I want to go over our 30 recommended tech services and products, for new entrepreneurs and small businesses to invest some time in, to help lay the foundation to get visible on the internet, and unlock their small business potential. In my time working in the field and helping clients and even building my own business, I’ve touched all these applications and services.
The purpose of this article is to be a resource, for folks who are looking for a beginner overview of some very popular tech services and products. We will start with a brief, then go into how the said service can help your small business, as well as pricing for the particular service. Then, I will have my picks for which services in each category to start with.
Let’s get started:
Social Media Management
First are social media managers, these services help to manage your social media content and even help to create a social media content calendar. They can help automate your content publishing with scheduled bulk posts, and multiple social media platform management and so on.
Buffer here starts with free options to get you started, but you can end up getting the essential package. The free option has basic publishing tools and a landing page builder. While the essentials plan will cost you about $5 a month per social media channel, their more advanced plan will unlock all their features like publishing tools and analytics, and even a team pack add-on for extra collaboration.
Agorapulse boasts time-saving features such as bulk publishing and good free options in the free tier. Other than free they also carry a pro for $79 a month, a premium at $159 a month, and custom-priced enterprise tiers that offer a buffet of extra features that can supercharge your social media content management game.
Hootsuite is an oldie but still a beast in the social media management game, they claim to be the most used social media marketing platform out there and for good reasons, and have been around for quite some time now. Also, jumping into their features list and pricing we are presented with a free 30-day trial a $49/month professional tier, then we have a $129/month team tier, a $599/month business tier, and lastly custom solution enterprise tier.
Our current pick for social media management is Agorapulse for its feature-rich free plan.
Websites are one of the best and most important ways of getting your services and products seen online. Do you only have a social media profile? Now is the perfect time to launch a website because the barrier of entry is so low, if at any time you need help with launching your website or even optimizing what you already have, feel free to reach out. Now unto our recommended website services that will get you up and running, with a website as quick as possible.
WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms on the whole internet, nothing else beats it. It’s such an effective technology, that it’s our primary method of creating websites for our clients. WordPress comes in two flavors, wordpress.com and wordpress.org. WordPress.com is super easy to get started but to get a more custom website you’ll have to get wordpress.org and host it somewhere.
Wix is another option that is great for people that are just starting, and need a website launched and is easy to maintain. When I helped my clients work on Wix they understand the features super easily and I got them going as soon as possible. They are not free and start at a personal tier of $14 a month and include, 8/month unlimited, $23/month pro, and VIP packages capped at $39/month.
Same as Wix, Squarespace does a great job at helping create great websites, at an affordable price, I would say at this moment in time Wix and Squarespace are neck to neck behind WordPress, in terms of where people go to get their websites done fast. Here the price structure starts around the same as Wix at $12 a month for the personal, $18 for the business plan then it goes off to their eCommerce solutions at $26 for basic to $40 advanced plan.
You guessed it, we will be going with WordPress, from how expensive it can get with its features, and improve your business with its plugin system, and that you can do anything from custom development to eCommerce setups.
App Creation Services
Here are some new services for creating web applications, that will put your business at a different level than the rest. Here we are talking about your platform, like Facebook or YouTube, or Airbnb. When you start using these services, basically anything you can think of can be built and launched with virtually no programming language background, essentially making it a low code/no-code setup.
Bubble is one of the more polished low code/no-code web applications out there, featuring lots of features to help you build your next application. They have boot camps and even showcases to help put your creation out there. Their whole mission is to get rid of the barrier to get an application live and that’s very attractive to us. The pricing structure starts free and goes on to a personal for $25/month to professional at $115/month to production that unlocks even more features at $475/month.
- Wix app builder
Wix app builder is another tool you can use that integrates well with a Wix website, if you are part of that ecosystem. It boasts many features that you can use to grow your business like a booking feature or a shop that integrates with your site.
For this, we will go with Bubble because it is feature-packed out of the box although it has a learning curve, but the multitudes of resources available makes it very attractive.
If you’re an introvert, trying podcasting would most likely be beneficial to your content creation strategy. I found 3 great services that will help you on the journey ahead. Let’s get to it.
Spotify’s podcasting platform has been blowing up lately and for good reasons, they recently added a subscription-based payment system so now users can pay you for your podcast on a retainer plan. This service is available for free.
- Buzz sprout
Another great podcasting service that you might not have heard of is Buzz Sprout. They are a podcasting platform that offers lots of publishing platform connections, and more advanced features to get you started. They do have more advanced features to anchor but it comes at a price, they start which a free tier and moves up to 3 other tiers at $12, $18, and 24 dollars a month.
Soundcloud is another great option to get started on, they are very popular in the music industry and I don’t see that market share dropping anytime soon. They offer a free plan with a Soundcloud pro tier that unlocked more features at 12 dollars a month.
