5 AWESOME Tools for SaaS Founders to Jumpstart 2020

Zach Klempf
6 min readJan 8, 2020


2020 has just begun and it’s time to execute! Time is our most valuable resource, especially for the founders of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startups. Success in the tech world is determined by how quickly you can build, iterate, and scale your product. It’s not just a race against time, but your fiercest competitors we well.

Since founding Selly CRM, I’ve learned that CEOs can either be catalysts or bottlenecks to their team’s progress. So I’ve adopted several invaluable tools that save me time and energy.

If you’re a SaaS founder looking for an edge, here are 5 SaaS tools you should check out:

1. Gusto — Payroll

Today, many startups utilize distributed teams as well as a mix of employees and contractors. It’s an absolute nightmare — if not downright impossible — to account for all the different tax requirements and employment statuses come payroll time. That’s why I started using Gusto.

Gusto is an HR and Payroll platform that’s ideal for startups. The thing I love most is that it automatically accounts for the different tax and employment statuses of each person on my team. All I have to do is add them to the system and set up payroll, and Gusto handles the rest. I started using Gusto when I hired my first employee outside my home state of California. I immediately realized the time and headache it would save me.

Plus, the Gusto support team is fantastic. Sign up for Gusto here.

2. Baremetrics — Analytics

If you use Stripe, Braintree, or any other popular payment tool to bill subscriptions, then Baremetrics is a must-have. Most analytics dashboards are not designed for subscription-based businesses, making it challenging to calculate MRR, LTV, and churn without a good amount of Excel jockeying.

That’s where Baremetrics is different. It was designed specifically for subscription businesses, so it knows the metrics we care about most. It also has benchmarking, so you can compare your numbers to SaaS industry standards.

We started using Baremetrics to pull data for our investor reports. Transparency is an added bonus with Baremetrics; any of our stakeholders can access our metrics and view the data for themselves. It keeps everyone in the loop on company growth and revenue-based KPI’s.

3. Brex Card — Financing

Cash is the lifeblood of your business. But if you don’t have cash, you need credit. The problem is that most credit card companies require a personal guarantee, limiting the amount of credit available to founders.

Brex Card is different. Instead of relying on the founder’s personal creditworthiness, Brex determines your credit limit based on the cash in your startup’s bank account. The result is a credit line 10–20x higher than most people could get with a personal guarantee alone.

There are other features I’ve come to love as well. First, Brex allows you to spin up virtual credit cards for anyone in the company. If one of my developers in another city needs to make a purchase, I can send them a virtual card instantly. I can even set the credit limit — no more risky sharing of credit card information.

Second, the reward points. 7x on rideshare. 4x on travel. 3x on restaurants. 2x on recurring software. It’s like Brex Card was made for startups. Oh wait. It was.

I can’t recommend Brex Card enough. The only catch is that your startup has to have raised at least $100,000 from outside investors. Sign up using this link and Brex will give you a $500 gift card after you spend $1,000.

4. Typeform — Customer Experience and more

Most people in the startup world have heard of Typeform. Some of you have probably used it for surveys. “It’s a prettier version of Survey Monkey,” you say, “That’s cool, but how is this a game-changer for me?”

I’m glad you asked. At Selly, we use Typeform for way more than just surveys. We first used Typeform to improve our customer onboarding experience. Before we just used email threads to collect information and move customers through the process. Now we use Typeform to gather that same information which was previously collected via a 15–30 minute phone call.

Then we started using it for hiring. We link LinkedIn job posts to a Typeform application where we ask deep, specific questions about the role. Typeform’s logic feature allows us to route the applicant to different questions based on their responses.

Finally, we use Typeform for customer feedback and beta signups. When a customer cancels, we send them a small Typeform survey to learn how we can improve our service. When we launch a new product or integration, customers sign up via Typeform to become a beta tester.

5. Onplan — Financial Modeling

This last tool has become more valuable as Selly has grown larger. OnPlan is a financial modeling tool that allows us to forecast and track our actuals month-to-month. It integrates with most popular accounting and finance tools, including Excel, Google Sheets, Gusto, and Quickbooks.

Like Baremetrics, Onplan was built for startups. They make it easy to convert existing Excel or Google Sheets models into their platform. They also have a variety of existing templates, dashboards, and reports to choose from. Whether you’re a financial whiz or a complete beginner, OnPlan helps you forecast like a pro.

Bonus tool: TransferWise

One other tool I’d like to shout out is TransferWise. As a startup with an international team and office expenditures, it has become an invaluable tool for keeping our international employees and vendors paid and happy.

TransferWise automatically calculates exchange rates for currencies around the world. They also have lower transaction costs for the receiving party, so my employees and contractors get more of the money they earned.

Save Time and Move Fast with the Right Tools

No matter where you are on the spectrum between catalyst and bottleneck, I believe every founder can use their time more wisely. By leveraging the right tools, you can help your team win the race to market dominance. These six tools have helped my team move fast and have made me more productive.

Now it’s my turn to ask: What tools have helped you become more productive?



Zach Klempf

CEO & Founder at Selly Automotive