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Starting a business is an extreme challenge. You may think you have everything planned out and every contingency plan ready. Yet, entrepreneurs know that roadblocks will always emerge along the way. As an entrepreneur, it’s important that you find the right tools and a solid team that can help you handle any setback.
From building your brand to engaging with your clients, the right tools can help entrepreneurs and their teams increase productivity, free up time, and provide a better experience for customers. Leveraging them to the fullest can sometimes be the difference between success and failure.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 essential tools you need to start and grow your business, including some of our personal favourites!
One of the most important parts of starting a business is the network you have behind you. From potential investors, employees, clients, or customers, the people in your network can be your biggest supporters and build the foundation for your business.
But managing and staying accountable to all your relationships and connections can be a challenge all by itself. But with the help of UpHabit, staying connected and building better relationships can become an easy and enjoyable part of your day.
UpHabit is the Personal CRM for thoughtful Super Connectors and those who aspire to be one. That includes entrepreneurs who need a strong network to help build their dream business. With a range of features, from Reminders to keep you in touch, Notes to develop relations, Tags to organize, and social media integration, UpHabit takes the work out of networking. But don’t just take it from us. Here’s one of our amazing users, Kai Cash, explaining why he loves UpHabit!
Social media has become a key part of any business’s marketing strategy. Sites such as Twitter and Instagram allow start-ups and small businesses to reach a wider, more targeted audience for less. Your online presence is extremely important nowadays. Yet, managing and engaging with all your media platforms can be an additional challenge for many.
That’s where a social media marketing and management tool becomes your best friend. With free plans that can be upgraded as your media presence grows, Hootsuite is the tool senior tech analyst Juan Martinez recommends for small businesses.
With Hootsuite, you can manage multiple social media streams, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. It allows scheduled posts, follower interactions, and analytics on new followers, engagement, and clicks. Simply put, it brings all your social media into one place for easy management.
No entrepreneur can do everything by themselves; we all need a team to help us get things done. Keeping in touch with teams or one-on-one is key, and sending emails or having phone calls just doesn’t cut it.
To communicate efficiently and stay organized, entrepreneur and author Jon Nastor recommends Slack. With a smooth design and a mobile app, Slack allows for quick and easy communication. It’s easy to create several channels for different topics and teams or have private messages between any number of team members. Messages automatically sync across devices, making it even easier to move across your phone, desktop, or laptop.
With a range of intuitive features, such as the ability to quickly share files, search chats, integrate with other apps, and save messages, Slack removes the need for tedious emails or phone calls.
At the end of the day, money is the lifeblood of any business. Keeping track of where it’s going and where it’s coming from is central to your businesses success. Yet, this can be difficult without the proper skills or help of a bookkeeper or accountant.
That’s why our own founder Neil Wainwright recommends Inuit Quickbooks for those looking to start their own small business. Quickbooks is the leading financing tracking solution for small, and mid-sized, businesses.
From taking care of simple bookkeeping tasks to generating financial reports, it’s a flexible and affordable service. Come tax season, Quickbooks will help you find the best tax solutions for your business and help reduce stress and work along the way.
In today’s online world, an attractive and effective website is a must for any business. Using a DIY website builder is inexpensive and the vast array of options available makes it easy to craft a website around your needs.
Serial entrepreneur and author Alejandro Cremandes points to WordPress as the go-to option for small businesses. WordPress offers leading customizability and built-in tools for any business.
Looking to blog? WordPress offers the best blogging experience and SEO tools. Looking to sell products? With a couple of the thousands of available plugins, WordPress can become an eCommerce solution. And as you scale your business, your website will be able to grow with you.
As COVID-19 forces most businesses to work from home, it’s harder than ever to stay connected with your teams. Messaging tools like Slack offer a great way to communicate and coordinate, but they lack the face-to-face, personal interactions that in-person conversations have.
That’s why video conferencing applications are so important. By meeting over video, you can help bridge the gap between the office and home and maintain a human connection between team members. Business journalist and author Erika Napoletano recommends using Zoom to fill this important gap.
Zoom has quickly become the leading name in video conferencing, for good reason.It offers free services that make sense for small businesses, and a variety of features such as call recording, screen sharing, and cross platform support.
7. Google Suite
Google is well known for its search engine and marketing capabilities. But using their experience with email services and online applications, Google built G Suite, a collection of online tools to help your business function from a central account. In his article for Entrepreneur magazine, Entrepreneur and Angel Investor Andrew Medal recommends it for every small business.
Ranging from email accounts, document management, cloud storage, and collaborative document creation, G Suite offers the basic needs of any small business. Users will be familiar with the functionality of Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and Google Calendars.
G Suite allows you to create a branded email address, integrate seamlessly with other Google features, and connect with other vital apps, such as Zoom, Trello, and Salesforce. And with flexible monthly subscriptions for businesses, it provides any size business the tools it needs.
Scheduling meetings can be a hassle. Back-and-forth emails to decide a date and time is a waste of time and can be frustrating, to say the least. Finding a simple method to meet with clients, customers, and investors is priceless when starting your own business.
Luckily, Calendly does just that and is recommended by Sarath CP of Hacker Noon. Simply send a Calendy link to the person you’re planning a meeting with, and they get to choose a meeting time from the options you give them. They get to see your availability and choose the one that works best for both of you. Now there’s no need to send emails to slowly narrow down your meeting time.
In a software or website based business, it’s often very difficult to communicate with your customers. Receiving feedback, education customers, and dealing with complaints are crucial to maintaining a loyal customer base.
Martin Jones, a marketing expert, puts Intercom on his list of must-have tools for small businesses and startups. Intercom is a conversational relationship platform that uses its live chat feature to help companies engage with customers.
By making it easier to engage with users, Intercom allows for greater customer satisfaction, greater feedback, more opportunities for education, and an overall better product experience. As a start-up, continued feedback and engagement can be priceless when developing and improving your product.
Organization is vital for every business. From using tools like Slack to keep teams organized to GSuite to keep all your documents in one place, Trello is the solution for organizing all your projects.
Recommended by small business expert Michael Kurko on The Balance and plenty of other entrepreneurs, Trello offers an affordable, visual, and flexible method to keep every project running smoothly.
Using a Kanban-style board that tracks projects and workflows every step of the way, Trello allows users to include custom details, images, links, checklists and more. With integration to other recommended tools, such as Slack and Google Drive, it can connect your entire workflow.
Whether you’re creating a mobile app or starting a brick and mortar store, the tools you need to succeed are very similar. Maintaining a strong network, building a unique social media presence, and communicating with your team are all crucial for small business success. Starting with the right tools will help you from the get-go and make your entrepreneurial journey the one you planned out from the start.