Best business tools for startups

by Jasmeet Singh
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A few years back, when SAAS-based business tools for startups were not part of the startup ecosystem, it wasn’t easy to start or run a startup.

Whether you were a “first-timer” or a serial entrepreneur, setting up a new startup was a daunting task, and I speak from experience; I set up my first startup many years ago. Unfortunately, all my fresh-faced enthusiasm didn’t stop this enterprise from becoming one of the 90% of startups that ultimately fail. (Source – Investopedia)

So what went wrong? 

It was partly my inexperience, but a large part of it was down to being overwhelmed by sheer workload and the costs of the outsourcing I undertook to try and reduce that workload. 

In my defense, those were different days. 

Fast forward today, and I can see how the current generation has it easy with the availability of the right startup business tools that help them quickly automate a part of their business -Thereby removing their reliability on humans.

Unfortunately (and I’m giving away my age here), at the time, there wasn’t the plethora of tools to choose from that are now available to the budding entrepreneur. 

In recent years, the phenomenal rise of SaaS means that there is now a tool available for every aspect of your startup, from looking after your finances to growing your customer base. (Source – devsquad)

But it gets better than that! Not only is there a tool available to simplify every area of your startup, but they are also highly cost-effective. According to a global IT research firm Gartner Group survey, the cost of maintaining “bought” software ends up as high as 75% of their total IT budget. (Source – giva inc)

Of course, this means that startup founders are now faced with a completely different challenge – Just how to pick the right tools from a saturated market, where every product claims to be a “Must Have.”

If that problem sounds familiar, then don’t worry, you have come to the right place.

I am happy to report that my next ventures were more successful. Thanks in no small part to the part played in reducing workload, costs, and stress by my uptake of SaaS in managing many crucial aspects of my startups. 

Planning

planning

Business and Financial Planning

Like my first business, my first business plan was a bit of a disaster, I’m afraid. 

I just didn’t appreciate what was required of a great business plan. While my plan wasn’t quite a set of optimistic figures scribbled on the back of an envelope, it wasn’t that far from it. 

Another thing I didn’t understand at the time is that a business plan isn’t just something useful for startups. 

A business plan should be dynamic, it should provide a clear route map for the future of your business, and it should be adaptable as circumstances change, which they invariably do. 

A great business plan is right there at the top of the list of things to do before starting a startup for startups. (according to Investopedia, the third most common reason that new startups fail is – inadequate planning). 

Luckily, these days you don’t need to rely on the back of an envelope :).

LivePlans is the first tool I will discuss, and while all the tools reviewed are essential. LivePlans is perhaps the most important.

It is important because it addresses the most overlooked part of starting a startup – a good business plan. 

A good business plan is the foundation of your startup. Without solid foundations, your business could be fated to become just another figure in the statistics that say after 10-years, two-thirds of all new businesses will have closed their doors. (Source – US Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy)

So, let’s lay the foundations of your pathway to success by looking at LivePlans Business Planning software. 

LivePlans Business Planning Software

liveplan

LivePlans Business Planning Software is the perfect solution to ensure the foundations of your startup are rock solid. Amongst the plethora of features that this software offers are: – 

  • Business Plan Templates
  • Financial Modelling
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Fundraising Management
  • Step-by-step Wizard

This software takes the complicated task of producing a business plan and simplifies it. 

A simple wizard takes you through the steps to get you started with your plan and covers such aspects as setting your business goals, budgeting, and forecasting. Once your plan is set up you can use the dashboard to compare your startup’s performance against benchmarks and monitor other key criteria. 

Amongst the user experiences reported on Capterra was one user who said that LivePlan had helped them create a viable strategic plan that they were able to refer back to as their startup progressed. 

After their business had been running for a year, they were delighted to find that the projections on revenue, margins, and start-up costs were spot-on. 

I could not agree any less with the user. I have personally used LivePlan to create some complex business plans in days and then used the plans to pitch to investors.

The tool takes the pain out of creating a business plan. What differentiates liveplan from many business tools in the market are – simplicity and case studies to help you set up a business plan.

Capterra Rating 4.6/5 from 107 reviews. 


Website Management and Hosting

website management

In the course of researching this blog, I was astonished to discover that less than 64% of small businesses have a website. Pair this with a statistic from the same source that says 70-80% of people research a company online before making a purchase and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see the problem. (Source – Review 42)

It’s as simple as – You have a startup, you need a website!

