Friday January 22, 2021 By Dave
25 Tools for Bootstrapped Companies

bootstrapped company tools

You’ve heard the phrase to drag your self up by your bootstraps, proper? However what will we imply once we discuss bootstrapped instruments? 

Pulling your self up by your bootstraps refers to succeed by your personal efforts with out counting on investments or assist from anybody else. (Although the phrase’s meaning has shifted over time.)

Bootstrapped corporations are those who develop by the dedication of their founders, relatively than counting on money move from buyers. Basecamp is a bootstrapped firm, as an illustration. Apple isn’t. 

Bootstrapped corporations should focus relentlessly on gross sales, money move, and revenue as a result of they don’t have the posh of VC investments to fall again on. They should stay lean and preserve prices to a minimal.

In consequence, there’s no room within the price range for costly enterprise instruments. Fortunately, there are a selection of bootstrapped instruments that may assist. Right this moment I’m going to share with you a few of my favorites.

What Are Bootstrapping Instruments?

Earlier than we dive into the device ideas, let’s discuss what bootstrapped instruments are — and why the excellence issues. 

Beginning a enterprise, even a bootstrapped one, is pricey. However you may’t construct an incredible SaaS or e-Commerce firm with out the assistance of digital instruments. Sadly, one of the best instruments are sometimes prohibitively costly for corporations on a good price range.

The excellent news is there’s loads of free, freemium, or inexpensive digital instruments you need to use as a substitute. These instruments are sometimes simply as highly effective as enterprise-level instruments whereas serving to you stay money move optimistic and maximize your runway. 

Planning and Challenge Administration Bootstrapping Instruments

Wrike Bootstrapping Tools

For those who’re critical about rising your startup, you’ll ultimately have to put down the pen and paper to-do checklist and improve to a SaaS resolution. 


Wrike is a flexible and complete venture administration device, good for startups and companies of all sizes. It has the entire options you’d count on from a SaaS venture administration device, together with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, briefs, and request kinds.

Wrike additionally makes collaboration seamless with shared calendars, file sharing, and workforce studies time monitoring. 

Wrike is utilized by a number of the world’s largest corporations, together with Google, Airbnb, and Dell. It additionally integrates with over 400 different SaaS instruments and software program platforms like Salesforce, WordPress, Hubspot.

You received’t have to fret in regards to the safety of your knowledge — enterprise-level safety comes normal and every part syncs immediately to the cloud. 

Wrike is free eternally for as much as 5 customers. The skilled model prices $9.80 per consumer per thirty days for as much as 15 customers. For those who want it, the enterprise model prices $24.80 per consumer per thirty days. 

Different Bootstrap Challenge Administration Instruments:

  • Asana provides a sturdy venture administration package deal with options that modify by account degree. Their free model consists of limitless duties per workforce, initiatives within the board or checklist view, limitless file storage, an exercise log, and extra. 
  • Trello is a well-liked venture administration device that provides a free fundamental model. Their free model provides 10 “boards” (venture views) per workforce, limitless “playing cards” (duties), and 10MB per file attachment. 
  • Paymo provides their lowest-cost plan for  $9.95 per consumer per thirty days. With this plan, you may entry options like activity views, time monitoring, venture templates, and recurring duties.
  • Microsoft Projects begins from $10 per consumer per thirty days. It provides grid, board, and timeline view; co-authoring and communication on duties; and venture planning and scheduling. 

Bootstrapping Instruments to Create a Web site

webflow bootstrapped company tool

You’ll be able to’t have a digital enterprise without a website. 

Even working an offline, native enterprise could be difficult with no robust net presence. Nonetheless, you don’t have to spend 1000’s of {dollars} on an costly net design company. It’s attainable to construct an internet site from scratch utilizing an intuitive web site builder. 


One choice is Webflow, which was labeled “the event platform of the longer term” by Smashing Magazine. It’s a vastly succesful web site builder that lets anybody create visually gorgeous web sites with no developer or designer’s assist. 

It comes with CMS and e-commerce capabilities, which means you may flip the platform to any activity or aim and integrates with tons of main SaaS and net apps. Internet hosting can also be constructed into the platform, so there’s no have to fiddle with a separate internet hosting firm. 

