7 Core Startup Tools To Invest In This Year

So, you’ve managed to get your wild idea off the ground. Nice! But, you’ve come to realise that’s only 1/10th of the fight. Now you have to keep it in the air! Plus you’ve got to try and keep your employees content too. 

Pretty hard.

Enter these 7 tools that will make sure your business stays a business. 

startup

Fintech

We’re starting with finance because let’s face it, you’re a start-up. You need the money and can’t afford to miss payments, collect wrong payments or just plain annoy your customers before you’ve even started. So here are two invaluable tools that’ll get you through the first steps. 

Stripe

Need to collect payments? Charge customers on a subscription-based basis? Stripe allows you to do all of it. 

Used by all the big dogs including Asos, SalesForce, Under Armour and TED. 

Stripe gives you full control to make and take payments over the internet, which is pretty key if you’re running an eCommerce or SaaS (software as a service)  company.

TaxCalc

Tax self-assessment sounds scary but with TaxCalc doing most of the work, it really can be a breeze. They offer a specialised service for small businesses like yours to walk you through the whole process. 

They’re fully MTD compliant and approved by HMRC so your worries about non-compliant software can disappear. Their software uses inbuilt tools to further streamline your tax return. They claim it could take as little as 30 mins! 

Marketing

Hubspot

You’ve likely heard about HubSpot’s unrivalled CRM, but the full package includes pretty much everything you’d need for your customer management and marketing. 

With their simple, yet powerful social, email and page analytics tools you can basically analyse your entire marketing strategy here. You can even build and host your website using their easy website builder! 

We’d also like to give an honourable mention to their Topic Clusters tool that helps build that all-important content SEO and boost your ranking by linking relevant content together. Google loves a good topic cluster so make sure you’re optimising where you can with this tool.

Google Reviews

Google pretty much owns your marketing efforts you’re a slave to the algorithms now. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! So, using as many of their products to do your marketing better will help you 10 fold. 

Google My Business is one of the tools many businesses take for granted and just leave to die after their first week of launching. Don’t do that. It can be a great resource to communicate with possible customers who aren’t on social media and who you haven’t prised an email from yet. 

There’s a few things to get in order first: 

  • Business name, address & opening times
  • Add your website link 
  • Add your phone number
  • Add some pictures of your physical headquarters if you have them, if not add some optimised pictures of your product

Other things companies miss: 

  • Answering questions from customers 

Customer or prospective customers will often ask questions directly on google and you’re able to respond. If done positively and tactfully it can boost your google ranking. It also shows your team is helpful, answers the issue the customer had and makes your profile look more active, which Google really likes. 

Review tools are great for encouraging advocacy and getting more conversions. Simply put, it creates a bit more trust in your product from the get-go, so the more you have the better. Push the link to your Google reviews page on your social media and send it out to existing customers in emails and other comms. You’ll have a few hundred before you know it! 

Employee happiness

Your team is probably quite small at this point, and we get it, you’re trying to keep costs down. But, if you’re spending on anything you should be spending on retaining your workforce. Happy workers stick around. 

In the famous quote from Richard Branson “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”. 

Perkbox/ Health Shield

Giving your employees some discounts and deals every month sounds fluffy, but honestly, it works. When you perhaps can’t offer as much in wages perks really pick up the slack. 

This goes for health perks too. Giving your employees a health scheme like that of HealtSheild will mean they don’t have to fork out for new glasses, therapy bills and even get a massage!

 Not to mention hundreds of other procedures that can be covered. A bit like a safety net, health plans help attract and keep talent. In such a competitive fish pond of start-ups, you’ve got to have the biggest worm.

    Slack

One you’ve probably heard of, but might not be aware of all the features. Slack’s great for communicating across teams and sharing company-wide updates. It’s also not bad for sharing some weird gifs… But, what you might not know is that it’s also got a great automated workflow feature! 

You can either set up your own workflow that can be triggered when a new person enters a channel, so automatically sending them all the key info they need to know in one concise message. Or you can choose a pre-made template workflow from Slack. They include new team member onboarding templates and templates for company updates around monthly metric reports, etc.

Optimising your sales funnel

Signable – document management to close more deals

It sounds like a given, but the quicker you can deliver your product to the customer, the more likely they’ll buy from you again. So if you make your sales funnel as fast as possible, you’ll close more valued deals. Once the customer is ready to commit, you need to quickly, but formally secure the deal. 

This is where electronic signatures come in. By setting up a widget or template ready to be sent the moment you get a soft agreement, you’re far more likely to get a follow-through. 

This goes for securing subscriptions to your service too if you’re a Saas company.  

Electronic Signatures also save you on paper, ink and time running to the post office. Signable offer very flexible plans and the only provider to have a Pay as you go top-up plan. Perfect for start-ups. 

All the above tech solutions are very affordable and will ensure your business stays afloat. So invest in these top tools that will grow your business and keep your employees happy while it grows. 

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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