Like most entrepreneurs who are starting out, wearing many different hats is part of the job description. That doesn’t mean however, that you should let what appears to be a daily mountain of work, intimidate you. There are now a plethora of resources available for the budding entrepreneur to take advantage of. The great part about these tools–whether you are a bootstrapping start-up with a $0 budget, or you are a multimillion dollar company, these tools will scale to your needs by offering free versions of their proprietary software, each with their specific limitations. Once you have grown past these limitations, an expanded or unlimited version of the web based software can be purchased for a reasonable monthly fee.
While there are other tools that we love and could easily be on this list as well, the cornerstone of any business is the effective organization and management of ideas, resources, and people. These tools will definitely point you in the right direction. Check out our gallery below to see our five recommended productivity apps for bootstrapping entrepreneurs.
– Organizing your thoughts, ideas, and important things found on the internet has never been easier with Evernote. Adding this tool to your smartphone, browser, and computer gives you the ability to quickly recall and share websites of interest, “napkin” ideas, and other spur of the moment information. It even can read and organize text in images.
– Keeping track of your documents, and other files that need to be shared within your organization is what Google does best for the small business. Easily edit and share what you need, keep private what you don’t. This is just a part of the broader scope of why you should consider using Google, including the ability to share calendars, and quickly chat with others in your start-up.
– While having to-do lists is important, actively managing that list of tasks within the grand scheme of a larger project is vital to success. Producteev provides a great platform for planning and tracking progress on your tasks and milestones. With the ability to stay on-task via computer, table, and smartphone (they even have a Windows Phone app), Producteev makes it easier to plan your work, so you can work your plan.
– Without an excellent team, it’s difficult for a business to grow. Recruiterbox makes the process of identifying, contacting, and adding the people that will ultimately help your dream become a reality. It’s not just a spreadsheet of names; it is a very organized way of guiding your organization through the process of bringing in the desired talent. Since bootstrapping start-ups don’t typically have an HR department, this tool makes it easy for small teams to stay in the loop.
– While this is not entirely free (it has a free trial and free personal version), if you frequently need to send and receive contracts and other important documents with a signature, this tool is well worth it. Having a business meeting over the phone, then sending and receiving back a signed document within minutes can greatly improve the efficiency of any company, new or established.
– At the end of the day, if you can’t manage your company’s finances, you won’t have a company for very long. Wave offers a totally free, secure, solution for managing your business AND personal accounts, complete with budgeting tools, and other graphical tools. It’s an incredibly easy to use, highly functional tool that takes the tedious work of tracking and organizing your financial data– free. Definitely worth the time to check out.
Cover image, courtesy of Flickr, theps.net