7 Modern Ways To Finance A Venture While in Retirement
For many Americans, retirement isn’t about white sand beaches, or sipping Pina Coladas in the sunshine. For a lot of older people, retirement isn’t about simply relaxing, but really challenging themselves — to push their boundaries. To trying new things, meeting new people, and – sometimes – starting a new venture.
Whether it’s a new idea or something you’ve always wanted to do, starting a business in retirement can be rewarding. To both personal and professional fulfillment.
But, like all businesses, you can’t start a successful post-retirement venture without that vital ingredient – the capital. So how can you finance a business while in retirement – and how should you? Moreover, what are the most modern ways you can fund a venture in retirement – lines of credit that go beyond the tried and tested methods of the past?
Below, we’ll explain all. From swimming with sharks to wading into alternative finance providers, find out how you can fund your post-retirement venture by dipping into your savings – and dipping your toe into the world of crowdfunding.
So read on – we’re unpacking 7 of the best, most modern ways of financing a venture while in retirement.
1. Seek Out Angel Investors
‘Angels’, in this context, are private, high-net-worth individuals. They invest in businesses – often with the capital vital to get a startup or venture off the ground – usually in exchange for a stake in said company, or for a percentage of its future expected profits.
To find angel investors, head online. Angel Investment Network, Gust, and Angel Forum are all popular sites connecting the people looking to finance a venture to those with the capital to do so. You can also attend networking events, or get active on social media.
LinkedIn is a great place to meet potential angels for your business. Even the less business-oriented social platforms – Twitter and Facebook, for instance – can be fertile hotbeds for reaching out to cash-rich investors.
And, for a truly modern way of seeking angel investment, you could go on TV.
Now into its 13th season, ABC’s Shark Tank (‘Dragon’s Den’ if you’re in the UK; ‘Money Tigers’ in Japan) puts entrepreneurs face to face with five ‘sharks’ – wealthy investors with a combined net worth of billions of dollars.
While putting yourself center stage and risking the wrath of the sharks might seem daunting – a younger person’s game, even – Don Wildman of Hand Out Gloves recently proved that you’re never too old to get in front of the camera.
Don was 85 when he appeared on the show, seeking investment in (and finance for) his glove and mittens company. Better still, he came away successful. Don received a $300,000 line of credit from shark Barbara Corcoran, at 6% interest – for 25% of the company. All that publicity wouldn’t have done HandOut Gloves any harm, either!
2. Dip Into Your Savings
Often, financing a venture in your retirement days doesn’t have to rely on outside investment. Instead, you can simply use money you already have.
Except instead of using the cash you’ve saved for a rainy day, you can put that pot to a far more exciting purpose – funding a unique new business venture.
Of course, there are several savings accounts that allow you to plan for retirement. And whether you’re able to (and whether you should) pull money from them to fund a venture depends on the type of plan you’ve selected.
Below, we’ve listed several of the most common retirement savings accounts – and how you can use them to finance a venture.
401(k) Plan Loan
One of the most common retirement accounts in the US, the 401(k) plan is a company-sponsored savings pot with a wealth of tax advantages. If you’re already in retirement, you can use these funds for whatever purpose you see fit – including financing a venture.
If you’re a younger retiree, though – and you haven’t yet reached the age of 59½, when you can withdraw your 401(k) plan funds without paying a penalty tax – you’ll want another way of accessing that money. Particularly if there’s a venture you want to finance now, rather than later.
If this is the case, you might be able to access a 401(k) plan loan. This allows you to borrow 50% of your account’s value, or $50,000 – whichever is the smaller amount.
A 401(k) plan loan isn’t taxable – nor will you pay a penalty to access those funds. It doesn’t affect your credit rating, either, and you can make payments automatically from your paycheck – making it a quick, simple, and convenient way to finance a venture heading into retirement.
If you’re already into your sixties, you’ll have the lion’s share of your retirement savings at your disposal. The Roth IRA, for example – another tax-free individual retirement account – gives you penalty-free access to your life’s savings once you hit the 59½-year age threshold.
However, if you’ve retired early – say, your fifties – you won’t yet be able to unlock your hard-earned Roth IRA retirement funds without paying a 10% fee.
Rollover as Business Start-Up (ROBS)
The IRS defines the ROBS plan as “an arrangement in which prospective business owners use their retirement funds to pay for new business start-up costs.” You won’t pay a penalty or any tax, and you’ll receive as big a chunk of your retirement savings as you’d like to plunge into a new business.
