How To Start A Business With (Almost) No Money: 77+ Awesome Tools To Build Your Startup When You’re Broke

Creating and sustaining your own business isn’t just a way to wealth – it’s a way to pursue your life’s dreams and find personal fulfillment. This path isn’t an easy one, but it’s one that all of history’s greatest entrepreneurs have had to follow.

Though starting a business is easier if you have vast reserves of cash, it’s possible to build a successful business from the ground up with smarts, perseverance, and dedication even if you aren’t loaded. If you’re prepared to work hard and learn from your failures, you have the once-in-a-lifetime chance of building a successful business you can proudly call your own.

These free or very cheap tools will help you to do that on a very low budget:

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.

Prototyping

Proto.io

protoio

This prototyping app has been around since 2011 and requires no coding. Proto.io has a simple drag and drop system and the latest version can be used on any device with a screen.

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PROTOSHARE

protoshare

A tool designed for teams to use for collaborative prototyping in real time, Protoshare makes visualization easy when working together on interactive prototypes and wireframes.

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JustInMind

justinmind

A prototyping tool with every function needed to create apps for portable devices and desktop computers. This extremely powerful solution also works for website prototyping.

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Idea Validation & Launch Page

Launch Effect

launcheffect

A WordPress theme that collects information from everyone who signs up. Launch Effect is free and within minutes a viral campaign can be started.

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Launchrock

launchrock

A powerful tool for building and launching a landing page that is designed for better audience engagement. Launchrock provides analytics and social sharing tools to assist user growth.

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QuickMVP

QuickMVP

An easy way to test a landing page and promote it online. Quick MVP saves time and money for a startup. Just use the pre-designed page to try out your ideas.

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Web Hosting

HostGator

hostgator

More than eight million domains are hosted on one of the biggest and most popular in the world. Many happy customers prefer HostGator to any other web hosting services.

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Bluehost

bluehost

From the same company that owns HostGator, this web host offers unlimited web space. Prices begin at just $5 a month, and for that you get one free domain.

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Business Name

NameCheck

namecheck

A handy tool that for checking names online. Within seconds it will show you if a name already exists on any major social platform.

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Namecheap

namecheap

A well known domain seller that provides great value for money. Inclusive hosting packages from Namecheap provide privacy protection and SSL certificates.

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Website

WordPress

wordpress

With a wide choice of open source themes and plugins, WordPress is the most popular platform for blogging. It’s free to use on any paid hosting service and more than 60 million websites use it as a content management system.

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Themeforest

themeforest

This is an online marketplace where themes and HTML templates can be bought and sold at various prices, depending on quality and complexity. Themes for CMS products start at just $1.

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ElegantThemes

elegantthemes

When you buy a selection of themes from Elegant Themes you can customize WordPress sites without having to use a lot of coding.

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MOJO Themes

mojothemes

Premium quality themes and professional templates bought and sold at MOJO are suitable for ecommerce sites, Joomla, WordPress and other CMS.

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Ecommerce Store

Shopify

shopify

The quickest way to set up an ecommerce site that can take credit card payments, respond and tracks orders. A complete selling site is easy to customize for your products.

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BigCommerce

bigcommerce

Set up an online store using top-rated shopping cart software. BigCommerce makes it easy to create a selling site for your own products or services.

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Graphic Design

Canva

canva

A design tool that can be used by beginners and professionals, Canva makes designing easy.

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Picmonkey

picmonkey

This graphic design and photo editing tool has numerous fonts and creative effects.

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Free Stockphotos

Compfight

compfight

An image search engine that can find any image online. Compfight can be used for research and to find images for your own use.

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DeathToTheStockphoto

deathtothestockphotp

Sign up to receive high quality images for free. Lifestyle photos are sent out each month. These can be used on blogs, websites, social media and for any project.

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Unsplash

unsplash

Driven by Tumbler, this tool provides 10 different images every 10 days. All the images are available for free use.

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Content Creation

HireWriters

hirewriters

This low cost content creation service connects people who need quality content with writers who provide it on demand.

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Textbroker

textbroker

An affordable content service for better search engine ranking and reader engagement. Choose writers with expertise from a pool of thousands.

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MyBlogGuest

myblogguest

Build your audience and grow your brand for free by guest blogging, or request bloggers to write for free for your blog.

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HemmingwayApp

hemingway

This useful web editor analysis text and shows up common writing errors, so you can see where lengthy sentences need to be split or made less complex.

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Piktochart

piktochart

Create infographics using drag and drop in this easy editor with more than 90 ready made themes. Users include Red Bull, GE and Harvard University.

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Lead Generation / List Building

SumoMe.com

sumome

A free toolkit with 5 useful apps for website optimization and email list building. SumoMe comes as a free WordPress plugin, but all of its features can be enabled on any website.

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PopupDomination

popupdomination

A lightbox with a high conversion rate, PopusDomination will add more subscribers to your list. It works on any website and includes a WordPress plugin.

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Optinmonster

optinmonster

This WordPress plugin allows you to create effective lead-generating opt-in forms that grab attention.  OptinMonster can also track multiple forms on one website.

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HelloBar

hellobar

HelloBar will place an attention grabbing message at the top of your website to direct visitors where you want them to go.

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LeadPages

leadpages

Create an instant one-page website. The price includes hosting and everything a simple website needs.

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Email Marketing

MailChimp

mailchimp

Manage up to 2000 subscribers a month for free. MailChimp tracks each click-through and reports on the success of each email campaign.

