Time is an entrepreneur's most precious resource. One of my previous clients, a serial entrepreneur, joked that his first hire was an accountant. He excelled at talking with clients and needed help crunching numbers.
Trying to do it all as a business owner will quickly lead to burnout. That's why the entrepreneur resources and tools below are essential to running a company and keeping your sanity. Some focus on specialized tasks (i.e. scheduling meetings), while others support entire teams (i.e communications platform).
Turn off that solopreneur mindset and get the support you need to manage and grow your business with this mix of free and paid resources.
29 Resources and Tools for Entrepreneurs
- Pricing: Free Tools ($0/month), Growth Suite (starting at $1,343/month)
HubSpot Growth Platform is a full stack of marketing, sales, and customer service software. It lets you plug in all of your favorite tools so you can manage data, track your customers, and close deals all in one place.
The platform scales with your business, so you can start for free and expand as your company grows. You can focus on lead generation, analytics, and marketing automation in the Marketing Hub. The Sales Hub helps with meeting scheduling, email tracking, and automation. And the Service Hub is where you engage with customers through customer feedback and data collection.
- Pricing: Basic ($0), Premium ($8 per user/month), Pro ($12 per user/month)
Calendly is an online appointment scheduling tool that helps you book meetings without wasting time on back-and-forth emails. Simply select your availability and share the link with anyone who needs to set a meeting with you. The invitee selects a time slot that works for them, and the tool automatically books the time on your calendar.
You can integrate Calendly with Google, Outlook, Office 365, or iCloud to prevent double bookings. Control features let you set buffer times between meetings, prevent last-minute bookings, and connect with your apps to automate tasks. Test it out during a free 14-day trial before committing to a monthly plan.
- Pricing: Early ($11/month), Growing ($32/month), Established ($62/month)
Xero is for accountants, bookkeepers, and small business owners who need help managing finances. There are tools to pay bills, claim expenses, connect banks, accept payments, send payroll and invoices, create purchase orders, and more.
With products catered to small business owners, accounts, and bookkeepers, you can stay lightweight on features or get into the heavyweight financials with tax and reporting compliance. A free 30-day trial gives you access to all features, so you can decide which plan is right for your company.
- Pricing: Freelancer ($7.50/month), Simple Start ($12.50/month), Plus ($35/month), Advanced ($75/month)
QuickBooks is an accounting software tool designed for businesses ranging from solo freelancers to mid-sized companies. It's a robust tool with dozens of features for managing finances, including bill management, invoices and payments, payroll, project profitability, cash flow, contractors, and reports.
It integrates with HubSpot so you can automatically send sales entries and invoices from HubSpot into your books. Sign up for the free 30-day trial to see if it's right for you.
- Pricing: Core ($39 base/month + $6/month per person), Complete ($39 base/month + $12/month per person), Concierge ($149 base/month + $12/month per person), Contractor ($6/month per person)
Gusto is a HR management solution for benefits, payroll, employee management, provisioning, and compliance. This entrepreneur resource helps you manage employee information and payroll, while giving employees an all-in-one place for accessing benefits and important company information.
Combine Gusto with your accounting software through integrations for Xero, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and more. You can also set up tax-advantaged spending accounts for your team (for a $200 annual fee) and add extra benefits, including workers comp, FSAs, and 401(k)s.
- Pricing: Metrics (free), Enterprise Metrics (contact for pricing), Retain (varies based on revenue), Recognized ($1k/month), Price Intelligently ($15k/month)
ProfitWell supports subscription businesses with tools to reduce churn, optimize pricing, and create revenue reports. Used by companies like MasterClass, Meetup, Canva, and Vice, it provides analytics to help you understand where you're doing well and where you can improve.
Its core products (Retain, Recognized, and Price Intelligently) are designed with B2B and B2C subscription, DTC eCommerce, media, and non-profit companies in mind. And it integrates with common platforms (i.e. Stripe, Zuora, Braintree) and services (i.e. Zapier, Metrics API, Databox).
- Pricing: Integrated (2.9%+ 0.30 per successful card charge), Customized (various pricing)
Stripe is an online payment processing suite with products to accept payments and send payouts globally. It's designed for online and in-person retailers, software platforms, subscription businesses, and marketplaces, with features to combat fraud, send invoices, manage business spending, get financing, and more.
Prebuilt integrations, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and NetSuite, make set up easy, and it integrates with major banks around the world to reduce failure points in financial transactions.
Squarespace is a website creation and management tool to get your business online and ready for customers. Building a site or portfolio is simple with pre-built templates and customizable designs. Features like an online store, booking services, and third-party extensions allow you to make your site work for your business.
Not sure where to start? The blog shows real-life examples of sites built using Squarespace to spark your creativity. You can link a domain from another web development tool so you don't lose your current URL, customers, and branding.
