Managing a company, no matter how well established – or big – it is, is a huge challenge. Managing a startup can be even harder, though, because you have to take care of all your company’s needs while working on a normally tight budget.
Startup management means doing more with less – and it also means learning it’s ok not to do it all on your own (it’s actually a lot healthier not to try doing everything on your own but most people have to learn it the hard way).
That challenge is becoming gradually less challenging by the growing number of startup management tools available on the market – most of the companies managing those are (or have been) startups so they actually feel the pain and know the first thing about how to manage a startup.
In order to build and grow your startup, it takes some investment in tools to help improve each and every working part of your company, automating and optimizing everything, from customer support to marketing, from sales to software development.
In order to help you with the ordeal of choosing from the sea of startup management tools available today, we’ve curated a short list according to the tools we use here at Pipefy and the information available online in late August, 2016.
Best Startup Management Tools (2016)
We’ve chose to break our top 20 list of startup management tools into categories to make it easier for you to browse and find alternatives for your specific needs – but we strongly suggest you take some time to look at all the tools we’re suggesting here.
Process / Project Management:
It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t start a startup management tools list with Pipefy. Sure, you’re probably thinking I’m a little biased but I’ll convince you that Pipefy is a must-have for managing your startup (and if you don’t take my word for it, you can visit our customer case studies session to check out how a growing number of startups and small companies have been using Pipefy to manage their internal processes.
Pipefy is a complete cloud-based process management tool – it allows you to centralise all your company’s processes in a single place. From Sales and Marketing to Software Development and Operations, Pipefy’s flexible structure allows you to customize one of its process templates or even start your own process from scratch, adding triggers, rules, automated emails, integration with over 500 apps (via Zapier) and much more.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to run a simple team task management process or more complex software development or sales pipeline processes, Pipefy offers you a large number of process templates as well as endless customization possibilities.
I won’t list Pipefy under all the categories in this post because it’d be rather repetitive but it’s great for managing all types of processes – Task and Project Management, Marketing, Sales, Human Resources, Software Development, etc.
Pipefy Plans start at $7 per user/per month with a 30-day free trial
Mindmeister is a great mind mapping, collaborative tool, specially useful for department/project planning and tracking. According to the description on their website, it’s a “professional mind mapping software that’s both versatile and easy to use”.
Mindmeister offers a free plan (up to 3 mind maps) and unlimited plans starting at $6 per user per month
I’ve mentioned Evernote before – and I’ll probably mention it again in the future but that has a reason: I wouldn’t remember half the information I need on my day-to-day if it weren’t for Evernote.
Evernote is a great tool for “self management” – you can create lists, add comments, pictures, audio notes and much more. One of its greatest assets, though, is that it offers you the possibility of syncing across all your devices.
Evernote’s free plan allows you to sync across two devices, which is more than enough for most people – I use the plus plan at $34.99 a year though, since I currently use 3 different devices
Zapier is a powerful integration tool that allows you to “connect your apps and automate workflows”. As they say so themselves on their website, Zapier offers easy automation for busy people.
With Zapier you’re able to connect 500 web apps (including Pipefy!) without technical skill.
Zapier is free for up to 5 simultaneous zaps (integrations) with paid plans starting at $20/month
Marketing / Social:
Hootsuite is an amazing social media and engagement management tool: it allows you to manage and monitor all your social media platforms in a single place.
It’s specially useful for its social scheduling features, that allow you to plan and publish your social media activities way ahead. Hootsuite even has a feature that analyses the best times of day and auto-schedule your posts according to it.
The free plan is normally enough for most users but, if you need to manage more than 10 social profiles or if you’d really like to have the neat auto scheduling tools, paid plans start at $9.99 billed anually ($14.99 monthly).
Canva is marketed as an amazingly simple graphic design software – and it really is that simple! Canva is an online application that can be used to create all sorts of graphic material such as banners, beautifully designed infographics and much more.
Canva is free if you don’t use any of the premium elements they offer (such as copyrighted images)
Google Adwords is not news to anyone – or at least it shouldn’t be. It’s the world’s leading pay-per-click online advertising tool and it’s probably going to be the tool you use to manage your google ads.
Google Adwords is a free tool – you’ll only generate costs with the campaigns you create
Kwfinder is a great keyword finder and SEO difficulty analysis tool. This is the tool you’ll use to find long-tail alternatives to those costy keywords you’d like to rank for.
Kwfinder is free for up to 5 searches/day but, if you need more advanced tools, paid plans start at $12/month
SumoMe offers a large array of tools to grow your website’s traffic: heat maps, list builder and much more.
If your website gets up to 1 million visits/month, you can use all apps for free. However, if you feel you have the need for pro insights and other advanced features, paid plans start at $20/month.
Mailchimp is an online, email management tool that allows you to create professional email campaigns without any design or coding experience whatsoever.
Mailchimp is free for new businesses and its paid plans start at $10 per month for growing businesses
Stripe is a great tool for accepting payments online and in mobile apps. It offers a simple, easy to understand interface as well as payment analytics to help manage cash inflow. It allows you to accept payments from people all over the world (over 100 currencies are included).
It works with a pay-as-you-go rate of 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge
Github is an online project web hosting tool. Its features include source-code browser, in-line editing, wikis, and ticketing.
It’s free for public open-source code. Organization plans start at $9 per user per month.
Intercom is a great customer communication platform. It offers a suite of integrated products to allow all your startup’s teams – sales, marketing, product, support – to create targeted communication with your customers/users.
Intercom helps communicate with users by managing contacts from your website, facebook, email contact and many other platforms.
Their complete set (all three tools) are marketed for $61/month with separate prices available for each of the tools
Zendesk is a platform that helps build your relationship with your customers. Its goal is to help “companies provide a great overall customer experience, and build customer relationships that are more meaningful, personal, and productive”.
Zendesk’s plans start at $5/operator a month and it offers a free 30 day trial
Intelligence / Data:
Google analytics is a very useful tool to get all the data you need to make intelligent marketing and business decisions. It gathers all your website’s and mobile app information.
It works with two pricing tiers: Free and Premium. Google Analytics Premium provides higher data limits, more custom variables, a Service Level Agreement, and a dedicated support team.
Mixpanel is the go-to tool to help you learn how people use your app. It offers advanced mobile and web analytics tools such well as funnel views to help analyse your user behaviours.
It has a free plan for up to 25k data points with paid plans starting at $150/month
Back-office / Productivity:
Slack is great, Slack is awesome, you must have Slack! Ok, seriously, excessive love apart, Slack is team communication made easy.
Besides offering direct messaging capabilities, Slack allows you to create channels to centralize your company’s information according to the departments, share archives and much more.
Slack is free for teams wanting to try it out with paid plans starting at $6.67 per active user per month
Google Drive is a secure cloud storage and file backup system. It allows you to share files across all your company easily and without hassle.
Google Drive creates a file on your computer you can easily use to share files with your teams. It’s free for up to 15GB storage and its paid prices start at $1.99/month for 100GB storage
Just like Google Drive, Dropbox offers you the option of sharing files with your team.
Dropbox Basic, with 2GB storage is free. Dropbox Pro offers 1TB of storage for $9.99/month
Xero is an online accounting system designed to help simplify financial processes, payroll, benefits and much more.
Xero’s starter plan costs $6.30/month for the first 6 months of use
All the information in this article was current as of late August 2016. If you’ve found any information that’s incorrect or outdated, please contact us through our contact form.