Must-Have Resources for Startups
When you’re trying to get your startup home business idea off of the ground, you need practical tips and ideas that streamline your launch. You’ve already got your business plan ready and you just need the tools necessary to facilitate a successful launch. We’re here to help you out. These are the tools you absolutely must have in order to run your entire business from home.
Table of Contents
Startup Marketing Tools
It’s no surprise that sending emails is going to be a critical part of your business. However, you might actually find that you use an email service for more than just connecting with a few people here and there. Mailchimp can handle the standard email, but can also help you keep email marketing campaigns organized. In fact, the platform provides you with an easy to use service that helps you create beautiful looking newsletters and marketing emails in no time. You can create the campaign and have it automatically sent out whenever you’d like. All you have to do is get creative.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & LinkedIn
This list wouldn’t be complete without the mother of all marketing tools — social media. These days it’s imperative that you connect with your customers and with others in your community via social media. It’s the meeting place where all customers come to see what your brand is about. They want to know what it is you’re offering, what makes you stand out, and what others have to say about you. Social media platforms are the best way to get your customers all of this information in just a few clicks. Not to mention, it’s an easy way to complete your own ongoing market research.
Skype & Slack
For busy business owners that don’t always have time to convene in one office, Skype and Slack are lifesavers. By now you’ve surely heard of Skype, one of the most popular video chat services around. You can chat on a computer or smartphone essentially anywhere that you’ve got a signal. Slack accomplishes the same thing, without video. Slack provides a business communication platform at your fingertips. You can chat with business partners and employees on your phone or desktop. Needless to say, for meetings and everyday communication, these tools are essential.
Once you’ve got your website up and running, you should immediately start tracking your progress with Google Analytics. This platform tells you everything you’d ever need to know about your website and more. Google Analytics breaks down common keywords that rank well on websites. In addition, it can tell you how many people are visiting your website, where they live, and how they got to your site. You can track trends and know what information (and pages) on your website are proving most valuable to your customers. In turn, with consistent improvement, you can potentially see your pages gain rankings through Google searches.
Startup Project Management Tools
Of course, planning your day out is crucial to the organized business person. Google calendars allows you to create daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks. You can schedule meetings with employees and co-workers and Google will send them reminders when it’s time. The calendar allows for specifics to be scheduled, like where you’re meeting, what time, what room, and if the meeting is a recurring one. You can use it on just about any device and never miss another meeting again.
While Google plans out your day and helps keep your meetings organized, Asana is specifically a task manager. This tool breaks up any tasks that need finishing and will remind you when things are due. You can set reminders for everyday, week, month, year, quarterly — whatever works for each task. In addition, Asana allows you to link documents from your Google drive in a task and you can add detailed information within each task. Each task is not only assigned an expected date of completion, but also can be assigned to a specific individual. As things are passed around and dates change, your task can be updated with a simple click as well.
Startup Compensation Tools
Paypal & Square
When you’re providing a service, you expect to be paid accordingly. These two platforms do just that. Square is a physical item that can be attached to any mobile device. It allows you to swipe a credit card and take payment while you’re on the go. It will also save that payment information for your records. Similarly, Paypal is a convenient way to receive online payments. Not only can you accept payment from customers, but you can also send them an itemized bill for your services. Each payment and bill is saved for your records and you can link your bank account or credit card of choice to receive payments quickly.
Dropbox & DocuSign
Dropbox is a quick way to send and receive files of any kind. Videos, documents, photos — you name it. You can drag and drop files into your dropbox and send them right over to someone else. What’s more, you can set the file to expire upon a certain date. If you’re providing a service that covers certain dates or simply don’t want someone to have access to a file for too long, you can certainly do so. DocuSign is a quick way to get customer contracts, employee information, and other sensitive forms signed in a hurry. Anyone can sign from just about anywhere and the forms will be sent right back to you for processing. No more faxing, emailing and waiting, or printing and mailing. Everything is right at your fingertips.
Quickbooks & Wagepoint
When it comes to paying employees and keeping sensitive tax information on file, these processes can get complicated and intimidating. With the help of Quickbooks and Wagepoint, you won’t have to worry about that anymore. Wagepoint takes care of all of your payroll needs in one simple platform. Employee data is stored, applicable payroll taxes, healthcare benefits, direct deposit information, and payroll dates. Once you’ve got all the information entered, Wagepoint does the rest. Quickbooks is really the end all be all of financial tools. This program will save all of your tax information for the entire year, which makes filing taxes incredibly easy for you. In addition, you can track your financial trends and income for the year, manage all your bills in one place, accept payments & send invoices, and track your entire inventory in one place. What’s not to love?
Whether you’re a brand new startup or an experienced one, these tools can save you a lot of time and trouble. However, for someone who’s just getting started, these tools will make all the difference when you’re trying to get a leg up on the competition. Using these tools and more can help your business run as smoothly as possible so that you can worry about the stuff that really matters — giving your customers the best possible experience every time. With these tools, your home business is bound to become everything you wanted and more.
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Trisha is a writer and blogger from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan, an avid gamer, cat lover, and amateur SFX artist.