64 startup resources to help you get up and running
Startups succeed when two things come together: You create something customers really want, and you put your available resources to good use each step of the way.
That means you’re constantly on the hunt for expert business advice, up-to-the-minute news, customer insights, fundraising opportunities, cost-effective software, growth hacking ideas, and more.
We’re here to help. Bookmark this list of 64 startup resources and visit it anytime you need answers, inspiration, or a new tool.
Startup news and publications
Traditional news sources like The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Forbes deliver vital market updates and fresh business ideas. Here are a few startup-specific sources.
News and blogs
TechCrunch: Get the latest technology news, startup ideas, venture capital (VC) funding reports, and informed opinions with TechCrunch.
Crunchbase: In addition to in-depth reporting on new startups, Crunchbase offers a comprehensive database on public and private businesses. You can analyze startup valuations and find investors and prospects, too.
Y Combinator: If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve heard of the startup accelerator Y Combinator, which has launched companies like Airbnb, Stripe, and Doordash. Their blog features helpful business development guides for startup founders.
GeekWire: This online news source focuses on national tech news. Geekwire is also known for its business owner events, which connect innovators and entrepreneurs from across the country.
Built In: Built In brings together tech company news, jobs, and business topics. Search for coworking spaces, startup incubators, top industry talent, and more.
Equity: Equity, by TechCrunch, focuses on the early-stage fundraising market. Each podcast unpacks the week’s startup capital news and headline-making numbers. Listen in on Monday and Friday mornings.
How I Built This: On this podcast, NPR host Guy Raz talks with the founders of some of the world’s best-known companies and rising startups. Guests have included the founders of Dell Computers, Birchbox, Shopify, and Eventbrite.
Startup Therapy: Founding a startup is overwhelming and often lonely work. In Startup Therapy, two “serial founders” talk about the everyday struggles owners face, like stolen ideas, $0 salaries, and saying goodbye to product features.
Mixergy: Mixergy lets you tap into the wisdom of proven entrepreneurs and other thought leaders in over 1,000 interviews. The platform also offers online courses and master classes so you can learn directly from the best.
Rocketship.fm: Rocketship.fm focuses on startups' unique business models, growth, success stories, and failures. A former Ebay product manager and the Airbnb SEO team are just a couple of the guests to date.
Built to Sell Radio: Each week, this podcast interviews a founder who has recently sold their business. If you plan on being acquired and want to hear do’s and don’ts from diverse perspectives, look no further.
Explore tools to request legal advice and create necessary legal forms on these platforms.
Nolo: Nolo provides a free, extensive library of legal articles along with eBooks, DIY forms, and software. Find easy-to-understand explanations of employment laws, tax laws, and other business topics.
Rocket Lawyer: Rocket Lawyer makes it simple to create compliant legal documents and get fast answers from qualified attorneys.
LegalZoom: Use LegalZoom for a variety of legal services. Incorporate your business and apply for trademarks with step-by-step guidance. Request document reviews and advisory plans, too.
Here are the federally provided resources you should know about.
Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA is a financial and educational resource for startups. Explore funding programs, find startup resources, and learn about federal, national, and local business requirements in the Learning Center.
SCORE: SCORE is “the nation’s largest network of volunteer business experts.” Take advantage of free one-on-one counseling, training programs, templates, and workshops.
IRS Small Business Portal: Review small business tax requirements, FAQs, forms, publications and a tax event calendar through the IRS Portal.
Project management tools
The project management space is crowded, but that gives you more options to choose from.
Asana: Asana is a cloud-based project management platform that helps lean startup teams stay in sync. Create, organize, and assign goals, projects, and tasks, and connect the apps you need.
Trello: Trello’s board, cards, and lists let you track everything, from complex projects to quick tasks. Work online or from the mobile app.
Jira: Manage your software development projects efficiently with Jira. Track bugs, flag issues, track employee time, and run tests in each release stage. Experience agile project management.
Google Suite: Some startups are still using multiple tools to do what Google Suite can do alone. Apps like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and Hangouts make it simple to collaborate internally or externally.
Basecamp: Basecamp gives you the tools to organize projects the way you need. Your team can use built-in discussion features, add files, and knock out tasks.
Monday.com: Monday.com is a flexible work platform that lets you run projects, set up workflows, manage ad campaigns, and execute customer projects. Like other project tools, Monday.com integrates with apps like Slack and Zendesk.
Marketing apps & tools
These startup tools let you optimize your online marketing. Below, you’ll find software tools to automate your marketing and advertising efforts, research your target audience, build a website or app, and improve how your business ranks in searches.
Marketing automation software
HubSpot: HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Provide customer support, send emails, manage social channels, and create landing pages, then do some A/B testing.
Mailchimp: This email marketing and automation platform lets you grow your customer base. Run ads and create sign-up forms easily. Another plus for startups is that there’s a free plan.
OptinMonster: This lead generation software helps you keep visitors on your webpage longer. Create targeted ads and experiment at the page- and user-level.
SalesForce: Make sure all your teams understand your customers and leads with the SalesForce CRM. Track web visitor and customer activity with ease.
Google Trends: Use this tool to tap into the world’s most popular search engine and see what your market is looking for.
Answer the Public: This search listening tool pulls autocomplete data from Google and other search engines. When you search a keyword, it translates that data into phrases and questions people are asking about your keyword, giving you valuable customer insight.
Quora: Quora, a Q&A website, gives you insight into what customers are asking about and how your competitors are answering.
