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8 Best Tools for Startups in 2021 (Pros, Cons, Pricing)

5 best startup tools

There’s no better time than now to run a startup.

I mean, have you seen how far technology has come? 

Entrepreneurs run businesses from their couch with a bunch of people they’ve never met in person!

You can pull this off too. 

All you need is a handy tool by your side. 

It’s the best bet your startup has to grow sustainably and scale exponentially.✨

And we want to help it come true.

In this article, you’ll discover the top eight best tools for startups with their pros, cons, pricing, and user ratings.

Let’s start exploring some free tools for startups that will take your company to greater heights. 🚀

How To Choose The Best Tools For Startups?

Finding the best tools for startups can be a crazy journey.

The research alone is going to give you sleepless nights.

woman saying i need help

But hey, it doesn’t have to be like this. 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself about your requirements:

  • How big is your team?
  • Do you need help with a specific function like task management, HR, accounting, social media, or CRM?
  • Do you need integrations with marketing tools?
  • What’s your budget like? Or are you looking for free tools for startups?
  • Can the tools support remote work?

Found your answers? Great!

We’ve put together a list of the best free tools for startups that should cover all those needs:

The 8 Best Tools For Startups

Your startup may be a young company, but your ambitions are as large as those of corporate giants. 

This means you’ll end up handling almost as many functions as a large company. 

All by yourself. 

And if you think hiring more people or getting funded is the only solution, think again. 

The right tool can be the real game-changer. 

So just pick one of these free tools for startups and make your scaling-up dream a reality!

1. ClickUp: an all-in-one project management software

new device suite clickup 3.0

ClickUp is the world’s highest-rated project management and productivity tool.

This SaaS tool is great for any startup or small team, thanks to our feature-rich Free Forever version for all types of project management. 😎

ClickUp key features

A. Create and assign Tasks

A startup can be a hornet’s nest of tasks that seem to blend into each other.

And if you think it’s a jumble now, tracking them all is only going to get even more challenging as you grow.

However, with ClickUp, you can make it seem easy. 

Create as many tasks as you want and immediately assign them to one or Multiple Assignees.

clickup task multiple assignees

Don’t forget to add Priorities and Due Dates for better organization!

B. Apply the Kanban method using Board view

This one is for the Kanban Board fanatics and Agile teams

Use it to visualize and streamline your startup’s entire workflow.

Impress your startup founder with how easily you’re sending tasks from ‘assigned’ to ‘done!’

kanban board clickup

C. Automate routine activities

Why work hard when you can work smart?

Let ClickUp share some of your workload.

It doubles up as an automation tool.

Use it to automate your repetitive tasks with a combination of Conditions, Actions, and Triggers.

clickup automation

It saves you a ton of time that you can spend signing new investors for your startup. 🤝

D. Say goodbye to errors with Proofing

Imagine if no one spotted a typo in your ad, and it got published. *gasp*

Fast forward to the consequences: You’re now a meme.

Good luck fixing that.

man saying whose fault is that

To answer that question: inadequate proofing software

Try ClickUp’s Proofing features instead. 

It’s the perfect way to mark design mockups with changes.

clickup proofing feature

Get it right, every time!

E. Create knowledge bases using Docs

You probably have to deal with tons of documentation like work guidelines, employee contracts, customer data, etc.

Create such documents in ClickUp Docs with Rich Text Editing like fonts, banners, heading, etc.!

clickup doc in task

Moreover, it’s a team effort. 

You can collaborate on Docs in real-time with your team members.

F. Manage your workflow using Custom Task Statuses

We love pin-up boards, sticky notes, and dry erase markers. 

That’s why we created their digital equivalent!

Bring your workflow to this task management software, and visualize it with Custom Task Statuses. It lets you create task statuses to suit the workflow in your startup.

They can be ‘in-development,’ ‘in-design,’ ‘waiting for approval,’ ‘delayed,’ etc.

Guess who won’t have to waste time on calls or emails to keep task progress updates? That’s right. It’s you!

clickup custom status

We also have task Status Templates that you can use for sales, development, content marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and more!

Learn how to create your own CRM in ClickUp

G. Gain insights using Dashboards

As a business owner, you want to know where you’re excelling, how you’re misfiring, and how far the project is from completion.

And we know just how. 

With Dashboards!

Use it to visualize your progress in custom charts, gain insights on people, manage, Resources, Sprints, etc.

Speaking of Sprints, you can add Sprint Widgets to get project reports in the form of charts, including Velocity Charts, Cumulative Flow Diagrams, Burnups, and Burndowns.

clickup sprint widgets

H. Track work hours with Native Time Tracking

They say time is money. 

You track your money. But what about your time?

It’s time you begin. 

And good for you, your task management tool is also a time tracking expert!

With our Native Time Tracking, you can track work hours for different tasks without any external help.

clickup native time tracking

ClickUp pros

ClickUp cons

  • Can’t export Dashboards

Don’t you worry! Our team is constantly learning and growing like your startup. And that’s why we ensure your recommendations are always heard and your concerns addressed.

