A tool-list to help entrepreneurs optimise their productivity in their startup adventure

Entrepreneurship means to encounter plenty of tools and apps that should increase staff productivity and streamline the development of your business. But how do you improve your time management? What marketing solutions are the most efficient when creating a startup? How do you optimize relationships with your customers?

Today many software and solutions exist to tackle the challenges of startup journeys across multiple departments. It can be tough to choose! HR, Accounting, Communication… Here are some of the most popular and useful productivity tools and apps that might just change your life at work.

Accounting

The Tide platform not only offers business accounts and related banking services, but also a comprehensive set of highly connected admin tools for businesses, notably offering full integration with accounting systems. Using advanced technology, all solutions are designed with SMEs in mind.

Xero is an easy-to-use platform for small businesses that connects entrepreneurs to all things business. The app provides its 2M subscribers with connections to a thriving ecosystem of 800 third-party apps and 200 connections to banks and financial service providers.

Part of the Intuit software suite for accounting and tax professionals, QuickBooks Online is a solution that provides business owners with reliable accounting services giving founders more time to focus on their core business activities.

FreshBooks is designed for entrepreneurs who wish to apply their time and expertise to other people’s problems. The software provides extraordinary customer service and helps companies save time to fully dedicate themselves to their passion and entrepreneurial adventure.

Expensify is a receipt tracking and expense management app that helps you manage company expenses. Whether you’re working for yourself, managing a team, or closing the books for your clients, Expensify helps you ditch the spreadsheet so you have more time to focus on what really matters.

Human Resources

Founded in 2005, Workday delivers financial management, human capital management, and analytics apps for the world’s largest companies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

BambooHR is an intuitive, affordable and cloud-based way for growing companies to manage essential employee information in a personalised Human Resources Information System (HRIS). Its software sets the HR department free to do better work outside of admin and data-protection allowing them and the entire organisation to be more strategic and productive.

Communication and collaboration

Slack is an increasingly ubiquitous hub that brings people, data, and apps together in one place. It is a single platform where people can communicate, collaborate, find and share important information, as well as accessing endless critical apps and services to be able to work at their very best.

Stride helps people who work for themselves to save both time and money. The app provides software and services to help entrepreneurs deal with things like health insurance and tax so they can focus on moving their business forward, faster.

Skype for Business is available anytime and anywhere and provides teams with instant messaging, video and conference calls.

The GoToMeeting app enables users to instantly join, host or manage a video, audio or web meeting from anywhere and any device. It also helps create a meeting space quickly and easily, and to turn online events into engaging experiences.

Fuze is a global cloud communications and collaboration software platform designed for business. With an innovative and consumer-inspired unified experience, Fuze enables a seamless transition between voice, video, messaging, and content sharing.

Zoom helps businesses bring their teams together in a frictionless environment to get more done. This easy, reliable cloud platform enables video, phone, content sharing, and chat and works across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems.

Qwil Messenger makes chat safer and compliant between staff, clients and partners. The app is a cloud-native chat platform that connects clients and employees of multiple firms and their brands globally. Their mobile and web app powers confidential conversations ensuring each user’s identity is verified & trusted, and their privacy is maintained. The business data generated is protected and hosted in the required GDPR & MiFID II jurisdictions.

Productivity and project management

Created by Microsoft, Office365 is a productivity cloud that combines best-in-class productivity apps with intelligent cloud services and helps you to transform the way you and your teams work.

Generated by Google Cloud, G Suite includes everything you need to be productive, do your best work, and comes together in one package that works seamlessly from any computer, phone or tablet.

Basecamp solves the critical problems that every growing business deals with. It’s the logical, calm and organised way to manage projects and communicate across your company.

Trello is a visual collaboration tool that helps create a shared dashboard for all projects. Trello’s boards, lists and cards enable entrepreneurs and team members to organize and prioritize work and personal lives in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.

Asana helps teams organize and manage all of their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. Teams and managers rely on Asana to manage everything from company objectives and digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns.

monday.com is a cloud-based Work OS, where teams can quickly create workflow apps in to run their processes, projects, and day to day work. Teams shape their workflows and projects with a platform that adapts to shifting needs quickly, liberating workers from laborious manual work, and connecting staff in a collaborative workspace.

Microsoft To Do helps generate lists, tasks & reminders whether you want to increase your productivity, decrease your stress levels, or just free up some headspace. Microsoft To Do makes it easy to plan your day, manage your life and stay on top of the tasks at hand.