This section discusses the tools that let you get to the perfect portal between you and your customer – A website that will generate business. 

I have split this part of the blog into three subsections to make it easy for you to understand the right steps and tools to help you set up a perfect online presence.

Content Management System Software

Content Management System Software (CMS) is the starting point for any web design project. Think of it as a piece of software that helps non-technical people like you and me to take control of our website. 

For me – CMS is godsend. 

I started using CMS like wordpress and joomla around 10 years back to update my own websites.

Why did I start using them?

Well – I was fed up with the designers and developers I had to work with…I just didn’t like them pointing a gun to my head for any slight change I asked them to make to the website.

This is where I started researching on the internet ‘How can I take control of my own website?’ 

And Voila!

I discovered CMS, and since then, I have never looked back. In fact I got so hooked to the world of CMSs that I launched my course, ‘How do design a website without coding’ on Udemy a few years back.

The course was an instant hit and has helped 1000 students learn the tricks of designing a website without knowing any coding.

Coming back to the world of CMSs, aka Content Management Systems. 

CMS software is what a business uses to update the content and structure of its web page. Effectively, it is what is used to design and manage your webpage. 

For CMS, we will consider an old friend of mine, the ubiquitous WordPress, I have used this for more years than I care to remember, and it is still my go-to tool for web design and maintenance.

WordPress

wordpress

As I mentioned, WordPress and I go back a long way, ever since WordPress was a simple tool designed to help the fledgling blogging niche get all those beautiful blogs in front of the public. 

Since then, it has come a long way and is now a featured-packed CMS platform that can handle every aspect of web design and includes such features as: – 

  • Customizable Templates
  • Online Booking Tools
  • Online Store Builder
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Landing Pages

Best of all, there is a completely free version that will be adequate for many startup’s needs, and even the paid version won’t break the bank. 

WordPress is also highly customizable, there are thousands of templates to choose from to get a stunning-looking webpage up and running in no time, and additional plugins available for just about any task you require, many of them are free too! 

In fact, according to Torque Mag, there are over 50,000 plugins available. 

One user on Capterra reported that WordPress has been incredible for them. They run multiple businesses on it with low overheads. In particular, the high number of customizations means they have used WordPress as everything from a membership site to a calendar system. 

Capterra Rating 4.6/5 from 13,119 reviews

If you are interested in learning about wordpress and want a structured course on learning wordpress, this course from me on udemy would be of help to you:

Course: WORDPRESS TUTORIAL FOR BEGINNERS STEP BY STEP

What students are saying about this course

It is a very helpful training course!. Please keep doing efforts like this, I totally recommend it 100%.

Felipe Hdz
The easiest way to get familiar with WordPress & launch a decent enough website after watching this 4 Hrs video lecture.
Deepak Kumar

DIY Website Management

Managing a website can be tricky and time-consuming. 

Many people think that once their page is up and running then the hard work is done. Not so I’m afraid, if you want your webpage to hit the Google rankings, then the website must be kept up to date with reliable content. (Source – SEO Site Check up)

This is where DIY Website Management software is required, this is the next I will cover in our list of essential software tools for startups.

Elementor

elementor

Elementor is another old and reliable friend of mine. 

A few years ago, I first came across it when I was struggling to design a landing page for a product I was selling. 

Since then, it has been a crucial element (excuse the pun) of my web strategy. 

Such is the versatility of Elementor that it can be used in conjunction with WordPress (or other platforms). 

Some of the features that this software boasts include: – 

  • SEO Management
  • Online Store Builder
  • Landing Pages
  • Thousands of Stunning Templates
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Free email optin plugin

I confess it did take me some time to get my head around the software, (I am convinced that this was because I was using it “inside WordPress”) but once I had learned the ropes, I came to appreciate the power and simplicity of this software fully.

Many Elementor users report how delighted they are with the ease that Elementor can put together sales funnels and landing pages. 

From personal experience, I can only concur; I looked at so many options that promised much and delivered little before I discovered Elementor.

A quick secret for you – if you run a web design business, get an elementor subscription and dish out fast websites for your clients using elementor’s templates that come free with the elementor subscription.