Check out our development roadmap to see what’s in store.

ClickUp pricing

ClickUp offers three pricing options:

ClickUp user rating

  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (2100+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.7/5 (2400+ reviews)

Want to find out how well ClickUp does as compared to its competitors? Check out our Basecamp, Zoho Projects, and Monday reviews.

2. Mailchimp: email marketing tool

mailchimp landing page

Mailchimp is one of the best startup tools for your marketing strategy needs. 

It’s also popular for the cute monkey logo. 🐵

Fun fact: When you go to their website, place your cursor over the logo, and the monkey winks. Try it. 😉

Mailchimp is the go-to app in the email marketing and newsletters game. Use it to create Email marketing campaigns, websites and convert potential customers with marketing automation.

Mailchimp key features

  • Landing page creator
  • Branded and transactional email creator
  • Creative and design assistance for Facebook and Instagram ads

Mailchimp pros

  • Allows target audience management
  • Carries out excellent email marketing campaigns
  • Offers CRM feature for efficient marketing

Mailchimp cons

  • Can become expensive as your contact list keeps growing
  • Only 30-day email support for the free plan
  • Limited options for landing page designs

Mailchimp pricing

Mailchimp offers four pricing options:

  • Free: site analytics, behavioral targeting, and audience dashboard
  • Essential ($10.47/month): social media channel posting, surveys, and campaign engagements 
  • Standard ($15.64/month): marketing tips, classic automations builder, and marketing calendar
  • Premium ($312.80/month): custom coded templates, social media post scheduling, and send time optimization

Mailchimp user rating

  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (13,900+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.3/5 (10,900+ reviews)

3. Buffer: social media marketing tool

buffer landing page

So you’ve got a brand and a social media account. Now you want to increase reach and convert your target audience into potential customers? 

Buffer’s social media publishing features can help you.

The app lets you plan, collaborate, and schedule content that can drive traffic to your social media channels, resulting in business growth.

It’s a useful tool for creating beautiful and engaging social media posts.

And you won’t ever miss a comment from your potential customers on Instagram!

Buffer key features

  • Allows direct social media post scheduling
  • Sends reminder notifications for pre-planned posts
  • Lets you create posting schedules

Buffer pros

  • Supports all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, etc. 
  • Access limited basic post reports for free
  • Simple and clean layout

Buffer cons

  • Free and Pro plan supports only one user
  • Buffer Analytics is expensive and not included in the free plan
  • Can’t post Instagram stories automatically

Buffer pricing

Buffer offers four pricing options:

  • Free: one user, three social channels, and third-party integrations
  • Pro ($15/month): one user, eight social channels, and custom video thumbnails
  • Premium ($65/month): two users, eight social channels, and grid view
  • Business ($99/month): six users, 25 social channels, and an Instagram hashtag manager 

Buffer user rating

  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (1000+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.3/5 (800+ reviews)

4. Zoom: a communication tool

zoom landing page

Do we even need an introduction here?

Zoom is one of the finest video conferencing apps with an enormous participant capacity.

You can host virtual meetings, webinars, even virtual parties 🎉 with the best video quality in the market.

The best part? Everyone knows how to use it!

muppet zoom

Zoom key features

  • You can record meetings
  • Control who can join when with the waiting room feature
  • Conduct calls with a large number of meeting participants

Zoom pros

Zoom cons

  • Can’t live stream your Zoom call to Facebook, Youtube, etc. in the free plan
  • Can be expensive for larger teams
  • No meeting agenda management

Zoom pricing

Zoom offers four plans:

  • Basic (free): up to 100 participants, screen recording, and polling
  • Pro ($14.99/month per license): social media streaming, 1GB cloud space for recordings, and whiteboarding
  • Business ($19.99/month per license): up to 300 participants, assigning meeting scheduler, and user management
  • Zoom united business($35/month per license): live transcriptions, single sign-on, and company branding

Zoom user rating

  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (6,000+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.5/5 (33,000+ reviews)

Not sure about Zoom? Check out these Zoom alternatives.

5. Wave: finance and accounting tool

wave landing page

Wave is the perfect accounting software for any startup.

Why? Because it’s entirely free. No hidden charges. No setup fees. 

So no sleepless nights because you missed the fine print. 

Wave is your one-stop destination for bookkeeping, creating invoices, and scanning receipts.

Prepare yourself to ride the wave of productivity! 🌊🌊🌊

Wave key features

  • Dashboard full of business performance analytics
  • Sales tax tracker for incomes and expenses
  • Cash flow tracker

Wave pros

  • Send recurring invoices
  • Unlimited receipt scanning
  • Unlimited expense and income tracking

Wave cons

  • No call support
  • No time tracking
  • No direct integrations

Wave pricing

Wave has just one pricing option, and that’s free!

Wave user rating

  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (1,000+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.4/5 (200+ reviews)

6. HubSpot Forms: free online form builder & CRM

HubSpot is a CRM platform that comes with a suite of powerful marketing, sales and service tools to help you grow your business. Among these tools is the web forms builder — an intuitive, easy-to-use drag-and-drop form builder designed to help you capture more leads and send out surveys.

