Tools for bootstrappers

Entrepreneurs are often strapped of cash. Sreekrishna Sankar, who has just completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Management at IIM Bangalore, has come up with a list of tools that entrepreneurs can use in such times; most of this is free and freely available for use. Incidentally, Sreekrishna, and a couple of his batchmates at IIMB, Ajith Pai and Sahil Barua, have floated a firm Catalyst Ventures, which worked with a few start ups. Thanks for sharing this info, Sreekrishna.

1. Business Plan developer for developing professional business plan templates which can be a starting point(free)
2. Open Office – a free alternative to the Microsoft Office suite (free)
3. Google Apps for small business. Google Apps also offers a personal calendar, word processor, and a spreadsheet editor. Because the programs are web-based, all information edited on them can be shared easily and in real time. (free)
4. Zoho Suite – provides online tools for project management, database management, web conferencing and CRM support (free)
5. For the startups needing their own servers and databases, freely available Apache suite of products and the mysql/postgres are free options
6. Free accounting software  like Turbocash, Wesabe help in quickly setting up the financial processes in startups.
7.Setting up a website is very easy even for newbies through Weebly. Weebly also provides domain registration and your professional website can be up and running within minutes.

Anjana Vivek
About Anjana Vivek 45 Articles
Anjana Vivek, Director, VentureBean Consulting Private Limited, is a consultant, teacher, writer; CA & visiting faculty at IIM(B). Her specialties are business models, funding strategy, entrepreneurship, M&A and valuation.

7 Comments

  1. As a bootstrapped start up that has survived 4 years and yet managed to our innovate competitors, I have used
    a. Tally package @ around 6000/- INR is next best to free and one that your auditor can use.
    b. Open workbench for something like MS project
    c. Jtrac for PR tracking
    d. SVN for version control

    thanks for tipping me on Zoho.

    Krishna@eilabs.com

  2. A very good attempt;
    Sun Micro systems offers many concessions, free software support to start ups. The link is given under:

    http://in.sun.com/emrkt/startupessentials/

    Start ups should also consider seeking support from Business Incubators located in Academic institutions. This helps to minimise the costs, for getting connected to various networks, to identify future employees, obtain seed funding / innovation grants.
    Please visit the link given under for more information

    http://www.vittbi.com

  3. Good list. Google Apps and Zoho is a must have.
    Google Apps allows you to have 100 mail ids with your domain name free. You can also build your intranet thru’ google sites. In addition, it has a nice mobile application that lets u see u r office mail through mobile easily.

    Zoho, in addition to a neat CRM suite, has a HR management tool and a few more utilities also, which I use for my startup.

  4. Tools for Entrepreneurs is a nice idea !!

    Sharing this tool called IBM Uynte. Its just 1 mb file.

    It has two features

    1.
    You can give presentations/demos to your customers sitting right in your office. This does not require client to install anything on his system. its called desktop sharing. FREE

    2.
    Remote Assist – in case you are into somethin related to computer applications, or software, you can do trouble shooting. Just by accepting your invitation, you can access your client’s computer entirely & live. This avoids sending personnel to attend the issues of the customer. FREE for TRIAL of 1 Month

    it can be downloaded http://www.unyte.net/download/Unyte_Setup_25435.exe

    Watch out : It needs to be used on High Speed Broad Band Connection Only

    ~ Shabs

  5. I’m also an entrepreneur and I’d like to share the tool I’m using for business management – Wrike. It’s perfect for my team as it integrates with email. My clients love it cause they don’t have to log in to see the updates. I like it cause it helps me see what’s going on in my business any minute. And I pay something like $4 per month.

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