Publisher Channel Content by GetApp.com
If you’re starting a new venture the last thing you want to worry about is investing time and resources in expensive software systems. But that’s not to say you should be scribbling contacts or leads down on the back of a beermat, or doing your accounts with a calculator and a notepad.
It’s all about choosing the right software for your fledgling business, ensuring that it’s cost effective yet scalable and that it all knits together nicely.
Cloud-based business apps are very popular with startups, and it’s not hard to see why. According to GetApp’s own GetData research, SMBs favor cloud-based software because it’s easier to deploy, quicker to implement, and requires less IT resources than installed, on-premise software.
But what apps should you choose for your startup? There are so many SaaS business apps out there that making a decision isn’t easy. Luckily for you, at GetApp, we know a thing or two about software for startups, and have a huge catalog of business apps for you to explore, allowing you to easily filter by pricing model, organization type, and industry. You can look for cloud apps that integrate with a particular software, and read user reviews from businesses like yours.
Here’s an example of a starter-pack of cloud apps for starting a small business. All of these are aimed at small businesses and have flexible payment models that include a free trial, freemium, or per-user plans. You’ll find that in a lot of cases, they integrate with each other, making it very simple to share data and work between them.
Google Apps for Work (communication/productivity)
Perhaps the first software you should set up as a new business is Google Apps for Work. This combines all your old favorites such as Gmail, Hangouts, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Slides. It’s a simple and familiar way to run your office communications, and makes sense to install as your go-to productivity suite, since so many other cloud business apps deliver integrations for Google Apps.
Price: From $5 per user per month, or $50 per user per year + tax.
Insightly is a customer relationship management (CRM) app that is well suited to small businesses. The application allows you to view all of your existing and potential customers in a clean, centralized area. You can attach information to a contact’s details and assign access permissions to control who sees the contact. Insightly integrates with many other apps in this list, including Campaign Monitor, Google Apps, and Freshdesk.
Price: Free for up-to two users. From $12 per user per month.
Wrike (project management)
Designed to help make your day-to-day work much easier, Wrike acts as a hub for projects, where each team member can discuss tasks and ideas, manage schedules, and store files relating to particular projects. The app is based around activity streams, which allow you to see exactly what everyone is working on. Wrike includes a Gmail plugin that allows you to turn any email into a task with a single click.
Price: Free for teams up to 5 users. Pro version starts at $49 per month for 5 users.
Campaign Monitor (email marketing)
Email has become one of the most popular ways to leverage technology to both keep customers coming back, and win new customers, and Campaign Monitor is a good emailing marketing app to start out with. The software makes it dead easy to create personalized emails to send out to customers and leads, and includes powerful tools to help you monitor the success of your campaigns.
Campaign Monitor can be hooked up to Insightly to import contacts to add to campaigns, and tightly knits in with Google Contacts and Freshdesk, too.
Price: From $9 per user per month
Freshdesk (customer service)
If your startup has a customer service department, no matter how small, Freshdesk can offer tools to help the team manage and prioritize requests so they are working more effectively. The software includes an automated ticketing system, which sorts all incoming tickets and assigns them to the most appropriate rep. Freshdesk can be integrated into Gmail to transform your company’s email into support tickets. It also integrates with Campaign Monitor, Insightly, and FreshBooks.
Price: From $15 per agent per month (first three agents are free)
If you want to get a handle on your invoicing, FreshBooks is worth investing in. It provides a very fast way to track time and get paid faster. You can use the application to create custom invoices for your startup, and it supports recurring subscriptions or email invoicing.
If you have agents using Freshdesk to manage customer enquiries, you can take advantage of FreshBook’s integration with the service to track how much time agents are spending on a ticket, and generate logs and timesheets, then send the invoice to the customer.
Price: From $9.95 per month
Cyfe (business intelligence)
Want to get a handle on how your small business is performing? Cyfe is an all-in-one tool that allows you to monitor all of your business data in one place, through attractive dashboards. Cyfe pulls in data from popular business applications such as Google Analytics, Gmail, FreshBooks, and Campaign Monitor via widgets, allowing you to view information in a very easy-to-interpret way. It’s great for spotting patterns in certain areas of your business to quickly eliminate issues or capitalize on opportunities.
Price: Free plan. Premium starts from $19 per month.
Of course, there are plenty of other awesome cloud apps for business out there, and it’s worth looking around before making a decision. To help you in your quest to find the right software for you as your business grows, GetApp has its own ranking system, known as GetRank, which analyses the top apps in a range of markets, including customer service, email marketing, and accounting.
Oh, and if you want to test your startup savvy, check out our fun failed startups quiz over on the GetApp Lab!
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