You can create five different types of forms with HubSpot: standalone forms, embedded forms, popups, slide-in boxes and dropdown banners. As part of the free-forever plan, you can create as many forms as you want with as many fields as you want, without any additional costs.

What sets HubSpot apart from other form tools is the fact that it’s part of a powerful CRM platform. So every time someone fills in a form, their contact information is automatically stored in HubSpot’s free CRM where your sales and marketing team can further nurture them.

Bonus: Check out the best CRMs for startups

HubSpot Forms key features

  • Access to HubSpot’s free CRM where you can store information from those who fill in your forms.
  • Landing page creator (available in the free plan).
  • Drag-and-drop form builder.
  • Customizable goal-based templates.
  • Premium features include advanced marketing automation that you can use to set. up kickback emails and autoresponders when someone submits a form. 

HubSpot pros

  • Native integration with other free HubSpot tools: CRM, email marketing, live chat etc. 
  • Store as many as one million contacts and companies in the CRM for free.
  • Free-forever plan available.

HubSpot cons

  • No phone or email support for free plans.
  • You need to be a paying user to remove the HubSpot branding. 

HubSpot pricing

  • HubSpot offers a free-forever plan that allows you to create unlimited forms and collect unlimited submissions. You also get access to a free CRM, email marketing, landing pages, live chat, and more free tools.
  • To access HubSpot’s more advanced tools and automation features, paid plans start at $50/month.

HubSpot user rating

  • Capterra: 4.5/5 for HubSpot Marketing Hub (4,455 reviews)
  • G2: 4.4/5 for HubSpot Marketing Hub (6,656 reviews) 

Note: HubSpot Forms is featured as part of HubSpot Marketing Hub on all review platforms. 

7. Moosend: email marketing and automation software

Moosend, recently acquired by Sitecore, is an incredible email marketing tool for startups. 

It’s free to sign-up & no credit card is required for core features. 

Moosend is your go-to email marketing automation software for email campaigns, newsletters, mailing lists, email templates, user tracking & email subscriber engagement to grow your startup or business. Get ready for an aMOOzing email marketing experience! 🐄🐄🐄

Moosend email automation key features

  • Drag-and-drop email builder to create professional emails
  • Landing pages, subscription forms, pop-ups, headline bars & boxes to show on your website with thousands of templates
  • Marketing automation workflows

Moosend pros

  • Easy to use email marketing software
  • Campaign reports and analytics overview
  • Watch how users move around your website, blog, or online store

Moosend cons

  • Not a lot of native integrations
  • No SMS marketing option
  • Not many form options

Moosend pricing

Moosend is free forever, or $8/month for extended features.

Moosend user rating

  • Capterra: 4.8/5 for Moosend Email Automation (156 reviews)
  • G2: 4.5/5 for Moosend Email Automation (344 reviews) 

8. Planable: content collaboration tool

Planable content collaboration startup tools

Planable is a content collaboration tool that helps social media teams create better content, 6X faster. It was built by marketers for marketers, so every need you may have has been carefully taken care of.

With Planable you can establish your own feedback and approval process, regardless of the size of your team. With 4 different types of approval levels: none, optional, required, multi-level, you can prevent unfinished posts from being published. 

Never miss feedback from your teammates. 

Planable key features

  • What you see is what you get content creation with instant, pixel-perfect previews
  • Multiple ways to view and plan posts: list, feed, grid, and calendar view
  • Collaboration happens in context, right next to the posts, in the form of comments and replies
  • Intuitive design that mimics the feel and flow of social media
  • Custom approval workflows for any team: from none to optional, required, or even multi-layered

Planable pros 

  • Low learning curve 
  • Integrations with most popular social media channels like TikTok, Google My Business, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Separate workspaces to keep content and people organized per each brand you manage
  • Allows teams to scale as collaboration flows are customizable 

Planable cons

  • Fixed number of posts for free plan

Planable pricing

Planable has 4 pricing options: 

  • Free – unlimited workspaces, unlimited users, unlimited pages, for your first 50 posts 
  • Starter – $33/month (billed annually) for 1 workspace, 3 users, and 10 pages
  • Premium – $83/month (billed annually) for 5 workspaces, 7 users, and unlimited pages & posts 
  • Enterprise – with a Custom Price for custom workspaces, users, and unlimited posts & pages. 

Planable user rating

  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (300 reviews)
  • G2: 4.5/5 (159 reviews)

Get Started With Your Startup!

Growing your startup isn’t easy. 

But with the right bunch of people and tools, you have the power to make it to the big leagues.

All the SaaS tools for startups mentioned above will be great co-travelers in your journey, but you still need an experienced and brave captain for your ship. 

You need one great tool that can do it all: ClickUp!

It’s THE ultimate all-in-one project management tool that can help you with task management, resource management, design proofing, CRM, and so much more. 

It’s the only anchor you need as you sail towards the good times. 

So get ClickUp for free today and tide over every challenge!

yacht sailing

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