8 tools we couldn't live without as a SaaS business

8 tools we couldn't live without as a SaaS business

Vocal is composed of a small part time team of three people. Our company is bootstrapped and we have a lot to do. This is why we rely on many great tools to help us be more efficient and provide our service with minimal ressources.

In this post, I'd like to share what those apps and tools are. If you are a small company yourself, you might find out about a tool that you didn't know about that will make your workday 10x better!

Sentry - Error catching made easy

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Sentry is an incredible tool. After a few minutes of integration, we deployed it in production. This developer tool provides clear and useful insights for each error that occurred across our services.

Before Sentry, we would go through all our logs and search for the error keyword and hope there was a useful print event before or after. Now we can very simply catch all those errors and run a bug free production environment!

Their free plan is perfect if you don't have too many users but even their basic Pro plan $29/mo) is certainly worth the fixed bugs.

TablePlus - Postgres database viewer

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As a small company, we never bothered to implement admin tools and so on. Instead, we access the database directly when we have to do some custom changes for customers (like changing account emails or creating a new coupon code). TablePlus is a great tool for this and gives you a sort of Excel interface for the database.

Before TablePlus, we would write SQL queries and hope nothing went wrong.

Their free plan is super generous and the only benefit from upgrading is keeping more than three tabs open.

Umso - Landing page editor for developers

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Umso is a great website editor for developers. You can use their drag-and-drop builder and extend the app's capabilities anywhere you see fit by writing custom html/css.

Before Umso, we were using other landing page builders that we did not enjoy as much.

Their Startup plan is at $29/month. Definitely on the expensive side but worth the time saved compared to building the website yourself.

Heroku - Simplicity worth paying for

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In my opinion, there is no reason to use any other PaaS service than Heroku. The simplicity and reliability of their products is legendary.

Even cheaper options like Render simply aren't as reliable and powerful (and might also disappear at any point, still being in the VC rollercoaster).

Before Heroku, we did the mistake of deploying our infrastructure on AWS (because we wanted to act like the big kids). It was a massive waste of time and money in the end (as your bill can so quickly get out of control).

Their pricing is fair and reasonable for most SaaS use-cases.

Tip: Deploy your servers on Heroku and your frontend on Vercel for a perfect fit!

Mixpanel - High-level and granular analytics

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Mixpanel has done a great job at staying small-company-friendly. We use it for all our analytics needs. From identifying super-users to visualising larger trends.

Their startup plan also means you'll be paying nothing for the first year and thereafter, the first 1'000 monthly tracked users are free.

Trello - Simple project management

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Trello is just beautifully simple (even though it has become a lot more complex since the Atlassian acquisition!). For a small team, there is no reason to add overhead through complex project management tools.

Before Trello, we tried Basecamp but it never stuck. Probably because we like Slack so much and Basecamp is sort of all-or-nothing.

Their free plan is perfectly fine for most use cases.

ChipBot - FAQ + Async live chat

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Chipbot is a really amazing tool both for customers and small teams. Customers can ask questions and get answers through the FAQ articles. Also, they can ask a question that will be directly sent to our team via email.

Before Chipbot, we where using Crisp and simply got tired and overwhelmed by the live chat requirements. You just end up talking to customers the whole day and can't focus on developing the product anymore.

Pricing-wise, their free plan is absolutely fine.

Gmass - Relationship building emailing tool

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Gmass is an amazing tool for email automation. It allows you to schedule auto follow-ups when recipients don't answer to your emails. On top of this, it also allows you to schedule campaigns with specific rules (for example, not sending emails to users that you're interacted with in the past 24h).

They also have an API which lets us use their tool for all our emailing. It's a great way to stay personal at scale.

Before Gmass, we where using Sendgrid and just struggled to keep on top of things. Using Gmass basically means you don't need a CRM anymore as you can already write follow-up emails that will trigger if you don't get a reply.

Slack & Github - But you know it already

We had to mention those two as they're part of our daily activities but you do of course know already about those incredible apps :)

Thanks for reading! :)