- Pricing: Basic ($29/month), Shopify ($79/month), Advanced ($299/month)
Shopify is an eCommerce web development tool to get your business up and running. Tools help you start, sell, market, and manage your business so you can find customers, bring in sales, manage day-to-day tasks.
Customizable themes let you bring your brand to life, no coding required. Point of sale tools make it simple for customers to buy online or in-person, and marketing tools help you manage email marketing, Google Shopping campaigns, and Facebook ads. Test out the platform with a free 14-day trial.
- Pricing: Suite Team ($49 per agent/month), Suite Growth ($79 per agent/month), Suite Professional ($99 per agent/month), Suite Enterprise ($150 per agent/month)
Zendesk is a customer service software and sales CRM that helps you respond to customer inquiries and needs. To empower customers, you can set up a help center and community forum so people can get answers at their own paces. When conversations happen, they stay connected—whether on live chat, social, email, voice, or messaging—for a smooth customer experience.
Over 1,000 pre-built integrations work with Zendesk so your agents get the context they need to provide support. And a single unified workspace makes it easier to manage information and assign customers to the agent best-fit to help.
- Pricing: Business – Team Advantage ($25 per user/month), Team Premiere ($75/user/month), Enterprise (contact for pricing); Personal – Premiere Annual ($99/month), Advantage Annual ($32/month), Standard Monthly ($99/month)
SurveyMonkey is an online survey tool to capture the data you need to make your company a success. Collect customer satisfaction, target market data, and employee feedback using templates for customers, employees, markets, and more.
The basic plan is free, but access to dozens of features, including unlimited responses, custom logos, A/B testing, and multilingual surveys, require a paid plan.
- Pricing: Free ($0/month), Starter ($19.99/month), Professional ($49/month), Team ($299/month), Company ($599/month)
Zapier is a workflow automation software to automate repetitive tasks so you can spend time on work that matters. You set up an event of your choosing (i.e. someone signing up for your newsletter) which triggers an action (i.e sending a welcome email).
With integrations for popular apps and entrepreneur resources, Zapier can help smooth out your customer journey, design an automated customer experience, and speed up your sales cycle. Pre-built templates make it easy to set up your first "Zap" and get your team back to the most important work.
- Pricing: Basic (free), Premium ($10.99/month), Business ($24.99/month), Enterprise (contact for information)
Asana is a web and mobile application to help teams organize, track, and manage their work. Within the platform, you can set strategic goals, build timelines, monitor initiatives in real-time, get an overview of each employee's workload, submit forms, and automate routine tasks.
Depending on your team's focus, you can set up pre-built templates to run marketing campaigns, onboard new customers, build product roadmaps, and streamline operations processes.
- Pricing: Team ($5/month), Business ($8/month)
Dashlane is a password management application helping businesses and individuals keep passwords secure and in one place. This is especially important for entrepreneurs, who often have to hand over tasks as teams grow.
Having a password management tool lets you free up headspace and focus on growing your business, so each new employee doesn't have to remember your bizarre birthday and childhood pet name combo. You can test out a free trial before committing to a plan.
15. Mighty Networks
- Pricing: Business Plan ($81/month), Community Plan ($23/month)
Mighty Networks is a community platform for business owners looking to combine content, community, online courses, and memberships into one place. This is a great resource for non-profits and membership-based businesses to create a seamless touchpoint across their brand.
You can mix and match features to choose the ones that work for you. Publish articles, share polls, host events, send messages, and set up groups on your branded platform. A free version is available, or try out the paid plans with a 14-day trial.
- Pricing: Free ($0), Standard ($6.67/month), Plus (12.50/month), Enterprise Grid (contact for pricing)
Slack is a communications platform that's taken the business world by storm. Even traditional biotech companies have pushed aside email in favor of this effective, fun tool.
Not only does Slack streamline team communication by keeping it in one place, but you can organize conversations by channels (i.e #marketing, #development, #sales). Invite contractors or freelancers to collaborate on specific channels to avoid clunky email chains, without letting them see private company channels. Slack also offers video chat and phone options, so you don't have to jump to another app.
17. The Hustle
- Pricing: Free
The Hustle is a free daily business and technology newsletter sharing the latest news in a digestible way. From breaking down the latest IPOs to sharing company success stories, it helps entrepreneurs stay current on business and startup trends.
Hard-hitting news is delivered in short snippets with links to the original articles. Along with news, short articles help readers learn about past business flops and even bizarre stories from the world's billionaires (i.e Larry Ellison's lawsuit on his 23-acre replica of a 16th century Japanese palace).
18. How I Built This
- Pricing: Free
How I Built This with Guy Raz is a podcast that highlights the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Raz interviews founders and executives of successful companies (think, Bandcamp, Zappos, Yelp, Lyft, Bumble) about their journeys and what it takes to build an incredible business.