Add to it, the free email capturing optin service provided by elementor, and you have a marketing angle added to your business.

Elementor is highly recommended for any startup owner who wants to take control of their website presence.

Capterra Rating 4.7/5 from 404 reviews


Hosting

I have now covered the website platform and the website builder that can help you get your website up and running.

Let’s give a home to your website.

A home, which in the internet jargon world is referred to as ‘Hosting.’

No choosing the right Hosting platform is essential. 

People are impatient; if your webpage doesn’t load quickly enough then they don’t hang around. 

According to recent research by Google, 53% of users will leave a webpage if it doesn’t load within 3-seconds. (source- marketing dive.)

The design of your webpage and the hosting company that hosts your website are two critical factors for your website’s loading time.

SiteGround

siteground

SiteGround is a company that I have used to host my websites for some years now. 

Amongst the features that SiteGround offer are: – 

  • WordPress Hosting
  • Easy Website Building
  • Data Centers on 4 Continents
  • Ultra-fast SSD Storage
  • Highly Secure

I have used dozens of hosting platforms in my time, some no longer exist, and some were, to put it simply, dreadful. I switched to SiteGround after it was recommended by a friend and have never looked back. 

The User Interface is intuitive to use and is excellent for all skill levels from beginners setting up their first webpage to startups running dozens of web pages. 

They use an ultra-fast network that is highly secure and has great page load times. 

SiteGround offers three hosting packages that are ideal for everyone, from the single users wanting to build a small webpage to a package that provides unlimited websites. All the packages also offer unlimited traffic, which means you never have to worry about going over your bandwidth limit. 

Host Advice Review 9.7/10 from 2355 reviews.


Finance

finance

Keeping a tab on your finances is an absolute must for any startup. While this may sound daunting (and for me, it was with my first startup), it needn’t be. 

With the right tools in place, keeping an eye on your startup’s financial performance is simple. Many startups will fail simply because they haven’t understood the overall financial picture, at least until it’s too late. 

According to a study by U.S. Banks, 82% of business failures are due to poor financial management.

Luckily, there is a tool that can help your startup avoid this fate.

Zoho Books

zohobook

As earlier, I am recommending a startup tool from my personal experience with this tool. 

Some years ago I was unhappy with my current accounting procedures and the difficulty of doing everything from raising an invoice to monitoring cash flow, I started looking around for a product that would help. 

I was looking for something that would let me issue invoices on the move, easily let me know the state of my startup’s financial situation, and perhaps most importantly, remain simple enough for a non-accountant to use. 

Zoho Books ticked all those boxes. 

Amongst the features that Zoho offers are: –

  • Customizable Invoices
  • Cash Management
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Audit Trail

The dashboard is simple to use, and even for people that aren’t “financially minded” it makes navigating your firm’s finances a simple process. 

Another great feature of Zoho is that there is a suite of accompanying software that complements the package and unlike some of its competitors, they don’t charge the earth. 

Capterra Rating – 4.4/5 from 428 reviews


Inventory

books

The importance of keeping an accurate inventory cannot be overstated. Yet this is one sector that is often overlooked. 

Good inventory management is critical for ensuring you can fulfill your customer orders timeously yet aren’t burdened with the cost of overstocking. 

Zoho Inventory

zoho inventory

I switched to Zoho Inventory not long after I’d switched to Zoho Books. It seemed to make sense to have two complimenting pieces of software that integrated seamlessly. 

Zoho Inventory features include: – 

  • Accounting Integrations
  • Low Stock Notifications
  • Centralized Inventory Database
  • Data Exporting and Importing
  • eCommerce Integrations

Zoho seems to specialize in taking what can be complex systems and simplifying them so that entrepreneurs feel like they are jacks-of-all-trades. 

Over the years I have built up many income streams, from selling products on Amazon and eBay to landing pages that sell directly to the public. Keeping an eye on what was going where and how much stock I held was a nightmare. 

The fact that Zoho can integrate with most major eCommerce sites and services is a fantastic feature. 

Zoho just simplified the whole process of organizing, shipping, and stocking products. 

It also integrates with my Zoho books system, which streamlines the whole accounting process as well. 

You might see a lot of Zoho in my list of recommended startup business tools. The reason for that is the complete set of tools provided by Zoho and the pricing point provided by them.

They offer value for money with all their startup tools.

