31 Digital Tools Entrepreneurs Say They Can't Live Without
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Today there are too many tools to choose from, which got me wondering, what tools do CEOs actually use every day? What tools could they not live without?
I've interviewed over 700 CEOs as part of my podcast, The Top Entrepreneurs, and have summarized the top answers below when I asked each CEO: "What is your favorite online tool?"
Here's the list:
CEO of ROIworks George Revutsky and Burgabox innovator Chuck Sillari use Hotjar to better understand their web and mobile site visitors. The all-in-one solution shows you heatmaps of all your traffic. Each visit to your website is also recorded in video-like form so you can see where visitors scroll, click and move around in real time.
Hear how BurgaBox's CEO uses Hotjar at 18:24 below:
If you aren't a techie, starting a website can seem daunting. Many startup founders launched the first version of their sites using the WordPress install module in HostGator after they purchased their domain.
3. Acuity Scheduling
I use this to book all my interviews, and my guests Mercuris CEO Manuel Opitz, Obamacare consultant Michael Chapman and ecommerce entrepreneur Chad Rubin agree that Acuity Scheduling is fantastic for controlling your calendar and booking efficiently.
Listen to Opitz share the feature he loves most about Acuity at 17:55 below:
The messaging software Slack is perhaps the most often mentioned tool in my interviews. Recommendations come across a broad range of industries, including Chau Nguyen from restaurant hiring site Hirewire and Mathilde Collin, CEO of FrontApp, an external message manager.
Hear how Collin uses FrontApp and Slack together at 22:33 below:
Michael Mogill, CEO of Crisp Video Group, uses Freshbooks to quickly send invoices to clients. He likes the feature where Freshbooks will auto-remind clients to pay so that he doesn't have to be the bad guy.
Vincenzo Ruggiero, CEO of Prospect.io talks about how he uses Freshbooks at 18:20 below:
Tomer Levy, founder of Logz.io, wants to avoid ever sending an email with an embarrassing typo, so he uses Grammerly to automatically check all his writing for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Hornet App has many investors and founders and shared that they rely on CapShare to issue stock and manage equity in one place without getting bogged down in spreadsheets and paperwork.
Crypto entrepreneur Eric Tang uses Metamask as a digital wallet for managing his crypto tokens and other cryptocurrencies.
CEOs shared a combination of tools for creating dashboards to always have their key KPIs handy. Klipfolio was most used and recommended for its modular capabilities and extensive integrations. Google Analytics, Grow and Geckoboard were also favorites.
Douglas Lusted, co-founder of Linkett, and Anant Kale of AppZen use Calendly, a tool similar to Acuity Scheduling, to make booking meetings and calendar management simple and straightforward.
In the age of distributed companies and teams, project management software often takes the place of in-office meetings. Serial entrepreneur Karan Chaudhry has utilized Asana for building businesses and successful exits.
ContentSquare CEO Jonathan Cherki, marketing technologist Scott Brinker and VR master Peter Kortenhoeven all swore by Trello for daily task management and product development.
Anthony Di Iorio, who founded Decentral, Jaxx and Ethereum, understands the importance of security and encryption in the digital age. He uses LastPass because it allows him to manage a complex and diverse collection of passwords and stay secure.
14. The Top Inbox
Following up with emails in your inbox is mentally draining. Laurent Le Moal, who led Paypal's expansion into Europe, relies on The Top Inbox to track email opens, schedule emails and set auto-followups from inside his Gmail for Business account.
CEOs are in a constant battle to build a pipeline, manage their leads and close deals. Award-winning journalist and Biluu founder Peter Aronson uses the Hubspot CRM to generate leads, close deals, and manage his sources and pipeline.
Eduardo Gonzalez has been hired by Tai Lopez and Gary Vaynerchuk to help grow their Instagram accounts, and he could not have done it without SocialRank.com, which analyzes followers and helps build a plan for finding more.
Another automation platform powering the backend of more businesses than you'd expect is Zapier. While building a business teaching kids to code, Piper CEO Tommy Gibbons has been using Zapier to automate tasks to save time.
From mail merges to tracking and scheduling, Yesware is an industry solution for sales leaders and CEOs like Darian Shirazi of business-to-business intelligence and data company Radius.
Ahrefs offers a suite of tools to improve your search traffic, research competitors and monitor a specific niche. Truebill founder Yahya Mokhtarzada and Matt Kepnes, of the popular travel site nomadicmatt.com, have used it to each carve out their own corner of the internet.
On his way to bootstrapping his SaaS company, KickOffLabs, to $75,000 monthly recurring revenue and over 1,000 customers, CEO Josh Ledgard relied on HelpScout to power his support team and provide great customer service.
CEO of Reply.io Oleg Campbell uses ChartMogul to quickly create unit economic reports so he can spot trends in his customer base. He also uses it for cohort analysis and other financial and retention metrics.
Sujan Patel of WebProfits appreciates that all companies need to market with original content. He uses BuzzSumo to analyze what content performs best and find the key influencers to promote his content.
Entrepreneur Scott Duffy speaks around the world and has a global audience, so he needs Skype. Since Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 million more than six years ago, it is still the go-to solution for international communications and video chat, despite increased pressure from companies like Zoom.
Hiring freelancers is my number one piece of advice for entrepreneurs just getting started. You'll save money and maintain flexibility. Johnny Reinsch of Qwil echoes this sentiment and has used TopTal to grow his development resources fast.
First PayPal revolutionized the world of online payments. Next, Stripe came in and built an even more complete toolkit for online business. Now, Hummingbird VC Dominik Vacikar and many more recommend it for running your business.
Luke Stronach, who runs a farmland fund, uses DuoLingo to teach himself new languages in a fun and engaging way. The Pittsburgh-based company is expanding into a more comprehensive education suite.
When you raise $8.5 million like Craig McLuckie of Heptio, you have to hire fast. McLuckie recommends Lever to streamline the hiring process and simplify the tracking of applicants.
Online courses and membership sites continue to proliferate and serve as a way for entrepreneurs to scale their knowledge. If you're not going to put it on a platform like Udemy, then use Kajabi to maintain sole ownership of the revenues.
LeanStack is a one-page business plan template created by Ash Maurya that helps you deconstruct your idea into its key assumptions using nine basic building blocks. Lifelong entrepreneur and CEO of Hatchbuck, Don Breckenridge, recommends more entrepreneurs utilize it.
Gavin Zuchlinski, who founded No. four tool Acuity, uses Canary as an all-in-one solution for home security and privacy.
To see what tools all 700 CEOs are using along with their 2016 revenues, customer counts and more business intelligence data, check out this database.