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Member Resources

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Curated Directory of the best tools, picked by experts. Started this list by cobbling together other resources. Constantly adding and refining. If you want to suggest a resource, feel free to comment!

Business Resources

A/B tests

  • Experimentation and Testing: A Primer – a great resource when beginning testing from Avinash Kaushik.
  • Google Analytics – this comes with “Content Experiments” which permits users to split-test page variants within programs.
  • Optimizely – cost-efficient A/B, multivariate, and mobile texting for starters.
  • Crazy Egg – at $9 per month this tool provides heatmaps to understand user behavior.
  • Vanity – “an Experiment Driven Development framework for Rails.”

Analytics

  • Piwik – free, open source web analytics platform.
  • Cyfe – “an all-in-one business dashboard app that helps you easily monitor all your business data.”
  • WooRank – SEO, Social Media, Mobile Optimization, Usability reports.
  • Buffer – free social media engagement stats.
  • Google Analytics– free web analytics and optimizer.

Blogging platforms

  • WordPress – most popular and flexible content management system.
  • Joomla – an advanced CMS similar to WordPress.
  • Wix – equipped with code-free website builder, a blogging platform, and website hosting.
  • Medium –  a collaborative blogging platform.

Business plans and canvas

Cloud/open source resources

  • Dropbox – free cloud storage that you can share.
  • Github – the world’s largest open source community.
  • Joyent – powerful public cloud and private cloud software solutions.
  • Box – secure content sharing, management, and collaboration.
  • AWS Free Tier – cloud solution from Amazon.

Competitive online Adword/PPC analysis

  • SEMRush – advanced SEO/PPC keyword research tool.
  • Google AdWords – a free AdWords tool and Keyword Planner.
  • Spyfu – spy on competitors ads and keywords.
  • iSpionage – up-to-date competitive analysis.
  • WordStream – Adwords grader and advisor.

Content and online marketing.

Crowdfunding

  • Kickstarter – a great option for creative projects seeking funding.
  • DreamFunded – crowdsource funding for your startup.
  • GoFundMe – features built-in connections to Facebook, Twitter and email for easy sharing.
  • Indiegogo – popular site internationally because of its flexibility to fund almost anything.
  • RocketHub – features FuelPad and LaunchPad programs for promotion.

Customer feedback and support

  • Olark – a live customer chat and customer loyalty platform.
  • Tender – customer support software that contains a knowledgebase tool. forums and notifications regarding your site.
  • Desk – one of the best and easiest support softwares I’ve ever used.
  • Zendesk – web help software that features customer support, self-service and engagement tools.
  • Groove – provides a simple online Help Desk, as well as customer support metrics.

Design

Discovery

  • KISSmetrics – “Track, analyze and optimize your digital marketing performance. We show you what’s working and what’s not across all campaigns.”
  • Google Trends – provides the most popular online searches.
  • Product Hunt – discover the hottest new products.
  • Erli Bird – “Validate your product, beta test, get feedback, and improve.”
  • TrackMaven – a powerful competitive intelligence tool.

Distribution

  • HARO (Help A Reporter Out) – share your expertise with a reporter.
  • PRWeb –  the highest-rated press release service.
  • ProfNet – connects experts and journalists.
  • Boost Your Posts on Facebook – promote posts on Facebook.
  • Market Wired – provides news distribution and social communications solutions.

Email

  • MailChimp – used to gain subscriber profiles and send out personalized and automated emails.
  • Hello Bar – free tool used to collect more email subscribers.
  • Intercom – a great chat and help widget, that also has automated email triggers.
  • YesWare – know when someone opens your email. Best stalking known to man.
  • Boomerang – Gmail tool used to schedule emails and follow-up reminders.

Ecommerce

  • Shopify – sell your product on this popular online store.
  • WooCommerce – a popular WordPress ecommerce plugin. Note: Mainly for smaller under 1000 sku sites.
  • Magento – ecommerce software tailor fit to your needs. Note: Mainly for larger 1000+ sku sites.
  • Prestashop – free software to set up your online shop.
  • Symphony Commerce – “The most advanced commerce applications as a service to power your online store, fulfillment, and marketing.”

Related: 3 Online Resources for Getting Expert Startup Advice

Freelance

  • Freelancer – great place to find outsourcing for small businesses.
  • upWork – allows you to hire low-cost freelance talent.
  • Loot – on demand social freelancers.
  • Elance – you can browse profiles before hiring freelance help.
  • TaskRabbit – you’re busy, so why not outsource errands and skilled tasks to others?

Find a co-founder

  • CoFoundersLab – helps you locate a co-founder by city or industry.
  • FounderDating – a premiere site for connecting founders and co-founders.
  • Founder2be – helps you find a co-founder for your startup.
  • YouNoodle – founder matching through competitions.
  • FounderSoup – connecting you to “a network of Entrepreneurial Stanford engineers, designer, doctors, marketers, salespeople, etc.

Founding

  • f6s – contains a list of all the accelerator programs, as well as a social network for startups and angels.
  • Startup Stash – an excellent curated list for all your startup needs.
  • Angellist – connect with investors and raise funds online.
  • The Funded – a community of CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs that discuss fundraising, as well rate and review angel investors and venture capitalists.
  • Kaufman Founders School – an online educational resource for entrepreneurs.