G2 Reviews – 4.5/5 from 50 reviews


Marketing And Sales

marketing

Without sales, whether it’s products, services, or time, your business will fail. You don’t need to be an economist to work that one out. Sales are the lifeblood of every business. 

There are great products out there that can help you achieve and maintain sales by helping you with every aspect of your marketing. 

That’s what this section is going to dive into. 

Email Marketing

Here’s an interesting statistic – email marketing provides returns that roughly equates to a return of $44 for every $1 spent. (source – Campaign Monitor.)

Any business that doesn’t take advantage of this is ignoring what should be a fundamental part of any sales and marketing strategy. 

The first tool I will look at makes running effective email campaigns easy. 

Mailerlite

mailerlite

Mailerlite offers a complete solution to running and managing effective email sales and marketing campaigns. 

Amongst the features Mailerlite offers are: –

  • Dynamic Content
  • Event-Triggered Actions
  • AB Testing
  • Campaign Management
  • Customizable Templates

Mailerlite focuses on keeping the interface uncluttered and straightforward while maintaining a robust platform that belies this simplicity. 

Beautiful-looking campaigns can be created quickly and easily, which can be further easily monitored – thanks to their advanced analytics. 

One of the great advantages of Mailerlite is its fantastic-looking landing page templates, which are included in all packages. 

This means that users can create a complete marketing campaign from email through to sales funnels and landing pages from one platform.

As far as I am concerned, I have used Mailerlite after trying my hands on a couple of email solutions. Some of these solutions that I used were either too complex or too expensive for a startup like ours.

I was looking for a startup email marketing tool that was not too heavy on features and not very expensive. Most importantly, I did not want something that had a steep learning curve.

This is where Mailerlite hit that sweet spot.

I use it till date to set up email automation and send email campaigns for my startup.

If you are just getting started, then the Mailerlite free program has a generous free package that includes a thousand subscribers and 12,000 emails a month. 

Capterra Rating 4.6/5 from 423 reviews


Website Analytics

Understanding how your webpage is performing is crucial. 

It isn’t just the number of visitors that is important.  Aspects like their behavior when they visit are essential to understanding how to generate more traffic and ensure they will return and follow your Calls-to-action.

This is where Inspectlet steps up to the mark. 

Inspectlet

inspectlet

Inspectlet gives you a complete insight into all aspects of your website visitors’ behavior. This is vitally important to understanding the mechanics of how people are interacting with your site, and perhaps more importantly, how they are not interacting. 

Features include: –

  • Entry and Exit Pages
  • Custom Reports and Dashboards
  • Campaign Tracking
  • Engagement and Retention
  • Segmentation

Once you understand where your traffic is coming from and where it isn’t coming from, then it becomes easier to concentrate on what is working and what isn’t. 

This is what Inspectlet lets you do, but as with all the tools reviewed – It does this in such a manner that a layman can understand what the analytics are telling them. 

In many ways, it is as if you are looking over a visitor’s shoulder as they browse your site. 

You can watch videos that capture a visitor’s actions when they visit your site, this includes mouse movements, scrolling actions, and key presses. 

Capterra Reviews 4/5 from 27 reviews.


SEO

Now we come to one of the trickiest aspects of all, the art that is Search Engine Optimization. 

Getting as high up the search engine rankings as possible is a sure way to increase website traffic. 

In fact, according to one study, pages that came up on page two of Google searches had an 11.96% rate of click-throughs compared to page one results. (Source – Platonik)

It’s time to call for some help! 

SEMRush

semrush

SEMRush is a product that is designed to hone every aspect of your SEO strategy and help your page rocket up the rankings. 

SEMRush is a complete suite of tools that are designed for online visibility management. 

Amongst the features it boasts are: – 

  • Metrics including engagement returns and search rank
  • Keyword Suggestions
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Rank Alerts
  • Audience Insights

The suite includes tools for content monitoring, search, social media, and market research. 

It monitors over 200 million domains, an astonishing 41 trillion backlinks, and 20 billion keywords. 

Not only does it monitor all aspects of your SEO performance, but it also produces detailed analytics and suggestions about how to improve your ranking. 

G2 Rating 4.5/5 from 1,169 reviews.


Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing has risen to become one of the most effective tools in any marketer’s toolkit. 

