It can be challenging as a startup founder or director to think about all the key elements of your business and always juggling multiple hats at any given time.

When I first started Binary Crate and Hacker PalsI was overwhelmed with the right tools to go with that best suited for our requirements i.e. ideally free or cheap, flexible usage terms, discounts and freebies for not for profits etc.

This is my list of resources which I have found along the way through my journey which could be beneficial to you. Remember if you ever get stuck on anything don’t be afraid to ask for help.

NOTE:  My top picks denoted with a (***)

Essential

The absolute essentials to get you started for day 1.

  • Namecheap***: Keep all domains in one place, Namecheap is the probably the best place to do it.
  • G Suite***: Most of the Google products in one location such as Gmail, Docs, Drive and Calendar
  • ClearDoc : Get all legal documents for your business and set up your trust, SMSF and more.
  • eCompanies***: Register a company online get your ACN + ABN + Docs in minutes.

Team collaboration

Communication and collaboration is critical for a success start up, here are the ones that has worked best for me.

  • Slack: chat and messaging to reduce internal email load, with one room per major project
  • Github*** : Repository for your source code plus task lists and collaboration with your developers
  • Meister Task: Collaboration and task management tool

Domains

So you have picked a name for your project, one of the toughest things to make a decision on. But hey for buying your domain, these options below are pretty good. ps: .com, .au are overated .io will still cut it.

  • Namecheap***: Keep all domains in one place, Namecheap is the probably the best place to do it.
  • Godaddy***: You can buy cheap domains and also get cheap hosting with your domain.

Analytics

Google analytics is one of the best free resources you can use to track your website and mobile app performance. It is a great place to start especially when dollars are hard to come by. If you are a not for profit like us you can get free adwords from Google. The keyword planner will give you insights on the latest trends for keywords which you could use to embed in you website and improve visibility on Google.

Design 

Some of the best logos and designs I have done were done using these tools. If you are a mac user and design is your thing and you minds the dollars, I will recommends Sketch. For Windows users, the market is a flood with design tools. The list gives you a few good options to pick one to suit you.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: All the essential Adobe products like Photoshop, illustrator and more.
  • Affinity: Create professional graphic designs, icons, mockups and drawings.
  • GIMP: A free and open source graphic design software
  • Sketch App***: Available only on Apple it is my probably my favourite graphic design tool, especially when creating mockups for website and mobile.
  • Balsamiq: Rapidly produce your next set of wireframes for your web or mobile app.

Building Websites

CSS, HTML Whaatt? Coding is not your thing. The only language you are comfortable is English. No problemo, the options below simplifies building websites and actually makes it fun.

  • Squarespace: Visual site builder with good themes and integrations with stores, payments, newsletters, etc
  • Wix: Simalry to Squarespace with Wix you can create your own drag and drop websites.
  • Shopify***: For e-commerce and online stores
  • Themeforest***: If you need something custom, start by buying a theme and editing it.

Hosting

Website hosting or app hosting – the market has some really good options here with pay as you go option that allows you to scale up or down and pay accordingly.

  • Godaddy : Cheap and reliable hosting for early businesses
  • AWS: If you need scale up fast then you will need Amazon web servers
  • Digital Ocean: Digital Ocean is a simple and robust cloud computing platform to get your app up and running.
  • Heroku: For development and testing your app in development then this is a great place to start, also to great to out Beta versions of your app or website.

Freelancers

Investor presentation, you have already chewed your nails and now you think your presentation needs to be pretty. You realize you need an extra pair of hands. Fear no more, good help is just a few clicks away and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

  • Fiverr: Pay $5 (or a bit more) for tasks ranging from logo design to copywriting
  • 99designs: Crowdsource design tasks (especially logos) for a few hundred dollars
  • elance: Various freelancers (assume you’ll hire several for trial projects before finding good ones)
  • Freelancer: Get work done by a freelancer from around the world.
  • Upwork: Get work done by agencies and freelance from anywhere around the world.
  • Dribbble: browse designer portfolios, many of whom also freelance

News

The start up journey is interesting and to me its all about the learning. Stay up to date on the market, your competitors and latest start up news using these websites.

Crowdfunding

Its all about the Moolah, use the masses to get your product to market. These websites make crowd funding achievable for the right product and services.

  • Kickstarter: Crowd-fund via pre-selling your products
  • Indiegogo: Crowd-fund via donations with a focus on arts and creative projects, including some which aren’t allowed on Kickstarter
  • Chuffed: Crowdfunding for not for profits and social enterprises

Investors

Crowd funding isn’t your thing, alright here is a list of websites with information on investors you can seek capital from.

  • f6s: A listing of all accelerator programs (and lots of other info) and a social network for startups and angels
  • AngelList: Social network and funding platform for startups and angels
  • Capitallist: Like Angellist, but focused on London and the UK
  • The Funded: reviews and testimonials of investors from the founders’ perspective; do your investor due diligence here

Entrepreneur blogs

Learning, learning and more learning. Learn from other Entrepreneur’s mistakes and success stories. I will also recommend listening to podcasts. I wish I could recommend a few here but I will let that up to you, let me know what your favourite podcasts are and I will add it to the list.

  • 500Hats: Learn from the founder of seed fund 500 Startups, Dave McClure.
  • Steve Blank: serial-entrepreneur recognised for developing the Customer Development methodology that launched the Lean Startup movement.
  • OnStartups: Blog by Hubspot co-founder Dharmesh Shah, dedicated to startup software companies.
  • QuickSprout: high-profile online marketer and co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, Neil Patel, talks growing your website traffic.
  • forEntrepreneurs: started by David Skok, five-time co-founder and venture capitalist. Voted №1 website for entrepreneurs by Inc. Magazine.

My start up journey is one of the best experiences I have had and I look forward to everyday throwing me a new set of challenges to conquer. I wish you well on this journey of ups and downs. If you like to chat about your journey or to discuss anything feel free to drop me an email to [email protected]

Bon voyage!