Top 10 Essential Tools for Startups and Small Businesses
Startups and small businesses dream of making it big with their unique valuable ideas for a target audience.
But to start well and realise business goals, you must equip your company with some crucial tools that help conduct the everyday workings smoothly.
You can find a tool for each of the different aspects of your startup or small business from plenty of them available online.
Relief for small businesses running on a tiny budget is that most such essential tools are free to use or with minimal payment for your basic requirements.
However, with dozens of helpful tools available, the problem of plenty can confuse you while picking the right bunch of tools.
So, here we help you select the essential tools for startups that your upcoming business must subscribe to depending on your specific needs.
1. Designhill – get your branding elements.
Before launching your small business aggressively in your niche market, make sure that it has brand elements such as a logo, business card, and website in place.
Start with having a logo that makes a lasting memorable impression on your target customers.
Then, you need well-designed business cards, website pages, social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, etc., packaging, and level design, depending on the type of business you run.
Designhill is a vast marketplace explicitly dedicated to helping small businesses get their logos and other visual identities. You should explore several options to get the branding elements in easy steps at this platform.
Use Designhill Logo Creator, a DIY tool that lets you create your logo without any experience by picking colours, fonts, images, and other elements from its vast library and dropping them into a well-crafted design template. This free tool allows you to customise your logo design as many times as you want.
Alternatively, Designhill is also a platform to access professional graphic designers. Just launch your design contest to create logos, business cards, brochures, and a host of designs.
Many designers worldwide will respond to your contest by submitting their design ideas per your brief.
Or, pick a talented graphic designer from the platform to work with one-to-one when you want to create visual identities for your small business.
2. Fiskl – manage your finances.
Fiskl has many tools for startups to manage your finances, create and manage your invoices, quotes, reports of expenses, and scan receipts. All such billing etc., activities are automated as per your management requirements.
With Fiskl, dealing in your choice of currency is not an issue as it supports over 135 currencies and lets you know the live exchange rates to calculate payments.
You can take card payments globally as the platform is integrated with over 6000 banks in 70 countries.
Also, customise invoices and have an estimate with status tracking. The tool is helpful in quickly sending invoices through WhatsApp, iMessage, Telegram, or via email using this platform.
It helps make payment and banking integrations as well. So, Fiskl is your tool for intelligent expenses management.
With Fiskl, instead of many, you can use this one application to manage your daily finances ranging from the product catalogue, mileage tracking, task management, team, time tracking, and many more.
3. IdeaBuddy – plan your startup.
You should have IdeaBuddy in your kitty of tools to develop the right business plans and share them with others for brainstorming. It helps structure your idea and create a precise one-page plan.
Idea Buddy has several valuable features. Its Business Guide can sketch your concept and research the market. It lets you know your requirements to set up your business and even forecast your performance.
You will preview what is lying ahead when implementing an idea and then amend it accordingly. The innovative business planning software also calculates profit and cash flow if you apply a concept. You also access many examples of what happened to the businesses with a similar idea.
Its Financial Plan will help in your financial projections. It automatically calculates your expenses, loan payments, cash flow, and profit margin. Also, the tool makes cash flow projections and prepares a profit and loss statement.
All of your business plans are ready with just a click with this software. With this app, you generate a modern business plan and make as many edits as you want, and share it with others.
4. nTask – manage multiple aspects of your project
The nTask software is another tool that startups or small businesses should explore to manage projects. Your startup can accomplish project planning, resource allocation, budgeting, and financial summer, as well as set milestones in your business journey.
You will access Kanban Boards for better workflow management with pre-built board templates. Also, link your projects and assign tasks.
Your business can set priorities, task status and add multiple assignees to work on a project with its key features. These tools for startups let you glance at your tasks in lists, grid, or calendar format to find out what is happening.
This software allows you to set your task dependencies, create subtasks, and visually track your budget with user-friendly Gantt Charts. In addition, the tool helps you bring your entire team on the same page regarding team management. It’s Team Chat, Bulk Team Invite, Task Comments, Dedicated Workspaces.
The tool is a way to clean scheduling and manage team meetings with team members and evaluate their activities cleanly before publishing.
You will also explore Syn Meetings with Calendar, Meeting Agenda and Discussion Notes, Follow-up Actions and Decision, and Recurring Meetings.
5. ZOKRI – Set your objectives and implement
Most startups and new small businesses set their goals but only save them in a spreadsheet where no one looks at them again.
With ZOKRI, your new company will actively have your Objectives and Key Results [OKRs] created, discussed, and implemented.
This software guides you on how to professionally plan and write your OKRs and get them implemented across your company.
The software helps avoid those pitfalls that many companies fall into while setting their realistic goals. It lets you be on the right track by making you aware of the nuances involved in professionally writing your OKRs.
