Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Web 2.0 Entrepreneurs Toolbox

As a new tech entrepreneur in the year 2011, I feel lucky to have so many tools at my disposal in building/launching my business that it almost feels unfair compared to those trying to do the same 10 years ago.  Back then, it likely cost at least 10x more to launch the same type of business than it does today.  Here are a few tools that I've found myself using over the past two weeks.  Some of these are free, some of these are paid-for.  Regardless, I can say with certainty that each of these tools has allowed me to accelerate on the cheap:

  • Survey Monkey:  Simple to-use, widely recognized survey tool, with a free version available, to-boot.

  • SurveyGizmo:  Not as widely recognized as Survey Monkey, but it works just as well as a survey tool (if not more user-friendly).

  • Ask Your Target Market:  You have to pay for this, but it's so worth it.  You can specify your exact target market, survey that group, and get responses in a matter of hours.  You pay-per-response, and certain features (i.e. open ended answers, qualifying questions) are extra.  After you add it up, it's not difficult for the per-response rate to be $3 or $4 (or more), but time is money and AYTM is a time-saver.  Plus, the site itself is dripping with ease-of-use.  Their chat-enabled customer support people rock, too.  They even gave me copy suggestions for the questions I was asking.

  •  Very simple CRM.  When I used to work for a bigger organization, we used NetSuite -- which was expensive and mostly difficult to use.  Insightly has a lot of features that not only work well, but are pretty nifty (such as a dedicated email address that, when copied, automatically files the email you're sending into the appropriate folder.  Oh's free.

  • Google Apps:  This is how we got turned onto  It's a monthly subscription per-user, but it's what gave us access to and other tools
I'll post another installment of awesome web 2.0 tools that I use, but these all rock and are worth looking into ASAP.