Start-ups typically scout for seed funding and angel investors to fuel their growth dreams. But until that happens, most gigs function on shoe-string budgets. It is during this phase that entrepreneurs are on the lookout for free but effective tools that help in facilitating their operations.
There are thousands of tools out there, and finding the right one for your needs can be a bit daunting. But then, that’s what JBR (Just Being Resourceful) is for! We’ve enlisted a few really effective ones below so that you can not only work hard but work smart!
- MailChimp for Email Marketing
E-mails are a great way to reach out to your audience, keep them updated on your new product launches, or to deliver your weekly newsletter. MailChimp is a wonderful tool that allows you to streamline your email campaigns.
The free version allows uploading a member contact list of up to 2000 members and lets you automate and analyze up to 12,000 mails a month! The fine print says that you can send up to 2000 emails in any 24-hour period. MailChimp’s Forever Free plan packs in a lot of stuff for a free offering. Check out all the details here.
Pro-tip: Always start with a free plan and scale up if needed. For users who send email campaigns to a large user base on an infrequent basis, their Pay As You Go Plan proves to be a useful package.
- Hootsuite for Social Media Management
Managing social media efficiently is indispensable for any fast-growing start-up. It’s not just about being present on social media, but managing it well enough to create an impact and drive traffic and business leads. Hootsuite is a personal favorite and a very versatile tool to help you schedule your updates across various time zones on three social media channels of your choice absolutely free!
You can schedule up to 30 social media updates at a time for free on any given day. What this means is that once some of your scheduled updates have been sent out, you can schedule more for the rest of the day! Hootsuite allows you to attach media, schedule similar updates across different channels, and even tag people/accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Hootsuite is a great tool for several other purposes, but I’ll elaborate on that in a later blog post.
Pro-tip: Try out Hootsuite’s auto-scheduling feature. This feature is available in the compose message window, and it helps in automatically scheduling your updates for optimal impact.
- SurveyMonkey for Customer Feedback and Research
It goes without saying that any business that doesn’t listen to its customers is bound to see failure. Customer feedback is of utmost importance for any business, and SurveyMonkey is a very well-known and great tool for you to launch those surveys and keep tabs on your customers’ raves and rants.
Use this survey tool to upgrade and improve your services, understand user sentiment, conduct market research, and much more! SurveyMonkey lets you create surveys, share them via multiple media platforms, get responses, and turn them in to actionable insights! The basic free plan gets you up to 10 questions and free 100 responses per survey.
Pro-tip: Remember to check out the various professional-looking templates available in their free plan.
That’s it for now! These are just three of the innumerable free tools available out there. While I plan to enlist a few more such tools, I’d like to hear from you on what tools you think can be very useful for start-ups. Enter your thoughts using the comments section below, and I’ll cover them in my next blog post on free tools for start-ups.