Startups can create a lot of hectic work for their founders. Seemingly every day will be filled with one emergency or another, and it can be hard to keep track of essential tasks. Technology gives founders the ability to streamline many facets of their business these days.
There are 5 categories of tools that are essential for founders everywhere. Here they are in no particular order.
Cash is an organization’s lifeblood, but a company’s financial functions stretch far beyond mere cash collection. Payroll, expense management, budgeting, and invoice management are all critical business functions that cannot be ignored.
Many free tools help entrepreneurs streamline these processes and even automate cash collection. For instance, you can use a service that provides free invoice templates for entrepreneurs, send an email with a payment link, and have the cash automatically deposited in your bank account seamlessly.
These free tools also integrate with accounting software that makes cash projection easy. Budget management is a tough task at most companies, and an out-of-control budget hurts a company’s bottom line. The best solution is to use software that integrates with an invoice creation platform to provide end-to-end visibility into the company’s finances.
Create processes that employees must follow when filing expenses so that cash levels are always tracked accurately. When strong processes are paired with great software, efficiency is almost guaranteed.
Marketing and Sales
Sales and marketing are two of the most critical business functions, perhaps even more so than finance. While finance manages the money that enters and leaves a business, sales and marketing make sure money keeps entering it. Without these functions, a business cannot hope to survive.
At most companies, marketing and sales are distinct departments. However, most startups wisely choose to combine both functions since they rely on each other a lot. Marketing creates collateral that sales can use to close deals. In addition, marketing also provides sales with highly-qualified leads to increase business bottom lines.
In turn, sales teams inform marketing about customer pain points that they can address via helpful promotions. Choose a platform that allows for easy collaboration between these 2 functions. From a sales perspective, the platform should integrate with your CRM or have a robust module of its own. It should allow sales teams to track leads and details of deal stages
Marketing platforms tend to be vast, but at the very least, you want a platform that connects to a CRM module and has data regarding customer touchpoints. Integration with a sales module is also key since both functions can collaborate on customer pain points and analyze failed deals for future reference.
Every startup has tasks and projects of which they need to keep track. Many of these are critical and face tight deadlines. Project management software is the best solution to keep track of tasks and ensure everything gets delivered on time.
Whether it’s a traditional Gantt Chart interface or a Kanban interface, choose the one that feels the most intuitive. Pairing a project management suite with an IM tool will deliver the best results since communication and collaboration becomes easy.
For instance, team members can pull tasks from the project management software and create meetings around it and share documents in an IM tool.
Thanks to remote work now becoming a reality, choosing the right IM tool is critical. Look for ones that allow your team to collaborate easily by sharing relevant documents and conducting ad-hoc video meetings.
Customers are essential to every startup, and managing their requests is critical for growth. Great customer support tools build your brand and establish strong relationships with prospects, turning them into repeat customers.
These days, customers access products from different platforms, and managing their queries can become difficult. For instance, they can send you an email followed by a chat message, or a message on a social media platform. Keeping track of the conversation chain can become tough, and if your company cannot do this, it delivers a less than cohesive experience.
Customer attitudes to products in the market change on a dime these days, and your customer service platform must give you the ability to conduct surveys and gather feedback. Needless to say, any tool you use should allow you to assign support tickets to relevant team members and ensure that all tasks are executed.
Creative tools tend to be looked at as an extension of marketing, but given the range they have, it’s fair to give them a separate category of their own. The types of tasks you can execute with these tools are also varied. For instance, you can use tools to locate the best products for startups.
Alternatively, you can use tools to create attractive infographics to complement your content. There are also free tools that allow you to integrate your social media content under one roof and schedule posts ahead of time.
A Wide Variety of Tools
There are many tools that startups can use these days but make sure you have at least one from all of the categories mentioned above. These tools will make your life as a founder much easier and ensure your business runs optimally.