It’s not only a platform for startups and solopreneurs, both. Webflow has constructed some fairly main web sites, together with Zendesk, Hellosign, and Dell. 

You should utilize Webflow free eternally, however you’ll wish to play for a plan to get essentially the most out of the platform. The fundamental plan prices $12 per thirty days, and a CMS model prices $16 per thirty days. 

Different Bootstrap Web site Builders 

  • Contact Contact is extra well-known for e-mail advertising, in addition they have an internet site builder that’s nice for bootstrappers. You don’t want any search engine optimization or developer expertise to make use of it. Options embody cell responsive design, brand design, creating simple e-commerce web sites so you may promote your merchandise with minimal effort, and extra. The Fixed Contact web site service is $10 per thirty days. 
  • Squarespace helps clients create modern {and professional} web site design. You may as well combine a few of your favourite search engine optimization instruments, have entry to knowledge analytics, and get assist along with your firm weblog. The price of your account varies by which providers you employ. Squarespace provides month-to-month funds or a lump sum.
  • HostGator prices solely $3.84 per thirty days for his or her most cost-effective package deal. For this plan, you’ve gotten entry to the web site builder, an internet site internet hosting service, and 12 months of possession of your area title.
  • WordPress is among the hottest web site builders. Their most cost-effective plan is $4 per thirty days and consists of free area internet hosting for a 12 months, no WordPress advertisements, and free e-mail help.  

search engine optimization Instruments for Bootstrappers

ubersuggest SEO tool bootstrapped company tool

You want a powerful search engine optimization recreation, particularly if you’re a bootstrapped enterprise that may’t afford to spend so much on Facebook ads or different internet advertising kinds. However, you don’t have to pay a fortune for the proper instruments and even rent an SEO agency


My search engine optimization device, Ubersuggest, is ideal for anybody working a bootstrapped firm as a result of it’s free. Even higher, it offers you the entire perception and recommendation you must optimize the heck out of your pages. 

You’ll get an summary of your area and its strengths and weaknesses, a report of the highest pages rating in your area of interest and methods to beat them, key phrase ideas with correct search volumes, backlink knowledge, content material concepts, and a lot extra. 

Even the device’s premium model is cost-effective, ranging from as little as $29 per thirty days. 

Different search engine optimization Instruments for Bootstrappers

  • Moz: The free model of Moz has strong providers resembling key phrase analysis, a hyperlink explorer, and area evaluation. It provides a professional model and an area model. 
  • Screaming Frog: Screaming frog’s free web site crawler alerts you to technical search engine optimization issues like damaged hyperlinks, metadata points, and discovering precise duplicate content material on pages. 
  • AnswerthePublic: AnswerthePublic is a device that identifies content material matter alternatives primarily based on what individuals are trying to find. 

Every device offers related knowledge and perception, however you’ll discover these barely costlier than Ubersuggest. Moz, Ahrefs, and Semrush all begin from $99 per thirty days, as an illustration. 

Bootstrapping Instruments for Design, Inventory Photographs, and Prototyping

ZeBrand Bootstrapping Tools

Whether or not it’s a gorgeous header picture in your weblog, great looking stock photos, or a banner in your new Fb advert, accessing a designer is invaluable. It is usually prohibitively costly for many bootstrapped corporations. 

The excellent news is, you don’t have to outsource design to an company or rent a full-time designer. As an alternative, use the next instruments to create the designs you want.  


Whereas there are numerous free or low-cost design instruments on the market, only a few deliver every part you want collectively in a single place like ZeBrand. With ZeBrand, you may create logos, fonts, shade palettes, inspiration boards, and no matter else you want. 

There’s an enormous library of high-quality images to make use of at no cost, too. The platform even offers Model Coaches, on-hand specialists who will assist you create and execute your model technique. 

The starter model of ZeBrand is offered at no cost. The premium model is considerably costlier at $399 per quarter, together with model teaching periods. 

