Top Tools and Resources for Entrepreneurs

In a time of fast change and innovative disruption, new fast forward digital knowledge is key. The current working and management operations are a moving target that is changing the face of business, and to be an entrepreneur is now critical. Enterpeneurship is perhaps the most important skill necessary to adapt and be successful in a world that promises to be radically different from what we have seen in any time in history.

As Naranbaatar Dashdorj (MSx ’14), PHD and Co-Founder and Chairman of Onom, LLC stated:

“Entrepreneurship is the key for elevating people out of poverty. It is the best tool for trying to make a positive change and immediate impact” source Stanford GSB.

Over the past few decades, and the last part of the XXth century, Wall Street and other important financial global centres such as New York, London, Hong Kong and Switzerland,  have concentrated finance and all its ecosystems and mechanisms as the central power engine of both the global interconnected economy and our everyday lives. As we all know, some of its processes didn’t always gave the best results. However we are now facing massive transformations.

As new resources and tools transform work and life, we see at the moment a movement of startupisation of the economy.  Silicon Valley  is the best historical example of this, as it produces at fast pace new models of technology, software, digital tools, that transform the way we live, plus the face of economy and the way we work and operate.

In this new landscape,  the assets of entrepreneurship can mitigate the problems of a society that changes and is disrupted by technology, algorithms and robots. But in a new time of Makers, using the analogy of Chris Andersen,  knowing the right skills to be an entrepreneur and how to use the right tools, can help,  managing the global automation of economy, or by easing our growing reliance on global corporations, and Wall Street’s  sometimes greedy “weapons of massive destruction” , as Warren Buffet once said, speaking about derivatives.

What is key here is that being an entrepreneur is now a necessity in a world of social media and digital different classes. Having said this being entrepreneur is somehow the best way to strive in this brave new admirable always changing world we live in.

However being an entrepreneur is a difficult task. Many businesses fail, and it is widely known that online businesses in particular have a 90% failure rate. Most business owners don’t set out to fail, but being in the know about the right tools to use can assist you to beat the odds.

Bearing the low chances of success in mind, awareness of tips and tools that can help entrepreneurs to succeed can be helpful. After all, as the old adage goes “Knowledge is power”. Empowered with knowledge you have a significantly improved chance of business success compared with if you walk into setting up a new business blindly. Being aware of the tools that can help you to achieve can make a big difference and may even determine success.

Who Are Entrepreneurs Infographic Source: Daily Infographic

Writing for Mashable, Jennifer Van Grove (2011) reports that there is, “a growing trend in start-ups moving towards predominantly cloud based operations”. This is all well and good, but understanding the types of tools that are out there helps entrepreneurs to achieve this. According to Van Grove, Google Apps, Google Analytics and Quickbooks are all extremely popular (as shown by a study carried out by Best Vendor). But new businesses want to do more than build apps, monitor success and keep accounts, so how should they find out about suitable tools? The following is a highly rated selection of listings of the different kinds of tools that entrepreneurs can consider using for their business:

1. AlternativeTo

This software can be extremely expensive, but it is usually critical to being able to get underway. For an entrepreneur just starting out and operating on a shoestring, AlternativeTo offers suggestions for different kinds of software, such as project management software for example, which can be notoriously expensive if you go with a big name option. It also offers tools to improve the way you do business. Information is continually being added to this website by the community, so using this website to find great tools can mean that you stay on top of the software game.

2. The Foundry

From finding tools for analytics and email to blogging, invoicing and running a remote office, this listing of resources is well worth checking out. You can find innovative ways to measure what you are doing; keep customers happy and design and prototype effectively. This great resource is definitely worth a look.

3. HBS Startup Tribe

Coming from Harvard Business School this selection of listings may even change the way you think about running your business. Among others there is a resource for pitching your idea to Silicon Valley, another to help you find a credit card processor, and plenty of improving your user acquisition. An interesting one is Turbo which helps you to gather customer insight to advance your business.

4. Start-up Weekend Tools

This is a very extensive list of start-up tools, from those that you may already be aware of such as DropBox to those that you may not, like, used for task management in your business. You can even find a list of start-up incubators to approach that may have an interest in helping you to develop and refine your business ideas. There are also some excellent market research tools that can help you to really get a handle on your audience.

5. VC Café

VC Café claims that it highlights “everything you need to know from hosting your code in hackathons to open source legal documents”. With recommendations made by Seedcamp entrepreneurs, this is a not-to-be-missed set of tools that every entrepreneur should cast his or her eyes over.

6. Small Business Applications

This repository provides information on a wide range of different types of tools that can help you to grow your business. There are 101 different tools listed in total, which include tools that help you schedule meetings, options for managing events and scheduling tickets, opportunities to manage social media from one point rather than many and payment and presentations tools.

Starting up a new business has never been easier given that so many other great entrepreneurs have created excellent time saving tools and devices to help. Carrying out research into the different options by using these listings is recommended so that you can find tools that are just right for your business and suit the way that you like to work.