Starting a business is expensive. You must incur several costs, such as business registration, web hosting, and domain name, among others. As a startup, you want to minimize the cost as much as possible. That said, you must leverage technology to ensure your business runs smoothly at no additional cost.
There are several online tools that startups can use for inventory analytics, customer support, digital marketing, accounting, communication, project management, and human resource management, just to mention a few. The tools have several plans, including free subscriptions, that a startup can take advantage of.So, to help you find the right tools for your startup, this article outlines fourteen tools that cut across different sectors of business management. Click To Tweet
Without wasting time, let’s explore some options.
Customer Support Tools
Customer support is the most crucial part of a business, and it’s the most challenging to maintain. The tools below help startups manage mundane customer support tasks and respond to customer queries efficiently.
Customer service is the backbone of any business. Customers want their problems solved when they raise them. Hence a customer support system is mandatory for every small business. Intercom is an Al-powered customer service tool that offers live chat to customers 24/7. The application handles simple, frequently asked questions, and can scale more complicated inquiries to you.
It also monitors customer behavior and sends targeted emails and in-app messages to potential clients. With intercom, startups can easily understand their customers’ challenges and provide solutions in real-time. It makes it easier to communicate, engage, and interact with your website visitors.
Freshdesk is yet another customer support application that a startup can explore. The application allows you to consolidate all the customer communication in one platform. You can create a list of responses for frequently asked questions so that your customers can get automated answers.
You can manage ticketing with ease, provide support across different social media accounts, and resolve customers’ issues fast and efficiently. The application analyzes your performance and gives the metrics you can use to improve.
Startups can start with the 30 days free version before scaling to a paid subscription. Freshdesk has a host of other services that different teams, such as sales, marketing, and administration, can explore.
Project Management Tools
As a business, it is important to manage all the activities and projects systematically. This helps you keep track of deadlines, monitor progress, and meet your targets with ease. Below are tools you can use for project management and scale your plan as your business grows.
With Trello, you can create, track, and manage tasks. As a solopreneur, you can use Trello boards to create projects and use the cards for specific tasks. You can further create due dates and move the cards from one section to another as you accomplish each task. When working with a team, Trello makes it easier to create, assign, and track all team members’ tasks on a single page.
If you are a small team, you can use the free plan, which has easy-to-use features explained above. As you scale and your business and the team members increase, a paid package will be a great fit.
Just like Trello, Asana is a project management tool that makes it easier for startups to manage tasks and work with teams remotely. The application allows you to create tasks, assign team members, and track their activities. You can also communicate with members, create deadlines, and attach files. It makes it easy to manage different projects and work with multiple teams.
Human Resource Tools
Human resource management is often complex, with a lot of paperwork. Finding a tool that synchronizes all the HR tasks is a plus. The tools below can help you get started in your employee management.
GoCo is an all in one platform that consolidates all HR functions. With a click of a button, you can access all your employees’ records. The application makes it easier to manage onboarding and offboarding employees. It allows you to automate the onboarding process, giving your new employees a customized experience.
The app comes with a payroll. But you can still embed yours. GoCo streamlines all processes, including time tracking. You can track employees’ clock in and out, and overtime. It makes performance management more manageable. The app is further connected to other applications such as LinkedIn, Quickbook, Slack, and Uber, among others.
Hiring new employees is usually expensive, especially employee screening and background checks. GoHire reduces the hurdle small businesses go through in the recruitment process. You can access the tool on mobile or desktop.
With the application, you can perform pre-hire skills tests, education certificate verification, identity verification, credit checks, driving license checks, drug screening, and all the verifications required during recruitment.
The verification process takes less than a day, and you can share the results with the potential employee. GoHire doesn’t have a free plan. Their packages start from $60 per month.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing makes it possible to reach your prospects. This way, your leads are always aware of any products or services you are offering. The tools to help you get started are below.
Moonsend free package allows up to 1000 subscribers. The software is a great option for startups in the early stage of email marketing because of the optimized email campaign templates.
Moonsend offers an unlimited number of emails you can send daily. It also allows you to segment your leads. With the free version, you can’t brand your email campaigns. If you are interested in advanced features, you can subscribe to a paid plan which starts from $10 per month.
Mailchimp is a renowned email marketing tool. The tool has a free plan which allows up to 2000 subscribers. The free subscription allows for up to 2000 emails daily with a limit of 10000 messages per month. Mailchimp’s paid plan starts from $10 per month.
HubSpot’s email marketing tool offers a holistic marketing approach. You’ll have a bigger picture of your marketing campaigns. The tool gives you an overview of your audience and the impact of your marketing strategy on your audience’s behaviors.
HubSpot helps you create personalized messages for your customers like a thank you note after a purchase or a welcome message for new subscribers. It also comes with hop-in forms for lead generation. The automation function makes it easier to send emails at designated times without a hassle.
Additional Tools for a Smarter and Scalable Startup
Apart from the above tools, you can manage your social media, communication, accounting, and digital marketing using the tools below.
BetaList offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to share their startup idea with other business enthusiasts on the platform. The community gives you feedback that you can use to better your services and products before you launch.
You’ll have an in-depth overview of your business in relation to the market dynamics. If your startup is in the fitness industry, an ACE reviews can help you make an informed choice in choosing a fitness certification course to boost your expertise.
If you are using the free version, it will take up to two months to get listed. However, you can get listed within a few days if you pay $99.
Slack is a must-have communication tool in a business that works in teams. The application allows you to create groups depending on the projects. You can connect with all members of your team on a single platform. With Slack, you can share files, video calls, chat, or share screens with ease. Distance is no longer an issue for small businesses working with freelancers.
Managing social media accounts can be hectic, especially if your business runs more than one social media account. Posting content across all the platforms, social media listening, and customer engagement is time-consuming and draining. That’s where Hootsuite comes in.
A free Hootsuite plan allows you to manage three social media accounts. You can schedule posts, monitor engagement, check the posts that are doing great, and see your followers on these platforms. You can also see your social media pages analytics. With time, as you grow your social media reach, you can go for the paid version, which has more features.
Wave is your ultimate accounting software. The tool is ideal for tracking expenses and income. It also comes in handy when it’s time for tax returns. You can create invoices or scan them into your system.
As a startup, Wave helps you balance your books with ease. It has a free plan you can start with and later go for the paid version.
Canva is a free image and video design platform that offers users a wide variety of options for creating images for websites and social media.
The platform has paid plans you can explore if your business requires intense graphic designs. However, the free plan has over 8000 stock images. You can also upload your images and use the platform’s many tools to edit so that your images align with your brand.
Fourteen tools are a lot. You don’t have to use all of them for your startup. That would be a lot of learning and implementation. Therefore, analyze the needs of your startup and choose the tools that your business can benefit from. You’ll find it easier to focus and grow your business to the next level with the right tools.
About Tyler Read
Tyler Read is the owner of PTPioneer.com which is a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study, and pass their fitness exams. Check out his free videos for the latest trends.
I am a passionate blogger sharing business tips. I write primarily on SEO, Email Marketing, CRM, Marketing Automation and covers the entire gamut of marketing.