Starting a new business is an exciting but challenging endeavor. To succeed, startups need to be organized, efficient, and strategic in their approach. One way to achieve this is by leveraging business tools that can help streamline processes, enhance communication, and improve overall performance.
Business tools are essential for startups, especially those with limited resources and staff. With the right tools, startups can automate tasks, track finances, and manage customer relationships more effectively, among other things. This can free up time and resources for entrepreneurs to focus on building their business and achieving their goals.
However, with so many business tools available in the market, it can be overwhelming for startups to choose the right ones. In this guide, we will explore some of the key business tools that startups should consider, from communication and financial tools to marketing and human resources (HR) tools. We will discuss their benefits and features to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right business tools for your startup.
What Are The 5 Things To Startups?
Starting a business can be a daunting task, but there are five key things that every startup needs to do to increase its chances of success:
1. Conduct market research: Before launching a business, it’s crucial to conduct market research to understand the industry, target customers, and competitors. This will help identify gaps in the market and opportunities to differentiate your business from competitors.
2. Develop a business plan: A well-developed business plan outlines the goals, strategies, and financial projections for the business. It serves as a roadmap for the startup and helps secure funding from investors or lenders.
3. Secure funding: Starting a business requires capital, whether it’s from personal savings, loans, or investors. Entrepreneurs need to determine the amount of funding required and secure the necessary resources to launch and sustain their business.
4. Build a strong team: A startup’s success depends on the skills and expertise of its team. Founders should focus on hiring employees who complement their skills and share their vision. Building a diverse and inclusive team can also bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the business.
5. Establish an online presence: In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for startups. Establishing a website, social media accounts, and other digital marketing channels can help reach a wider audience and build brand awareness.
These five things are critical for startups to do before launching their business. By conducting market research, developing a business plan, securing funding, building a strong team, and establishing an online presence, startups can set themselves up for success and increase their chances of achieving their goals.
What Tools Do Startups Need?
1. Communication and Collaboration Tools: Startups need tools that facilitate communication and collaboration between team members, such as video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype, collaboration tools like Google Workspace or Microsoft Teams, and project management tools like Asana or Trello.
2. Financial Tools: Startups need tools to manage their finances, including accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero, invoicing and payment tools like Stripe or PayPal, and budgeting and forecasting tools like LivePlan or PlanGuru.
3. Marketing Tools: Startups need tools to help them market their products or services, including social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer, email marketing software like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, and content creation tools like Canva or Adobe Creative Suite.
4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools: Startups need tools to manage their interactions with customers and potential customers, including CRM tools like Salesforce or HubSpot, which can help track customer data, automate sales processes, and manage customer service inquiries.
5. Human Resources (HR) Tools: Startups need tools to help manage their employees, including recruitment and applicant tracking systems like Workable or Lever, employee management and time tracking tools like Gusto or BambooHR, and payroll management software like ADP or Paychex.
These are just a few examples of the tools that startups may need to manage and grow their business. It’s important for startups to evaluate their specific needs and choose the tools that best fit their business and budget.
Top 7 Tools For Startups
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is a suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools developed by Google. It includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Meet, Google Forms, and other tools that are designed to help businesses improve their productivity and collaboration. Here are some of the key features and pricing information for Google Workspace:
- Professional email: Get a custom email address with your company domain name, powered by Gmail.
- File storage and sharing: Access to Google Drive for secure file storage and easy file sharing with colleagues.
- Collaboration tools: Real-time editing, commenting, and chat in Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.
- Video conferencing: Use Google Meet for secure video conferencing and collaboration from anywhere.
- Mobile management: Manage mobile devices, security settings, and user accounts from one place.
- Integration: Seamless integration with other Google tools like Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and Google Sites.
- Google Workspace offers flexible pricing options based on the number of users and the plan selected.
- The basic plan starts at $6 per user per month, which includes 30GB of cloud storage per user and access to all core apps.
- The business plan starts at $12 per user per month, which includes 2TB of cloud storage per user, advanced security and management features, and the ability to integrate with third-party apps.
- There are also enterprise plans available with additional features and support options.
- Google Workspace also offers a free trial for new users.
- Google Workspace provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24/7 customer support.
- It is available on desktop and mobile devices, including iOS and Android.
HubSpot is a customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing software platform designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers a range of tools for inbound marketing, sales, customer service, and operations management. Here are some key features, pricing, and other information about HubSpot:
- Marketing Hub: Includes tools for blogging, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, lead management, and analytics.
