So, in an answer to the question “what are the three elements that ensure the success of any startup company?”, you have probably heard every entrepreneur talk about consistency, agility, and innovation.
a.) Consistency stops you from giving up when you have exhausted all your energy and resources.
b.) Agility helps you in taking effective and timely decisions that are spot on and take you from nothing to the summit in a matter of months.
c.) Innovation allows you to gain a competitive advantage over other options and deliver better products to your customers at half the prices.
All three of these elements need to be incorporated into your business’s soul and blood and so should they be part of tools that will help you manage and grow on the journey to the top.
Any startup, by nature, is very delicate, just like a newborn baby. You, as the entrepreneur, have to take care of everything starting from the smallest of things like accounting and marketing up to the strategic decision-making. It is crucial that you have the right set of tools and systems in place to make the right decisions.
Ok, we have established that all startups need to use the right set of tools. Selecting these tools is something worth spending time on. There are certain traits and qualities that your tools should necessarily possess so that they can adapt to your organization’s needs as things change.
i.) The most important requirement for a tool to be suitable for a startup is that it should be light on the bank account. Generally, startups do not have a nice plump bank account that can provide all the money you need to acquire all necessary resources. Entrepreneurs have to be very conservative on the money they spend especially when it comes to managerial tasks and not the core operations.
ii.) The tools should be scalable. It is typical of low-cost tools to lack the flexibility to keep up with changes that happen as a startup. So, you are probable to end up with blockades every now and then.
First, your customer relationship software goes to its limit then sales and marketing, then the accounting software and it becomes a never-ending series of headaches accompanied by the troubles of data transfers from one software to another and so on. You get the idea.
Thus, you should always consider that the software you are about to incorporate into your daily operations should allow you to grow flexibly. This also means that the differential costs of upgrading to a bigger plan should also be reasonable and worth the funds.
iii.) The tools and organizations you are using across different departments should be inter-compatible. What this means is that it should not be a hassle for your sales department to communicate with the production department. It is for sure that the accounting software will be different from the CRM software but both of these will need to join branches symbiotically at instances to share data. When such time comes, they should be able to do that.
All this might seem very cumbersome but there is no need for you to worry about it because we have got everything covered. We have curated the most precise and spot-on list of software that you need for your startup organization. Not only these applications are perfectly suited to coordinate with each other, they also have free basic plans so you can get started with things even without any funds.
This simple list of tools is specially prepared while keeping in mind the situations and organizational structure of newborn startups. Each of the following tools is selected keeping in mind the different functional needs of your startup including accounts and finance, marketing, customer support, and all the rest.
All you need to do now is sign up for the appropriate plan as per your needs and begin focusing on how to grow your startup into an IPO-level company.
Asana is undoubtedly one of the best project and team management apps on the market today. This SaaS is a very beautifully designed application with simple but multiple presentation formats, each one of them serves a unique purpose. You can build an overall map using the timeline view or use the board’s view for a more detailed classification.
The app goes one step ahead and allows you to create your own standardized formats and procedures so that you do not have to waste time on repetitive tasks every time you start a new project. The cherry on the top, Asana is easily integrable with more than 100 apps in just a matter of minutes. These apps include G Drive, Sheets, Microsoft Teams, Zapier, and the list just goes on.
It even allows to create hierarchical charts and workflow, so your startup does not feel like a startup but a listed company. After all, it is a mindset that grows to million-dollar companies!
One of the best messaging platforms on the planet is Slack but it is not just a place for social interaction. Slack also serves as an excellent platform for intra-organizational interaction. Not only you can conveniently share your thoughts and updates with the rest of the team, but you can also share files and voice messages as well.
Additionally, Slack integrates seamlessly with other applications most importantly with Asana so you do not have to worry about a compatible project management software. Not to forget, the video conferencing and voice calling features to allow teams to hold meetings conveniently and still keep a record of all the communication.
All these features seem quite expensive but that is not the case. The basic plan is absolutely free and serves well for small teams. Not only that, the Pro package can be availed as low as $6.67 a month. Now that is something you need for a startup.
