For any startup running a business is all about taking challenges head on and overcoming them. No matter what phase you are at. Once you have been able to gain a foothold in the market the next challenge before you is to grow to a position where your business will become a name to reckon with. If and when you have achieved this expansion of business is what is next on the cards. Even if you are comfortably perched right at the top of the ladder there is always someone new waiting in the wings to take your place. So one simply cannot afford to relax. Ever. And it would serve you well to remember that one slip-up is all it takes. To bring it all crashing down. Yet it cannot be denied that the initial setting up of business is what is most daunting. As a recent market survey tells us 90% startups fail to take off due to lack of preparedness. Here are some tools that will help any startup sail through this initial phase.
These 11 tools are tested and chosen by us after serious study and consideration. We have chosen the best tools and website from different categories that will make your Startup business more profitable.
- ZOHO CRM (wesbite)
Building relationships is key to managing customers and to the success of any startup. And having a comprehensive CRM system in place can make all the difference. With the Zoho CRM a business owner can interact via phone, email, chat or social media. Whichever suits a user. From information on potential leads to scheduling follow ups & forecasting trends to sales reports the Zoho CRM automates the sales process thus saving on time & resources. Additionally Zoho makes it simple for you to customise the CRM depending on the nature of your business and also your style of working. Plus Zoho gives you the opportunity to work with certified CRM consultants to put in place a system that works efficiently 24/7. Enterprise level security, IP restrictions and stringent access permissions mean that your business data is always safe and sound. The Zoho CRM has an entire suite of Apps that are designed for your business with the option of integrating third party Apps into the mix seamlessly.
2. TASK PIGEON (Lifetime Special Deal)
Effective management of available resources is often what can make or mar a startup, especially if these resources happen to be limited. It can lead to more productivity in the short term and a better performance over time. Using the Task Pigeon software it becomes that much easier to get the most out of your co-workers and employees. Each time, every day. At the same time Task Pigeon allows an entrepreneur to set long term goals for his/her team by assigning tasks accordingly. This software also makes it possible for your team members to constantly collaborate and interact in order to complete the tasks assigned in good time. When everyone in the organisation is clear about their role and does what is expected of them it makes the job of the employer that much easier. You can integrate notifications and reminders into the assigned tasks so that you are kept abreast of the progress made, in real time. Delegating & managing your work was never this easy.
3. Evernote (Website)
One of the more versatile tools when it comes to doing business in an orderly fashion (read organised) is the App called Evernote. And we all know how chaotic it can get when you are attempting to streamline a new business. In more ways than one the Evernote is like your personal assistant who keeps notes of anything and everything that is critical to your business. The content could range from text to images, includes all format of files (PDF, spreadsheet, audio) and even links to websites that might be useful for your business. Evernote is also equipped with the optical character recognition (OCR) feature that allows you to seamlessly search for text through images. Synchronising across various devices, platforms and Operating Systems is a seamless process using the Evernote. It is as easy to share these notes with your friends, family & employees if the need be. Best of all, the free version of Evernote has all the good features.
4. Bizplan.com (Special Deal on lifetime Subscription)
When a budding entrepreneur meets potential investors to discuss business one of the things that makes it easier for them to come on board is a detailed business plan. It sends out the right signals about your intent and seriousness about the whole thing. Also investors are more likely to back those folks who know what they are doing and are armed with strategies for all eventualities, good and not so good. But a lot many people shirk from making one because they feel it is way too complicated. Not so if you have the Bizplan software ? with you. For one it comes with pre designed templates for financials, projections, balance sheets and income statements that you have to merely drag and drop. The aesthetically pleasing layouts of these templates will make statistics and numbers less mundane and more interactive. Bizplan makes it easier for you to break down various components of your business into sections that can be monitored by you at the mere click of a button. Bizplan also has on hand a team of experienced professionals who can guide you in creating a custom business plan.
Dropbox is easily one of the more popular choices when it comes to backing and sharing your important online data. With hundreds of millions of people using it for their business every day. And it is not difficult to see why. Dropbox not only allows a business owner to store tons of data but more importantly does all the backing up in double quick time. Dropbox also makes it as simple to access any of this stored data at any time, from any device with minimum fuss. All you need to do is to sign into your account to get your hands on whatever it is that you require. Sharing this data with other users who are obviously logged on to different devices is not a big deal either. For those wary of using the App it must be mentioned that the interface is uncomplicated making for great ease of use. From vital documents and presentations to files, pictures & videos you can store just about anything using the Dropbox. If you accidentally end up deleting something important from your Dropbox folder, do not fret. Dropbox will retrieve it for you.
6. Assistant.to (Website)
In the melee that ensues at startups, at least while you are streamlining the business, schedules for appointments and meetings can go haywire. And terribly so. This can create an image of you being an unprofessional who does not value time. After all in today’s highly competitive world time is money. A customer who has to wait endlessly or worse gets turned away takes away a bad impression of you and your business. And bad word of mouth always spreads faster than the good one. This is where a tool like Assistant.to can save you the blushes and much more. Scheduling meetings is easy and promptly both the parties concerned are sent email notifications of the same. All that needs to be done is to click once to confirm and you are set. Assistant.to is smart enough to check availability on both the ends before putting a schedule in place. It also factors in preferred locations and time based on previous interactions making the whole process hassle free. Thus ensuring no overlapping of schedules or confusion due to multiple bookings.
