15 great tools for entrepreneurs and startups

by Esteban Soto (@esoe03)

E-commerce

Magento

Is an open source e-commerce site and it has one of the most powerful and flexible features in the market. Whether you are a small company or a large organization, Magento gives you customer retention, performance and scalability features to support your business.

magento

Shopify

You can have your own online store at Shopify even if you don’t know a thing about building a website. They have tools that help you with that and makes your website look professional for your clients. It also has different features as SEO, international payments, tax and currency support and makes your website customizable to the type of market you want to target. Shopify stores sold $3.7 billion in 2014.

shopify

Project Management

Asana

Ditching email for Asana might be the best idea to increase productivity and efficiency. Their platform does everything from creating and organizing tasks to allowing comments and set due dates. Their plan is to improve your efficiency, instead of having to always read emails that didn’t have to do with you at all, Asana notifies you when you are needed in the project. Available in iOS and Android too.

Trello

Trello helps you to keep your project in order and fun at the same time. It works with big or small projects. You create what they call a ‘card’, which is a project, in your personal Trello board. Then you can invite as many people as you need in that project. They can comment, attach files from your PC or other cloud services as Dropbox, interact with every member of the project, receive notifications of any change and more. Call it the Facebook of project management.

trello

Accounting

Xero

Specially designed for small businesses. Xero keeps your financials up to date, sends online invoices to clients, creates custom purchase orders. Besides making your accounting easy and effortless, it’s cloud based platform for smartphones, tablets and PC is beautiful and simple to use.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks lets you send professional looking invoices to your clients and makes this task painless. Their service allows you to see when a client has opened your invoice and keeps records of all of the payments not only for you but for your clients.

Your client doesn’t like electronic invoices? not a problem FreshBooks can send printed ones and still keep the record in the cloud for you.

freshbooks

Business Development

Highrise HQ

Highrise HQ is a management tool that helps you to keep all of your contacts organized. You can import contacts from any other platform, create tasks and reminders in Highrise and attach the contacts to them. You can also share them with team members and manage communications without having to leave Highrise HQ.

highrisehq

Website Optimization

Optimizely

Trusted by companies like Microsoft, Sony and NBC, Optimizely has the best solutions to website optimization. Whether you are looking for experimenting with split testing or analyze data in real time from your website traffic, this tool can help you to make decisions a lot easier. Their basic package is completely free.

optimizely

Visual Website Optimizer

Don’t worry if you know little about A/B testing or IT, Visual Website Optimizer can take care of that. Their software allows you to test landing pages and websites with a minimum of effort and knowledge. With their tools and real time reports you’ll get to learn what it is needed to increase conversions and sales. Their personal package is the cheapest, it costs only $9 per month and allows you to experiment with 2000 website visitors every month.

vwo

Design and Infographics

Easel.ly

easellyWith their online platform you can create, edit, share and save infographics. Easel.ly makes it very simple and comes with ready-to-use templates if you don’t want to start from scratch. It is completely free and no design skills are needed.

Infogr.am

Infogr.am takes infographics a step further by adding interaction and responsiveness to them. You can also use real-time data for charts and visualizations. If all you need is to create a normal infographic you can design it out of several templates. They also include a free package with plenty of templates to work on.

infogram

Freelance, consultants and agency matching platforms

oDesk

oDesk is a platform that gives freelancers an opportunity to glow. Either you are a freelancer looking to give services to a company or you are a company who is looking for an specialist, this is the site you want to check. They have many categories including web and mobile developers, designers, writers, engineers and more.

odesk

Sortlist

If you are in need of a digital marketing or ad agency, Sortlist will hook you up with the one who fits your profile and needs. When the right agency is found you can deal with it personally. On the other hand, if you are an agency who would like more exposure you might like to setup your own profile in Sortlist. By now their database consists of more than 53,000 agencies worldwide.

sortlist

Card Payments Apps

Squaresquare

Square is a Point of Sale platform that helps you track sales, inventory and analytics from your business. If you are in US, Canada or Japan you can take advantage of their card reader for smartphones and tablets. By activating a Square account you will receive a card reader for free.

iZettle

It is one of the easiest ways to start receiving card payments. They provide a free iZettle lite card reader that connects to smartphone or tablets via cable. Their other product, iZettle Pro, costs €79, comes with a built in screen and connects via Bluetooth. Their system works with what they call ‘Smart Pricing’ meaning that the more you sell the less commission you pay. Their commission goes from 1.50% to 2.75% per transaction.

izettle

Have you used any of these tools? Let fellow entrepreneurs know about any experience you had from these or any other tool you recommend in a comment.
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