Different Design Instruments for Bootsrappers

  • Canva: Canva is thought for its design prowess. The free model has a sturdy assortment of templates for customers to select from. WIth the paid model, you’ve gotten entry to designers, premium customized templates, premium fonts, and a background remover.
  • Dribbble: Cribble’s major aim is to attach customers with graphic designers or creatives. Customers are in a position to rent freelancers instantly from their web site.
  • Crowdspring: Along with designing logos and net pages, Crowdspring additionally provides a service that helps customers discover distinctive enterprise names.
  • Design Pickle: Design Pickle offers graphic design providers on demand. Their work high quality is nice, however you’ll pay for it. Design Pickle is an expensive $499 per thirty days. 

Automated E-mail Software program Instruments for Bootstrappers

hubspot bootstrapped company tools

Are you continue to sending out e-mail campaigns manually? Are new subscribers routinely added to your welcome e-mail move? Automating your email marketing can save plenty of time, however it will probably additionally make your enterprise a heck of much more worthwhile. 

Squeezing as a lot worth as attainable out of your e-mail checklist is crucial for those who’re bootstrapping. You don’t have to waste your cash on costly enterprise platforms, nonetheless. 


HubSpot is a freemium advertising automation platform good for each enterprise, from a one-person startup to a 300-employee firm. 

Creating and optimizing automated e-mail campaigns is straightforward when you get the platform arrange — and also you’ll be capable of do all of it by your self. Personalization is included to simply create particular e-mail advertising waterfalls for various kinds of customers. 

You may as well A/B test your campaigns to enhance open and conversion charges.

That is simply the tip of the iceberg with regards to the HubSpot platform, nonetheless. You may as well construct touchdown pages to seize extra e-mail addresses, gate content material that already exists in your website and get a full image of how each lead got here into your CRM. 

HubSpot prices simply $45 per thirty days for as much as 100 contacts.

Different Automated E-mail Software program for Bootstrappers

For those who’re not a fan of HubSpot, think about:

  • Marketo: Marketo has a variety of promoting providers, one in every of which is e-mail automation. Marketo’s e-mail options embody creating campaigns rapidly and simply, creating personalised emails, making certain you’re concentrating on the proper viewers and monitoring KPIs. 
  • Salesforce: Salesforce boasts they’re the primary e-mail advertising resolution. Their product choices embody tailoring your emails for each step of the gross sales funnel, delivering participating content material to your e-mail subscribers, and utilizing AI instruments to enhance upon the method. 
  • Blueshift: One in every of Blueshift’s product choices is an e-mail advertising service. They intend to generate emails rapidly, ship emails which can be triggered by consumer conduct and the gross sales funnel, and supply predictive segmentation. 

Group Communication Instruments for Boostrapped Small Companies

As your bootstrapped workforce grows, communication will change into extra important. Emails, texts, and telephone calls will solely take you up to now. 

It doesn’t matter in case your workforce sits in the identical workplace or works throughout the globe; you want a SaaS communication device to make sure you’re all singing from the identical hymn sheet. 

Listed here are a few of my favourite bootstrapped communication options. 


It should most likely come as no shock that I extremely advocate Slack as a bootstrapped workforce communication device. Slack is the right mixture of e-mail, prompt messaging, and voice calls, and it’s all out there for simply $6.67. 

A restricted model of the platform is offered for small groups to make use of at no cost. What’s higher than that?

Different Group Communication Instruments for Small Companies

If video conferencing is a extra urgent want for your enterprise, it’s possible you’ll wish to think about: 

  • Zoom grew to become a family title through the Covid-19 pandemic. Since Zoom is free, associates and households use it to remain related through the pandemic. Zoom can also be helpful for companies. You should utilize Zoom for workforce conferences, chats, webinars, convention conferences, a telephone system, and a market.   
  • Microsoft Groups is one other well-liked device for communications. Its providers embody chat channels, video conferences, display screen sharing, and extra. Groups is an effective selection for those who’re already utilizing Microsoft merchandise. 
  • Skype was one of many first iterations of communication software program. You should utilize it to speak to your mates by way of messenger or video chats, in addition to make direct calls. Skype has not modified a lot for the reason that early days, so it could be an incredible match for those who’re in search of one thing that’s budget-friendly with fundamental options.


So there you’ve gotten it, that’s my checklist of the highest bootstrapped instruments in your startup. 

Whether or not you wish to get on high of your initiatives, improve your SEO, assess your rivals, or automate your email, there’s a device that may assist. 

Which bootstrapped device will you attempt first?

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