For total beginners I’d go with anchor, especially to take advantage of the new podcast subscription model they just released.
This is a BIG and IMPORTANT section and I kept it very simple for you, because automation is the name of the game now if you are not automating something, then this section will help you get started. So, let’s get into my top and only pick for this section to give you a taste of what automation is and how to get started.
With Zapier you can automate anything you can dream of, and that is one tactic you can take to start freeing your time, and letting your business run itself as much as possible. Zapier has been around for long enough and is trusted by developers and industry leaders from my time in the field. Start automating at the beginning of your small business and start freeing your time.
This one is quite easy to understand, this is our top video service that you can use in your small business while you’re launching your WordPress website. Here utilizing video is going to be detrimental to helping you build credibility, and build an audience especially if you’re an extravert.
Vimeo is a great service; it’s been around for a long time and carved a niche on the internet for itself and its services. We like the quality of this service and if you gravitate towards it then you won’t be doing yourself a disfavor.
You know YouTube, we all know YouTube. It’s been here since the beginning and has grown tremendously, with YouTube as it’s a more open platform I want to let you know that video search is growing and will become a bigger thing in the future, and because YouTube is connected to google searches, it will be important to also make sure you show up in those video search results.
Here we will go with youtube for its versatility and reach, there are a lot of users on youtube and that gives you a potential audience to push your products.
Online advertising has been around for a while and here we made a list of some of the popular ones, there are multitudes of platforms out there that offer ads, but I’ve chosen the ones that you can get started on.
- google ads
This type of advertisement is one of the best and more affordable ways to create traffic to your site, most internet users go thru google to search for what they need, and google ads can help your message reach more people’s search results screens. With Google and youtube ads you can start with about two bucks a day and the more you spend the more leads and traffic you get on your site.
- Facebook ads
With Facebook social media ads, you can also target people on that platform for about 2 bucks a day and you can choose which result you want, whether it’s more traffic or conversion, Facebook can help with that. Most recently apple increased their privacy policies for Facebook ads on their phones and the pixel won’t necessarily work any longer and you now have to work with the Facebook API to connect your website directly to Facebook.
Our pick is google ads for ease of starting up an ad while Facebook is still figuring out the Facebook API conversion technology.
There are tons of ways out there to create marketing content for your small business services and products. It was hard not to include too much on the list and we realized that two main services stayed on the table, and we will be going over them now. Before we do, we decided to drop two services, one being beginner-friendly and the other being a more feature-rich and application-rich ecosystem. Let’s get started.
Canva is a beginner-friendly content creation platform that helps you create all sorts of marketing content. They have templates from videos to images and graphic designs to mock-ups and more. Canva is one of the leaders in content marketing platforms and starts with a free version that you can get started on. With over 250k templates and designs and with the $119/year pro version you get everything and more canva features.
- Adobe Cloud
If you are familiar with photoshop or after effects then you know about adobe creative cloud. This is a great platform to get if you want the full suite of content creation apps to supercharge you, and your team. In terms of pricing, you can use some of their apps for free but go get photoshop and all the other applications you’ll have to pay a fee, and that fee depends on which packages you decide to go with.
Adobe Cloud because it’s packed full of applications and features that will save you and your teams time, we believe having this asset can elevate the quality of the marketing you will have at the end of the day, overall.
Online shopping has only grown exponentially, in the past year, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. With the disruption in how small businesses are done, most have pivoted to online platforms such as Shopify, WordPress (woo-commerce), gumroad, and more…let’s talk about it.
- Shopify (eCommerce)
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there, and for good reasons. They have simplified the process for the average seller to the seasoned eCommerce developer. For sellers, they boast a ton of features to elevate your business tech stack ultimately help grow your small business. The pricing tier starts at $29/month for the basic plan and you can upgrade to two other tiers, the regular plan for $79 and the advance Shopify plan for $299/month.
- WordPress (woo-commerce)
WordPress is here again and for good reasons, it’s versatile. Its WooCommerce plugin turns your WordPress website into an online store with many features to help you get set up. This plugin is free and has a fast setup that anyone can do in about 5 minutes.
- gumroad (products)
Gumroad got on my radar a few months ago and after looking into it I decided to throw this one in for its new factor, sometimes jumping on a newer service can give you first movers advantage. So check to see if Gumroad is the right fit for what you are looking to accomplish in your small business. The pricing is by milestones, ranging from 0 to 1 million+ with different fees that lower as you make more money.
Shopify takes the spot here for ease of use and to set up for new entrepreneurs while packing a lot of features in case you want to scale your venture to new heights.
Here we have two of the most popular payment gateways on the internet for receiving payments from your services or products. And before we go into this section, we want to let you know to make sure to spend enough time doing more research on your own before choosing, because the pricing structures may change from the time of this writing, more on that later.