Growth hacking

  • Colibri.io – allows you to tap into social networks and digital media to gain visibility.
  • Nimble – gather the contacts of you and your team to construct an Intelligent Relationship Platform.
  • Pay With A Tweet – create social buzz by rewarding people to mention your content or product.
  • MixRank – creates a highly targeted list for your business.
  • GrowthHackers – online community that helps marketers learn and share effective marketing techniques.

Groups

Legal

  • Startup Documents – “generates and stores legal documents for early stage companies”
  • Orick’s Legal Documents for Startups – contains contracts and other legal documents that have been curated by an online community.
  • Legal Zoom – legal solutions for starting and running a business.
  • Nolo – share legal forms and connects you to a lawyer if needed.
  • PandaDoc – eSign your important docs. Know exactly when and what they are looking at.

Living in Silicon Valley

Loyalty programs

  • Technology Advice – connects you to the best loyalty programs for your industry.
  • RewardStream – a loyalty and customer referral designed specifically for your business.
  • Perka – a loyalty program that encourages repeat visitors.
  • RewardLoop – a powerful mobile loyalty program.
  • BigDoor –  a loyalty and rewards program that allows you to reward customers even when they aren’t making purchases.

Related: Why Small Businesses Should Be Utilizing Customer-Loyalty Programs

Market research

Must-read websites

Name generators

  • Domainr: a free domain name search.
  • Knowem – search tool for domains and trademarks.
  • Naminum: helps you discover the perfect company name.
  • Impossibility: “The best domain name generator ever.”
  • Wordoid: suggests creative names for your product, domain, or product.

Payment – billing and invoicing.

  • Yardbook – amazine invoicing tool for online professionals.
  • Stripe – APIs and tools to accept and manage online payments.
  • Aria – an active monetization platform.
  • Due – online invoicing and time tracking platform.
  • Quickbooks – Great way to keep track of your books.

Product launch.

Project management.

  • BaseCamp – popular project management; free for up to two months.
  • Trello – organize and monitor projects visually.
  • Campfire – team collaboration that features a real-time chat.
  • Podio – cloud-based collaboration service.
  • Wrike– delivers full discretion over your tasks and allows you to collaborate with your whole team.

Question and answer/networking.

  • Quora – ask or answer questions related to your industry.
  • LinkedIn – the world’s largest professional network.
  • StackExchange – expert answers to your questions in 137 different communities.
  • Reddit – large community who network by sharing relevant content.
  • Onstartups – the discussions on this hub are great for information and networking.

Remote working.

  • Asana – converse and assign tasks with team members without email.
  • Skype – call or message anyone from anywhere in the world.
  • StartMeeting – free audio conferencing.
  • Yammer – a private social network designed just for companies.
  • Hipchat – private group chat, instant messaging and file sharing.

Social media/social monitoring.

  • Hootsuite – “Manage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the dashboard.”
  • HubSpot – one of the best online marketing and web analytics systems.
  • Buffer – simple social media marketing software.
  • Tweetdeck – “the most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement.”
  • Adstage – manage all of your Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Ads in one place.

Startup Guides

Surveys and polls.

  • Google Consumer Surveys – fast, accurate market research from Google.
  • SurveyMonkey – free online survey software.
  • Typeform – create online surveys and forms.
  • Qualtrics – little higher end but one of the best platforms for surveys out there.
  • Tally – create polls…in no time.

Time management/distraction prevention.

  • Self-Control –a Mac application that blocks out distracting websites for a specific amount of time.
  • Concentrate – helps keep you focused by shutting down non-essential apps and websites.
  • RescueTime – helps you understand daily habits so you learn to become more productive.
  • Time Tracking – time tracking software to help you discover how much time you’ve spent on a project. Note: I’m owner of this company!
  • FocusBooster – a digital pomodoro timer.

To-do lists

  • Evernote – organize your daily projects in one workspace.
  • Pocket – save important articles or videos to view later.
  • Remember The Milk – to-do-lists and reminders.
  • Wunderlist – lists that you can share with family or team members.
  • Todoist – powerful to-do-list tool that comes with a task manager.

Travel

  • Trip-it – gives you a master itinerary of your travel plans.
  • Shoeboxed – use to scan and organize receipts during travel.
  • Where Nomads at – connects you with digital nomads all over the world.
  • Time Trade – appointment scheduling software.
  • Airbnb – great resource when you need last-minute or affordable lodging.

Tool Collections

Growth Supply – A huge list of websites offering tools for businesses.

Venture Capital

The Startup Guide‘s post on Raising Venture Capital – Some great advice on things to keep in mind.

Video

  • Wistia – professional video hosting equipped with analytics and marketing tools.
  • Powtoon – create awesome animated and video presentations.
  • Tracker – video analysis and marketing tool.
  • Stupeflix – create free, unlimited videos.
  • Wideo – another tool to create animated videos.

Websites and hosting

Wireframing and mockups.

  • proto.i0 – Great site for App Demos
  • Gliffy – allows you to “ create professional-quality flowcharts, Org charts, UML diagrams, Network diagrams, Wireframes, Technical drawings”.
  • Wirefy – intuitive wireframes for web development.
  • Frame Box – easy, sharable frame sharing.
  • Pencil Project – a free and open-source GUI prototyping tool
  • MockFlow – easy wireframing tool that you can collaborate with others.

X, Y and Z…

Need More?

Related: Richard Branson’s 5 Vital Startup Basics

Related: 25 Businesses That Make Life Simpler for Other Businesses

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