Social media is a compulsory part of every organization’s branding and marketing strategy and after the successful launch of the OnePlus Nord purely based on social media fan-following, the possibilities have grown even more diverse than ever. You want a reliable partner that can help manage all the different platform accounts conveniently and this is exactly where Hootsuite comes in.
Hootsuite allows you to manage all of your social media accounts from one dashboard so that you are not wasting time logging in and out of accounts. You simply log in to Hootsuite, get the job done and that’s it. Once your company has grown an extensive fan-following, you have the option to add a ‘review message’ before sending as you upgrade to a bigger plan.
Surprisingly, the basic package costs around $19 per month. It might seem too much but considering how much time and energy it can save, Hootsuite is absolutely worth having.
In addition to your social media accounts, you most likely will need a website as well. The website serves as the online brand store for any business where the customers can walk in, 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 humongous setup and provides the best hosting and computing services on the planet. They have plans ranging from absolutely free to a 12-month trial and paid plans that provide the perfect opportunity for scalability with time. AWS even has specialized services for different industries designed around its requirements so you have nothing to worry about when you choose AWS to manage your online presence.
If you are looking for an uncommon 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 Google Play Store or the App Store where you can find tons of software for all small and large organizations.
Searching for reliable software service organizations can be a trouble when you consider the confidentiality and reliability requirements. Product Hunt helps to fill in the gap by providing 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 helpful, you can also look up Product Hunt if you need more details about any software’s user experience.
You are surely going to need a graphics editor for your social media posts and stuff. Well, we have sorted that out as well. Canva is the perfect graphics software that enables you to create high-definition content.
Generally, startups only have the staff with skills that are involved in the core business activities, so it is quite improbable that a team of 4 entrepreneurs happens to include a graphics designer as well. The most remarkable feature of Canva is that it does not take an expert to use it and offers the base plan for zero dollars.
This coupled with Hootsuite make up the best social media combo you can ask for!
FreshBooks is accounting software that will keep all your financial records in place. Although a business is much more than just accounting and finance, it is indeed the finance and funds availability that serve as the deciding factor behind any strategy and plan.
FreshBooks offers simple accounting software that keeps the financial information up-to-date and provides precise and accurate information for making efficient decisions. The web-based software starts at $6 a month and handles billing and payments very easily.
There is always a problem when teams of 5-10 people are working together on the same project, especially with software developers. When multiple developers are working on the same file, there are chances that they may make different changes to the same thing. To cater to this problem, GitHub serves as the best version management system that allows members of the team to manage versions easily and then compile them in a convenient manner. Thus, not only avoiding the loss of important updates but also frustrating discussions about ‘where did the changes go’ and ‘where is my version of the file’. Do not worry about the price, it is completely free for beginner individuals and organizations and even when you do need to upgrade, it only costs $4 per user per month.
Email marketing has never got the attention that it deserves but surprisingly, this technique has turned out to be very useful for even large businesses to keep their customers loyal to them and keeping them up-to-date with the latest offerings of the business.
Mailchimp allows you to create free landing pages for your social media campaigns and can run automated email marketing campaigns that are customized to address each customer. This not only gives the customer a feeling of being special but it can also be easily integrated with other applications and has the ability to provide stunning marketing results.
You can use Mailchimp for free for up to 2000 contacts and scale your startup with ease.
The internet is a wild forest with blackmailers waiting to get a glimpse of your personal and financial information and lure you into their trap. Stripe has been an excellent solution for online businesses in this regard. It is a payment processing solution that allows businesses to offer fast and secure online purchases from their website. At 2.9% + 30 cents per card charge, Stripe provides the comfort of a safe place to customers for putting in their card details and is being used by big names like Google and Amazon.
Financial information such as your credit card and ID are confidential and when security is this cheap, there is no reason to compromise on it.
Your startup deserves the best facilities and nutrition to grow and flourish into a Fortune 500 company. Equipping it with reliable, scalable, and economical tools and systems plays a vital role in its survival in the harsh world of business. Stay consistent, be innovative, and use the best tools (like the ones that we shared above) to run efficient operations and progress in leaps and bounds.