And, as Adam Bergman of Forbes notes, you’re also allowed to be personally involved in the business you create. This means drawing a salary and being an active part of the venture, without violating any of the plan’s rules.
3. Take Out a Loan
When you think of financing a venture – especially in retirement – taking out a loan often seems the most direct and appealing route to funds.
And often, it is – although not all loans are created equal. Below, we break down several loan options any retiree could consider to fund a venture.
Traditional Bank Loan
Though they won’t be right for all retirees, banks will still be the first port of call for many. For credit, they’re reliable and straightforward – providing you have a good credit history, plus some assets to your name.
However, there are several – more modern – ways to finance your venture than opting for a loan with a bank or credit union. We’ll unpack these next.
Small Business Association (SBA)-Backed Loan
The US Small Business Administration “helps small businesses get funding by setting guidelines for loans and reducing lender risk.”
The SBA offers a variety of funding options: including 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and microloans. However, they tend not to provide direct loans, except for businesses recovering from a declared disaster.
What the SBA is good at is matching you with a lender, via its ‘Lender Match’ feature. Simply head to the SBA’s ‘ Loans’ page, and enter your Zip Code to explore lenders in your area. From here, you can apply for a loan directly through one of these local lenders, who’ll approve – and help you manage – your loan.
It takes a few minutes to answer the requisite questions about your business. Often, you can be matched with one or more lenders within two days. Plus, more than 800 lenders across the US participate – so you’re exposing your new venture to a wide range of experienced and astute investors.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending
Matching people looking to invest money with people looking to borrow it – and using technology to facilitate it all? What could be more modern than that?
This is just what peer-to-peer (P2P) lending aims to do. Typically conducted via an app or online marketplace, these platforms (PeerBerry and Funding Circle are two notable examples) can help you place your prospective venture in front of people ready and willing to invest.
There’s no need to go through a traditional lender – like a bank, credit union, or building society – and, if your credit’s good, you can qualify for competitive interest rates.
If your credit isn’t so good, P2P lending can still be ideal. It certainly represents a better alternative to payday loans, or high APR credit cards. Plus, some P2P platforms – the apps and marketplaces that connect lenders with loan recipients – don’t always disclose the credit history of the applicant. This can be handy for retirees financing a venture, but who have poorer credit ratings or have previously been turned down for more conventional forms of credit.
Home Equity Loans and HELOCs
Home equity loans and HELOCSs (Home Equity Line of Credit) leverage your home’s equity – the difference between your home’s value and your mortgage balance – as collateral.
Offering super competitive interest rates and flexible repayments, these loans don’t have to be spent on refurbishing your residence. Despite most commonly used to fund home renovations and repairs, there are no rules on how to use the money.
If you want to spend yours on financing a venture in retirement, well… there’s nothing stopping you!
Invoice factoring is a form of finance where your business “sells” the invoices owed to it to a third-party provider, at a discount. It’s particularly useful for ventures in the recruitment and construction spaces. Or any industry in which lengthy payout times (think 90+ days!) are the norm.
What sets invoice factoring apart from the other forms of finance listed here is that you’re only receiving funds tied to monies you’re already owed. This means that it’s a safer, more secure form of funding. You’re less likely to get dragged into a cycle of debt, as you’re only borrowing against work you’ve already completed.
However, because factoring relies on you having existing invoices to sell – it’s only suitable for more established businesses. Your business needs a sufficient sales ledger to make it worth the finance provider’s time. If you’re at the start of your venture’s journey, it’s not the right funding option for you.
But, as your business grows, invoice factoring can be a scalable and savvy way of financing your retirement venture’s evolution.
4. Crowd Fund
When it comes to strictly modern ways to finance a venture in your retirement years, crowdfunding is at the top of the list.
Crowdfunding is a form of raising funds – for a business, project, or venture – from a large number of people (the crowd). Thanks to the internet, this is now easier to do than ever.
With popular sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you can get your idea in front of more people – selling your venture, and making it simple for them to donate. Crowdfunding is also a fantastic way of validating your idea – before you launch it. If no one’s interested, it might be a sign that there’s no market for your idea. In this case, you’ll want to know now, rather than after you’ve sunk time and money into developing the idea!
