Entrepreneurs and small business owners know that in the early stages of running a startup, every day is different. When there’s so much to achieve in so little time, having a reliable set of tools to make day-to-day tasks easier and more efficient is vital.
In this guide, we’ve included what we believe to be the essential tools for startups that will add value to any team, regardless of the sector you’re in.
If your business has a website, a Google Analytics account is nigh on essential. Google Analytics is a web-based platform that allows you to collect data about the visitors to your site. It gives you visibility of:
- How visitors have arrived at your site
- Where they came from
- What they did
- How long they stayed
- Whether they converted
- Information about the users themselves
All this data provides invaluable insight into how your website is performing, where improvements need to be made and what a typical customer journey looks like. It’s also completely free.
Google AdWords has become a vital part of the marketing strategies of thousands of new UK businesses. If you’re unfamiliar with AdWords, it’s a pay-per-click service which allows you to create and run ads that attract visitors to your site. This can be an extremely effective strategy for startups as it allows you to rank at the top of the search engine rankings and compete on an equal footing with much larger and more established rivals. It’s also relatively easy to create your own ads.
Trello is an extremely useful combination of a to-do list, project management and visual tracking tool. It allows you to assign tasks to your team, add discussions, add documents and see what is being worked on, who’s working on it and how much progress they’ve made. As a new business, if you’re looking for a simple way to plan tasks, assign them to individuals and track them to completion, Trello is an excellent choice. It’s also free to use with as many users as you wish, although there are paid plans with additional functionality available.
Many business owners will have heard of the collaboration platform Slack, but some simply write it off as an instant messaging system when it actually provides far more functionality. As well as sending public, private and direct messages, Slack can be integrated with other apps and tools like Google Drive, MailChimp and stripe to streamline your workflow and improve collaboration with your team. Files can be shared, and smartphone compatibility lets you pick up real-time notifications on the go.
Email marketing is extremely cost-effective, so it’s understandably something lots of startups want to try. MailChimp is one of the simplest mass email systems on the market. It makes it easy to design and send completely customised emails, and also provides detailed feedback on their performance. That includes insight such as how many people opened an email, how long they spent reading it, and where they clicked.
If you want to take your startup online, WordPress could be the website builder and content management system (CMS) for you. WordPress makes it relatively simple to customise the look and feel of your website to let your brand shine through. As WordPress is a self-contained system, there’s no need to edit code, meaning you can create new web pages and blogs, format text, add images and upload videos without additional software. Critically, search engines love the clean, simple code behind WordPress websites, which makes site content easy to read and index.
Data is one of the most valuable assets for startup businesses, whether it’s information about customers, vendors, employees or social media followers. Typeform is an online form tool that organises the process of capturing information in the format you want. It allows you to build your own or customise a pre-built form that you can share to start gathering data immediately.
As a startup owner, you’ll have many different passwords for the various pieces of software, platforms and tools you use. The temptation for some business owners is to reuse passwords, but that represents a security risk. LastPass allows you to store, manage and protect passwords so they can be shared safely between staff. Employees who can also have their own vault for storing every password they use.
If you’re looking to create a buzz on social media, Buffer will help to streamline your efforts by giving you complete visibility of your campaigns across all platforms in one place. You can:
- Schedule content ahead of time
- Track your top-performing content
- Analyse your social media performance
- Identify the optimum times to post
- Integrate Buffer with other apps like Feedly and Zapier
- Share content in seconds with the Buffer browser extension
London & Zurich
Forgive us for blowing our own trumpet, but there’s nothing more important for startup businesses than managing incoming payments and making sure they’re collected on time. At L&Z, our card payment and Direct Debit solutions simplify the collections process so you can maintain a healthy cash flow and get on with running your business.
Getting control of your time, your team, your tracking and your cash flow is essential to making your startup a success. We think these essential tools for startups will certainly put you on the right path. If you’d like to know more about our payment solutions for your business then please get in touch with our team.