Building and launching a startup is hard work. Needs a ton of planning and right execution.
You are most likely bootstrapped when every dollar counts, every penny counts. It’s absolutely vital to have your overheads limited to prevent things from getting out of hand.
However, it doesn’t mean you should compromise on the quality of tools you use to build and launch your SaaS product.
There are a lot of really good free and low-cost tools to assist in that.
Below are a few of them I personally like the most.
Free up to 250 contacts
Outseta is a really unique tool built exactly for bootstrapped SaaS founders to launch their product.
It’s an all in one suite consisting of email marketing, CRM, sales pipeline management, subscription billing, product registration & authentication, help desk and live chat, form builder, knowledge base, etc.
Even a SaaS metrics & reporting tool similar to Chart Mogul and Profitwell is planned in a future update.
Everything is tailored to function for a SaaS startup as it is built specifically for the SaaS industry.
The co-founders have built successful SaaS products themselves, so they know the pain points in the early stages of a startup.
There is a free plan up to 250 contacts to test out all the features with excellent support. Once you grow beyond that it’s just $99 a month up to 10,000 contacts.
Huge value for money as it will replace a lot of expensive tools as you scale up.
Free up to 1000 subscribers
If you need a dedicated email marketing platform and not the entire suite of features Outseta offers, then Moosend is a fantastic option.
Mailchimp is an undisputed market leader when it comes to free email marketing tools, but Moosend really triumphs when it comes to ease of use and more effective automation.
There is also live chat support even when you are in the free plan.
Free for unlimited users
Remote work is only going to get bigger and bigger in the SaaS startup scene.
It’s more important than ever before to have an effective time tracking system to get the maximum productivity out of your team members.
Clockify does exactly that and it’s absolutely free to use.
With time sheets, project-based reporting, time progress, and budget monitoring, etc., it’s a must-have app for effective time management.
There are native iOS and Android app for time tracking on the go.
Also, Clockify natively integrates with around 50 more apps including Trello, Jira, Asana, Wrike, Basecamp, Zapier to seamlessly work with your project management stack.
19 dollars a year
A high converting landing page is a must when launching your product.
While most of the landing page builders charge anywhere from 50 to 100 dollars a month, Carrd is quite unique.
You get 10 landing pages for just 19 dollars a year (yes! YEAR).
The templates are diverse and it’s perfectly possible to build a very good landing page for your product with Carrd.
Free for 2 seats
If you already have your tech stack decided and all you want is a support system in place, Customerly is all you would need.
Intercom and Drift could get really expensive as you scale up. Customerly offers most of the similar features at a much lower price per seat.
Live chat, Knowledgebase, custom segmentation, conversational inbox covers all the essential features needed from a support tool.
Also, it’s free to start for up to 2 seats with most of the essential features included.
Free – Up to 3 social media profiles
Keeping your social media feeds active and engaging is imperative to build connections and also to brand your product.
However, it’s a hugely time-consuming process to constantly look for related quality content to share. Hiring a person to manage social media or outsourcing to an agency could be expensive for an early stage startup.
Quuu does that, for free. It allows you to put your whole content curation process in Autopilot.
Connect your product’s social media profile via Buffer and the Quuu team will curate and share content.
Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are supported as of now. You can link up to 3 social media profiles in the free plan.
Free – Up to 2 plans
Planning your funnel is of the utmost importance when you launch your product.
With so many moving parts involved, it’s easy to get lost in the process. Marketplan lets you have everything organized and planned.
You can map your funnels in a clear canvas and have all the marketing efforts planned in a single view.
The free plan provides 2 plans and can be upgraded for just $10 a month to get unlimited plans.
Free to use
While a logo designed by a professional designer might be good, often times you might not have a budget for one.
Hatchful offers simple logos that could be designed in your product name in minutes.
Super easy to use and you can download your logo for specific use cases like favicons, social media profile headers, etc.
Free for one meeting room and up to 4 participants
There could be a need for multiple video calls and meetings in the initial product development stage.
Appear’s video calling tool is free for a single room up to 4 participants. The call quality is really good and the interface is more intuitive than Zoom.
Screen sharing is also available and the room could be locked to avoid any disturbances.
Free for unlimited users
Effective project management is an absolutely critical aspect in the early phase of your startup and it’s important to have a good tool for that.
Freedcamp is a completely free tool used by some of the biggest companies worldwide.
All necessary project management features like to do lists, task lists, subtasks, milestones, kanban boards, etc. are available for unlimited users in the free plan.
Integrations with Google calendar, Dropbox and Zapier make it extremely powerful and seamless.
Free to download
When your product gets to the design phase, designing an easy and intuitive user flow should be of utmost importance.
Overflow lets you plan your UI, UX and the overall interface of your web or mobile app.
It’s super easy to use and must have for your UI/UX team.
$500 – One-time fee
There is no better place than the US to launch a startup. When you aren’t residing in the US, it shouldn’t be a problem anymore with Stripe Atlas.
For a one time fee of $500, you get to form an LLC or C-corp incorporated in Delaware. Also, a US bank account and a Stripe account as well.
Free to use
Metro Retro is a cool tool to keep all your thoughts, ideas and feedbacks organized in boards.
With many different types of board templates, team collaboration, it’s a fun and engaging way to work as a team.
Wrapping up, that’s my list of favorite free or low-cost tools to assist in building and launching a SaaS startup.
Do you know of some more? Please comment and share.