7. Google Docs
A free service that allows for all those collaborating efforts to come together so that they can create, edit and develop documents is Google docs. That the App is cloud based allows for data to be stored safely online. One of the big pluses of this App is that it is very versatile in the sense that it supports all types of file extensions(.odt, .doc, ,xlsx, ppt etc) and the ones it does not are supported through add-on Apps (via Google Drive) As mentioned at the beginning Google docs allow a team of professionals who might be in different locations including remote ones to all work in real time. On the same particular document. This can be extremely useful if you are looking at a swift response from the other parties involved and if there are tight time frames to adhere to. As with most such services, your business data is always safe while using Google docs. That the App has been subjected to stringent tests by millions of users (including developers) makes it relatively bug free. A built-in auto save feature in the App means that a user will never have to worry about losing work. And yes, it is a low cost solution with huge benefits for any business.
8. Gitlab.com (Website)
One of the Git repositories popular with developers and programmers around the world is Gitlab. While a repository is the central location where all your digital content (typically off a website) is stored, a Git repository is where a copy of all that data resides. Gitlab makes it easy for developers to come together and work on those web based projects. Especially large open source projects. Gitlab allows you to export your project to other systems while importing those which are sourced from elsewhere like Google code, Gitea and GitHub. The comprehensive issue tracker means that setting a milestone for multiple issues can be done very quick. And if a developer is working on a tight deadline there is even an option to set a due date for specific issues. Also ease of moving issues between various projects is a plus when using the Gitlab. As Gitlab has all the tools needed, there is a dashboard built in to accurately measure the time it will take for an idea to reach the production phase. Permissions on the Gitlab can be set without having to share the source code each and every time.
9. Zapier.com (Website)
Native Mobile Apps have their share of drawbacks. They take up lots of space on your device, need to updated numerous times in a year and they use up a lot of your internet data. Removing them can be a tricky affair as they might cause other important softwares on the same device. One of the better solutions to this are Web Apps. Web applications play a major role in making online business work smoothly. From email clients to spreadsheets, chatting to video conferencing and even helping market a product/service they do it all. Thing is that coding is time consuming and developers are not something that every startup can even afford. This is where Zapier can be a handy resource (read tool) as it acts like a link between all your useful Web Apps.
By building what are referred to as ‘Zaps’ a business owner can easily automate processes thus saving on considerable time, energy & resources. By this linking of two or more Apps you avoid having to spend time on complex integration and chart your own custom workflow. Plus this facilitates the sharing of data between various Web Apps without any hassles or glitches. Daily chores like sharing posts on multiple social media accounts & automating email communication too. Also using what is known as a trigger (to kick start the Zap) and Action (to end it) you can control these processes. Easily. In essence the Zapier App allows a business to thrive without having expert knowledge of computer programming.
10. SurveyMonkey (Website)
As much as preparedness and planning are key to a business when it comes to startups in particular, a lot of it can come to nought. Many entrepreneurs learn more on the job than from anything else and customer survey & feedbacks are vital to get a better grip on things. In fact an honest reaction from a disgruntled customer can provide one with more learning than glowing testimonials from a happy one. The SurveyMonkey lets you reach out to your customers, both existing and potential via customised surveys. These surveys are designed to be simple and yet professional enough to get the best results possible. This tool can provide the answers that you need to make your business do better and fetch higher revenues. Apart from helping improve service delivery. For those who are finicky,there are enough designs, styles and formats to choose from too.
This tool also gives you clear insight into all your business data so that you always know what actionable changes need to be made and when. The SurveyMonkey gives users the option to share these surveys with respective collaborators and team members securely. So that everyone is on the same page. Always. Apart from your customers, these surveys can also be run internally (in your own organisation) in order to get honest feedback from employees about the business and all related processes. This way it will be possible for you to work on suggestions about how to improve the existing workflow and you might even be able to fix any teething problems that are in your system.
11. Milanote (Website)
In a startup business a lot of the work is very creative involving frequent exchange of diverse ideas, copious amounts of research, brainstorming sessions and extensive planning. To take note of and keep a track on the progress being made is far from easy. Organising all this in a systematic manner is even more cumbersome inspite of several note-taking Apps that are up for grabs. This is where the Milanote stands out with it’s free flowing structure that allows a user to explore new possibilities, all the time. As Milanote pieces all the disparate elements together you will be able to understand the thought process and see a pattern emerging.
You may have different sets of teams working on unrelated assignments with a common goal in mind and with access to limitless workspace Milanote ensures that none of this is accidentally left out. Collaborating and sharing of ideas and opinions across the board becomes that much simpler with this productive tool. The Milanote is perfectly compatible with all types of internet browsers with native Apps designed for Android and iOS in the pipeline. The infrastructure of the Milanote can be relied upon as it is secure along with which constant monitoring is done to ensure that things run smoothly all the while. The Milanote is a free App and if you like what you see you can move on to the paid version. In good time.
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