Running a small business can be a challenge. It requires a lot of planning, communication, and dedication. It also requires a lot of help. As much as you pride yourself on being able to manage a lot of things on your own, there are some things you simply can’t do by yourself. Your hesitation is understandable – it can be costly to hire employees, especially for a startup. The good news is that technology has allowed us more affordable options – whether it’s outsourcing, cloud storage, or software solutions. Here’s a list of online tools and software you need in running your startup.
Unless you are a certified public accountant (CPA), your knowledge of bookkeeping is probably rudimentary. We do recommend that you at least consult an accountant when planning your business. They can advise you on the best way to structure your business, how to plan for your capital, and even help you secure the necessary permits and licenses. But for day-to-day operations, you can use accounting software such as QuickBooks to track expenses, invoicing, and run reports. QuickBooks offers different plans depending on your needs.
File sharing and storage
There’s hardly a need for buying hard drives in this day and age, especially when we have the cloud. Cloud storage solutions allow you to upload your files to the internet to save and collaborate with coworkers and clients. You can sync the files, back them up, and access them across multiple devices. These solutions also offer security measures so that your files remain safe and confidential as needed.
Having an IT staff or person in-house can be too costly for startups. The trouble with hiring in-house is that you’ll be paying to have workers at your disposal for the whole length of the workweek. This is great for competencies that are essential to your company, but if you don’t need the services round the clock, then you’ll be wasting money. If your startup doesn’t need an in-house IT staff, then don’t hire one. But like it or not, sometimes you’ll encounter issues with your devices or software that you won’t be equipped to resolve by yourself. Employing an IT management software like ManageEngine or Miradore Management Suite will help you to access and control your assets on multiple devices and provide you with help and support as needed.
These tools were popular even before the COVID-19 virus forced many of us to work remotely. Platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams allow you to communicate with your team and share files so you can work on your tasks. Slack allows you to have your entire team on one platform and create multiple chat rooms to group them into their departments. Microsoft Teams also offers group voice calls and video calls.
Tools like Asana and Trello offer you and your team a collaborative workspace that’s accessible across multiple devices. Both platforms allow you to create task boards for your whole team to access. You and your coworkers can create tasks, assign them to specific members, set deadlines for them, and have access to their finished product.
Related: Trello vs. Asana
Contrary to what you might have been led to believe, you need a website for your startup. This will establish an online presence for your brand. Social media is great, but it’s primarily a marketing tool. You’ll also be limited to the software and capabilities of the social media platform. Using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace for your business will grant you access to a range of different tools for all your business needs.
Email marketing is a digital marketing tool that allows you to reach out to your customers and clients using their email addresses. Send them emails about new products and services, deals, or products that they might be interested in based on their purchase history. Favorites include AWeber, ConvertKit, and GetResponse.
Social media management
Tools like Crowdfire and Hootsuite allow you to manage your brand on multiple social media platforms and schedule posts. They also show you your analytics, a compilation and interpretation of engagement statistics on your post’s content. You’ll know which of your posts get the most – and least – engagement and determine the best time of the day to share a new post.
If you prefer having your tasks done by a human and not software, outsourcing platforms like Fiverr give you access to freelance talent from all over the world. You’ll be able to see the sample works and portfolios of freelancers and reach out to them if you’re interested in hiring them. Whatever service you need, whatever budget you have, you’ll be able to find it.
When looking for services for your startup, know that the answer isn’t always in hiring a permanent worker. They can be expensive and cost you more money than it should. These tools we’ve listed provide you with the services you seek ad hoc and allow you and your team to access them on multiple devices.