Big brand names such as Amazon, Facebook, and even Apple all started off as struggling start-ups. Nothing more than just ideas that were driven by passionate founders who, apart from being smart and very well conversant with what they wanted to achieve, employed the right kind of tools to help them propel their success. As an entrepreneur with a vision, your need for business tools cannot be stressed enough. You simply have to make use of the right tools to streamline your growth.
Granted, there are just way too many start-up tools in the market today and testing each and every single one is not only impractical but is a waste of time. However, there are several tools that fall under the “must-have” category. These are the kind of tools that save you time, reduce your costs, help you market your products and streamline the day to day running of your business.
With this in mind, here are some of the most important and best tools that your start-up should be using today.
Must-Have Start-Up Tools for your Business
The numbers are startling – up to 90% of all start-ups fail. There is no doubt that you don’t want your business to be part of that grim statistic. Here are some tools that can help you avoid that fate:
Documentation Tools for Your Investors
Your startup is probably going to need funding at some point. To make a good first impression on any investor, you need to be fully prepared with your documents. However, this does not mean walking around with binders that are 15-inches thick. One of the best ways to keep all your documents well organized and to show your investors that you are a tech-savvy company is to have them stored in a cloud-based virtual data room. Also known as a VDR, this type of document storage is not only secure but also very well-organized and streamlined. With just a few clicks, only authorized investors can have full access to the right kind of documents that might help you get the funding you need.
Manage Your Brand through Social Monitoring
There is more to brand management than just having a website, a few social media pages and putting out numerous newsletters. You have to pay close attention to the conversation that is being had about you without you. Basically, you need to know what people are saying about your brand behind your back. One of the best ways to do that is to vigilantly monitor your mentions on social media. You can do that by joining one of the many social listening platforms that let you know what people are saying about you as well as your competitors.
Be in Good Terms with Your Service Providers
Your service providers (think suppliers, distributors and so on) can make or break your business. These are the people who make up the most important bits of all the moving parts that must come together to make you a success. If you don’t pay them on time or deal with any issues they may have promptly, they could very well ground your operations. One way to do that is to institute accounts payable automation in your company so that the relationship between you, your service providers and money is streamlined and smooth.
Turn Your Website into your Personal Sales Agent
As much as you may think your website is simple enough, what you must remember is that it may only be simple enough for you. That’s because you already know what it’s all about and what your company is trying to sell. Many, if not all, of your website visitors don’t have the privilege of having worked on your start-up from its inception. They, therefore, might find your website confusion and as such, may log off and never return.
To remedy this, you can use the navigation platform that makes websites smoother and overlays cues that direct your customers where you want them to go. There are several platforms that can help you do this and more.
Automate Employee Management
As the founder of the company, there are so many areas that will demand your attention on any given day. As much as you may want to have a hand or say in who you hire, to begin with, you simply cannot allow yourself to be bogged down by time-consuming HR duties. If you don’t have the budget to actually hire an HR or outsource it, then you might want to make sure that you have a tool that can handle such duties on auto-pilot.
Think of a platform that can take care of things like:
- Employee scheduling.
- Payroll management.
- Attendance management.
- Inter-staff communication.
Not only will having such a system give you a clear picture of who you have on your team but it will highlight all the areas that need to be filled by professional personnel.
Although you might get tempted to do everything on your own, that course of action is very ill-advised. It will be a waste of your talents. You need startup tools to make your company more efficient.