The key elements that guarantee the success of a start-up company are consistency, agility, and innovation.
a) Consistency keeps you going when you are feeling drained of energy and resources.
b) Agility helps you to make productive and good decisions.
c) Innovation gives you a competitive advantage and deliver better products to your customers at the best prices.
All three elements need to be integrated into your business and are tools that will help you run and successfully develop your business.
Any start-ups, by nature, are very fragile, just like a new-born baby! You, as the entrepreneur, have to take care of everything such as accounting and marketing to the strategic decision-making. It is essential that you have the right set of tools and systems in place to make the right decisions.
Take the time to consider the specific features and qualities your tools will need so they can adapt to your organisation’s needs as things change.
i.) The main requirement for a tool is that it is affordable for your organisation. Often start-ups do not have a sufficient bank account to obtain all necessary resources. Entrepreneurs need to be cautious about the money they spend particularly when it comes to managerial tasks and not the core operations.
ii.) The tools you choose should be scalable. Often low-cost tools do not have the flexibility to keep up with changes as the business grows.
Always ensure the software you are about to integrate into your daily business operations has some flexibility to grow and change. Ensure the costs of upgrading to a larger plan are reasonable and provide value for money.
iii.) The tools and organisations you are using through different departments should be inter-compatible. Your sales department should be able to communicate with the production department. At times the CRM software and accounting software will need to share data and they must be able to readily do that.
All this might seem awkward, but you don’t need to worry about it because we have got it covered. We have carefully selected the best list of software that you will need for your start-up organisation. Not only are these applications completely suited to organise with each other, but they also have free basic plans so you can able to start and test the software out without any funds.
This list of tools has been prepared for start-ups. Each of the following tools has been selected after considering the various functional needs of a start-up, including accounts and finance, marketing, and customer support.
One of the best messaging platforms available in the market is Slack, but it is not just a medium for social interaction. Slack also provides an excellent platform for intra-organisational interaction. Not only can you easily share your thoughts and updates with the rest of the team members, but you can also share files and voice messages.
In addition, Slack integrates seamlessly with other applications such as Asana so you do not need to worry about compatible project management software. The video conferencing and voice calling features enable teams to hold meetings conveniently and keep a record of all the communication.
The basic plan is completely free and serves well for small teams and the Pro package can be availed as low as $6.67 a month. Now that is just what you need for a start-up.
Social media is part of an organisation’s branding and marketing strategy and after the successful launch of the OnePlus Nord purely founded on social media fan-following, the possibilities are there more than ever. You want a reliable partner that can assist in managing all the different platform accounts and this is exactly where Hootsuite comes in.
Hootsuite enables you to manage all of your social media accounts from one dashboard so that you do not loose time logging in and out of accounts. You simply log in to Hootsuite, do what you need to do and that’s it. Once your organisation has grown an extensive fan-following, you have the option to add a ‘review message’ before sending, as you upgrade to a bigger plan.
The basic package costs around $19 per month and based on how much time and energy it will save you, Hootsuite is absolutely worth having.
Asana is one of the best project and team management applications available on the market today. This SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) is a beautifully designed app with simple but multiple presentation formats, each serving a unique purpose. You can create an overall map using the timeline view or use the board’s view for a more detailed classification.
The sruby on the top, Asana is very easy to integrate with more than 100 apps in just a few minutes. These apps include G Drive, Microsoft Teams, Sheets, and Zapier. The application goes one step ahead and enables you to build your own standardised formats and procedures so that you do not have to waste time on repetitive tasks every time you start a new project.
It even allows built hierarchical charts and workflow, so your start-up will not feel like a start-up but a listed company. After all, it is attitude that grows to a million-dollar company!
As well as social media accounts, you probably will need a website. The website will function as the online brand store where the customers can visit and get to know about your product, and place an order. Amazon Web Services is the most reliable service in this regard.
The silicon-valley giant has a huge setup and offers the best hosting and computing services on the planet. They have plans ranging from completely free to a 12-month trial and paid plans that offer the perfect opportunity for scalability with time. AWS even has specialised services for various domains designed around its requirements.
Canva is the best graphics software to enable you to create high-definition content.
Usually, start-ups’ only have staff with skills that are engaged in the core business activities, so it is unlikely that a team of four entrepreneurs would include a graphic designer. The most outstanding feature of Canva is that you do not need to be an expert to use it and the base plan is free.
Canva linked with Hootsuite provides the best social media combo you can ask for!
If you are looking for an extraordinary SaaS product that you cannot find anywhere else on the market, Product Hunt is the place to go. Product Hunt is an online apps marketplace just like the App Store or Google Play Store, where you can find software for both small and large organisations.
Searching for reliable software service organisations can be a problem when considering the confidentiality and reliability requirements. Product Hunt assists you to fill in the gap by enabling a platform where you cannot only purchase software; you can also upload and sell your own using a subscription-based model. While blogs like ours can be very useful, you can lookup Product Hunt if you need more details about any software’s user experience.
FreshBooks is accounting software that will maintain your financial records.
FreshBooks provides simple accounting software that keeps the financial information up-to-date and offers precise and accurate information for making effective decisions. The web-based software plan starts at $6 a month and easily handles billing and payments.
There is always a challenge when teams of 5-10 members work together on the same project, particularly with software developers. When multiple developers are working on the same file, there are possibilities that they may make various changes to the same thing. To solve this problem, GitHub offers the best version management system that enables team members to manage versions easily and then compile them easily. GitHub is free for beginner individuals and organisations and when you are ready to upgrade, it only costs $4 per user per month.
Stripe is a payment processing digital solution that enables businesses to offer fast and secure online purchases from their website. At 2.9% + 30 cents per card charge, Stripe offers the comfort of a safe place for customers to insert their card details. Stripe is used by big names like Amazon or Google.
Financial information such as credit card and ID need to be protected and when security is this cheap, there is no reason to compromise on it.
Mailchimp is a comprehensive email marketing tool that enables you to build free landing pages for your social media campaigns and run automated email marketing campaigns that are tailored and personalised to address each customer. This offers the customer a feeling of being special, and it can also be smoothly integrated with other applications and can give amazing marketing results.
Mailchimp is free up to 2000 contacts. It’s suitable for the initial stage of a start-up – upgrade paid plans are available.
Your start-up deserves the best tools and support to grow and develop into a Fortune 500 company. Equipping it with more reliable, scalable, and economical tools and systems plays a crucial role in its survival in the harsh world of business. Stay stable, be innovative, and use the best tools to run an efficient operation.