Crowdfunding platforms also allow you to offer your potential investors something in return for their donation. For example, if the venture you’re looking to finance in retirement is a feature film, you might offer investors of a certain amount a role as an extra in the film. If it’s publishing a book, you might offer donors an acknowledgement in print.
Of course, using a crowdfunding platform is the most simplest way of putting your idea for a venture out there. They’re well-known, well-established sites, with a lot of traffic.
However, they’re also expensive. Kickstarter, for instance, will take a 5% fee of the total funds you raise, if your campaign is successful. There’s also the payment processing fees of 3% + 20 cents per pledge. Indiegogo will also take a 5% cut.
With that in mind, you can crowdfund without relying on these platforms – you just have to get smart about it. Instead, you can create your own website using a website builder tool, such as Wix and BigCommerce – an idea made even more palatable by the fact that, these days, website costs are more affordable than ever.
On this website, you could publicize your proposed venture: discussing the reasons behind it, and giving people a simple way to donate funds.
You’ll still need to connect a domain name – but many website builders are an easy way to create an online presence for your venture. You can attract donors with a beautiful, bespoke site – without the egregious fees.
5. Enter a Contest
Okay, so it’s a bit of a long shot. But entering a contest can be a lucrative – if not the most sustainable – way of generating funds to finance a post-retirement business venture.
Every year, for example, FedEx runs its Small Business Grant Contest. The three winners each bagging a $50,000 ‘Grand Prize’, and seven ‘First Place’ contestants scoring $20,000 apiece. Not exactly chump change!
6. Start a Side Hustle
We know what you’re thinking: you didn’t retire, only to start working again!
But sometimes, a small side hustle can be a low-risk way of generating funds to fuel a commercial venture. Plus, the advent of technology and the internet has made it easier to make money than ever before.
You could teach English to students in China, in real time, via a video conferencing tool. You could become a taxi driver via one of the many ride-sharing apps, or start your own dropshipping business. The sky’s the limit!
7. Cash in Your Investments
When an alluring business opportunity calls – particularly a time-conscious one – you have to pick up the phone.
And, if you don’t have access to a reliable line of credit, a contest-winning idea, or the credit history to utilize some of the alternative funding providers we’ve discussed above, you might have to make some sacrifices.
That could mean cashing in your investments. Be they stocks, bonds, or an alternative asset (like gold), the best way to finance your next venture could be selling on your nest eggs.
Of course, this approach isn’t without risk – particularly if those investments are long-established and have tax advantages. But if you need money to finance your next venture – and you need it soon – it’s worth considering.
Financing a Venture in Retirement: Conclusion
Okay – so Pina Coladas and beaches are nice. But for a retirement that goes beyond the ordinary – there’s nothing like launching a brand-new business venture.
The trouble is, stretching yourself also means stretching your wallet. It can be a struggle to fund a business without a proper strategy in place.
However, we hope this article has helped. Here, we’ve shown that you don’t always need to rely on traditional forms of credit – bank loans, credit cards, or even family and friends – to get started.
Instead, try some of the more modern ways of financing your post-retirement venture: angel investors, crowdfunding, P2P borrowing, and contests. You can also cash in your investments, and cash out your retirement funds – sometimes before you’re even at retirement age.
Ultimately, there are many ways to fund a business post-retirement. Which one suits you will depend on your unique financial circumstances – there’s certainly no ‘one size fits all’ approach. And remember, always weigh up the pros and cons – the risks and the rewards – of any venture before committing to a line of credit.
Some of the best businesses, after all, were bootstrapped.
Published First on Due. Read Here.
Image Credit: by Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels; Thank you!
The Future of Calendars: Predictions and Trends
We live in a world where online calendars are a part of our daily lives. No matter how diligently you use an online calendar, you’re still benefiting from it. For instance, you might be reminded to send a birthday card online, schedule events or business meetings, or block out your day.
It is important to realize that online calendars are still a relatively new productivity tool that is rapidly developing. As a matter of fact, your online calendar is becoming more of a personal assistant that will advise you on how to spend your time best. But, there is so much more than calendars are capable of in the future, such as the following predictions and trends.
Solving scheduling problems.
“So far, it looks like the reinvention of the calendar will happen in two phases,” notes David Pierce for Protocol. “First, users will get access to a new set of tools, integrated with Google and Outlook calendars but opening up lots of new features.”