The potential customer base that Social Media Giants like Facebook offer is too large to ignore. Statistics show that Facebook has a user base of 228 million and that 69% of the U.S. population uses the platform. (Source – Statista)

Getting a successful Social Media campaign off the ground can be tricky. There are many dos and don’ts that aren’t immediately obvious. 

Of course, there is a tool available that simplifies the entire process. 

PromoRepublic

promorepublic

Setting up a successful Social Media Marketing campaign is as simple as writing an amazing post, attaching an eye-catching photo, and watching it go viral, right? 

Well, no, and this is another one where I have a personal and painful experience. In my early days of Social marketing, I got it all wrong, I didn’t understand what makes a campaign successful and what makes it fail. 

PromoRepublic takes all the uncertainty from the process. It has a host of features that are designed to maximize the impact of your social media campaigns, including: – 

  • Artwork Management
  • Post Scheduling
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Multi-account management
  • Campaign Management

Without a clear understanding of how ads work on Social Media, I was left scratching my head and wondering where it was all going wrong. 

The benefits of using PromoRepublic were instant marketing campaigns that had previously been disappointing suddenly started producing results. 

It is a simple-to-use platform that doesn’t baffle you with technospeak and quickly delivers. 

Capterra Rating 4.6/5 from 137 reviews.

All in one Email Marketing & Lead Generation Solution

One thing that I have been pleased to see in recent times is the progress of SaaS solutions that are “the swiss army knife” of the niche. 

These tools can simplify your workload by taking two or more tasks that generally require different platforms and resolving them under one roof. 

These can save you money by cutting down on subscriptions, but they also save you time by integrating tasks into one platform. 

AWeber

aweber

AWeber is an all-in-one tool that can deal with email marketing, build landing pages, web push notifications, and eCommerce solutions, to name a few. 

Features include: – 

  • Simple to use Dashboard
  • Customizable CTAs
  • Drip Campaigns
  • Thousands of Customizable Templates
  • Event-Triggered Actions

AWeber is all about building customer relationships and increasing engagement through email marketing and lead generation. It offers unlimited email templates and a drag and drop builder that is simple to use. 

I also love the fact that there is 24/7 live support available, this is one of the cornerstone benefits that many similar services just can’t compete with. 

AWeber is no newcomer either, they have twenty years of experience providing an easy-to-use service that has run successful email campaigns for millions of users. 

Capterra Reviews 4.3/5 from 159 reviews

Email opt-in 

One sure way of growing your customer base is through the use of email campaigns.

A specialized software platform that is designed to get more of your web visitors to “opt-in” to receiving emails is a great method of growing your customer database. 

The days of legitimately adding users to an email list without their consent are over. Legislation, including European GDPR rules, means that you must have consent before adding people to your email database.  

With this in mind, you must optimize every opportunity you have to engage with your customers and sign them up for your email campaigns. 

This is what this section covers. 

OptinMonster

optinmonster

OptinMonster is software that maximizes the signup rate for your newsletters or other email campaigns. 

By using pop-up forms and prompts that activate according to user actions, it boosts the number of visitors who agree to accept emails from you.

Features include: – 

  • Quickly Convert Visitors to Subscribers
  • Scroll boxes, pop-ups, and Welcome mats
  • 100+ Templates
  • Geolocation Targeting
  • Page-Level Targeting

The software activates based on user behavior. For example, returning visitors may be prompted with a welcome back offer. 

Alternatively, users whose behavior makes it look like they are about to leave your site can be prompted to sign up. 

User experience is that this is an easy way to accomplish an otherwise difficult task, that involves coding know-how that the average business owner doesn’t have in their armory. 

Capterra Rating – 4.1/5 from 43 reviews


Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

crm

All-in-one CRM software

Your customers are the most crucial part of your business. Without them, there is no business. 

Keeping your customers happy and dealing with complaints timeously and successfully are crucial aspects of maintaining a startup with repeat customers who will happily recommend your product to others. 

Enter the all-in-one CRM tool, this takes the pain away from this crucial, but time-consuming task. 

Agile CRM

agile

Agile CRM is a tool that automates the whole CRM experience. It can deal with everything from automating your marketing campaign to running entire telephony campaigns. 

