Building a startup is a long-term affair and getting your minimum viable product off the ground sooner rather than later has become a prerequisite, with over 500,000 startups taking off each year in the USA alone. Startups are now realising that the ingenious idea of theirs won’t last longer if it doesn’t take off earlier than planned for.
A startup usually has to be frugal in its operations and bigger investments on the labour pool or technologies aren’t feasible. This leads us to the reality that a startup and small business, has to get a lot of done in a comparatively much lesser time. To kick-start your small business, assuming that it isn’t backed up by thousands of dollars in angel funding or venture capital, you would need access to the ideal set of tools tailored just to suit your needs.
So, to get more startups up and running quickly, below are a list of the Best 10 Essential tools that every startup ought to make use of. These diverse set of tools will help you tackle all mundane, yet time-consuming tasks and save you a lot of your valuable time and expenditure untrained personnel.
Social media is something a startup couldn’t ignore at any cost. With the rise of the Internet giving power to the people to reach out to a far wider audience, establishing and maintaining meaningful connection with your customers is essential.
There are tens of powerful social media platforms out there that you ought to be active upon and Hootsuite is just the right tool for managing all your social media platforms from a single tab. Be it with posting new updates across multiple social media platforms or tracking user activity on them, Hootsuite has your back with the ability to manage and schedule your social media posts. Their social media monitoring tools allow you to keep track of what fans are saying about your brand and respond to them instantly, building better relationship with your customers.
In addition to all this, you also get analytics of your social media profiles to keep track of what is working and what isn’t to change course. You can also collaborate with your team and let them lend their voice to the bigger cause of the startup.
Salesforce’s Desk is one of the best and must have SaaS tools for every startup and small business alike for customer service management. Customer support is one of the most rudimentary part of a business and yet many start-ups have failed due to not valuing the customer’s voice in high regards.
Customer feedback is a great way to grow your startup even better and Desk’s customer management tool makes it even easier and quicker for you to have access to their cases and get things sorted out at your earliest. The tool also helps startups and small businesses to build ‘Help’ documentation and provide them with a self-service solution to let them find solutions for a few minor tasks themselves.
Satisfaction scores and performance monitoring makes it even easier for your startup to quickly get to the heart of problems and resolve them faster.
Comindware is a company delivering workflow and project management solutions to small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike. Comindware Tracker, Project and Team network are three of the best software solutions to manage your startup’s workflow better. To manage all your repetitive business’ tasks, documents and data,
Comindware’s Tracker software lets you collaborate with your team, make the key data accessible and workflow automated for better operations. The drag-and-drop graphical user interface makes it easy to create and manage team workflows. Comindware Project is a tool that makes project management easier with the ability to set and track priority tasks and key dates.
Comindware’s Team Network is the comprehensive internal team communication tool that would let your team keep all task-related discussions right in the task, manage documents collaboratively, and discuss specific matters beyond or across your projects in separate discussion rooms.
#4. Wave Apps
Wave Apps Accounting tool is a great free tool for startups and small businesses to keep track of their accounts and payment receipts. Getting all your numbers right is essential, no matter how negligible you might consider them at an initial stage. The best thing about this app is that it ties up with your PayPal or Bank account to make manual accounts entry look like a thing of the past. You can also generate professional balance sheets for your business, which are essential while trying to reach out to potential investors.
Their free unlimited invoicing and payroll features make it easier for small businesses to keep everything synchronized and accessible at a single place.
For start-ups without a standalone sales team and wanting to make the sales pipeline even simpler and easier to manage, Pipedrive’s visually appealing way of putting your sales data is truly effective. You can use the simple drag-and-drop interface to list and view your products based on the sales stage they are presently in. The timeline view of sales pipeline helps you focus better on the important activities and also lets you get back on track to work on deals that are to be closed sooner.
Now you can become your startup’s own sales manager and cut on the large personnel usually employed by big corporations.
DaPulse is one of the best team management solutions that have ever been created. This product helps startups keep track of the big picture and group people together to work collectively on the bigger motive of the startup. This is the place where your businesses’ higher level goals and motives are met with doable tasks and the people associated with them.
DaPulse makes it easier for you to assign people who lead a specific task and collaborate with them from a single place, keeping track of all the important tasks and to-do’s while on it.
Trusted by some of the major Fortune 500 companies, Optimizely is simply the best A/B testing tool that you will ever use. A/B testing is essential to every business at any stage of its existence, as a company ceases to grow further when it fails to adapt change. Tracking what isn’t working and making amends to get it right the next time around is made easier with A/B testing of your app or website. You can quickly get started on your website or app analytics with a clean visual editor and a simpler integration with different platforms.
The powerful web and mobile optimizations provides you with actionable data and a real-time ROI that lets you target your audience better.
WordPress is a great way to get started on a blog for your startup. There are many blogging platforms available with their individual advantages and drawbacks to them, but to quickly get started on one without having to code much, WordPress would be a great choice. A blog is essential to startups these days and WordPress’s ubiquitous blogging platform can be used to create communities to share a blog among the internal team or make the posts. There are two variants of WordPress –the regular one can be accessed at WordPress.com and the self-hosted version at WordPress.org.
The comprehensive Content Management System makes sure that major part of your blogging endeavours are taken care of without you having to keep fidgeting with the code on your blog. The great community support for WordPress with thousands of available themes and plugins make it easily the widely accepted choice for a blogging platform.
Mailchimp is probably one of the most famous SaaS tool on this list and yet poses itself as an essential when it comes to building and maintaining your powerful E-mail subscribers. More than 7 Million users deliver over 500 million E-mails each day to their subscribers through this app. In addition to designing opt-in newsletters to let customers sign up, you can also manage your subscribers by taking a look at their individual profiles, which feature their level of engagement with your business.
Their advance analytics and reporting let you monitor sales and activity on your website through E-mail opt-ins. With complete flexibility over the design and accessibility, Mailchimp is clearly the best app for managing E-mail better for any business.
#10. Google Apps for Business
Google Apps for Business is a comprehensive set of tools developed by Google – all in one place. These tools were built for communicating, collaborating and storing of essential data and managing the processes. Some of the major apps included here include the likes of Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts, Calendar, Drive, Docs and Vault. Video and voice calling, storage space for essential data, Business E-mail addresses and easier collaboration are some of the essential features of Google Apps for Business that should appeal to every startup.
Built for small businesses and corporate companies alike, Google Apps for business is a set of tools that cannot be ignored.
The cash-strapped start-ups have to cut down on their expenses wherever possible and these set of essential tools will help you accomplish significant tasks without having to shell out huge sums on trained personnel. These set of tools range across different set of essential tasks that are crucial for the growth of a startup.
If you have any suggestion for a must-have tool for startups, feel free to share your tips in the comments section below.
Images: Author’s own
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