same.
Obviously, on your business card or website you tell people your profession. For this reason, there isn’t any need to use a standard logo. Think about big brands – is BMW logo a car, Ferrari, Microsoft isn’t a computer? Look at the brands you like – see what they are.
You have a vast range of options to design a logo that is yours and make it unique. You can choose a font as a logo. With this in mind, you can select a font that reflects a style of handwriting.
Wix Logo Maker
Wix free logo maker is very easy to use and provides a simple set of decisions to make a logo. While not very sophisticated, you can create some good logo designs for your business.
Freepik is one of the most extensive resources on the internet of free images and graphic designs. Search from amongst the full range of vectors for logo designs.
Logojoy is a freemium platform that gives you the option of paying for a full design.
Free Logo Design is another freemium offering that lets you create a simple logo. Often people go on to then pay for a complete service.
LIST OF SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS FOR STARTUPS
One area of marketing that startup businesses often struggle with is social media. What to post? Where to post? How to post? How to build relationships?
These free startup tools walk you through the process of how to use social media.
HOW TO LISTEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social listening is as applicable online as it is offline. If you go to any event or social gathering it is only polite to ask about others but before launching in and telling people about yourself.
Social media works the same way. You should understand people, focus on their interests and identify how to build a relationship. Since many of the people on social media that you target are potential clients, this is a sensible approach.
List of Social Media Tools
Social Media Listening Tools
Curating Content Tools
Social Media Creating Content
Social Media Posting
How To Listen On Social Media
SocialMention is a social listening tool that quickly provides an overview of what is trending for any particular word, string or hashtag.
Followonk helps you not only listen to what is being talked about. It also has a rich set of additional features that will help you manage social media.
Google Alerts provides a daily alert based on either a single word or keywords. It’s an ideal way to keep you updated.
How To Curate Content
Curating good quality content provides you with a hub of content that others will find useful. Another good reason to curate content is that you can quickly keep up-to-date with industry news and trends.
Tweeted Times is the ideal platform if you want to curate content from Twitter. You can use keywords or hashtags to develop your own personalised Twitter magazine.
Pocket started out as a bookmarking site. However, it can be used for curating content. It’s an ideal way to curate content from multiple sources.
Scoopit is a long-standing curation tool that is used by lots of people. To curate content you can use specific sources, hashtags and RSS feeds. ScoopIt then gives you the option to choose which content to publish.
How To Create Content
Canva is a brilliant tool for creating visual content. It’s easy to use, has loads of templates (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and you can create your own. Canva is a perfect tool to create engaging visual content to post on social media.
Snappa is another brilliant tool for creating visual content. The limitation on this platform is that you can only get 5 downloads per month. Despite this, Snappa is a great tool and worth a try.
DesignBold gives you the ability to design a multitude of images for different social media sites. All the templates are kept to the correct sizes, so you never need to worry about posting the wrong size.
How To Post Content On Social Media
Buffer is one of the best free startup tools for posting on social media. Buffer integrates with most browsers so you can just share a web page directly from your browser. Alternatively, you can add content directly in Buffer. All posts are then automatically scheduled to post on your Twitter, Linkedin or Instagram.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media tools for entrepreneurs. First of all, it integrates into all of the leading social media sites. Second, it lets you schedule your posts easily. Last, but not least, it is easy to use, so a good choice overall for social media posting.
CrowdFire can be accessed via a web browser, but it also has an app for iOS and Android. You can post to Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Free Startup Tools for Marketing
List of Free Startup Tools for your Website
Marketing Persona Tools
Marketing Persona Tools
Do you know how to communicate with different clients? A commercial director is very different to a marketing director, who in turn, is very different to an creative director. If you communicate the same message to these and don’t differentiate between them, you are unlikely to succeed at marketing.
Marketing personas help you to have a clear identity for each type of buyer/client. Personas guide your decisions when you market to different segments.
Xtensio is a tool that you can use to develop marketing personas. It’s simple and provides a good template that is easy to understand and complete.
Typeform is a brilliant free tool from Typeform. They take you a step by step process which then produces a simple but effective marketing persona.
Userforge is for teams. Often in larger companies, you find people have different thoughts and opinions about customers. As a result, you end up with poorly coordinated marketing campaigns and messages. Userforge helps narrow down buyer profiles so that you are clear about your target audience. Have a try of Userforge, it’s easy to use.
Free CRM Tools
Streak is a fantastic tool that beautifully integrates with Gmail. It allows you to manage contacts and seamlessly log communications with your contacts. In addition to this, Streak helps you track your leads as a pipeline, something every business owner should do.
CapsuleCRM is a brilliant CRM tool for startups. One of its key differentiators is its integration with social media. You can quickly connect and see the social media channels used by your contacts. Although the free version is limited, it’s an excellent place to start and provides an opportunity to get familiar with the platform.