ProofHub enables users to stay in control of their projects, remote teams and clients even on the go. It is a SaaS based project management software that fits perfectly in every work culture as it solves four major challenges: planning, collaboration, organization and delivering them on time.

Milanote is an easy tool to organize ideas and projects into visual boards, simplified by a flexible drag and drop interface that let team members arrange things in whatever way makes sense for their project.

Payments and banking

Square believes the economy is better when everyone has access and room to grow, they also believe that no one should be left out because the cost is prohibitive or the technology too complex. Square empowers businesses of all sizes and entrepreneurs to send invoices and grow their business.

The PayPal Here contactless reader and app allow clients to accept Visa, MasterCard and Maestro debit and credit card payments and receive payment via PayPal. The app helps track cash, cheque payments and issue invoices from a smartphone. With no contract, no monthly fees or hidden costs, you can get paid anywhere you do business.

Revolut for Business is on a mission to help their customers (personal and business) improve their financial health, empower them to have more control, and promote financial cohesion across the communities in which the company operates.

Neat offers a stable and secure experience and is built for today’s global economy, where borders are disappearing and it’s easier than ever to start a business. Starting from concept to making the first sale and moving to international expansion, businesses need a financial experience that evolves with them.

Customer Relationship Management

Streak is the only CRM built entirely within your Gmail to help you get things done in the most organised way possible. Whether you want to close more deals, manage partnerships, or track support issues, Streak helps entrepreneurs focus on what matters most to their business without having to leave their inbox.

Insightly helps modern businesses of all sizes build lifelong customer relationships and grow faster than ever before. Insightly’s out of the box capabilities allows companies to tailor their user experience in customer-facing roles. Insightly is easy to onboard and use and can be customised to any industry.

Salesforce is a, or rather the, customer success management platform. Their social and mobile cloud technologies including their flagship sales and CRM applications help companies connect with customers, partners, and employees in entirely new ways.

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5 simple and cheap ways to promote your startup

You crave to shout about your new company without draining your budget on extensive marketing campaigns? Thankfully there are simple and cheap ways to advertise your startup! Here are five tips to help you promote your business wisely, step by step.

Analyze your website’s data

First, take a look at your website analytics: what does your traffic look like? What’s your bounce rate, your average time per session? Based on the metrics at your disposal, you can start identifying your audience, tracking your customers’ funnels and making strategic decisions.

However, before tracking any data or defining your digital goals and tactics, it’s crucial to install Google Analytics properly. To do so, you need to implement an HTML code on your website. If you use a CMS such as WordPress or Squarespace, some widgets can ease this process.

Evaluate your benchmarking

Every business needs to research the industry it specializes in. Take a look at your competitors’ brand mentions using Google Trends, as well as seasonal tendencies. For a more detailed and comprehensive analysis, SEMrush gives you access to a variety of data and insights for different markets.

For example, you can see the average cost per click or conduct a keywords research. Alternatively, Similar Web shows you stats on your competitors’ website’s visits and readership. Another way of watching your competitors’ digital strategy is the Facebook Ad Library on which you can check your competitors’ ads assets.

Optimize your content

To increase your SEO and ultimately your online visibility, opting for a content strategy is recommended for your business’ long term health. Defining a content plan of quality with a depth of relevant keywords will attract potential customers and create habits. Therefore, you’ll start building your authority and increasing your ranking.

At first, you might find this technique time-consuming but eventually, you’ll realize how fundamental it is in the long term running of your company. For example, writing knowledgeable articles and resources around your product or your industry will increase your credibility naturally and position you as an expert in your area.

Select your channels according to your strategy

Saving money on marketing also means focusing on relevant channels to promote your business. If you adopt a B to B strategy, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions could be a better fit for your digital plan. If your strategy is B to C, making a video of your product highlights can be greatly engaging across markets, supported by Facebook Ads.

The Facebook Ads Manager offers many possibilities in terms of scheduling, analytics, budget management, and A/B testing (when you compare two ads against specific criteria). Setting Google Ads campaigns is another manner for your ads to show to specific targets once people search online for queries. To run your ads, you’ll need a relevant keywords list representing your product or service. Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs give you a wide variety of keywords suggestions.

Spread the word to the media

To boost your brand awareness, write a press release about any of your product or services’ features. Share it with relevant journalists so they can write an article, bloggers so they can review your product. Partner with influencers so they can show your product on social media. To spot email addresses, the Hunter Chrome extension will come very handy.