Stripe Great service overall, it comes with a dashboard to make sure you are hitting your targets and helps with APIs to help you do more in your new business. There pay as you go transactional system charges 2.9 cents + $0.30 per transaction. Overall, it’s super simple and can get you operational as soon as everything is set up correctly.
Paypal has been around for the longest time and is still relevant to online transactional processes. Most recently PayPal raised its fees on some business transactional processes, that might put off some people so make sure to take a look at their offerings and see if it fits what you need.
Stripe because of its ease of use and set up time, has made it an interesting opponent to PayPal right now.
Data is growing daily, there is more information on the internet today than even last week. Now how do I take that information, and utilize it to see how my business is growing and pivot when the time comes? This is where google analytics and popular web page heat map hotjar comes into play. More into that now.
- Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a good starting point When you’re looking to get data and information on how your website’s users are interacting on your website, it comes with all the analytics and metric building features and integrations you’ll need to get going, here we suggest checking out google tag manager to see how you can expand the results you get from this service. Google Analytics is a free service.
Hotjar recently went thru a rebrand and they essentially offer the same service/product. Hotjar allows you to put a virtual map on each of your web pages and map out the hot and cool zones that users spend the most time browsing over. This gives you a lot of data as to what’s popular, and what users are looking for and how to deliver that best to them. They offer a basic, plus, business and scale pricing tier, starting at $0, $39, $99, $389 respectively.
Both are great services and they both provide quite useful information/data. I suggest giving both a try but here our pick is Google Analytics for being free to use with a google account.
E-learning is a growing industry, new industry leaders are emerging every day, and for what it’s worth they have something to teach. Here we have two very prominent websites to offer various levels of content for beginners to advanced folks looking to learn something new. If you’re looking to learn something new or even sell your courses, one of these choices could be a good fit for you.
- Linkedin learning
Linkedin is a business networking platform owned by Microsoft, but now they also have LinkedIn learning witch as it sounds like a learning platform that offers guided video courses with industry-specific and job-specific paths that you can choose and complete. I’ve learned quite a bit on that platform and for some that can get it, it can be accessed for free either thru a school email or library card. But the regular price for anyone who would like to join LinkedIn learning is $19.99/month.
This fun little platform packs a punch in terms of the value that you can find, as long as you look for it. Udemy has thousands of classes ranging from tech to cooking to dancing and music production and video production…you get it. You can learn virtually anything on udemy and that’s not even the best part. They offer sales here and there that bring their courses price down to around $15 bucks, and those prices from what I’ve noticed are going up with inflation so I’d start grabbing some courses now.
Udemy is a great platform and so is LinkedIn, but here we are going with Udemy for the value it can provide if you can match it with the sales, they give all the time.
Project and Task Management
These two project manager applications I will talk about are both very good and ultimately, I think you will be in good hands with either one, but do try to play around with the free version of both and pick one that you are sure will boost your company organization, structure, and workflow.
- Click Up
The one application to rule them all, click up can be the only task manager you need, and it is getting better every single day. This application is a task/project management tool that you can use to track your work and your team’s workload. It’s a very powerful tool that once set up correctly will help give a big step up in your small business processes and systems. Click up starts at a free tier and you can upgrade to unlimited, business, and business plus at $5/month, $9/month, and $19/month respectively.
Wrike is another good one because of its robust polished features that come out of the box, it boasts power tools and integrations that differentiate itself from the competition. It’s more corporate-friendly from what I’ve been able to come up with. Here wrike starts with a free plan that you can grow out of into a professional plan and business plan, each being free then $9.80/month and $24.80/month.
- Our pick
Here we will have to go with click up versus Wrike, I use Wrike and click up extensively and personally click up feels more intuitive and fun to use than wrike. they are both great apps but click up take it here.
To end I wanted to talk about communications tools, because how are you going to speak with your clients if you don’t have a way of communicating with them. So here I will be talking about two great tools that can help you reach your customers with your message.
Zoom is a video conferencing program that got popular during 2020 when more workers were working from home, and till now a lot of people online are using it to gain new clients/customers for their businesses. I’m not going to go into this one, I believe you’re familiar with zoom by now but check out the website in the link for more information.
- Microsoft team
Teams is another good one, same deal as zoom but it’s by Microsoft, and it’s part of their office apps suite. Super useful and powerful to use with the other apps and integrate with a lot of online tools to help with video calls and online meetings.
- Our pick
Zoom takes the cake here because of how everyone and their parents have a zoom account or have been in a zoom meeting by now. Both are great apps all around but zoom has come out a winner in my books.
There you have it, this is your list of services, apps, and products that you as a new entrepreneur, can use in your tech stack to start building your small business foundation, for launch and growth. This is an extensive list and I will be updating it from time to time, with new tech so keep this in your bookmark and refer back to this anytime. If you need any help with integrating these services with your website feel free to contact us.