After that, calendars will be turned into a standalone service if they prove successful. In the same way, Slack is to email, Zoom is to a desk phone, and Airtable is to Excel, all these companies hope to be to your Outlook calendar, he adds. “Time is money, all these calendar companies will argue to investors and customers, and we’ll save you both.”
“We’re only at the beginning of the first phase, though, and still attacking the first problem worth solving: scheduling. How about one solution? It’s as simple as speeding up the process.
Superhuman, for example, scans emails for dates like “next Friday” and lets users send invitations accordingly. Scheduling is, in essence, an email problem. As a result, it should be available as an email solution as well. In a similar vein, Vimcal, often referred to as “Superhuman for calendars,” is a new app that focuses on speed, and CEO John Li said most people want meeting creation to happen lightning fast.
Calendar is another option if you want to speed up the scheduling process. The Find a Time feature in Calendar allows you to schedule with others quickly. Using multiple calendar users, create events based on their availability and see when they are busy.
Chatbots will be able to organize your meetings.
Professional life has become quite complicated following the pandemic. For example, working remotely from home isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Many of us find it hard to keep up with the increasing demands on our time.
At the same time, the number of American employees working remotely is expected to increase to 36.2 million by 2025. So, we’re going to have to get used to these new working conditions. Thankfully, technology can save the day.
The majority of the time, work involves scheduling meetings and being on time. In order to make your life easier, you can use a chatbot to help you set up meetings. Chatbots can still be useful as an additional meeting planning tool, such as SharePoint calendars.
You can also schedule meetings using Messagely or TARS. It is also beneficial to manage teams remotely and track their time by using a time tracker. It is possible to balance work and life with the help of these chatbots.
Chatbots and software powered by artificial intelligence also show great promise for helping businesses become more productive and profitable. For example, a phone validator app checks the validity, type of line, network carrier, location, etc., of the line to improve productivity.
These chatbots can handle scheduling and organizing meetings while you focus on other important tasks.
Calendars will become even more intelligent.
Smart calendars or intelligent calendars collect every schedule or action to boost productivity and simplify management using intelligence or automation. Using an intelligent calendar will help you establish boundaries between your personal and professional life.
As well as blocking time, you can reduce the time spent on certain tasks manually. Your ideal workweek can be automatically scheduled and managed using a smart calendar. Besides scheduling tasks, you can use an intelligent calendar to increase efficiency and reduce human dependency.
It goes without saying that an intelligent calendar can enhance productivity and save you time. In an effort to streamline meetings, increase event aggregation, and reduce time wastage, intelligent calendars have become a necessity due to the following:
- Notes can be jotted down in the calendar to help keep track of important information and deadlines.
- Synchronize your personal and work calendars.
- It is possible to get information from smart notes that will help you determine what actions to take.
- Organizes all your meeting invitations
- From the app, you can get relevant information about the weather, traffic, and drive times.
With Motion, for example, you can always know what to do next. It creates a day-by-day schedule based on meetings, giving you a minute-by-minute overview. Trevor AI is another AI calendar app that helps you organize your day by keeping track of your lists of tasks to do; this AI calendar app puts one task at a time so that you work more efficiently.
Furthermore, Calendar can provide smart suggestions on when, where, and who to invite when scheduling meetings. It’s not magic. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, Calendar can create a unique scheduling experience for you.
Finally, intelligent calendars can help you become less distracted and more productive.
If you block out 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in your calendar for undisturbed work, quiet time is from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. Your calendar will automatically block out this time instead of creating a recurring event.
During this time, you may find your calendar automatically disables distractions like email and social media notifications. It’s possible that your calendar will determine when you’re most productive as well. As such, if you fade out every 50 minutes, you’ll be reminded to stretch and take a break.
And, that’s just scratching the surface. Considering that the size of the global artificial intelligence market was $136.55 billion in 2022 and is projected to increase by 37.3% from 2023 to 2030, calendars will continue to become more and more intelligent.
The AR calendar will bring your calendar to life.
It’s true that some companies have been using augmented reality (AR) to make plain old paper calendars more interactive for the past several years.
As an example, once you download an app, you just need to point your phone at a calendar image and tap the screen. Using AR, Tengo Interactive created an airport calendar that provided users with a behind-the-scenes view. Other companies have created wall calendars that utilize augmented reality to explain their entire product range.
By 2028, the AR market is expected to reach $97.76 billion. Due to this, augmented reality calendars and marketing opportunities will continue to expand rapidly.