But there are some habits and behaviours of the team involved in implementing OKRs. This software will let you know about those traits of your employees and guide you on how to adapt and implement them.
So, ZOKRI is a valuable tool for writing down your mission statements and creating a strategy that works for your small company.
Sometimes businesses with tiny budgets go overboard and become too ambitious. This tool defines whether or not ambitious goals will result in measurable outcomes. It will guide you to define your goals, and then you can align all the objectives in one place.
Other features of ZOKRI include tracking KPIs, getting updates on the progress made regarding your plans, and having notifications, alerts so that everything goes as per your plans.
The software also offers you free video tutorials and guides to educate your teams on the best ways to plan and implement OKRs.
6. Apploye – track your time and schedule efficiently
Time monitoring and setting a work schedule and meetings are crucial for any business, but startups need to be even more careful about it.
Apploye app supports small enterprises in tracking projects and individuals for work and monitoring. It is also a solution for proper scheduling of meetings and other activities.
This friendly, easy-to-use software helps track billable and non-billable hours or make manual entries.
Its features allow you to customise your timesheet and track time offline. You can make daily, weekly, and monthly reviews based on time-tracking results.
Other time tracking features accessible include screenshots, GPS location tracker, apps and URLs tracking, and keyword and mouse movement tracking.
It is also an excellent solution for tracking the attendance of your employees, scheduling, shifting their duties, leave, and vacation. Your startup can also monitor productivity, project, and various tasks.
7. Chanty – communicate in a quick and easy manner
Establishing a robust communication method is vital to any organisation for its proper functioning. A company’s growth depends significantly on how efficiently its employees and teams take decisive messaging actions.
Chanty is an intelligent time tracking app that you can run in the office and on mobile for time tracking and management of remote teams.
Your startup may need to track your employees on their outdoor locations while working on a project. For that tracking, Chanty helps in real-time GPS Tracking and Geofencing employees’ attendance. The One Touch’ clock lets employees clock in and out their attendance.
It also allows your employees and teams to share ideas using instant messaging and voice messaging features, improving overall communication.
The software tool lets you explore your complete history of messages, conversations, and tasks. You can then take decisive conversation actions depending on your specific communication requirements.
A solid social media presence of any size is essential today to drive customers. Most of the customers whom your startup wishes to target are busy networking on different social media platforms.
You must take your new business amid them in a big way. But that is not an easy job to accomplish satisfactorily with the results due to lack of time and resources.
SocialBee is one of the best tools for startups that will take care of the stress involved in planning and posting your content on social media. It manages and maximises your content plans.
You need to organise and categorise your content and create a better mix of your posts, and this tool will facilitate your efforts.
You can customise any link that you want to share on social media. So, shorten your links using the tool’s URL shortener and track the links in each content category you share.
The tool comes loaded with several collaboration features to allow your teams to work together. You also get analytics and performance reports to know which posts are performing well and how fast your audience is growing on different social media platforms.
9. Engati – set up a live chatbot feature
People quickly migrate from one online platform to another in this digital age. So, your small business must engage them on your business website quickly and answer their queries to resolve their issues. Live chatbots are amongst the most popular tools as part of your overall communication and engagement strategy.
Engati is a multilingual Digital CX platform for strong customer engagement. Your professionals can create customer experiences due to the intelligent bots. These bots even answer some complicated questions of your customers using Engati Live Chat.
With this live chat enabling tool, you access several high-end tools, including omnichannel conversations, one-view inbox, real-time administration, and rich analytics.
It will also help you build a conversation flow and deploy modules. You get complete UI customisation. Your business also has access to voice bots using Engati.
10. Google Suite – Access primary tools in one place
Google Suite is amongst the popular tools for startups that businesses use for multiple purposes. Your newly launched business should start exploring it since you can accomplish many works just from one place. Google has vast experience providing user-friendly services to understand your communication, messaging, and customisation needs.
You access a host of email services and online applications with Google-built G Suite, a compilation of many online tools. So, startups with a low budget do well with these applications to help businesses function.
Small businesses can perform their everyday tasks with G Suite with document management, email accounts, cloud storage, collaborative document creation, Google Docs, Gmail, Sheets, Google Calendars, and Slides. Your startup can explore these apps for employees and team workers.
This essential tool for small businesses is not just for creating branded email addresses but also for integrating many Google features with apps such as Trello, Zoom, and Salesforce.
Wrapping Up Our Tools for Startups
Small businesses must approach their niche markets well equipped with essential tools for startups that help in steady growth. Tools such as Designhill, Fskl, IdeaBuddy, SocialBee, Chanty, and others are crucial to creating visual identities, managing your finances and communications, targeting audiences on social media platforms, and many more. Incorporate these apps into your business system for better results.
Author Bio: Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels. Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1