We work with a lot of startups and businesses here at VentureApp – over 1,000 to be exact – and we receive a lot of requests from those businesses, ranging from accounting help to legal assistance to even procuring a street legal golf cart. Running a startup is hard and it’s essential to find tools and resources that can help make the process easier and guide growth. Fortunately, in today’s startup environment, there are an abundance of helpful tips, tricks, tools, and reads available.
It’s important to evaluate what you need before choosing a tool, but we thought it would be helpful to provide a peek behind the curtain at some of the tools that we currently use.
Customer Care & Messaging: Intercom
- Intercom helps businesses to communicate with customers, personally, at scale. It’s a customer communication platform with a suite of integrated products for every team—including sales, marketing, product, and support. It also provides real-time intelligence to see what your customers are doing in-app.
Team Collaboration & Productivity: Jira, Asana, 7Geese, Dropbox, Google Sheets, Slack, and two weekly team wide meetings
- Jira is a data-driven product management tool that lets dev teams create user stories and issues, plan sprints, and distribute tasks, prioritize with context, ship with confidence & improve performance w/ real-time, visual data.
- Asana is a project management tool that the marketing team uses to handle their projects and collaboration around those projects. It’s free for up to 15 employees.
- 7Geese is an OKR (Objectives & Key Results) goal-setting tool. OKR’s are an excellent way to assign departmental goals and unite the company under a common goal.
- Dropbox is a hosting service for your documents, files, photos, etc.
- Google Docs/Sheets is a way to collaborate, edit, and share documents across the team.
- Slack is a messaging platform. Chances are you’ve heard of this one, so I won’t belabor the point.
- Read Me is what we use for our team wiki. We update the wiki frequently with values, expectations, relevant documentation, and more.
User Testing & Experience: Inspectlet
- Inspectlet provides analytics, heat mapping, and video snapshots of people on your site. It is very helpful for lightweight UX studies and debugging.
Prototyping and Designing: InVision
- InVision is a prototyping, workflow, and collaboration platform. It lets startups upload design files and add animations, gestures, and transitions to make static prototype screens more interactive, get feedback easily, and manage projects in a design-friendly way. If you have only one prototype – it’s free!
Processing Payments: Stripe & Moonclerk
- Stripe is a payment API that allows businesses to accept payments online.
- Moonclerk sits on top of Stripe and manages customer’s subscriptions. Users can directly input payment information and receive bills through it.
Data & Analytics: Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Segment, and Metabase
- Google Analytics provides a wide range of analysis tools, is free, and gives you insights into your visitors, your biggest sources of traffic, and your most viewed pages or pieces of content, on a daily basis.
- MixPanel tracks the initial referrer source of every single visitor on our site, as well as where they are on our site at that exact moment or during specific events throughout the funnel. Our team loves looking at how a user interacts with our product on a holistic level. Then you can truly begin to make impactful changes that will drive better engagement & loyalty.
- Segment is an incredibly efficient tool that lets you collect customer data with one API, sending to hundreds of integrated tools like MailChimp, MixPanel, GA, Intercom and more, for analytics, marketing and data warehousing.
- Metabase is an open source business intelligence tool that allows employees to visualize data and pull database queries in the form of questions without needing to use SQL and best of all, it’s free.
- Clearbit is a powerful business intelligence API that helps with prospecting and completing customer profiles.
Email Sending: Customer.io, PersistIQ, MailChimp
- Customer.io is an excellent email tool that we use for all transactional and marketing emails. Their customer support is top notch as well and the system allows for a lot of flexibility.
- MailChimp is a great option for sending newsletters to groups of customers or users. The site offers solid analytics options that integrate with Google Analytics to monitor sales and website activity with revenue reports.
Sales Enablement: Salesforce, Email Hunter, GetSteward
- Salesforce is a CRM system that is highly customizable, allows our team to generate custom reports, and simplifies pipeline management.
- Calendly is a lightweight scheduling tool that allows prospects and clients to pick a time that is most convenient for them. It sounds small, but the time going back and forth can seriously add up.
- Email Hunter is a tool that allows you to pull email addresses from a company’s website. They also have a LinkedIn plugin and a chrome extension which makes finding someone’s email much simpler.
- GetSteward is a company that will do your sales research for you. Whereas we use email hunter to find one off emails, you can send a large prospecting list over to GetSteward, and they will do all the research for you.
- PersistIQ is an outbound email tool. It has tons of excellent features like reply detection and auto-deduplication functionality.
- Mixmax sits on top of your Gmail and can track email opens and clicks, and also saves frequently used templates.
Wondering if you have the right vendor solutions and tools for your business needs? Sign up for a free consultation and our team at VentureApp will evaluate your business stack for areas where you can save time and money.