Five Tools You Need for Your Startup Business
Starting a business can be equal parts exciting and stressful. The fun aspects of blazing your own trail can be offset by long work days and intense pressure to perform. Luckily, in our modern world, people are constantly creating tools to help ambitious entrepreneurs make their journey smoother. Here are five tools to help you help yourself when running a startup:
A Virtual Phone System
Having a proper phone system in place can help present your startup as a professional organization and ensure your customers are getting in touch with whomever they need to. This feature is especially handy for when someone is unavailable, to ensure no potential customer inquiry is missed.
UniTel Voice is a virtual phone system that can help you set up a cloud-based phone directory (complete with extensions) that automatically reroutes calls to mobile phones. This allows you to have one business number for multiple team members and a toll-free number to list on your business cards and website.
A Social Media Scheduling Platform
Having a strong social media presence is integral when running a business, especially if the business is relatively new. Unfortunately, keeping on top of social media updates can be challenging and time-consuming. Even if you have the time and inspiration to stay on top of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, working around the infamous algorithms to make sure you are being heard is a headache.
Social media scheduling platforms like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Recurpost are designed to make your life easier. Many platforms have free options, as well as affordable subscriptions for when your needs expand.
An Email Marketing Platform
Depending on your target market and message, you might not be able to reach everyone via social media. Having a proper email marketing platform in place allows you to share updates, deals, and events with your client list with the click of a button.
MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and Convert Kit are a few well known and easy to use platforms to get you started. You can use their various analytic features to see who is opening your emails, what information is capturing potential customers’ attention, and even conduct A/B testing to see what style messaging has the greatest conversion.
A Project Tracking Tool
In this virtual world, it can be hard to keep track of what everyone is doing and what critical tasks are still outstanding. In the past, project planning tools have been complex and required immersive training sessions before use. With most startups, getting an update from a team member isn’t as easy as peeking around someone’s cubicle and asking what’s going on.
On the bright side, the increased need for virtual project management platforms has inspired developers to make accessible, affordable, easy-to-use options like Trello. Trello even integrates with Slack so that you can send an instant message related to your project board for an immediate update.
A Graphic Creation Tool
Your potential customers are a visual bunch of people. This means that you need to capture their attention quickly and sometimes words don’t do the trick. Gone are the days of needing to invest in an expensive graphic designer for daily tasks or taking courses to understand the whims of Photoshop.
Canva is an online graphics creation tool that comes with preset templates, images, fonts, and sizes to fit the leading social media platforms. It is free to use, and can even be used for making eye-catching resumes, print marketing materials, and more. Like many of the free applications, Canva comes with a paid option that unlocks premium features and content.
When you start a business, it’s important to do your research to find out where you should invest and what high-value tools you can procure for free. While the road ahead will be difficult, you can make it easier with some of these great startup-friendly tools.
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