- Sales Hub: Includes tools for sales automation, pipeline management, appointment scheduling, and analytics.
- Service Hub: Includes tools for customer service automation, ticketing, knowledge base, and analytics.
- Operations Hub: Includes tools for data quality management, automation workflows, and custom reporting.
- CRM: Provides a free, all-in-one CRM platform with unlimited users and contact storage.
- Free CRM: Includes a basic set of CRM features, such as contact management, deal tracking, and task management.
- Starter: Starts at $50 per month and includes basic marketing, sales, and service tools, along with limited automation features.
- Professional: Starts at $800 per month and includes all of the Starter features, plus more advanced marketing, sales, and service tools, along with automation features.
- Enterprise: Starts at $3,200 per month and includes all of the Professional features, plus more advanced analytics, custom reporting, and other features.
- HubSpot offers a wide range of integrations with other tools and platforms, including Salesforce, Google Ads, and Microsoft Dynamics.
- The platform also offers a range of training and certification courses through the HubSpot Academy.
- HubSpot has won numerous awards for its software, including recognition from G2, TrustRadius, and the MarTech Breakthrough Awards.
Asana is a project management tool that helps teams track and manage their tasks, projects, and workflows. Here are some of its key features, pricing plans, and other information:
- Task Management: Organize and track tasks, assign them to team members, set due dates, and add details and comments.
- Project Management: Create and manage projects, set project goals, track progress, and share updates with team members.
- Collaborative Workspaces: Create workspaces for teams, departments, or projects, and collaborate in real-time.
- Customizable Templates: Choose from pre-built templates or create your own custom templates for recurring projects or workflows.
- Integrations: Connect Asana with other tools and apps, including Google Drive, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
- Basic: Free for up to 15 team members, includes basic features like task lists and boards, and basic integrations.
- Premium: $10.99 per user per month, includes all basic features plus more advanced features like custom fields, forms, and timelines.
- Business: $24.99 per user per month, includes all premium features plus more advanced features like automation, proofing, and workload management.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing, includes all business features plus enterprise-level security, custom branding, and priority support.
- Asana has a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
- Asana offers customer support through email, phone, and chat.
- Asana has a large library of resources, including video tutorials, webinars, and a community forum.
- Asana is used by over 100,000 organizations worldwide, including big names like NASA, Uber, and Airbnb.
QuickBooks is a cloud-based accounting software that helps small and medium-sized businesses manage their financial transactions, invoicing, and payroll. Here are some of its key features, pricing, and other information:
- Invoicing: Create professional invoices and accept payments online
- Expense Tracking: Automatically track expenses and categorize them for tax purposes
- Financial Reporting: Generate reports such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements
- Tax Preparation: Track sales tax, estimate quarterly taxes, and run tax reports
- Inventory Management: Track inventory levels and set reorder points
- Payroll: Run payroll and pay employees and contractors with direct deposit
- Simple Start – $25/month
- Essentials – $40/month
- Plus – $70/month
- Advanced – $150/month
- QuickBooks offers a 30-day free trial for new users.
- The software can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it convenient for business owners who need to work remotely.
- QuickBooks integrates with many third-party apps, including payment processing tools like Square and PayPal, as well as CRM tools like HubSpot and Salesforce.
- The company offers customer support through live chat, email, and phone.
Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that helps businesses of all sizes design and send email campaigns, automate marketing tasks, and build relationships with their audience. Here are some key features, pricing, and other information about Mailchimp:
- Email templates and drag-and-drop email designer
- Email list management and segmentation
- Marketing automation
- Landing pages and website builder
- Social media posting and ad campaigns
- Marketing analytics and reporting
- Integrations with over 300 apps and services
- Free: Includes up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 email sends per month, basic templates, and some features.
- Essentials: Starts at $9.99/month and includes up to 50,000 contacts and 500,000 email sends per month, advanced templates, marketing automation, and more.
- Standard: Starts at $14.99/month and includes all Essentials features, plus retargeting ads, custom branding, and more.
- Premium: Starts at $299/month and includes all Standard features, plus advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, phone support, and more.
Mailchimp has been around since 2001 and has over 14 million users worldwide. The platform is user-friendly and offers a variety of resources and support, including knowledge base articles, tutorials, and customer support via email and chat. In addition to email marketing, Mailchimp also offers website hosting and domain registration services through their website builder.