The podcast is full of actionable advice, inspiration, wild stories, honest challenges, and triumphant wins. While this is just one of many great entrepreneur resources, it's one you won't want to pass up.
- Pricing: Free
The a16z podcast is the place for discussions about technology, innovation, and how change impacts our lives. It covers trending topics (i.e. NFTs and bitcoin) to help listeners make sense of the future.
Guests include industry experts, academics, authors, and company leaders from around the world. The conversations are always thoughtful and leave you with a better understanding of the topic covered. While it's a great resource for entrepreneurs, it's also ideal for anyone interested in tech and future-centric discussions.
- Pricing: Monthly ($6.99/month), Annual ($74.99), Two Year ($139.99)
Forbes is a global publication that shares articles on business, technology, investing, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle. The Small Business column is particularly helpful for entrepreneurs looking for content on startup advice, business news, and inspiration.
Forbes recently moved from a freemium model to a paid subscription model, but you can read up to four articles per month for free. Choose wisely.
- Pricing: Insider ($9/month), VIP ($399/year)
VentureBeat is a business publication focused on transformative technology news, with an emphasis on machine learning and artificial intelligence. It covers breaking news and events to help leaders understand the news and trends impacting their companies and industries.
You can sign up for their daily or weekly newsletter to get the top stories, and join their events to share discussion and ideas. The free membership gives you access to the newsletters and digital events, as well as three videos and three articles per month.
- Pricing: Annual Subscription ($19.99), Two-year Subscription ($34.99), Monthly Subscription ($1.99/month)
Inc Magazine is a digital and print publication focused on startups and leadership. It shares stories of success, failure, and tips from startup founders and established business executives. Depending on what kind of entrepreneur resources you're looking for, you can scroll through articles about innovation, leadership, growth, money, technology, and more.
Inc recently moved from a freemium model to a subscription model, so check out the pricing below for access. One of my favorite columnists is Heidi Zak, the co-founder of ThirdLove and advocate for women entrepreneurs.
23. Under30 CEO
- Pricing: Free
Under30 CEO is a publication aimed at young startups and early-stage business owners. Scroll through the articles for tips on how to be a good project manager, hiring remote workers, franchise valuation, and more.
While the content is targeted at a younger audience, the advice is valuable for all new founders. They also have a section on "Over 30 Advice" that's meant for leaders with more experience.
- Pricing: Free
Small Business Trends is an online publication sharing SMB news, tech product reviews, and interviews with entrepreneurs. It covers practical advice, like how to get a business loan, along with tips on improving culture and team morale.
Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest articles in your inbox. You can also look through the Marketing, Management, Technology, Finance, Advice, Resources, and News columns to find specific information on questions you may have.
- Pricing: Free
The Small Business Administration is a federal agency dedicated to small business owners. Here, you can find information on planning, launching, managing, and growing your business, with specific tips for staying compliant and registering your company.
The SBA also shares resources on funding programs and federal contracting to help small business owners manage finances and win contracts. A free resource, it's the place to learn more about business loans and grants, business licenses, taxes, and how the government is advocating for entrepreneurs in Washington D.C.
- Pricing: Free
Fundera is a marketplace for small business financial solutions. You can find a plethora of information to compare and apply for small business loans.
While the main focus on Fundera is to help businesses get loans, it's also a great resource for financial information. If you ever need to compare banks, credit cards, financial software, POS systems, HR software, or insurance for your business, check out the incredible amount of free articles to help you decide.
- Pricing: Copyblogger ($0), Copyblogger Pro ($495/year)
Copyblogger knows that content marketing is more complex than most people think. That's why they offer articles, guides, and certified writers to help with your marketing efforts.
You can dive into topics like email marketing, search engine optimization, blogging, landing pages, copywriting, and conversion rate optimization. Or you can take one of their masterclasses for in-depth education on each topic. Just don't be surprised if you suddenly realize your next hire needs to be a copywriter.
- Pricing: Eligible entrepreneurs receive 30% off the HubSpot CRM platform in their first year, and 15% off ongoing.
HubSpot for Entrepreneurs is a supplement to their CRM platform that supports business owners as they build a scalable growth strategy. Become a member and get access to educational resources and training that helps you get and retain customers.
You'll also find over 500 integrations to streamline your processes so you can put more time into growing your company. You're eligible to apply for membership if you're a current member or alumni of an approved partner of HubSpot for Entrepreneurs.
- Pricing: Basic ($239.40/year), Premiere ($359.40/year), Supporting ($359.40/year), Next Gen ($120/year), Online Community (free)
The National Association of Women Business Owners is a professional community that represents women entrepreneurs. It provides resources for personal development, business growth, and advocacy.
Members have access to a directory of business owners, toolkits for improving their companies, invites to events, and awards for outstanding entrepreneurship.
Originally published Apr 23, 2021 8:30:00 AM, updated April 23 2021