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AWeber

aweber

More data is available from AWeber than from any other email marketing management system. For as little as $1 you can build an email list and send out newsletters.

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Video Marketing

PowToon

powtoon

Animated presentations are easy with PowToon. You don’t need any technical skills or creative ability. The intuitive software is very user-friendly.

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Wistia

wistia

For video streaming there is no better host. Wistia is superior to Vimeo and for business use it is more effective than YouTube.

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Wideo

wideo

Demonstrate your product by creating an animated video with this tool. Your animations can also be used for business training and presentations.

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Social Media

Buzzsumo

buzzsumo

A helpful tool for content marketers and content curators. BuzzSumo monitors social media for the biggest influencers and the most popular content.

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Followerwonk

followerwonk

Find out who your most influential Twitter followers are. FollowerWonk has its own scoring system, so you can also check your own influence, reach and engagement.

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BufferApp

buffer

For maximum exposure on social media, plan when to send your tweets, LinkedIn updates and Facebook messages in advance. BufferApp will post these automatically at the scheduled times.

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Klout

klout

Find and follow top influencers in your area of business. Klout analyzes social media statistics and gives you names for users who score highest for influence.

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Search Engine Optimization

SEMRush

semrush

Optimize your web content by using this tool to find which keywords have the most searches each month. You can also use it to discover which keywords your own pages rank highest in.

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LongTailPro

longtailpro

Use this tool to research long tail keywords. Enter any word or words and instantly it will bring up hundreds of suggestions.

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HitTail

hittail

This popular tool is designed to maximize SEO and keyword marketing campaigns. It will help you to find and use the best keywords.

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Analytics

Google Analytics

googleanalytics

Grow your customer base by studying analytics of websites, ads and videos. This Google tool also identifies use of smart phones, tablets and social tools.

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CrazyEgg

crazyegg

View a heatmap of your content on CrazyEgg. This will show you which parts of your website design work best and what visitors dislike about it.

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Inspectlet

inspectlet

It works like CrazyEgg but you start off with a free trial.

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A/B Testing

Optimizely

optimizely

This powerful platform is designed for website testing. It tracks visitor engagement, conversions and other things you need to know for optimization.

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Crowdpicker

crowdpicker

Another business testing tool, Crowdpicker has expanded its service so it can be used to identify the best taglines, company names and logos.

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Outsourcing

Elance

elance

Find freelance workers with skills in design, programming, web development and marketing. Requests for translation work, content writing and other projects can also be listed.

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oDesk

odesk

The biggest online job site for skilled freelancers, oDesk is one of the best places to post your projects. You get to choose the best person for the job.

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99Designs

99designs

This marketplace for graphic design has more than 250,000 talented designers around the world ready to provide designs for any startup or established business website.

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Fiverr

fiverr

Buy the services of a freelancer for $5 or more. Useful people around the world carry out a wide variety of services for buyers.

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Customer Service

Freshdesk

freshdesk

A money saving cloud-based solution for any business in need of a good customer support system.

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Insightly

insightly

A cloud based CRM app that helps small businesses to manage leads, customer interactions, transactions, proposals and projects. Insightly works on any Internet device and is the top CRM app at Google Apps.

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SurveyMoz

surveymoz

Build your own customer survey and customize it to match your brand. Results can be exported to SPSS and CSV files.

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Zopim

zopim

A Zopin chat widget on your website will allow visitors to access live chat instantly. All they need to do is click on the chat bar.

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Accounting & Cash Flow Management

Shoeboxed

shioeboxed

Save time and money on back-end admin with a service designed to help businesses in Australia, Canada and the US to get organized. The tracking app scans receipts and travel expenses.

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Wave

wave

This free tool for small business accounting and money management is also suitable for freelancers and consultants. Wave keeps you up-to-date with financial details from your credit cards, bank account and PayPal account.

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Dryrun

dryrun

Dryrun is designed to help you make the best business decisions. Just a few minutes use each day keeps you informed of any cash flow issues.

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Business Templates

Score.org

score

Tuition and advice for startup businesses from score.org will help you achieve your goals and to manage cash flow. Score operates as a non-profit association.

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Docstoc

dockstoc

Docsto is an online store and repository for legal, professional and financial documents. Users can buy, sell or share their own documents.

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Presentation

Haiku Deck

haikudeck

Presentation software that is simple and free to use.

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Prezi

prezi

This cloud-based presentation software allows any startup or business to communicate ideas virtually. Use Prezi to engage with potential clients interactively.

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Conference & Webinars

Join.me

joinme

Thousands of businesses use this service from LogMeIn. Any business or startup can arrange online meetings, show-and-tell presentations and other screen-share collaborations.

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Speek

speek

This audio-conference service shows who is speaking, who has just entered and who is linked by phone.

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Business Phone

Grasshopper

grasshopper

Grasshopper can give you a local phone number anywhere in the US and you may have multiple phone numbers for all the American cities you choose. Any existing phone number can be turned into a toll free or a vanity number.

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Payments

Gumroad

gumroad

This is a selling tool for creative people who have a service to sell. Use Gumroad to generate direct sales on SoundCloud, YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter. Gumroad can be integrated with your website and will also send out your own newsletter.

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Stripe

stripe

This simple online payment tool handles everything. You can have payments made direct to your bank account, accept card payments and store customer card numbers.

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