Four tools that can help take your startup to the next level
Getting your startup set up and off the ground is just the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey.
It’s important not to let the dust settle and be consistently striving to grow your startup into a successful business.
If your growth has started to plateau or your business operations are holding you back, then these four tools will help take your startup to the next level.
1) Xero accounting software
Managing payments and billing accurately and efficiently becomes increasingly important as your startup grows. If you’re missing expenses, have overdue invoices, or you’re not balancing your accounts correctly, you’re probably going to be losing money.
As you scale up it’s incredibly important to know exactly what money you have, where it’s coming from, and where it’s going.
Initially, it’s probably easy to keep on top of all that manually, but if you want to reach the next level you need to streamline your accounting process.
You’ll be hiring more staff, working with new suppliers, invoicing more clients, and spending more – so managing paper receipts and invoices quickly become unmanageable. Accounting software is absolutely key to helping take your business to the next level.
Xero is one of the easiest accounting software options available. It has a straightforward dashboard that gives you a good overview of your business’s finances, plus it offers mobile invoicing, automated reminders, and the ability to import and reconcile bank transactions.
With accurate accounting, you’ll be able to ensure you’re not wasting any money, and understand how best to use your resources to grow.
2) HubSpot marketing automation
Marketing is the key to business growth, it helps you to establish a brand, reach your target customers, and convince them to buy your products or services.
Maximizing your marketing efforts, generating leads, and following up on them are going to be a big part of how you move your startup to the next level. And as you grow you’re going to need to add even more marketing channels and use different strategies to convert visitors into leads.
Hubspot offers a whole range of products and services that can help you scale up your business. In particular, their Marketing Hub helps coordinate, automate, and manage your email marketing, forms, live chat, social channels, plus it offers insights and analytics. It’ll ensure you can keep track of all your leads, keep up regular engagement and most importantly convert your leads.
Marketing automation alone won’t be enough to get your startup to the next level, it’s important to also focus on SEO to drive more traffic to your site.
3) Asana project management software
Businesses that grow quickly and successfully work efficiently and don’t waste their resources.
Learning how to manage projects effectively not only ensures you can get work done on time and within budget, but it helps you to get more done with better results. It takes time to put in place the structures and procedures needed to manage projects, but using project management software will help.
Asana is a great choice for growing businesses; it allows you to take projects and break them down into separate tasks assigned to different teams or staff. It’s especially useful for coordinating remote teams – with lists, notes, and clear deadlines.
By properly tracking your projects you’ll be able to understand how to increase productivity and put in place realistic plans for growth.
4) Zendesk helpdesk software
Don’t underestimate the importance of customer service as you start to grow your startup. The personal level of customer service that small businesses and startups offer is often one of their greatest strengths, and this can be used to help you scale.
If your customer service starts to go downhill as you grow you’ll lose loyal customers to your competitors and struggle to attract new ones. But it can become an overwhelming task if you’re not using the right tools.
Helpdesk software like Zendesk Support uses a support ticketing system so that you can prioritize and respond to customers quickly as you grow. It also gives you a valuable overview of all your customer interactions and performance reports for your support.
Zendesk is also great for growing startups as you can include customer satisfaction ratings and gather feedback to take on board and help improve your service. They also offer a range of other products such as live chat and a sales CRM that works seamlessly with their helpdesk software.
What else does your startup need to scale?
These tools are going to be essential in helping you reach the next level in your business growth, but there are a few other important aspects to consider.
It’s crucial that your IT equipment and infrastructure is capable of supporting your growth – especially if you’re working remotely. Apple products, for example, are often preferred for creative work, but if you invest a lot of money upfront you don’t want to outgrow their specifications.
You can use a Mac docking station to add an external hard drive or screen, which can help upgrade your devices’ capabilities. It’s also worth considering better broadband packages or WiFi extenders to ensure a reliable internet connection.
Make sure you know exactly what equipment, devices, and resources you’re going to need to take your startup to the next level. You don’t want to be held back by outdated computers or slow internet speeds.
You also need to value and reward your existing employees to keep them on board. And as you grow you need to focus on training up new employees to understand your business’s values. To successfully grow your startup you need employees that are motivated to do the best possible job. Look into setting up staff benefits and employee retention schemes.
Taking a startup to the next level takes a lot of hard work, long hours, and persistence. But these are four of the best tools to help manage and support your startup’s growth.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema