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A Brief Inventory of Must-Have Resources for Startups of All Stages

A Brief Inventory of Must-Have Resources for Startups of All Stages
Image credit: Shutterstock
Guest Writer
Growth hacking Influencer and Start-up Coach
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A successful entrepreneur knows the art and science of doing the impossible. You might even get rejected when you share your amazing ideas with others, but, the truth is that the entrepreneur’s soul does not fear rejection.

As an entrepreneur, you may fail many times but you’ll try again and again until you realize what business pattern works for you and which does not. At that moment, you'll be able to break through to achieve the first amazing result.

To achieve optimum results and be able to lead your startup, you must have the right tools, resources and skills to manage the unforeseen challenges. Here's a list of super useful resources for startups of all stages.

The probability of your business failing increases if you don’t know where you are heading or what you’re trying to achieve. Having a lean business model and a unique value proposition can differentiate your startup from your rivals.

Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design (UVP) will help you craft your business model and define your UVP in a matter of hours, making customers fall in love with your business.

If you're planning on fundraising, time management is something you should master before you meet your future partners. Using Plan Cruncher, you can prepare your business model in one single page. The tool enables you to show investors whatever they need to know in one view. It also helps you talk more about your plan rather than wasting time flipping through pages of a traditional business plan.

It’s essential to know a lot about your customers' behavior and preferences as well as your competitors' strategies.

Related: 15 Must-Have Marketing Tools for 2015

Enter Change Detection - a tool that helps you monitor your competitor’s strategies. This tool helps if you want to know more about the changes that your competitors make to their websites. Change Dection has archived almost every website on the Internet since 1999.

When it comes to understanding your customers' behaviors and attitudes, you can use a plethora of different tools, such as an empathy map. An empathy map is a collaborative tool that is used for designing innovative business models and exploring customer personas.

On the other hand, Google’s Customer Barometer is a digital resource that enables you to conduct free market research experiments, and it provides you with reliable facts about your customers' preferences.

Many entrepreneurs mistakenly focus on launching their startup as soon as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I'm not saying that you should not launch fast; in fact, you should, but only when you have the right strategies in place that will increase your growth rate.

Related: 18 Effective Social-Media Tools That Will Save You Time

The best way to plan your launch is by following the lean startup methodology. Focus on building a functional minimum viable product (MVP), and launch it as soon as possible.

While your team is working on the development of your product, you must have a customer acquisition strategy that attract customers. The truth is that if you don’t acquire customers before you launch, you’ll be facing a very difficult time after you go live.

You can easily create a landing page in WordPress that provides information about your upcoming launch and describes your UVP. Then, using services, such as Sumome and Qualaroo, you can engage with visitors by encouraging them to opt-in to your email list.

Related: Use These 24 Tools to Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World

Your top priority before launching should be list building. Collect visitors' email addresses so you can let them know when you launch.

Once you’ve launched, your primary focus should be on growth hacking and building relationships with prospects.

You can use tools, such as Super Simple Survey to engage with visitors and collect feedback about how satisfied they are with your offering.

Putting in place a good content marketing strategy can also increase your chances of success. While tools like Mailchimp help you automate your email marketing strategy, you can rely on a tool like Buzzsumo to learn about trending content, which will help you plan viral blog posts.

A/B testing should also be on top of your list of things to-do. Focus on identifying the pages that convert the best, and learn what's not working on pages with high bounce rates. Then, using a split testing tool, such as Optimizely or Google Content Experiments, you can optimize your pages to increase conversion rates.

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