Zoom is a video conferencing and collaboration platform that has gained popularity in recent years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some key features, pricing, and other information about Zoom:
- HD video and audio conferencing
- Screen sharing and annotation
- Recording and playback
- Virtual backgrounds and filters
- Webinars and virtual events
- Chat and file sharing
- Integrations with other tools and apps
Zoom offers four pricing plans, including a free plan and three paid plans. Here are the details of each plan:
- Basic (Free): This plan includes up to 100 participants in a meeting, unlimited one-on-one meetings, and a 40-minute limit on group meetings.
- Pro ($14.99/month/host): This plan includes all Basic features, plus up to 100 participants in a meeting with no time limit, user management, reporting, and cloud recording.
- Business ($19.99/month/host): This plan includes all Pro features, plus up to 300 participants in a meeting, custom branding, and dedicated phone support.
- Enterprise (Custom pricing): This plan includes all Business features, plus up to 1,000 participants in a meeting, unlimited cloud storage, and additional security features.
Zoom was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.
The platform has been used by individuals, businesses, schools, and other organizations for remote work, distance learning, and virtual events.
Zoom has faced some privacy and security concerns in the past, but the company has taken steps to address these issues and improve its security measures.
The platform offers a range of features and integrations that can help businesses and individuals stay connected and productive, even when working remotely.
Gusto is a human resources (HR) software that helps small businesses streamline their HR, payroll, and benefits administration processes. It offers several features that can simplify and automate HR tasks, including:
- Payroll processing: Gusto automates payroll processing, including tax filings and direct deposit, and can also handle time tracking and PTO requests.
- Employee benefits: Gusto offers health insurance, 401(k) plans, and other employee benefits that can be managed through its platform.
- HR management: Gusto can help manage employee data, including onboarding, compliance, and offboarding.
- Reporting and analytics: Gusto provides reports and analytics that can help businesses track employee hours, expenses, and other HR-related metrics.
- Core Plan: $39 per month, plus $6 per employee per month. This plan includes payroll processing and employee self-service.
- Complete Plan: $39 per month, plus $12 per employee per month. This plan includes all Core Plan features, plus HR tools, time tracking, and employee onboarding.
- Concierge Plan: $149 per month, plus $12 per employee per month. This plan includes all Complete Plan features, plus a dedicated HR advisor and HR compliance support.
Gusto also offers add-ons for workers’ compensation insurance and certified HR support.
Overall, Gusto is a useful tool for small businesses that need to manage their HR, payroll, and benefits administration processes. Its pricing is competitive and its features can help streamline and automate HR tasks.
1. What are the most essential business tools for startups?
The most essential business tools for startups include communication and collaboration tools, financial tools, marketing tools, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and human resources (HR) tools.
2. How can startups choose the right tools for their business?
Startups can choose the right tools for their business by evaluating their specific needs, budget, and growth plans, and by researching and testing different tools before committing to a long-term solution.
3. Are there any free business tools for startups?
Yes, there are several free business tools for startups, including Google Workspace, Trello, Asana, Hootsuite, and Mailchimp, among others.
4. How can startups manage their finances with tools?
Startups can manage their finances with tools like accounting software, invoicing and payment tools, and budgeting and forecasting tools, which can help track income and expenses, automate billing and payment processes, and create financial reports and projections.
5. Can startups automate their marketing with tools?
Yes, startups can automate their marketing with tools like email marketing software, social media management tools, and content creation tools, which can help schedule posts, track engagement, and create and distribute marketing content.
6. How can startups manage their customer relationships with tools?
Startups can manage their customer relationships with tools like CRM software, which can help track customer data, automate sales processes, and manage customer service inquiries.
7. How can startups manage their HR with tools?
Startups can manage their HR with tools like recruitment and applicant tracking systems, employee management and time tracking tools, and payroll management software, which can help streamline and automate HR tasks, manage employee data, and administer benefits.
8. What are some factors to consider when choosing business tools for startups?
Some factors to consider when choosing business tools for startups include ease of use, pricing, scalability, integration with other tools, customer support, and data security and privacy.
In conclusion, startups require a variety of business tools to help them manage and grow their business efficiently. From communication and collaboration tools to financial, marketing, and HR tools, startups need to carefully evaluate their specific needs and choose the tools that best fit their business and budget.
Some of the top business tools for startups include Google Workspace, Hubspot, Asana, QuickBooks, Mailchimp, Zoom, and Gusto. Each tool offers unique features and benefits that can help streamline and automate different aspects of a startup’s operations.
By investing in the right business tools, startups can save time, improve productivity, and increase their chances of success. It’s important for startups to research and test different tools to find the ones that best fit their specific needs, goals, and budget.