Choosing those tools is no easy feat. With so much information out there, it's hard to sort through the wheat from the chaff.
We’ve put together the top 5 must-have tools for every business owner. Whether you're just beginning your startup journey or looking to streamline your existing business, these tools will help you succeed. In this blog, we'll introduce you to the 5 categories to focus on and some great products out there to boost your startup's growth and efficiency.
It’s no secret that here at Empiraa we think businesses should approach their journey with planning and strategy at the heart of it. For startups, a great plan can keep you on track and aligned with your ‘North Star’. The perks of having a solid business plan from the beginning means that you constantly have your goals, core values, and vision statement front of mind.
Gone are the days of creating your strategy on a Word Doc or Excel Spreadsheet. The technology is here with platforms hosting your plan in a centralized place where your whole organization can refer back to it and all work towards the goals, together.
Some of the benefits of trying a business planning platform include:
So what products are out there in this category? Empiraa is top of the list for us (obviously). Empiraa combines a simple to use interface, affordable price point and quality progress tracking and data monitoring.
Other business planning and strategy platforms include Cascade, Ninety and LivePlan. It’s important with any of these suggestions, that you look into them further and work out which software is best for your business.
Managing tasks and projects efficiently is vital for every startup, especially when resources are limited. Once you have your topline goals set in your business plan, you can start to break those down further into manageable tasks to help you stay organized and focused. A project management tool is the perfect addition to your tech stack for this purpose.
Some of us may be used to writing our to-do list on a piece of paper and manually ticking tasks off. This is still a valid option if it works for you. However, the benefit of a project management platform is that you can get a gauge of how many tasks you are doing each day, week and month. This is a great way to understand where you need to allocate more resources.
The other benefit of a project management platform is the ability to integrate it with a business planning platform. Using integration tools, you can set up automatios between projects and flow that data into your business goals. These are the tips and tricks to save you valuable time and double handling down the track.
The project management software space is HUGE so we are here to guide you on some top considerations. Asana and monday.com are the names you probably recognize the most. These are great for managing everyday tasks and also have more in-depth features. There is also Trello which is a simpler version of the other two, that you might consider as well.
Some would argue that accounting software is the number one priority to get right in your tech stack. And those people would probably be right. Proper financial management is essential for the long-term success of your startup. This is one of the tools you will look into very early on in your startup journey.
Everyone and their dog has heard of Xero. It’s taken over the finance landscape and certainly dominates the industry, all for good reason. It’s simplified accounting for the everyday person making what used to be arduous tasks, quick and easy.
But let us introduce you to a new kid on the finance block: Parpera. Parpera is an all-in-one app for sole traders and small business owners, that provides access to business accounts, earn and saver wallets, payments, invoicing, real-time cash flow and tax insights, plus BAS prep and lodgement capabilities. In a world where we do so much from our phones, a solution like Parpera may be the option for you.
If the word marketing feels overwhelming, don’t click away now! In startups and small businesses, it will often be the case that you may not hire a dedicated Marketing person until you grow more. In those cases, email marketing is going to be your new best friend. The power of email marketing cannot be underestimated. It's a cost-effective way to build and nurture customer relationships.
Email marketing is the best place to start with your marketing efforts. Simply put a newsletter signup form on your website so that people can stay up to date with what is happening in your business and slowly build your database from there. Regularly update those people with your business/product updates or special promo events. This is a powerful way to increase customer loyalty and brand recognition.
The platforms out there are super easy to use. You don’t need any prior technical skills, just a basic understanding of how to communicate with your customers. Look for tools that offer automation, segmentation, and analytics. All the products on the market vary so it's important to find one that is right for you. When starting your search we recommend looking at products like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign or Hubspot. Mailchimp and Active Campaign have reasonable entry prices and easy-to-use features. They even come with a range of email templates to help you get started. Hubspot comes as a broader CMS platform but does have a higher entry price point.
Communication tools are important for startups, serving as the digital nerve center for efficient and seamless collaboration. In the fast-paced world of startups, where teams are often connecting online from different parts of the globe, effective communication is vital for success.
Communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom and Google Workspace provide centralized platforms where team members can exchange messages, share files, and collaborate in real-time, regardless of their physical location. These platforms break down communication barriers, enhance productivity, and foster a sense of connection among team members.
No matter how small your team is, getting connection and collaboration right from the beginning is integral. A platform such as Slack features communication channels, direct messaging, and integrations with other tools, helping streamline discussions and keep everyone on the same page. It ensures that critical information is easily accessible, decisions are made swiftly, and you can adapt to changes and challenges with agility.
The choice of platform is down to you and what other business structures you already have in place. For example, if you use the Microsoft suite, it would be smart to use Teams as your main form of communication to keep things neat. Many new businesses now use Google Suite and Slack as their main package of communication tools, but ultimately the choice is yours.
Finding the right tools that can enhance your startup experience and streamline processes is important and finding the right ones can be a challenge. Hopefully, this has provided you with a starting point to build out your own tech stack with a better understanding of industry standards.
The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so staying up-to-date with the latest tools and trends is essential for your startup's continued growth.