Whether 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:
These top marketing tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- SumoMe – For capturing and nurturing website leads, boosting traffic, and increasing brand awareness.
- Kissmetrics – For increasing website conversions, tracking analytics, and personalizing experiences.
- Adwords – For spreading the word about your business on Google through advertising.
- Optimizely – For running A/B tests that help you optimize your website and influence interactions.
- Content Marketer – For promoting your blog content, connecting with influencers, building relationships, and increasing traffic.
These top sales tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- Drip – For sending trigger-based and educational-based email campaigns.
- Close.io – For automating the tedious tasks associated with closing deals.
- Yesware – For automating and scheduling email communication.
- AppDataRoom – For designing sales presentations that can be used on-the-go.
- ToutApp – For automating and scaling your lead nurturing & sales processes.
These top data/analytics tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- Google Analytics – For tracking web traffic and goals and for optimizing experiences.
- Maptive – For quickly data interpretation and action upon complex location-based data.
- Moz – For optimizing SEO, word-of-mouth, and brand awareness.
- Chartio – For organizing and understanding business intelligence data.
- Social Analytics
Customer Support Tools
These top customer support tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- Groove – For helping and interacting with customers.
- HelpScout – For nurturing and improving relationships with customers.
- Zendesk – For building a help center and providing live chat.
- Intercom – For automating and optimizing prospect interaction and customer support.
- Help.com – For 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:
- Basecamp – For project management and communication across multiple teams and departments.
- Asana – For project management and communication within your company or department.
- Trello – For personal project management or smaller team-based project management.
- Evernote – For personal project management.
- Voxer – For team communication.
These top productivity tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- RescueTime – For tracking your time, eliminating distractions, and optimizing your daily productivity.
- AnyDo – For building personal and professional task lists.
- Toggl – For tracking time and optimizing productivity across your team.
- Google Drive – For sharing documents, collaborating with team members, and working from anywhere.
- Pocket – For saving helpful resources and reading them at a later time.
These top back-office tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- Zenefits – For managing all your HR needs in the cloud (payroll, benefits, compliance).
- BambooHR – For centralizing employee information and managing your team.
- Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll) – For all your payroll, compliance, and benefits needs.
- Xero – For your accounting needs.
- Square – For accepting payments from anywhere and managing your team.
These top social tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- Buffer – For scheduling your social media updates.
- Buzzsumo – For curating top-performing content.
- Canva – For designing graphics for social media, blog posts, and your website.
- Flare – For increasing social shares and engagement.
- Narrow – For building a targeted following on Twitter.
These top employee management tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- Slack – For communicating with your team and departments.
- TinyPulse – For keeping a pulse on employee happiness and loyalty.
- AnyPerk – For showing employee appreciation and praise.
- When I Work – For building employee schedules and communicating with your team.
- Jazz – For hiring and onboarding your employees.
These top learning tools will help you grow your startup in 2016:
- Coursera – For helping your employees grow in their careers.
- Udemy – For mastering a particular subject before hiring someone else to do it.
- edX – For learning more about your industry.
- Clarity – For mentoring and coaching.
- YouTube – For 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.