In the modern times that we live in, there are a certain number of tech tools and software programmes new businesses cannot be without. Many of these are technologies that make the new generation of tech-driven enterprises much easier to set up, as they can provide more capabilities and therefore make possible a reduced workforce. Startups have the opportunity to implement new technologies into their workflow before the company grows, which brings the advantage of avoiding the potential disruption of digital transformation.
With tech as a more central component of all businesses, IT systems always need to be fully functional. You can keep your tech running smoothly with managed IT support which means a key service can be handled by trusted experts.
Virtual private network
Cybercrime has increased by an astonishing rate since the onset of the coronavirus, and a high proportion of people working remotely means there are more vulnerabilities to be exploited. A recent report showed that 60 percent of small businesses close within six months of a cyber-attack. Using a VPN that allows employees to securely connect to the network from a remote location should be a priority. There are many reliable VPN services to choose from, such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
This is important for communicating with team members individually or as a group. Instant messaging services also offer the chance to share files and media, as well as other features depending on the software and plan. Slack is a very popular platform and an efficient way of keeping teams connected, while Trello and Google Drive are mainly aimed at file sharing and collaboration.
Newsletters, marketing campaigns and keeping in touch with customers and clients can be automated and handled by an email marketing platform. This is an effective form of digital marketing, and an automated service is a great way of saving time. Mailchimp is a popular email marketing service – it also provides marketing CRM, reports and analytics, social media advertising and marketing recommendations. It is possible to look at customers that opened your emails and see what links they followed before sending a follow-up message.
In order to follow various projects running simultaneously and keep track of tasks and objectives that have been set, project management tools can save a lot of time and organisation. These allow collaboration and file sharing across teams, they avoid the need to send countless emails, they allow the lifecycle of a project to be viewed from start to finish, and to be viewed in calendar, list or board form. Platforms like Asana allow for team members to create tasks, projects and conversations, and keep up with each other. Each platform allows a different number of members, with premium plans offering more features.
Customer relationship management
In recent years CRM has become more of a business essential, offering insights and a new way of looking at things. CRM tools allow businesses to record every customer interaction, activity and all data relating to particular customers, so that it can be used in the way the business engages with customers. CRM uses data analysis to gain useful insights, improve customer relationships and drive extra sales. It is absolutely necessary in a business world that is more focussed on the customer, so every enterprise needs to put more emphasis on improving the customer experience.
Social media management
There are now more than 3 billion people around the world using social media on a regular basis, so it is not at all surprising that it features quite prominently in marketing strategies. Social media marketing involves posting, responding to queries, comments and feedback, engaging with other users, and showing an active commitment to the platform. Rather than spending hours on these management duties, everything can be handled by a social media management tool, such as Hootsuite or HubSpot. These can schedule posts, monitor feeds, engage and interact with customers all from a single dashboard, and you can also view analytics to gain useful insights into your customers’ online behaviour.
While in the past all financial issues were dealt with by a trained employee or outsourced service, now more tasks can be managed by an efficient accounting software programme. A platform like Xero or Sage can take on the responsibilities of an accountant, financial manager and bookkeeper. This can include sending invoices, reconciling debts, creating expense claims and tracking expenses and profits.
Video conferencing tools
In 2020, video conferencing software programmes have been more popular than ever before, as people under lockdown conditions have turned to video conferencing to stay connected. Even before COVID-19, tools like Skype and Zoom were useful tools for running a business, as a way of enabling fast communication and business meetings when a meeting in the real world is not possible. Zoom is currently allowing an unlimited number of participants to join meetings free of charge.
It is a good idea to keep notes and files organised and in one location. Evernote is a cloud-based service that makes this possible, as it can be used on any device, through a browser or as a separate desktop application. All notes and files are synced, and audio notes can also be recorded and stored. Other useful organisational tools include Airtable, Nimble and Penzu.
Website performance monitoring
All businesses need a functional and stylish website that is fully mobile responsive, but the next stage is to figure out how it is being used by your customers. This is where website performance monitoring comes in. With tools like Google Analytics and Chartbeat it’s possible to track visitors, to see how long they are spending on your website, the pages they are viewing and the links they are following.
With a selection of different tools to choose from in every category, startups have never before been so well equipped for getting things off the ground. Once you have decided on the best programme to use for each purpose, then you will be ready to change the world with your unique venture.