Features included in the package include: – 

  • Project Management
  • Integrating into your Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Helpdesk

It all runs from a dashboard that gives you complete control over all aspects of your CRM operation. 

AgileCRM integrates quickly with all of your software stacks, and many businesses use it as a whole system, not just for CRM purposes but also for marketing and lead generation. 

Capterra Reviews 4.2/5 from 405 reviews


Designing and Content Tools

designing

DIY Design Tool

These days everything is about content, Social Media Posts, Logos, Web Content.

However, it all requires time and effort to keep the stream of eye-catching content that will keep visitors and Social Media subscribers engaged.

For instance, visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on Social Media. With such importance, it can be difficult and expensive to keep producing quality content. (Source – Social Media Today)

I confess I’m not a “graphics person,” luckily, there is a bit of software that helps me generate professional-looking content despite my lack of skill.

Canva

canva

Canva is a tool that allows you to create stunning graphics for any purpose, from social media posts to end-of-year reports. It even allows you to collaborate with others in real-time to work on joint projects. 

This simple to use platform features: – 

  • Drag and Drop Editing
  • Stock Image Library
  • Scheduling
  • Font Selection
  • Export as Different File Types

With the importance of producing high-quality content increasing, this tool quickly designs great-looking artwork based on a vast range of templates. 

I consider myself quite skilled in a few designing tools, I taught myself how to create graphics using masks, filters, and all the other tools that these packages offer. 

Ultimately, although I mastered the software, I didn’t master the art side of things. I had to face facts, I was a terrible artist. 

That’s where Canva comes in, the templates are stunning, and it just seems that somebody else has done the part I couldn’t. 

All I had to do was add my content. 

G2 Product Review – 4.5/5 from 2,799 reviews.


Project Management, Communication & Collaboration

project management

In the modern world where many more of us are now working from home, project management and collaboration tools are being used increasingly to facilitate this switch in behavior. 

According to a recent report, Project Management Software usage will grow by over 10% in the next few years. (Source – Report Linker)

These crucial tools can save you time and money by streamlining your project management and allowing remote workers to maintain collaboration and effective communication. 

Project Management

Effective project management is a vital part of many business models. I remember back to the days before I employed software to manage this aspect, it had always felt like I was juggling too many balls, and inevitably, some of them got dropped. 

Now I wonder how I ever got half my projects completed. This is one of the cases where I look back and say, how did I ever do without this?

Wrike

wrike

Wrike is a highly customizable and scalable project management and collaboration software solution that gives you a real-time performance overview of all your ongoing projects. 

This versatile piece of software is jam-packed with features including: –

  • Activity Planning and Tracking
  • Alerts and Notifications
  • Asset Sharing, Categorization, and Management
  • Access Controls and Permissions
  • Activity News Feed

If you have a remote workforce or work with freelancers, Wrike is an excellent tool for keeping tabs on your ongoing work. It allows you to collaborate in real-time, share calendars, milestones, and timeline updates. 

It also integrates with 400+ apps, including Office apps, Google, and messaging apps. 
Capterra Rating – 4.2/5 from 1,656 reviews

Customer and Website Report Tools

These days customers expect outstanding support. One sure way of losing customers is by not providing it. 

This section covers software that makes keeping your customers happy as easy as pie. 

LiveChat

livechat

LiveChat is a software system that integrates into your website and offers a variety of chat options for visitors. 

Features that come with the LiveChat platform include: – 

  • Customer Support Options
  • Communication Management
  • Knowledge Base Management
  • Email Management
  • Live Chat

There is no doubt about the fact that a happy customer is more likely to be a repeat customer, LiveChat is used the world over by companies of all sizes to keep their customer base happy. 

It isn’t just about existing customers either, LiveChat can help secure new customers by instantly engaging with them and helping them with any queries that they may have. 

Capterra Rating 4.6/5 from 1,117 reviews

Email, Filesharing & Chat: All-in-one Collaboration

One issue that many business owners are now facing is the sheer size of their software stack. 

In this section, I take a look at one piece of software that combines a few features to help cut the reliance on too many systems. 

Google Workspace

google workspace

This all-in-one tool from Google is a system that allows you to create an integrated workspace that allows for easy collaboration and communication. 

Google Workspace is based around the familiar framework of Google’s email, office, and cloud services. 

