The 50 Best Startup Tools For 2016

 In Marketing Strategy

8747337118_d73e0cfb13_zWhether you’re thinking about launching a business in 2016 or you’re already working on growing one, you probably recognize and understand the importance and value of tools. The fact is, you can’t do it all on your own—no matter how savvy you think you might be or actually are. In order to build or grow a startup in 2016, you need to invest in tools that can help you optimize, automate, and improve every working part of your business—from sales and marketing, to employees and customers.

But here’s the problem: there are a TON of tools out there (and more being introduced everyday). So how do you know which ones to choose? How do you know which ones are a waste of time and which ones can actually help you grow your business and reach your goals?

It’s not easy, but we put a list together in an effort to make it a little more manageable. In this post, we’re listing the 50 best startup tools and resources that you should consider using in 2016. You might not need all of them at the same time, but we’re guessing at least a handful of these would be beneficial for you to look into, no matter what stage of development or growth you’re in.

We’ve categorized the tools into 10 main categories: marketing, sales, data, customer support, project management, productivity, back-office, social, employees, and learning.

Take a look at our list of the 50 best startup tools and resources that will help you grow your startup in 2016:

Marketing Tools

These top marketing tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. SumoMeFor capturing and nurturing website leads, boosting traffic, and increasing brand awareness.
  2. KissmetricsFor increasing website conversions, tracking analytics, and personalizing experiences.
  3. AdwordsFor spreading the word about your business on Google through advertising.
  4. OptimizelyFor running A/B tests that help you optimize your website and influence interactions.
  5. Content MarketerFor promoting your blog content, connecting with influencers, building relationships, and increasing traffic.

Sales Tools

These top sales tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. DripFor sending trigger-based and educational-based email campaigns.
  2. Close.ioFor automating the tedious tasks associated with closing deals.
  3. YeswareFor automating and scheduling email communication.
  4. AppDataRoomFor designing sales presentations that can be used on-the-go.
  5. ToutAppFor automating and scaling your lead nurturing & sales processes.

Data/Analytics Tools

These top data/analytics tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. Google AnalyticsFor tracking web traffic and goals and for optimizing experiences.
  2. MaptiveFor quickly data interpretation and action upon complex location-based data.
  3. MozFor optimizing SEO, word-of-mouth, and brand awareness.
  4. ChartioFor organizing and understanding business intelligence data.
  5. Social Analytics

Customer Support Tools

These top customer support tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. GrooveFor helping and interacting with customers.
  2. HelpScoutFor nurturing and improving relationships with customers.
  3. ZendeskFor building a help center and providing live chat.
  4. IntercomFor automating and optimizing prospect interaction and customer support.
  5. Help.comFor customer support and lead management.

*Note: these 5 tools are very similar—but they are all great options if you’re looking for building or scaling customer support! Each offers something a little different. Spend time exploring all five and pick the one that you think will align best with your business and goals.

Project Management Tools

These top project management tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. BasecampFor project management and communication across multiple teams and departments.
  2. AsanaFor project management and communication within your company or department.
  3. TrelloFor personal project management or smaller team-based project management.
  4. EvernoteFor personal project management.
  5. VoxerFor team communication.

Productivity Tools

These top productivity tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. RescueTimeFor tracking your time, eliminating distractions, and optimizing your daily productivity.
  2. AnyDoFor building personal and professional task lists.
  3. TogglFor tracking time and optimizing productivity across your team.
  4. Google DriveFor sharing documents, collaborating with team members, and working from anywhere.
  5. PocketFor saving helpful resources and reading them at a later time.

Back-Office Tools

These top back-office tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. ZenefitsFor managing all your HR needs in the cloud (payroll, benefits, compliance).
  2. BambooHRFor centralizing employee information and managing your team.
  3. Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll) – For all your payroll, compliance, and benefits needs.
  4. XeroFor your accounting needs.
  5. SquareFor accepting payments from anywhere and managing your team.

Social Tools

These top social tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. BufferFor scheduling your social media updates.
  2. BuzzsumoFor curating top-performing content.
  3. CanvaFor designing graphics for social media, blog posts, and your website.
  4. FlareFor increasing social shares and engagement.
  5. NarrowFor building a targeted following on Twitter.

Employee Tools

These top employee management tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. SlackFor communicating with your team and departments.
  2. TinyPulseFor keeping a pulse on employee happiness and loyalty.
  3. AnyPerkFor showing employee appreciation and praise.
  4. When I WorkFor building employee schedules and communicating with your team.
  5. JazzFor hiring and onboarding your employees.

Learning Tools

These top learning tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:

  1. CourseraFor helping your employees grow in their careers.
  2. UdemyFor mastering a particular subject before hiring someone else to do it.
  3. edXFor learning more about your industry.
  4. ClarityFor mentoring and coaching.
  5. YouTubeFor entertainment and miscellaneous education.

*These resources are all very similar, but great nonetheless.

Are you using a tool that has really helped your business that you didn’t see on this list? Add it in the comments section. We’d love to find out why you love it and how it has helped your business.

This article originally appeared on Maptive.com. (Photo Credit.)

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow me LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
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Showing 3 comments
  • Sahil

    Nice list.
    Would be really helpful.

  • Eric Riley

    Great list – one worthy of mention is 15five. I love it’s ability to quickly and simply keep my team and I connected. We are also implementing it as an employee review tool. Goodbye old, drawn out annual review processing and hello regular, transparent employee engagement!

  • Peter

    Great resources for any entrepreneur or startup. Another great tool is 15Five. 15Five allows managers to stay connected with their employees by collecting candid feedback to help celebrate wins, remove roadblocks and discover great ideas.