AgileCRM is an All-in-One CRM with Sales, Marketing and Service automation in a single platform. It has sales tracking, contact management, marketing automation, web analytics, two-way emails, telephony, and helpdesk with a simple, clean and modern interface.
MailChimp offers a robust free plan. You can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month. It’s ideal if you’re setting out as a startup or new business.
Sendpulse is a marketing platform that offers plenty of options such as a selection of email templates, reporting, a drag and drop builder and much more. While the free version is limited for many startups, it is an excellent choice.
MailJet has a minimalistic and straightforward user interface which makes it easy to navigate. Even a beginner can start their email marketing campaign from scratch by merely following the navigation cues on their dashboard. For startups, this provides a useful and simple way to start developing email campaigns.
Free Startup Tools for Surveys
Typeform is good if you’re looking to build fun surveys. Their forms have a very distinct look and feel so that they can be a good match for the look and feel of your startup brand.
Google Forms is free, easy to use, integrates with Google apps, supports unlimited amounts of surveys, survey pages, questions and virtually unlimited form submissions.
Survey Monkey is a cloud-based survey tool that helps users create, send and analyse surveys. Users can email surveys to respondents and post them on their websites and social media profiles to increase response rate.
Free Website Design Tools
InvisionApp is a tool built for designers. Despite this, you can use it to create a simple website framework.
MockPlus is a design tool aimed at helping wireframe a design – apps or web. However, it is more straightforward & easy to use. It simplifies the process of conceptualising, wireframing and designing your website.
Free Startup Tools for Content Management
Wix is one of the most famous builders. Use it to create your website. There are loads of templates as options and they help you visualise your brand online.
Free Startup Tools for SEO
Keyword Tool is a simple to use SEO tool. Ideal for those just starting your business. Track your keywords and traffic.
Screaming Frog is an SEO tool that provides a basic level of SEO capabilities. If you need more features, you can easily upgrade to the paid version.
Google Analytics is the must-have tool to track your website traffic and overall performance. Use it to measure how well you are drive traffic to your site and which pages are perform the best.
Cyfe is an integrated analytics tool. To start with add data from a variety of sources so that you can an excellent visual dashboard to measure how well your website is performing.
List of Free Office Tools
List of Free Startup Tools for Office
Google is one of the most used sets of business tools on the web. The tools allow you to create slides, spreadsheets and documents. Moreover, you can easily share these easily.
Libre Office is a free and open source suite LibreOffice is loved by many for its excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office formats including the newer DOCX, PPT, and PPTX files.
WPS is a free, small and fast office suite, that provides you three powerful applications known as Writer, Spreadsheets and Presentation.
Waveapps is a free online accounting, bookkeeping, and invoicing software.
Buxfer is a free finance web app for managing your expenses and accounts in one place so that you can understand where your money goes, view any unwanted spending and save for the future.
EveryDollar is a good option for users looking for simple, back-to-basics budgeting software with little to no frills.
Docracy is an online repository that offers free contracts and other legal documents, socially curated by the communities that use them.
Free Startup Tools for Productivity
Evernote is one of the most popular apps for productivity. How and to what extent you use it will depend on you. You can use Evernote for anything from keeping track of goals through to setting tasks. It is a simple yet powerful productivity tool ideal for new businesses.
Rescue Time is a time saver. Quite simply it tracks time and helps you sharpen up on how you spend your working day. Ideal for those that get sidetracked and need to set goals on getting more done.
ToDoist is in the top 5 productivity tools on the market. Use it to create projects, add tasks and track how productivity.
Summary of Free Startup Tools
We’ve covered a lot of free startup tools in this article. It’s important not to overload yourself with too many new tools. Pick out a few tools, from different categories, that you think will help you and use them. As you learn more about each tool decide if it works for you. If not, take a look at a different tool. Remember, most of these tools work as a freemium model. If you like or need the more advanced features, then you can upgrade to get them.
With the tools available today you can easily integrate and customize them. You no longer need to copy and paste information from one place to another. As a result, you can set up automated systems that save you time.
A great additional tool that can help you integrate your systems is called Zapier. If you can’t find an easy way to connect two systems, then Zapier is a good place to try.
Another tool that is worth looking at is called IFTTT, If This Then That. Generally, you want to autmate as much of the routine tasks as possible. For this reason, IFTT is a tool that allows you to connect systems and automate your workflow. Moreover, IFTTT works across a massive range of applications. Consequently, you can connect applications on your phone to pretty much any app you can think of.
Some popular IFTTT recipes:
- Automatically share Instavideos to Twitter
- Autopost from Facebook post to Twitter
- Mention and Thank New Twitter Followers
Summary of Free Startup Tools
We’ll update this list as the number of new free tools expands and old ones become obsolete. We hope this list has been useful for you and we look forward to your feedback on your favourite free startup tools.