Included Features: – 

  • Collaboration Tools
  • Content Management
  • Real-time Editing
  • Task Management
  • Access Controls and Permissions

It is designed for businesses of all sizes and is easily scalable. It is a true multitool able to handle tasks as diverse as compliance management right through to video conferencing and everything in between. 

It is easy to use with an intuitive interface that looks clean and uncluttered. Despite the simplicity of the looks, this is one of the most potent collaboration products on the market. 

Capterra Reviews – 4.7/5 from 10,652 reviews

Time Tracking

Keeping track of who is working where and even if they are actually working at all used to be an arduous task. 

But keeping tabs on who is where and working on what is essential to keeping your business running profitably. 

Time Tracking software lets you get a complete handle on every aspect of your and your employee’s time tracking without the usual administration nightmare associated with the chore.

Hubstaff

hubstaff

The Hubstaff platform is a complete Time Tracking suite that gives you full analytics into the performance of your team and the projects they are working on. 

This fully-featured platform offers: –

  • Activity Tracking
  • Driver Management
  • Idle Time Monitoring
  • Internet Browsing History
  • Automatic Time Capture

This software takes time tracking to a new level. With their solution – Time can be tracked through mobile devices, a web interface, or a desktop app. 

The same dashboard can also integrate with existing apps to manage aspects like invoicing and reporting. 

Integrations are seamless and include PayPal, Github, Trello, and many more. In fact, Hubstaff integrates with over 30 apps. 

It can also utilize GPS in your vehicles, efficiently know at a glance where your employees are, and even divert them around traffic jams. 

Capterra Reviews 4.6/5 from 1,136 reviews

Productivity

Productivity is at the heart of all businesses. It is simple, the more productive you are, the more your business prospers. 

It’s just common sense, so why not get software involved that is designed to optimize productivity. 

Shift

shift

The Shift Productivity software suite is another product that can rightly claim to be a multitool for the IT age. This all-in-one app helps you get the most from your productivity by streamlining a whole range of tasks into one easy-to-use platform. 

Amongst the features that Shift offers are: –

  • Huge range of integrations
  • Workspace designed for collaboration
  • Focused workspaces
  • Custom Notifications
  • Streamlined Workflow options

Amongst the time-saving features that users have found incredibly useful with Shift is the ability to toggle between multiple email accounts directly from the Shift platform. These can be Gmail, Outlook, and Office365 accounts. 

The whole design concept of the platform has been developed from the ground up to maximize the focus on productivity. 

G2 Reviews – 4/5 from 46 reviews

Integration

Finally, we come to integration. I am a huge fan of all of the packages I have discussed in this article. However, one issue that many people find when using different software for various aspects of their business is integration. 

But, surprise, surprise, there’s a software tool that will help here too!

Automate.io

automate

Automate.io is a software service that uses a simple interface to allow you to integrate all your apps with a few simple clicks or by dragging and dropping. 

It uses a collection of 200+ connectors to integrate with the most commonly used SaaS applications and has a customizable API to connect with other apps. 

Features Include: – 

  • Design your own workflows
  • Prebuilt reusable connectors to connect to your software systems
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Managed File Transfers
  • Manage Complex Workflows

If you are using multiple apps, this package can take much of the pain from merging the data and analytics to get a complete picture of how your business is faring and to help streamline your operations. 

Capterra Reviews – 4.5/5 from 60 reviews


Before I end…

I speak from experience when I say that there are some useful tricks to running a successful startup. 

I have been a part of a couple of startups since before most of these products were born, and I can assure you of one thing, these have made the whole task of running a startup simple.  

And then there’s the cost. Any one of these products will cut your spending by taking on tasks that I used to outsource or hire employees to perform. 

I’m not finished yet. 

Time is perhaps the most valuable commodity that an entrepreneur has; sometimes, there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish what needs to be done. All these tools will accomplish their tasks and save you valuable time simultaneously. 

Of course, choosing the right ones for your startup  is essential. 

When I began down this road, I started by compiling a list of the tasks I wanted the software to achieve and compared it against the features the software offered. 

Whilst, this may seem like a simplistic approach, for me, it worked perfectly. 

I hope you found this list useful, and it helps propel your way to a successful and stress-free startup. 

1 comment

anayavatish June 14, 2021 - 11:37 am

Thanks for Sharing this article. really liked it!!

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