Starting your own business can be much more rewarding than being an employee in today’s market.
However, setting up and maintaining a small business is a challenging journey filled with ups and downs, and many startups do not succeed.
Thankfully, with a novel idea, solid business plan, and lots of investment, it is possible to ensure that your small business flourishes.
Once you have your company going, proper maintenance should be at the top of your to-do list. With the advancement of technology, there are many tools and systems out there that can help to make sure everything runs smoothly.
When you have your internal affairs sorted and the efficiency maximised, you can set your sights on gaining more clients and expanding your business.
The right tools can prevent you from getting a headache over managing your business and ensuring that you are doing the best job possible as a boss.
This way, your employees will be more productive, and you will have happier customers that keep coming back.
Below are some tools to help you achieve success in your small business startup.
When working together on the same tasks, you need to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The relevant people will need to be kept abreast of any changes and developments, and managers must delegate work quickly and efficiently.
The best thing to do is to have everyone utilising the same platform. Ideally, you should be using an all-in-one digital workspace so that you minimise mistakes.
Notion and Milanote have highly customisable interfaces that allow information to be disseminated in the best ways for your company.
With various forms of presentation, your staff can use these tools to their advantage and create a perfect workflow.
Other tools such as Trello, Asana, Monday.com, and Teamwork can also help to ensure all teams are managed and necessary tasks are tracked.
Excellent and effective communication is of the utmost importance when it comes to propelling a business to success.
However, you can’t always have your staff attending meetings all day, every day. Email is the old-school method of doing things.
While it gets the job done, tools such as Slack, Grasshopper, and Skype can make communication much more effective.
Slack, for example, allows you to have separate threads of conversation within a more extensive chat.
This makes the interface less cluttered while allowing everyone to be plugged in to what’s going on.
While passing along messages through text is quick and helpful, nothing beats a spoken conversation when it comes to getting the point across.
Thus, having a small business phone system with video conferencing capability may help to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
In addition, these cloud VoIP systems enhance consumer communication by providing stellar customer service via call routing, HD call quality, and even an auto-attendant to quickly route inbound calls.
Accounts and Bookkeeping
One of the most vital aspects of keeping your business afloat is accounting. Crunching numbers is tough, and mistakes can have far-reaching and devastating repercussions.
While you can easily hire talented staff to manage this for you, some tools can make the job much easier for everyone involved.
Some notable tools include Wave, Xero, and QuickBooks. Having such tools can help you to keep track of multiple accounts.
At the same time, they can manage invoices, handle income, and calculate taxes. Some of these tools are comprehensive and all-inclusive, meaning that all you need is to pick one. Some even deal with payroll too.
All businesses have a website that introduces the company and shows its achievements and capabilities with a few quick clicks.
Building an online presence is essential for staying competitive, but it’s also a time- and resource-intensive task.
Fortunately, e-commerce and content management systems (CMS) such as Wix and WordPress make website creation accessible to virtually anyone — even people who don’t have much web design experience.
Getting new customers is the best way to make sure your business stays alive. With the tools and resources available today, businesses can use their marketing efforts to engage existing customers and attract new ones.
With the help of suitable marketing tools, you can make sure that your brand does not go unnoticed, whether it’s with a pop-up display at a local convention or through paid online advertising.
Tools that you can use to manage your resources and achieve the best effect include HubSpot, Marketo, Hatchbuck, and InfusionSoft.
Customer Service and Relations
Customer loyalty is a pillar of any business. The importance of brand loyalty and customer retention has been emphasised repeatedly — and for a good reason.
It leads to higher customer lifetime value, repeat business, lower customer acquisition costs, and brand equity.
A startup’s ability to retain its customers is crucial to its success and the success of its investors. Remember that to retain customers, you must impress them during the acquisition phase and at every relationship stage.
Some helpful tools that allow you to achieve this effect include Zendesk, MailChimp, Groove, and HelpScout.
They ensure that your customer service team can work together to give your customers the best experience possible with your business.
Keeping paperwork and records is paramount for any company. It helps to reduce the risk of misplacing any crucial document and enables easy access to essential files.
For small businesses, paperwork is even more critical. If you’re running a tight ship, you must keep all your documents in order — from contracts with clients and employees to marketing materials and business plans.
With online tools such as Google Drive, Box, and software like Microsoft Office 365, you can ensure that your documents are meticulously managed. At the same time, Google Drive allows easy collaboration with strict security.