This 2015 Gallup report shows that a quarter of Americans have decided against starting their own business. The truth is that founding a company and keeping it running successfully demands more than just a person daring to dream. For one, you’d need funds to make things happen, market your idea to get those funds, maintain an online presence, and so much more.
The thing is, most startups usually don’t have that kind of budget. Consider the fact that more than 60% of US businesses are comprised of 5 or fewer employees! As a business that has just arrived on the scene, you can’t pay the salaries of an army of employees. The result is that as the founder, all those additional responsibilities fall on your shoulders.
That was the bad news, but we also come bearing great news.
With 9 important tools we mention below, potential entrepreneurs like yourself can make their jobs easier!
Managing tasks, sharing files, and monitoring the activities of different teams in real time can be difficult. Wrike’s project management solution can help make all that happen and more! Try out the free version that can support five users and allows 2 GB storage. The best part about Wrike is that it doesn’t limit the number of collaborators even in the free version! Wrike is a good project management tool for small teams. As your business needs grow and require customized solutions, just upgrade to a higher tier.
Instagram remains an untapped source for most marketers out there! More than 90% of marketers use Facebook while only 36% use Instagram. Since you’d want to get the word out about your brands, there is no better way of doing it than via Instagram. For one, it is home to 800 million users – about 60% of which are between the ages of 18-29 – and more join Instagram each day.
What’s more, while you can expect just less than 0.1% user engagement on Facebook and Twitter, you can expect 3%-6% of your followers to regularly engage with you on Instagram! Showcase your products and services and increase awareness about them within your community via Instagram. You can also use Instagram for purposes other than advertising, such as updating your users with company news.
You may gather a bevy of potential clients via Instagram but retaining them would require more than social media updates. MailChimp can help you reach out to them via email newsletters. With regular email blasts, you won’t stray too far from the thoughts of your current contacts. You won’t even need a tech or design experience. Inform your potentials about new projects and watch more traffic heading to your website. MailChimp is great for businesses of all sizes!
Documentation can get out of hand, especially when you are just starting out, and not used to all that filing. EchoSign can be a solution when the paperwork keeps mounting. One of the best things about it is its eco-friendly nature. Second is how easy it is to use. All you’d need to do is upload a document on its server. After that, it can be sent to other recipients, saved for you to reference when you need it, and even signed using an E-sign capability. With EchoSign, you will also be saving hundreds of dollars on paper, scanners, and printer ink.
Social media isn’t just a platform for marketing. It can also be used by businesses like yours to maintain an online presence. Use it like an amplifier that can help you build a huge following. What will you need to get more potential clients to follow you? To consistently produce valued content and then spread it as much as you can! Entrepreneurs can use Buffer for social media marketing on all the major networks. Schedule your posts, share videos, photos, links, and texts, and connect all your social media accounts in one place using Buffer.
WordPress is the go-to choice for most business owners looking to host a blog or website. In fact, it is now powering 30% of the web, and but remains free to use! Even someone who has the most basic computer skills can spruce up their content by adding pictures and photos, etc. Besides sharing valued content, WordPress has other uses, as well. For instance, it can help you engage with your customers in a much better way. You can use Salesmate WordPress CRM Plugin for true customer relationship management. The CRM industry doubled according to Gartner. Combine that with WordPress becoming more powerful, it is time that you integrated and used it as an entire CRM solution!
Lack of funds remains one of the biggest reasons why most entrepreneurs cannot get in the game. 67.2% of them have to direct their own funds when starting their own business. Before you decide to take on more debt without even making a penny from your business, think about alternatives. The online resource, AngelList, can be useful to entrepreneurs since it connects startup like yours to Angel investors.
Communication is a big part of running a successful business. With Grasshopper, it is now possible for businesses to use an online phone system, get faxes and voicemails anywhere, choose their own numbers, add teams, and get in touch with contacts via mobiles and office landlines. For a personalized look, you can even record your own greeting and assign extensions to different branches/departments of your business.
Individual Task Management
Things is useful in increasing productivity since it is effective for personal task management. With a powerful but limited number of features, Things makes it possible for employees to stay organized. Adding tasks, syncing the calendar, and setting up reminders is all possible with this personal task manager. What makes it different is its simple design and easy-to-use interface.
Running a small business may not be cheap, but the tools mentioned here can reduce the risks an entrepreneur must take with a startup. Many tools on this list are also free to use, which means your small business wouldn’t be breaking its budget to try them out. As your company’s needs grow, you can always sign up for the paid premium versions. So, don’t let thoughts of growing too big to keep you from using these tools when you need them the most!
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health-related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.