By using this technology, you will be able to walk through a property in virtual reality. From there, you might be able to make an appointment with the realtor if you like what you see.
If you are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, you could experience the destination before booking the trip. Or, you could view local restaurants, salons, or museums. You then have the option to make reservations or book tickets and have them automatically added to your calendar.
Use ChatGPT prompts to manage your time.
On November 30, 2022, ChatGPT was launched, which quickly sent the internet into a frenzy. Just one week after it was launched, OpenAI’s chatbot reached 1 million users. It also gained 57 million users in its first month and is supported by Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in Open AI.
Still not impressed? After two months of launch, ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users, making it the world’s fastest-growing consumer app. And some people have even dubbed it “the best AI chatbot ever released to the general public.”
As a result, it would be remiss of us not to mention ChatGPT. Furthermore, the app deserves its own section due to its popularity.
But, what link is there between ChatGPT and calendars?
In particular, Chat GPT can help you locate open times on your calendar for dental appointments or team meetings. In order to fix this problem, you might write a prompt telling it what your schedule looks like for the week and ask for a reorganization.
As well as scheduling meetings and appointments, ChatGPT can keep track of deadlines and deliverables for event managers. ChatGPT’s natural language processing feature enables event managers to input their requirements and view their schedules on a calendar.
Some of your chores will be taken care of by your calendar.
“Online calendars aren’t merely more useful than their paper peers,” writes Howie Jones in a previous Calendar post. “Today’s top calendar apps can recognize and prevent double-bookings.” Others can adjust meetings across time zones.
But, over the next decade or so, how much more will online calendars be capable of?
“While I wouldn’t hold out for magically tackling your chores for you, there are many more online calendars will be able to do by 2030,” Howie adds. You may see the following upgrades:
As your calendar continues to evolve, your reservations will be made for you. How? Several popular online calendar apps will integrate airlines and hotel services. From the same app, you can decide when and where you want to go.
Scan and plan.
Let’s say that you walk past a flyer or a billboard advertising a local event. Rather than scanning down the information, why not let your calendar app copy it down for you?
Suggest nearby events.
You can use your mobile device’s location tools to find out where you are. Your calendar app will then show you all events within a specified radius when you choose the day and hour. As long as it knows your preferences, it won’t suggest a roller coaster park if you hate them.
Tend to your home.
Google Home and Alexa will soon be able to connect with your online calendar, so you can schedule actions for each device connected to your smart home network.
Maintain your vehicle.
Changing your car’s oil and rotating its tires should be done every few thousand miles. Using your calendar app, you can keep track of your mechanic visits and schedule future appointments. With the help of an app like Google Maps, it will alert you when you have reached your mileage threshold. The app will suggest a highly-rated mechanic if your current mechanic is unsatisfactory.
Published First on Calendar. Read Here.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Samson Katt; Pexels; Thank you!
Top 10 Software Development Companies In Chicago 2023
Finding top software development companies in Chicago is never an easy choice. Chicago is a significant technology hub, and there are thousands of companies that have offices in this region. This makes choosing your partner difficult. But not from now. If you stick through the end of this article, you’ll know the software development companies you should approach whenever you need any services.
List of top 10 Software Development Companies in Chicago For 2023
eSparkBiz is a software development company with multiple decades of experience in serving international and local clients. The company has multiple offices around the globe and offers hiring models that are suitable for customers of all sizes.
It offers services like digital transformation, software development, web app development, mobile app development, AI/ML, Data Science, In-depth Analytics, IoT, and Blockchain development. This company is a one-stop solution for all your software needs, and you’ll get the best solutions from their experienced staff.
eSparkBiz also provides end-to-end product development and maintenance for startups. So, if you’ve got a great idea, give them a ring and get it transformed into a business with their expertise.
2. Forte Group
Forte Group is a large software development company from Chicago with 22 years of industry experience. The company has more than 900 software professionals working on different projects and technologies for their global clients.
The company provides product management, QA, Ecommerce Strategy, and enterprise software engineering services. Forte provides end-to-end product development and maintenance for customers around the world from its ten global office locations.
Highland is another company on this list with multiple decades of experience. It assists organizations in developing, designing, scaling, and customizing digital goods, experiences, and companies that benefit others. It has an extensive portfolio of projects, and till now, it has helped its clients launch over 350+ ground-breaking products.
The company provides innovative business solutions and helps companies with digital transformation and innovation needs.
