Top 15 Best Productivity Tools for Startups
We are faced with prolific productivity tools these days. Before the Covid-19 Pandemic hit us, we’re already seeing many companies implementing variant productivity tools to improve business growth.
According to statistics, 92% of employees say having technology that helps them do their job efficiently affects their work satisfaction.
When lockdowns happened, along with the adoption of the work from home (WFH) trend, a boom in start-ups was also identified during these uncertain times.
Starting a business is never an easy feat. But starting a business during the pandemic makes it all the more difficult. Remote working can cause a lot of stress on employees and impact their work efficiency.
Here’s a list of the top 5 challenges start-ups are facing. Let’s take a look if your business is facing similar challenges at the moment.
Challenges faced by Start-Ups
Inefficient Time management
There are simply too many choices to think and make in a start-up environment.
As an entrepreneur, you may need to think about what type of sales and marketing activities would strike the greatest impact on your business. For example, if you’d like to boost your website traffic and increase brand awareness within a short period of time, paid advertising is something to consider.
Although you could have numerous optimisations pending to be completed, it’s better to prioritize the tasks that will have immediate influence.
Neglecting marketing and sales
According to a study, 90% of startups fail. Among a mixture of reasons involved, overlooking the importance of marketing and sales is one of them. Many entrepreneurs believe that if their product is good enough, it will automatically drive sales and customers will come flocking in.
That’s not the reality. The truth is in the modern digital world where product discoveries are mostly done online via computers or mobile devices, it’s important to constantly and proactively establish your online presence.
Once your site is ready to go, you should work on promoting your product via your selected marketing channels and design a smooth onboarding process for further lead nurturing and sales.
Lacking proper planning
Planning is the basis for every business success. Some of the key areas you should cover include: marketing, sales, customer service, IT support, project management, finance, staffing and more. All of the above-mentioned should be part of your business plan.
As you execute your plan along the way, you should also regularly go back and see if you’re on the right track, or whether you need to adapt to new changes.
Ignoring cybersecurity risks
Cybersecurity is costing companies tons of money every year. As technology continues to improve our work productivity, a lot of malicious cyber attacks follow.
Some of the most common cyber attacks include phishing, ransomware, password attacks, etc. As a start-up, you should pay attention to building a solid and secure company network to prevent data breaches or loss.
While many companies are also deploying mobile devices to their employees to improve work efficiency, so authorised access for devices and files is highly suggested.
Winning happy customers
The customer is the king. And happy customers will no doubt bring lifelong value to your company.
The diverse and competitive marketplace is making customer retention harder than ever. Hence, you must develop a customer retention program that always helps you get on the good side with your customers.
It’s well known that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. And if you increase your customer retention by 5%, you can increase profits from 25-95%. The success rate of selling to an old customer is 60-70%, which is way higher than 5-20% when selling to an entirely new customer.
Start-ups should therefore focus on winning and getting more happy customers.
To address and resolve the challenges mentioned above, companies must integrate productivity tools into their daily operations. Before we introduce a list of tools, let’s first learn what exactly is a productivity tool.
What is a productivity tool?
Productivity tools are software or apps that help you be more efficient at work and in your personal life. Whether you’re looking to improve productivity in team communication, project management, time management, customer relationship, or marketing activities, you can find numerous tools catering to your specific needs.
This article will look at a list of 10 tools to help start-ups maximise work productivity from various perspectives.
When it comes to team productivity, Monday is one of the top choices. Monday is an online workspace that streamlines team projects, workflows, to-do lists, etc.
It helps you manage all your work in one place and sync with your team’s progress at all times. Monday also integrates perfectly with other tools like Google Docs, Jira, social media platforms, and more.
Slack is a productivity tool that focuses on team communication. You can create different chat rooms for different team members like marketing, sales, and customer support.
You can send files, send emojis, and manage projects with your team members in each chatroom. There’s also a mobile version for download that you can constantly stay connected with your team even when you’re working from home. It offers a free plan to access the most recent 10,000 messages with 5 GB file storage.
As a start-up, you can consider starting with the free plan and upgrade it to a business plan as your company grows.
MailChimp is an email marketing automation software that lets you send customised emails to your users. You can also design an email to be sent when specific user actions are triggered, such as opening an email or clicking a link inside the email.
For example, suppose you’re a SaaS company. In that case, you can design a workflow that sends a series of onboarding emails to help your users get familiar with your product and shorten their decision process.
You can save your designed template for future use and utilise the internal database to run more personalised email marketing campaigns.
Drip is a marketing automation software built specifically for eCommerce.
