Starting a new business can be an immensely rewarding experience. It is a chance to create something that is truly your own. It is also a chance to set your own career path and exert more control over your work experience. Nonetheless, it is a very challenging path to walk. The following list of types of tools will help you to find the right solutions to give your business the jumpstart it needs.
1) Social Media Management Suite
Social media is an essential part of how brands communicate with consumers today. It is a unique opportunity to have two-way interactions with your audience. If you want to effectively reach your audience, you will need a toolset that can help you engage people on the most popular social networks.
There are numerous free and paid suites of tools that will let you broadcast messages to multiple networks, schedule posts, research engagement and more. Social media marketing takes practice and time. With the right suites of tools, you can more efficiently learn the ropes and apply new lessons in experiments.
2) Content Management System
Websites back in the 1990s and early 2000s had static pages that were updated directly through HTML and other languages. This was very inefficient and prevented brands from being able to effectively update their pages and content. Today, there are much better solutions: content management systems.
These tools provide a database and dashboard that you can manage your web pages from. Options such as WordPress are available for free and easy to use. This can make it easier for you to make the most of your online presence. For example, you could start a blog that you update regularly with relevant information about your business and products.
3) Accounting Software
Running a successful business isn’t just about reaching your customers online. You also need to keep your internal operations organized. One of the most significant parts of that is keeping the books. After all, money is the lifeblood of every business. Even if you started your business for non-financial reasons, you need to have well-maintained books for everything from buying supplies to raising money.
Accounting software can help significantly with this. Even if you are hiring an outside accountant, it is a good idea to keep track of your books internally as you go. This will help keep everything organized and probably save you some significant money with your accountant.
4) Automation Tools
You may be surprised how much you can achieve using automation tools. These let you link together different software to perform tasks automatically for you. For example, if you work in software, you could set up your website to automatically publish your changelog whenever you distribute a new build. Alternatively, you could send out a social media post whenever you publish a new blog on your site,
Many of these tools do not require any programming skills. Even those that do typically have simple markup languages that anyone can learn. If you can write a conditional sentence (if this happens, do that), you can use an automation tool. This can save you significant time but cutting out a lot of the humdrum minutia you have to do every week.
5) Data Toolset
Data is at the heart of running a successful business today. The right data tools can help you make better-informed decisions and fuel your marketing efforts. For example, data scraping can enable you to quickly gather competitive research for a new product. You could also use analytics to help you measure the success of your marketing efforts.
Of course, data isn’t much use if it isn’t organized. Furthermore, most entrepreneurs are not data scientists. Consider taking a basic introductory course online about data. You could learn the answers to questions like “how can I collect data?” “What is data wrangling?” “How can I leverage data?” With a basic introduction and the right toolset, you can begin to take advantage of all the data at your fingertips.
6) Payment Processor
If you can’t accept payments from your customers, your business is going to struggle. A payment processor is a must-have software for your company. There are numerous options to choose from physical point of sale systems to purely software solutions. Having the right one for your business can help you to bring in money and keep organized.
Many point of sale systems let you track inventory as you make sales. This means that you don’t need to do as much work to ensure that you always have supplies on hand. They can also often integrate with your accounting software. That means less work keeping the books.
7) Project Management Tool
For more internal organization, consider a project management tool. There are all sorts of options available ranging from Kanban boards to in-depth agile tools to simple task-trackers. Finding the right solution for your team and situation can help you to ensure that you are always organized and effective with your work.
One of the greatest challenges to effectively using a project management tool is that you need to actively use it. This may seem like a silly problem, but poor adoption is one of the most common reasons that project management tools fail. In short, people don’t keep up with racking their work and get disorganized. Finding the right tool that can fit seamlessly into your processes is the key to success.
8) Team Communication Tools
Team communication is at the heart of every successful business. To run smoothly, your team needs to talk and share information with each other. Tools like instant messaging and VoIP can enable people to interact from anywhere. The right communication can help to ensure that everyone is always on the same page.
One of the key advantages of digital communication is the opportunity for remote work. Never before in history has it been so possible to have a global team without any offices. This is especially valuable for small businesses that are just starting out.
9) Survey Platform
As mentioned above, data can be very helpful for helping you make better decisions. One of the best ways to gather data is with a good survey tool. As a small business owner, you need to validate your assumptions about the market. You also need to get feedback from your customers.
The right survey platform can help you to gather input from your customers and audience easily. Many of these platforms are free to get started and include powerful built-in analytics tools. Some of the more advanced tools come at a price but are well worth it.
10) Email Marketing Toolset
Email continues to be an essential part of the marketing mix. Even if it seems old-fashioned in comparison to some of the mobile and social marketing channels, email has one of the highest conversion rats of any form of outreach. Taking advantage of the power of email is a must-do for any business owner.
You can use email to sell your products, to keep people informed about updates or to reengage your existing customers. There are so many uses for messaging your audience directly. With the right toolset, you can easily publish newsletters, promotional emails and more to a large list of recipients. Many tools include options like scheduling, merging personalized details and more.
The above types of tools can help you to jumpstart your business. Growing a new startup into a successful brand isn’t easy. However, it is easier when you have the right tools to power your journey. Explore the above suggestions today.
Publish Date: March 26, 2020 5:33 AM