4. Launchpad Lab
Launchpad lab is a team of digital product specialists who collaborate with you to change your company by using the relevant services, talents, and technology. The company provides a wide variety of services like web app development, mobile app development, UI/UX design, product strategy, and salesforce development.
If you want to work with the best and most futuristic technologies, the team at Launchpad lab will surely help you. Moreover, the company has already built and maintained futuristic solutions since 2012 for companies around the globe.
5. Vault Innovation
Vault innovation is a custom software development company that provides end-to-end software engineering services. It has helped numerous business owners launch their exciting digital products and leave competitors in the dust.
The company provides various development services like Technical architecture, Backend Development, Frontend development, QA testing, and project management too.
Vault innovation also provides flexible hiring models that help you leverage the best while keeping costs in control. Whether you are looking to build an entirely new product or enhance an existing product, Vault innovation has the skilled developers to turn your requests into features.
Neologic was founded in 2008, and since then, it has provided multiple software development and engineering services to global clients. Its services include process consultation, product management, and software support and maintenance over and above the core development services.
It follows a three-step process for software development and helps clients globally. Neologic consultants start with deep research on your problems and understand the core needs. After that, they design the end-to-end solutions and chart out the plans, and begin developing software that helps your business.
Plego technologies is a software consulting company with multiple offices around the globe. It provides services like web development, eCommerce store development, AI/ML products, and many more things.
Plego has been in the software development business since 2002, and by now, it has worked with large corporations like Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Samsung, Intel, etc.
The company offers multiple hiring models, so you can choose the one that provides maximum efficiency for your investments, and you can always change the hiring models as you advance.
8. Atomic Object
Atomic Object is a custom software development and consulting company for all your technical needs. It provides services like web development, mobile development, IoT software, Desktop applications, and Cloud migration too.
The company works with the latest technologies like Android, Swift, Azure, React, AWS, NodeJS, and many others as and when its clients require it.
9. Caxy Interactive
Caxy Interactive is one of the oldest and top software development companies in Chicago. It was established in 1999 and has been based in Chicago since then. The company provides services like web development, analytics, and design for global customers.
SimForm is a unique digital engineering and solutions provider. The company provides services in four main sections such as product engineering, cloud, and DevOps engineering, Data engineering, and Quality engineering.
If you want to build exceptional products with an extensive team, SimForm is the way to go. It provides project management, design, development, performance testing, and app management services. SimForm started in 2010, and by now, it has helped clients of various levels right including startups, public companies, Fortune 500 companies, WHO, and NGOs too.
Whether you are looking for an experienced and reliable solution provider or you are looking for an innovative and experimental software development company, you have all the best options in this list. So clear your requirements, and head to any of these software development companies in Chicago to build the best technological products for your needs.
Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!
Best Moz Alternatives of 2023
Every entrepreneur and small business owner needs to get SEO right if they want to be competitive in both the online and local markets in which they operate.
Making sure your website gets seen by the right people—your prospects—at the right time—when they’re ready to buy—is just the first-level challenge. You also need to make sure your site is optimized for local search traffic and ranking well organically to prospects who are in an earlier stage of the buyer’s journey.
To solve those business website challenges, many owners and entrepreneurs turn to reputable online SEO tools. For many years, Moz has been considered to be at the top of that list.
Moz and What It Can Do for Entrepreneurs
Moz Pro is a suite of SEO tools that includes keyword research, site audit, rank tracking, link building, and much more. One of the first SEO tools to hit the market, Moz Pro remains quite popular with businesses of all sizes.
However, some find Moz Pro to be prohibitively expensive, and many find its value—that is, what it offers in exchange for those high prices—to be less compelling than some of its competitors. While it does offer a free plan, that level provides access to limited features. Additionally, many users find the UI/UX (user interface/user experience) non-intuitive, with a steep learning curve.
These are just a few reasons why entrepreneurs might want to seek a different alternative to resolve their SEO challenges. In addition to tools offered by search engines, such as Google Search Console (a free tool that Google offers to help monitor site performance, indexing issues, and more), consider some of the Moz alternatives we’ve listed below.
Semrush is a comprehensive suite of SEO tools that offers keyword research, competitor analysis, site audit, backlink analysis, and more. Like Moz, it will help you research and analyze keywords, including search volume, related keywords, and more.
