What are the tools startups need to effectively grow their business without breaking the bank or dancing half-naked on Instagram?
Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle, and a victory.– Mahatma Gandhi
Startup success is no easy feat, it takes patience, hard work and determination to carry an idea from conception to real-world functionality. Only the best will succeed. Still, as Gandhi says, struggle and risk are a part of every worthwhile accomplishment.
Mitigating that risk and the amount of drudgery involved in the startup process can be a godsend for entrepreneurs. The best way to do that is to hire the right people and give them the right tools. Thankfully, in 2020 you have a lot of options when it comes to startup tools.
I won’t waste your time with tools you already know and love, think G Suite or Dropbox, instead, I want to go over tools that every startup will find valuable and maybe even some you haven’t yet heard of.
Project Management Software
Before we get into obscure tools for startups, it’s important to start with the basics.
From fortune 500 companies to small businesses and even startups, project management software is a necessity for every business. Organizing tasks efficiently within your team is vital.
Project management software can provide task lists, schedules, file sharing, communication, and reporting. Some of the most popular project management tools include Asana, Basecamp, and Trello.
Social Media Scheduling Software
Social media posting can be a pain, but every startup has to be active on social media. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend the cash to hire a full-time social media expert these days. Social media software can make posting scheduled, quality posts easy.
Some of the most popular social media apps include Buffer, Hootsuite, and PostPlanner. These are perennial favorites for scheduling social media posts because they are easy to use, cheap, and effective.
Privacy and Security Tools
Security breaches can wreak havoc on startups, in fact, a recent study found that 60% of all companies that suffer a data breach are forced into bankruptcy within just six months.
Protecting your business from 21st-century cyber-attacks is a necessity. Fortunately, there are a number of quality security software tools that can help you do just that. Some of the most popular of these include Bitdefender for Business, Emsisoft Anti-Malware for Business, and Avast Endpoint Protection Suite Plus.
Security is about more than just protecting software, however. As the Federal Trade Commission points out on their website, physically protecting files, documents and computers is often forgotten by small businesses, which leads to data breaches occurring in an old-fashioned way.
If you have a small business it is important to physically protect, and monitor access to, computers, flash drives, point-of-sale devices, files, etc., especially if they contain sensitive information. You may also want to get privacy screen protectors because an estimated 50% of small businesses were targeted by insider cyber threats in 2018 according to the Federal Insider Threat Report.
Related: 6 Cyber Security Trends for 2020
Shared Inbox Software
Shared inbox software is another great tool for startups. Staying connected is vital when starting a new business. Shared inbox software helps keep your team connected by aggregating your business communications into one, easy to understand, dashboard.
The best-shared inbox software, also known as Intelligent Message Hub software, should also have phone call transcription services and easy integration with all the other software tools your business uses.
HR professionals are expensive but necessary. Unfortunately, as a startup, your business may not have the funds to hire a full-time HR pro. The good news is there is software that can help you take on the role.
Gusto is a type of payroll software that makes payroll and benefits easy for any boss, regardless of past experience.
The software includes software to help you manage common HR roles like payroll, benefits, team management, 401 K, college savings plans and reimbursements, etc. All with an experienced HR professional just a phone call away or message away if you need assistance.
Email Marketing Software
Email is the most vital form of communication in the 21st century. Don’t believe me? In 2019, there were 293.6 billion emails sent every day, according to Statista. That’s a lot of back and forth.
As a startup, utilizing email marketing should be one of your first priorities. Not only will these services help you get your company’s name out there, but it will help you stay connected with your clients and partners.
Mailchimp dominates the email marketing software market. In fact, in 2019 they sent 600 million emails every day.
Mailchimp allows you to build email marketing campaigns with the touch of a button. They also offer built-in analytics to help you figure out the ROI of your email marketing efforts.
Stock Image Sourcing Software
Stock image sourcing software is the final tool that every startup needs to buy. This might not be one of the first things on your mind, but once you are hit with a lawsuit for using a copyrighted image, it surely will be.
Companies like Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, and Pixabay, sell stock photos for use in company marketing and social media materials. They go for a reasonable price, especially when you compare them to the costs of potential lawsuits.
Building a great startup is tough. The long hours, constant phone calls and emails, plus the stress of the ups and downs can really take its toll on entrepreneurs. That’s why it’s so important to utilize every tool at your disposal to make life easier.
Running a successful startup is challenging, but remember, anything worth having should always be. Don’t be afraid to take your shot in 2020.