The Best Software for Start-Ups on a Budget

Aug 3, 2021

2020 might turn out to be the year of the startup. Many people are taking advantage of their time on furlough to turn their side hustle into a real business. If you are just starting with your business and looking for some tools that will simplify your life without breaking the bank, we have you covered. Here are the best software programs for new startups:


Best Accounting Software

Sooner or later, every business needs accounting software. A good program can help you track expenses, organize your tax info, and take inventory. Accounting software is a competitive market, and there is a whole range of products out there from basic to complex, free to high end.

For the business that is just starting out, we recommend Zoho Books. This program is perfect for microbusinesses, freelancers, and sole proprietors. It offers all the services these businesses need without making you pay for ones you don’t. You can sync Zoho with your bank account, track your time and expenses, and create invoices. If you aren't at your computer, you can track expenses on the go with Zoho's app.

Zoho allows you to scale up as your business grows. The Basic Plan lets you track billable hours and store up to 50 contacts. The Standard and Professional Plans build on that, with the Professional Plan offering inventory tracking, support for 10 users, and unlimited contact storage. The basic plan starts at $9 a month, and the Professional Plan is only $29 a month. Best of all, their customer service is said to be excellent.


Best Social Media Helper

As a small business owner, you wear a lot of hats, and the last thing you want to do is spend your entire day managing your social media accounts. Luckily, there are affordable social media management options to help you out.

For the powerhouse social media user, we recommend Hootsuite. Hootsuite supports over 35 different social networks, including the Big Four, and gives you the power to schedule, monitor, and analyze your content all with one system. The analytics are Hootsuite’s big selling point. They draw on over 200 metrics to measure performance. Hootsuite offers a free plan that allows one user, three social media profiles, and 30 scheduled updates. As your team grows, you can upgrade to their paid plans to allow for more users, profiles, and updates.

Honorable mentions in this category include Buffer-- an excellent scheduling app with an analytics function forthcoming, and Tailwind-- a management app specializing in Instagram and Pinterest.


Lead Tracking software

Lead tracking is an essential part of any small business, and like accounting software, lead tracking software can be expensive and overly complicated. When your business is just getting off the ground, you need the basics at an affordable price with room to grow. Zoho CRM is our top choice for lead tracking for startups. They offer a free plan and affordable paid plans starting at $12 per month. The free plan lets you have up to 10 users and gives you basic sales automation, team collaboration, customer support, and standard reporting.

Really Simple Systems is another option that works well for startups with a small staff. Their free tier gives access to two users, 100 lead accounts, and 100 MB of storage. You can move up to their paid plans to get more of all those things, plus two-way mail sync. Really Simple Systems helps you calculate your return on investment by letting you record your cost per lead, cost per opportunity, and cost per sale. It’s a great place to start when you’re just starting out.