Both sets of tools also help you choose keywords that are accessible and competitive, but SEMrush helps you assess how many links you’ll have to build in order to rank for that specific keyphrase. While Moz offers ranking data for results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo! Search engines, SEMrush only provides Google data.
SEMrush may also provide more help in the field of social media analysis with SM content optimization, management, and performance analysis tools. It offers a free trial, plus a free version with limited functionality as well as three paid plans.
Click here to try Semrush for free for 14 days.
A popular SEO tool, Ahrefs offers keyword research, site audit, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, and more. Ahrefs lets you audit your own site for top keywords and performance, backlinks and anchor text, overall domain performance, and competitive domains.
Many users find the Ahrefs interface to be more simply designed and intuitive to navigate and use. It also provides robust domain data, including estimated domain traffic with the ability to view changes to a site’s performance over time.
Ahrefs will also show you keyword research data for ten search engines, not just Google. Like SEMrush, it lets you know how many backlinks you’ll need to build in order to rank well for selected keywords. Websites can use a free Webmaster tool’s version, or you can sign up for one of four paid plans.
3. Raven Tools
Raven Tools is a suite of SEO tools that includes site audit, keyword research, backlink analysis, rank tracking, and more. Users rank it especially highly for its keyword analysis and SERP (search engine results pages) rank tracking. Unlike some other alternatives on our list, it doesn’t offer a free version, but it does provide a free full-feature trial for seven days.
As part of its suite of tools, Raven Tools gives you access to SEO audits, on-page SEO analysis, SERP analytics, and page speed data. In addition, you can find tools for keyword tracking, backlinks tracking, and paid ad tools. With five paid plan levels from $50 to $480 a month, you can find the package that suits your business site’s needs.
4. Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO provides a backlink analysis tool that yields information on backlinks, anchor text, and referring domains. That’s the primary difference between Majestic and Moz. Whereas the latter site aims to provide a fully featured suite of SEO tools, Majestic is aimed at a narrower slice of the market. It does backlink analysis very well, however, including analysis of top incoming backlinks, tools to help you build more incoming links, comparison tools for your competitors’ domains, and other relevant metrics such as anchor texts and referring domains.
There are no free versions (and no free trial offers either, for that matter). Majestic SEO does offer three paid plans, which doesn’t provide as much choice as other sites we’ve profiled here. However, if you’re looking for help with your backlinks, it’s definitely one to consider.
5. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a site crawler that helps you identify technical SEO issues on your site. It manually analyzes each page on your site for broken links, duplicate content, missing title tags, and much more. You can also connect it with your Google Analytics account to get the most out of the data your GA account generates for you.
Unlike many of the other Moz alternatives here, which operate on an SaaS web-based model, Screaming Frog is a desktop program for both PCs and Macs. It offers a free version and a single paid version that costs about $260 for a license that must be renewed yearly.
BrightLocal provides a targeted set of tools that help you manage your local business listings, monitor customer reviews, and track your local search rankings. It’s a good choice if you’re looking primarily for local SEO and reputation management tools, with access to local SEO and Google business profile audit reports.
BrightLocal offers a two-week free trial with access to all features, as well as three paid levels to its all-in-one suite of tools. In addition, you can pay-as-you-go for access solely to its Citation Builder tools, starting at $2 per website, including submission to hundreds of sites, removing duplicate listings, and repairing errors in existing listings.
SpyFu is a competitive analysis tool that provides insights into your competitors’ SEO strategies, including their organic search rankings, paid search campaigns, and more. If you’re mostly in search of tools for competitor analysis, rank tracking, and domain comparison functionality, SpyFu is a good alternative to Moz Pro.
SpyFu offers both a free trial and a free version, as well as three paid versions that let you run customized monthly reports.
The Bottom Line
If you need a comprehensive set of SEO tools but Moz Pro is a little out of your price range, or more than what you need, there are lots of Moz alternatives you can choose from. Consider exactly what SEO needs your site is currently experiencing before you choose an alternative SEO tool to try. For example, if competitor analysis is more important to you, look at Ahrefs or SpyFu. If you’re more concerned about local SEO and SEM, consider BrightLocal.
Check for a trial period or a free plan in order to test out the interface and UX generally, since you’ll want to pick an option that feels intuitive to use and that you can navigate with relative ease. Make sure the plan you’re considering meets both your business needs and your budget. That’s the best way to make sure you’re using the right SEO tools for your business and website.
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