It integrates email, SMS, and third-party tools to help businesses drive revenue. It helps you track your customers from the beginning of acquisition to retention. It also has a built-in database that offers customer insight to help you design more engaging emails and turn one-time customers into repeated shoppers.
And from just 19USD per month, you get unlimited emails sent with up to 1500 contacts.
Zoom is a well-known online video conferencing tool for personal and business use.
As more businesses take on remote working, online conferencing effectively streamline team communications and maintains productivity.
Zoom offers a free plan that lets you host up to 100 participants and unlimited one-on-one meetings with no time limit. For start-ups, this is a perfect option to go with in terms of budget spending.
U Meeting is a multi-video online conferencing software explicitly designed for business meetings and other activities such as online learning. It is entirely web-based, so you don’t need to download anything.
For some, this can be an advantage, so it doesn’t take up your computer storage. It offers apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. So users can join a meeting through a web browser without requiring a plug-in to be installed.
This is considered a particularly convenient solution for remote teams.
For start-ups with limited resources, you might consider outsourcing your visual designs so you can focus more on your product. Or you can consider using Canva, which most marketers widely praise as the tool to help them design eye-catching images more effectively.
If you’d like to use other premium designs, you can simply pay for that specific design or go with a monthly subscription starting at $12.95 and gain full access to all paid templates.
DesignWizard is considered the best free graphic design software for beginners. It provides over 10,000 free templates and an extensive database of images to choose from.
The interface is very intuitive, and you only need to pay for the premium version if you require other features like storage, image and video uploads, and font uploads.
You can resize images, add text and images, customise the colour palette, and get a lifetime licence for your design with the free version.
Trello is a board-centric project management tool aimed to help teams improve productivity at work. It offers a user-friendly interface that lets you add cards and members and send notifications and deadlines to make cross-department collaboration seamlessly.
With the built-in coloured labels, Trello lets you visually see the most updated progress for each project, making sure all tasks are completed on time. The free version comes with unlimited cards & lists, but you can only add ten team boards.
If you prefer to have more team boards, automation, and security & management features, you will need to pay for these additional add-ons.
Proofhub is a project planning software that puts together all the core tools you need to help your team manage, organise, and track the status of your projects more efficiently.
Its key features include discussions, notes, to-do lists, Gantt charts, milestones, calendaring, and timesheets. Proofhub also offers API integration with Dropbox and Google Charts.
It offers managers and team members the liberty to track and communicate everything in one place.
Gusto is another finance management software that syncs your businesses with HR tasks, including payroll, tax fillings, 401k plans, and health benefits.
You can also customise their services based on your needs, such as how often your employees get paid. Gusto helps your HR team simplify their daily tasks, so they have more time to focus on selecting suitable candidates to help with your business growth.
Therefore, Quickbooks offers an automation feature that helps you with all the financial work, so you spend less time on accounting and more time optimising your products.
Intercom is a customer service system that’s known for its powerful Messenger feature.
It is an effective customer communication tool because you can include your company news, blog posts, knowledge base articles, and ebooks to drive more leads and engagement.
It will also greatly enhance your customer experience. If you’re looking to acquire new leads with different content formats, this feature can be something you can consider when selecting customer support software.
Zendesk is one of the most commonly used software for customer support. It’s easy to implement the software, easy to use, and scales to fit the needs of businesses of any size.
Its ticketing system and live chat help companies create a more seamless customer service process.
It also offers an omnichannel support solution that allows you to provide services and support through various integrated channels, including email, chat, and phones.
Mobile Device Management
AirDroid Business is an Android mobile device management software that helps start-ups and SMBs manage company-owned devices remotely.
As more businesses embrace the mobile workforce, an MDM tool lets IT managers remotely access and control devices securely while protecting company data from unauthorised networks.
It also lets IT admins provide immediate IT remote support for unattended Android devices. AirDroid Business MDM is one productivity tool to enhance your business mobility as a start-up that deploys commercial devices to streamline workflows.
There are countless productivity tools available on the market now. Before selecting which tool to use, make sure you identify the problems you are facing at the moment.
Then based on your requirements and budget, select the right productivity tools and apps to help you achieve your business goals.
Yooz is an all-in-one purchase-to-pay solution that provides an 80% cost reduction. They have over 200 000 customers that automate their invoices every day. Yooz uses all the technology available to make the payment processes even more efficient.
By using artificial intelligence and machine learning it provides you with features like invoice payment, mobile access to invoice approval, supplier enablement, and participation, and a completely paperless AP process.
Yooz is currently able to integrate with over 250 financial software and ERP systems.