According to research, only 0.05% of startups are backed by venture capital firms, and fewer than 1% of startups get funded by angel investors. It means that almost all startups have pretty tight budgets, and there is no room for mistakes. Here is the list of the eight secret tools startups use:
- Project Management,
- Visual Content Creation,
- Team Communication And Collaboration,
- Social Media Marketing
- Analytics, And
These tools will help you not only to get started but establish business processes and workflow more efficiently.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Systems
Customer relationship management software is a great tool for managing customer relationships and keeping track of interactions with customers, partners, and prospects. CRM helps companies collect information about their customers, track their activities, and analyse that data.
Why Use A CRM Software?
Your company has to keep up with the ever-evolving customer’s expectations and high requirements to stay competitive. It’s where a good CRM is vital because the right one:
- Helps to organise and streamline business operations;
- Automates repetitive tasks;
- Helps to understand and address the needs of your audience;
- Increases consumer retention;
- Shortens sales cycles;
- Provides better collaboration and transparency of the workflow;
- Increases efficiency and productivity ща the entire company by providing such crucial data as sales information, follow-ups, deals, detailed customer purchase histories, and many more.
Each business has its own specific needs, so by saying the right CRM, we mean that one that provides you with the required features and functions. Yet, when it comes to startups, CRM systems provide the right data and be easily integrated with all tools you already have. Besides that, it also helps you to:
- Manage contacts data;
- Forecast sales accurately;
- Provide detailed reports of sales;
- Offer cross-team alignment;
- Automate and track sales.
Take a closer look at such CRM systems like Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, Freshdesk — startups widely adopt them all over the world.
Project Management (PM) Tools
Project management software helps to plan, control, coordinate and track projects. It helps to organise your team, define project objectives and manage your work. All the project management software provides you with the right tools to:
- Plan your project;
- Assign tasks;
- Document everything;
- Track time;
- Gather relevant data.
Why Use A Project Management Software?
Startups have really tight budgets and no room for mistakes. That’s why having a proper project management tool is so important.
In case you’re starting out, it’s a great tool to have. It allows you to:
- Manage project data and information;
- Manage your team members and tasks;
- Assign tasks to team members;
- Create milestones and deliverables;
- Track project progress;
- Share updates;
- Collaborate across teams;
- Get a clear picture of your project’s current status.
The one that suits your needs the most is the right one. However, if you’re starting out, it’s better to choose the one that is widely used by startups. The most popular are Monday, Basecamp, Asana, Trello, Slack, and Jira. But make sure that the PM software you choose fits the needs of your business.
Content Management System (CMS) Tools
Content management systems help to manage content in websites. It allows you to easily and quickly create, manage and update content for your company’s website, blog, or forum.
Not all startup founders are coders and hence, they usually need a solution that allows them to easily create and edit their website without much technical knowledge. This is where a CMS comes in.
Why Use A CMS?
A good CMS helps you to:
- Design your site;
- Create pages;
- Edit content;
- Add multimedia;
- Automate content updates;
- Share content with others.
Usually, startups use CMS like WordPress, Joomla, Tilda, Drupal, WiX, Magento, Squarespace, etc. to host their blogs and non-technical websites.
Visual Content Creation Tools
Not every startup founder is a designer and it takes a lot of resources and money to hire a professional graphics designer for the startup. This is where tools like Crello, Canva, DepositPhotos, Unsplash and others come in. Such tools are developed to help the non-designer in you design professionally-looking marketing materials, infographics, eBooks, presentations, posters, etc. in no time. They also provide a huge library of templates and visual elements that you can use for your content creation.
Why Use A Visual Content Creation Tool?
Startups use these tools to create:
- Social media posts,
- And more.
Nowadays, you can even use a card design maker to create branded cards to engage potential offline buyers and/or investors on various meetups, conferences, and so on.
However, if you’re starting out, make sure to look for these features:
- Easy to use;
- Provides templates for the content you want;
- Has a good library of graphics and templates;
- Saves your time and money.
Team Collaboration And Communication Tools
Good communication inside the team and between different departments is a prerequisite for the success of any project, So, that is what you need to ensure, especially when a part of your team works remotely.
Slack, Microsoft Teams, and some other tools allow for better circulation of information and effective collaboration. Skype, Zoom, Google Chat can level up communication enabling your team to hold video conferences.
The intuitive interface, ease of use, high security, lightweights, and useful options make such tools perfect for startups. Another advantage of all these tools is that they offer a free version with advanced paid features.
Why Use Team Collaboration and Communication Tools?
Good communication with the team is a prerequisite for any project. In a startup, these tools are needed to ensure communications happen between different departments and teams that work remotely. They also assist in making individual calls, video conferences and sync with the calendars. Nowadays, team collaboration tools also include task management and project management modules.
As far as the startups are concerned, such tools offer:
- Easy to use interface;
- Help to communicate with the team even when they’re spread out;
- Enable to hold video conferences;
- Sync information across various devices
- Can be accessed anywhere
Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media marketing tools are used extensively by startups to automate their social media marketing efforts, keep an eye on their competitors and social media trends, engage their followers, and connect with more people. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Later, Agorapulse, and Meet Edgar help startups keep their social media profiles active without any hustle.
Why Use Social Media Marketing Tools?
A good social media marketing tool allows you to:
- Schedule posts;
- Analyse your social media marketing performance;
- Find content for sharing;
- Follow trends;
- Engage your audience;
- And more.
Doing all these tasks manually takes a lot of time and resources. That’s where social media management tools come in to make your life a little bit easier.
Analytics is the backbone of any business, which is why you need to invest in an appropriate tool that can provide your startup with all the necessary information. Analytics tools collect data about brand mentions, search queries, social media mentions, pages viewed and more.
Why Use Analytics Tools?
Right data collection and analysis tool help you:
- Collect and process the insights and necessary information about the audience;
- Learn and understand the pains, requirements, needs, and wishes of the customers;
- Track engagement insights;
- Curate content for your digital channels;
- Track conversions and traffic;
- Create and track newsletter campaigns;
- Provide detailed reports and get analytical data;
- Conduct A/B tests;
- Measure your efforts and many more.
Analytics tools are important to any company or business. Not having the right tools will result in not knowing how your efforts are working. For example, if you don’t know which content works best on social media, you won’t be able to create more of it. This will make it harder for your startup to stand out from the competition.
Startups need to manage their finance tightly in order to survive. Accounting tools help them keep track of expenses and revenue generated.
They can provide you with the following:
- Keep a track of expenses and revenue;
- Automate invoices;
- Generate reports;
- Calculate and send taxes;
- Organise finances;
- And more.
Why Use Accounting Tools?
Using an efficient accounting tool provides you with a number of benefits. It can automate your financial task, minimise errors and save time. These tools are useful for every area of the company including sales, marketing, accounting, human resources, customer success etc. Spending some time researching different types of software available on the market will help you choose the right tool for your business.
Wave, Finmark, Sage, WagePoint, Quickbooks, NetSuite, Stripe, Xero, and other tools of a kind help you to accelerate processes, mitigate risks, and simplify vital financial activities.
The above tools are some of the most important tools required by startups. They provide you with all the necessary information and data to make the right business decisions at any stage. However, it’s not possible to overstate the role that human resources play in addition to these tools.
Moreover, different types of software work best for different businesses. Choosing the right tool is vital. Therefore, do your research and find out what kind of software will best suit your business needs before making a final decision.
Besides that, here are a few more tips for startup owners like you to have a better chance in achieving success and grow the brand:
- Use software tools to help you work more efficiently.
- Hire the best and only the best — quality over quantity always applies to your team.
- Your startup’s core objectives should be: achieve product-market fit, grow revenue, and only then scale.
- Everything takes 3x longer than it’s established — so consider that when estimating how long it takes to reach startup milestones.
- Openness to learning is a must.
All these tips are going to help you whenever your startup succeeds or fails. Just keep all of them in mind and keep going!
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A startup consultant, dreamer, traveller, and philomath. Aashish has worked with over 50 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.