Pew Research Center: Use this platform to find social and demographic trends and data on current issues and attitudes, from the granular to the global.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is free to join. It tracks and reports your website traffic. Dig into audience behavior and monitor the performance of your advertising and marketing.
Ad platforms and strategy
Google Ads: Google Ads continues to lead pay-per-click (PPC) digital ad spend. Make sure your startup shows up and stands out for your relevant keywords with Google Ads.
Facebook Ads: Use Facebook’s self-serve PPC ad platform to easily set your marketing objectives, audience, and ad budget. Measure ad performance and make adjustments as you go.
We have previously covered the topic of buying ads beyond the Facebook and Google duopoly that startups should consider.
Website and app building
WordPress: Make a website or build your startup's blog. As an open-source content management system (CMS), WordPress makes it easy to try free custom web designs and useful plug-ins, and to optimize your site for mobile.
Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS is a scalable and secure cloud-based, web-hosting platform. Host your application, create an ecommerce website, and store files and customer data.
Shopify: Shopify is the number one name in ecommerce site building. Set up unlimited products, create orders, take payments, and set up your shipping carrier.
Unbounce: Unbounce lets you create engaging landing pages and attract more leads with its drag-and-drop landing page builder.
StackShare: See exactly which development tools leading startups are using and get guidance for your mobile application or other product through this platform.
Search engine optimization (SEO) tools
SEMrush: Conduct detailed keyword research and analyze your competitor’s website with SEMrush. You can also optimize ad campaigns.
Optimizely: Optimize your website or app using multivariate tests and ship out high-quality code with more confidence. Optimizely makes running experiments a point-and-click exercise.
Moz: Moz lets you create an effective backlink strategy and audit your site regularly, so you’re always improving your domain authority and increasing web traffic.
Social media tools
Hootsuite: Use Hootsuite to publish or schedule content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram and monitor engagement from one social media dashboard.
Buffer: Connect your social networks, plan your social sharing calendar, schedule posts, and get detailed reporting with this tool. There’s also a free version for when you’re just starting out.
Sprout Social: Sprout is a cloud-based system that lets you organize all your social media campaigns and track clicks, reach, impressions, and more.
These startup resources answer common HR questions, help you manage your employees, and ensure you stay compliant with employment laws. You can also utilize the legal resources above.
General HR guidance
In the article - what does human resources do? - we provide a roundup of the responsibilites that make HR professionals a powerful addition for startups.
This external link provides a step-by-step HR department checklist guide, which walks you through setting up an HR department.
Finally, this article - 10 Tips to Help Small Businesses Avoid Costly HR Errors - is a blog from the Society for Human Resource Management that covers HR best practices.
Payroll, time tracking, and benefits administration
TriNet: If your team lacks HR or financial experience, using self-service software could be time-consuming and error-riden. TriNet, a popular professional employee organization (PEO), lets your startup completely outsource payroll, benefits, and related compliance duties. Small businesses using a PEO reportedly grow 7% to 9% faster and have 10% to 14% less employee turnover.
Gusto: Gusto is an inclusive, highly rated payroll and benefits management software for small businesses. Gusto takes care of your tax filing and submits new hire paperwork for you.
Zenefits: Streamline payroll, health insurance, paid time off, and other employee benefits with Zenefits’ integrated platform. Unlike Gusto, the least expensive plan also includes time tracking features.
TSheets: TSheets is just one of the top-rated employee time tracking apps you can use to monitor labor costs, let your employees clock in and out, manage billable hours, and more.
Below, find startup resources to keep your finances organized and raise funds for your startup.
Accounting software and outsourced accounting
Brex Portal: Build your outsourced accounting dream team. The Brex Portal allows you to select which financial areas you need help with and get matched with services.
Wave: Wave does something novel in the accounting world — it offers free tools. Wave has free invoicing and accounting software, and offers credit card processing and payroll services for a cost.
QuickBooks: Manage your books online with one of the most popular accounting softwares and sync your books with other Intuit tools, like TSheets. Quickbooks is easy to connect to your HR software, bank accounts, and other financial profiles.
Xero: Save time and reduce manual data entry with Xero’s online accounting software. See your startup’s cash flow at any time and integrate the other business management softwares you already use.
FreshBooks: Automate your startup's business accounting, with FreshBooks' tools, including expense tracking, invoicing, unlimited time tracking, and even project management.
Neat: Create a digital receipt library with Neat. The app will automatically group your receipts based on IRS categories. At tax time, export your expense data to TurboTax or other software.
Shoeboxed: Shoeboxed knows that business records stack up, even for startups. The company is unique because you can mail your paper receipts and they’ll digitize them for you while you start using the app.
Brex: The Brex mobile app includes quick and easy receipt scanning features. Make a purchase, snap a picture of your receipt, and it’s matched to your account transaction in real time.
Gust: Gust recommends funding opportunities with angel and startup investors based on your startup’s progress. You’ll receive a pre-money valuation and tailored feedback.
Fundable: Startup founders from a variety of industry sectors have raised millions of dollars in capital using this crowdfunding platform. Choose a reward or equity fundraising campaign.
AngelList: Startup founders close deals with angel investors and syndicates on AngelList. You can also recruit employees, compare salaries and valuations, and find incubators.
Fundraising guides: From one startup to another, here are our tips on raising your next funding round, securing a business loan, and investing in your startup.
Startup resources that help you go further
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these startup resources will give you a starting point to optimize the different areas of your operations. As you move through funding stages, encounter new questions, or adjust your business plan, check back with this article for support and ideas.