11 IMPORTANT TOOLS FOR EVERY LEAN STARTUP
Lean Startup is known as a methodology used for developing new businesses and products with the aim of shortening product development cycles with frequent use of prospective customer contact, learning, and iteration. The approach is mostly used by beginner startups. More corporate ventures and innovation teams can use the approach, tools, and templates to test and validate new business concepts.
The methodology was first outlined by Eric Ries which became popularized by the success of his bestselling book, The Lean Startup. Similar to the concept of lean manufacturing, the Lean Startup methodology pinpoint the elimination of wasteful spending during the product development phase so that startups can have a better chance of success without requiring large amounts of outside funding. So, this is all about going in lean for startups, cut down costs, increase productivity, get customer feedback and validation and most importantly, build efficient and quick iterations of their products. Here is a list of few tools that can be helpful:
- Lean Canvas: If you’re an early stage startup the last thing you want to have to do is write a 30 page business plan. In fact, it is a scintillating idea if you could document your business model on one page which will allow you to focus on actually building your business. The imperative of this great tool allow you adopt the principles of the business model canvas using a simple web interface. If you so desire, you can create multiple canvases, collaborate and share with others, and re-visit later. This tool is adapted from the Business Model Toolbox which is the brainchild of Ash Maurya, author of Running Lean and a successful blog. The Lean Canvas will definitely assist you to make your ideas take a definite form and communicate these better. As well as creating the elements that make up your business model, you can also set up experiments to test your assumptions and views on other people’s entries. An awesome addition to the startup toolkit, isn’t it?
- Unassumer: It is created by customer development expert and author Brant Cooper, Unassumer assist you to quickly understand what your customers really want and desire so that you can be able to know what to deliver at best quality. Get feedback from customers and prospects automatically with a simple scoring system, and get actionable data that helps you find and target your market.
- Proto.io: This allows you to create an interactive mobile app prototype that you can demo on your device which does not necessarily need a single line of code. So, if you are one of early-stage startups and desire to build a mobile app, then make it a favorite by using Proto.io to prototype your app which is an important step you need to take first. Prototyping allows you to test your product assumptions and user experience without wasting much time and money on development costs. Once you are happy with the way your prototype looks and works, you can just give it to the developers and they get a “visual spec” of what to build. They will always be grateful.
- Google Apps: So many (free or very cheap) tools for the lean startup. Docs (spreadsheet, presentation, pages, forms, etc). Use them as you would Office or iWork but you can also hack them for different needs. You can also use Google forms for user surveys.
- Unbounce: This allows you to create simple landing page design and do A/B split testing. It takes the pain out of creating landing pages (no HTML knowledge needed). It also gives you the ability to quickly examine the market for your product idea.
- Usertesting.com: This is not replacement for face to face usability tests but a good way of looking into any usability issues at an early stage. Their network of testers can test anything from an early stage prototype, flat designs or a web app that is to be launched soon. They will review your product and provide audio commentary whilst they are using it. Reports have it that they may serve as expert testers and might not be an accurate reflection of your target audience.
- Kiss Metrics: Kiss metrics is customer analytics software that gives you the opportunity to understand and optimize the user experience throughout your entire customer lifecycle from first click to the last conversion. It allows you to have more insights about human resource management whilst customers zeal.
- Buzzsumo: BuzzSumo possess content marketing intelligence that you can start using today to improve your efforts. You can examine which content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find the key influencers to promote your content. Start it right now, it’s one of the best startup tools you should not neglect.
- Yoast SEO: This is previously regarded as WordPress SEO by Yoast which is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that is available today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates virtually everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
- Canva: Canva is one of the best lean startup tools that you need and deserve as a starter which gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into stunning designs. With it, you can create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more. Try it and see the amazing features.
- SumoMe: It is a suite of free tools that can be used to grow your website’s traffic. The tools are easy to install and work on any website. It helps you to make your website generate more audience and assist it developing the traffic strides. Isn’t it wonderful to exploit this interesting tool? It is just a step and you are good to go.
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Have you found this startup tools interesting and helpful? Make it your favorite.