Get your startup groove on with these productivity-enhancing online tools to communicate, manage, and plan projects on the remote.
Being a startup founder can pose to be a challenge when it comes to managing the productivity of your company, and especially so when you have too many things on your plate. However, with the availability of a wide range of online tools available, you will be able to manage various operations of your startup ranging from accounting to design with ease!
Here’s our curated list of productivity tools that might be useful for your startup. Some of these services offer free plans, but there will be several limitations to the account. Pricings are reasonable to suit various usage levels and needs of startups and SMEs.
Marketing and Social Media
Engaging with your audience is an important aspect of your business. HootSuite is a one-stop tool to manage your various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn on a single dashboard. You will be able to track brand mentions, schedule social media posts, and view performance and traffic analytics of your various social media platforms.
HootSuite is free for accounts that require to link only five social media profiles, but with several other limitations. For users that require more, plans start at US$8.99 a month.
Sending electronic direct mailers (EDMs) can be time-consuming, especially when one has to set up everything from scratch. MailChimp enables you to create professional-looking emails, manages your list, and even simplify your mailing processes! Users can choose to create their emails using pre-designed templates, a blank canvas, or their own email designer system.
Other useful features include email reports to let you see how well your campaigns are performing, and even in-depth reports on which links are clicked or specific individuals who opened the email.
The service is free for users with less than 2,000 subscribers on their list and a cap of 12,000 emails a month.
Accounting and Finance Management
Free yourself from the hassle of manually churning out invoices after invoices, and keeping track of which clients have paid or not. Let Freshbooks take over. This cloud accounting tool helps you to manage your billing, lets you offer convenient methods of payments such as credit cards and PayPal to your clients, and even does the uncomfortable task of sending automatic late payment reminders to your clients!
Freshbooks also helps to track expenses, team timesheets, and produce accounting reports for your references. Users are able to try their service for a period of 30 days and after which, prices start from US$19.95 per month to US$39.95 per month for different plans.
Similar to Freshbooks, Wave Accounting also provides similar accounting features that are suited to small businesses and is available for free.
Users are able to connect their certain partner banks to populate information to the Wave dashboard or upload their bank statements instead of having to manually key in transactions. One will also be able to manage the payroll system and even help to manage personal finances. Wave also offers a receipt scanning tool so you will be able to store all your receipts on the cloud and not be afraid of losing them!
Web and Graphic Design
Though still in closed beta, this online service allows anyone to whip up beautiful graphics and artwork for your business and marketing collateral- especially social media platforms to effectively engage with your audience. Using their seamless dashboard, you can create a custom artwork by searching for your various clip-arts from their database, drag your chosen ones and piece them together on the canvas.
The service is free, but you will need to purchase to use some of the pictures for your artwork which cost about US$1.00 each.
Have a big and awesome idea for your startup, but do not have a full and ready site up yet? Or are you looking to test the market, gather interest, and build an audience before your launch? You can build yourself a cool looking landing page for your startup using LaunchRock without any prior coding or web design knowledge. Best of all, it’s free.
WordPress is a free open-source content-management system and blogging tool. The usage of WordPress is almost endless- you can use it as a blogging platform or transform it into an eCommerce website via a wide range of free and paid plug-ins available.
Skype is one of the most convenient ways to stay in touch with your offshore employees, providing a more than decent chat function, voice, and video calls. These certainly help to cut down costs on expensive international calls and even improve efficiency by cutting down email communication. And the beauty of it? It’s free. (You would need an internet connection, of course.)
Effectively managing people, especially with a geographically-diverse team, might be challenging. With Teambox, you will be able to collaborate on tasks and projects conveniently with your teammates, and also ensure the accountability of tasks with Teambox’s task feature and tracking dashboard.
The tool also offers seamless file-sharing capabilities that can be integrated with other services such as Dropbox and also helps to engage team members with their HD video conference feature. Teambox also has a mobile app so that you will be able to stay in touch with the ongoings of your company and team’s progress on-the-go.
The service is free for plans with up to five users, along with some basic functions. Paid plans start from US$5 per user a month.