It is no secret that modern start-ups that rely on business loans can only be successful if they incorporate digital tools into their business operations. From protecting assets, communicating with the team and customers, or collaborating internally, there are digital services or platforms for almost everything.
With some of the following digital tools, you can start off strong and then work on improvement and growth!
Important conversations between your employees can become quite difficult to keep track of, particularly as your company grows and you hire more and more employees. So, use a communication tool like Slack which allows your team to chat and share files. It has the additional bonus of being able to integrate with other apps.
Similarly, if you need to correspond with your remote team or hold a productive meeting with consultants, prospective employees, or clients, then a video conferencing solution allowing different parties to collaborate is essential.
Join.me is an ideal solution that allows 10 participants at once for free, but you can switch to their paid services if you’re planning on having more attendees.
For project management
Any new business, especially one that hires remote workers or a business that involves the collaboration of different teams will require help in keeping track of project updates. In situations like these, email is not the most suitable option since it is relatively isolated and members can easily miss an update if they are accidentally missed out of the mailing list.
Project management tools like Trello and Wrike are more suitable options since they are more efficient. Both the tools are cloud-based and provide a complete, transparent look of the project and where it is in its lifecycle. Plus, you can also trace your business’s progress right from the beginning to the end.
For storage and backups
All important documents ranging from project files to employee contracts and articles of incorporation must be stored in the cloud or somewhere off-site. You can keep your backups protected by using tools like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Moreover, by using these tools, you can allow users to access files from any location and make changes to important files accordingly.
For your website
Every business needs a website to survive in this competitive world. In fact, a website is an indication that your company is legitimate and you can use it to share information or the latest news. Similarly, you can use it as a communication channel to interact with your customers.
Even if you’re not tech-savvy and don’t have the budget to hire website developers to make your website for you, you don’t have to worry. Website builders like Squarespace help to create a beautiful mobile-optimized website that you can then promote using integrated marketing tools.
Once you have your website up, you will want to know the way people are interacting with it so that you can make changes accordingly. For this purpose, tools like Google Analytics and Chartbeat are ideal. They track visitors to determine if they’re just bouncing or if they’re clicking on pages. Knowing the pages your customers are clicking, and by mining other similar data, you can optimize your site’s performance.
For managing customer relationships
Thanks to the various digital tools, you don’t need to operate your customer relations on the fly. In fact, doing so only results in forgotten or lost leads and in some cases even converts repeat customers to ghosts.
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool lets you keep track of all aspects of the relationships you build with your clients. For example, you can track how long it has been since you last followed up with your local customers.
Similarly, you can track how many and which visitors come to your site, fill out forms but do not finalise the purchase. One such efficient CRM tool is HubSpot which not only helps you stay organised, but also allows you to stay in the minds of your customers.
For email marketing
One of the most commonly-used and effective digital marketing tools available today is email marketing. Email marketing tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp let you design, review, and easily send out your newsletters to customers. In addition, you can see which users opened your emails, the links they clicked on, as well as the individuals who seem most interested in an offer or a follow-up message.
For managing your social media channels
Apart from a website, a strong presence on different social media channels is also recommended to stay ahead of competitors. Social media is not only about posting your content; it is about engaging with your customers, answering their questions, taking their feedback, and being active and responsive.
So, instead of spending your time going from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook and back, it is a good idea to make use of a social media management tool. One such effective tool is Hootsuite which allows you to monitor your feeds, schedule posts, view analytics, interact with users and engage with them. The greatest benefit is that it lets you do all this from just one dashboard, making your work easier.
For team management
If you’re just starting out, you might not have a fully-fledged team for HR. In such cases, HR management software can be the right choice. As well as helping you schedule employee shifts, such software can send important company announcements.
As a new business owner, it is easy to overlook small details that could eventually lead to issues and even lawsuits. However, with top-of-the-line digital HR tools like GoCo, you can enjoy efficient HR management whilst also reducing the chances of mistakes that might come back to bite you.
For accounting and bookkeeping
Accounting can become boring and menial, but you realise how essential it is when you figure out that your cash flow analysis didn’t account for the payroll cost of the month. So, let digital tools like Xero, an online accounting software, act as your accountant and bookkeeper.
The tool tracks your profits and costs, sends out invoices, reconciles debts, creates expense claims, and does almost everything that you’ll need to complete your tax returns.
The harsh truth is, businesses that fail to embrace technology get left behind. As a result, new start-ups have a chance to get an instant advantage over their competitors. So, make sure you incorporate at least some of these tools to give your competitors a run for their money.