5 Tools Every Startup Should Use
Being a business owner means having to wear a lot of different hats, and let's face it--sometimes those hats don't fit very well. Fortunately, there are lots of great tools available (and many of them are FREE) that can help you look like a pro no matter what hat you're wearing in the moment.
1. Need some cool tools for collaboration? Google Docs is the answer.
According to a study preformed by Microsoft, business only use 10% of the features available in Microsoft Office. Why even purchase the product then? Google Docs can deliver all the needed office suite options and it’s practically free! With excellent collaboration capabilities, a word processor, and spreadsheet and presentation applications, you'll have all the tools you need for daily office activities.
2. Want to free yourself from staring at your inbox all the time? Use Slack as your office communication channel.
Does your eye twitch a little every time you think about the hundreds of emails filling up your inbox. Let's face it--traditional email can be a giant time-sucker. Free yourself from the time-wapr that is your inbox by using Slack. Slack can provide a real-time, virtual chat room so you can collaborate with your team quickly and effectively. Plus it creates an archive of all your past communications, meaning you never have to worry about searching frantically for the "lost" email that accidentally got deleted. Endless chatter can sometimes hinder the workplace, though, so be sure to utilize the snooze setting when its time to get work done.
3. Need to create an easy-to-manage online presence?
If you're business isn't online, you are NOT where your customers are. Period. In order to be taken seriously in this market, you need to have a professional website and these days it's also expected that you'll have active social media profiles. Tools such as Launchrock or UnBounce, can make building a website as easy as a few clicks and 10 minutes of your time. Tumblr, Blogspot or WordPress are different platforms that a company can use to showcase your latest work, industry changes or related issues. This can build your credibility and expand your reach. Hootsuite allows you to devote a small block of time to scheduling social media posts and monitoring key words, so you can have an engaging social media presence without being glued to Facebook and Twitter all day long.
4. Need some more pizzazz in your marketing? These tools make creativity a breeze!
Don't feel very creative? Crowdsourcing companies like 99Designs allow you to create contests for professionals to enter designs for your specific projects. Don't mind creating your own graphics but need a little help? Canva gives you access to thousands of templates, so you can produce your own showstopping artwork in the blink of an eye. Plus, it has a "magic resizing" option, so you can turn that Facebook post into an Instagram pic with little effort on your part.
5. Accounting & payroll got you pulling your hair out?
To have a complete accounting system integrate Gusto (formerly Zen Payroll), Intuit or OnPay along with Quickbook. This will allow you to setup online payroll management tools and handle all employee on-boarding, payroll processing, as well as tax filing and payments and even benefits management for your employees. Be sure to stay on top of these tools on a daily basis so that they remain useful. Developing a solid work habit will allow your company to soar to success.
Written by Austin Rains