The Tools and Technology You Need to Kickstart Your Business

 

Running a successful company today isn’t necessarily easier than it was a century ago. At the end of the day, challenges like competition, financing, innovation, and customer support always remain relatively difficult.

However, I believe we can safely say that launching a business today is more manageable than ever before. If you have a brilliant idea, see an unmet need in the market, harbor an immense passion, or crave independence, there has never been a better time to venture into entrepreneurship and aim high.

Why is it easier than ever, you ask? Is it because generative AI like ChatGPT can automate tasks, innovate, and increase productivity? Not entirely. But indeed, besides AI (which I won’t dwell on further in this article), the easy-to-access, cloud-based SaaS tools and infrastructure provide everything you need to build your business quickly and efficiently.

Here is a curated list of software platforms, tools, and infrastructure that you should strongly consider to get your business up and running in no time.

 

Zoom – Phone and Teleconferencing

Let Zoom become your one-stop shop. Everyone knows that Zoom is a fantastic videoconferencing tool, but sometimes you need a classic phone for calls and texting. Zoom Phone allows you to quickly provision phone numbers for your team and use voice-over-IP (VoIP) to make calls over the internet. It integrates seamlessly with CRM and dashboarding tools. Considering phone calls and meetings are vital for revenue generation and customer service, Zoom is well worth the premium price.

 

Geckoboard – Data Dashboards

Considering the integration capabilities of modern tools, a dashboard is a necessity from day one. Geckoboard, with its compatibility with 80+ data sources, can display your web analytics, phone calling statistics, project management KPIs, and sales figures. A dashboard is a must-have, and Geckoboard is an excellent place to start.

 

Hubspot – Customer Relationship Management

Once your business is up and running, a robust CRM like Salesforce comes highly recommended. But to get started quickly, deploying an enterprise-grade marketing automation platform and CRM like Hubspot is the best route. It covers everything from email sending, note-making, creating opportunities, to tracking customers. Hubspot offers a free CRM and several cost-effective options to help you get started. It is the Swiss Army knife for email, landing pages, marketing automation, and CRM – all absolute essentials.

 

People by Wagepoint – Employee Management

When it comes to managing your employees or contractors, consider People by Wagepoint. Formerly known as KinHR, this platform is perfect for managing PTO, obtaining signed handbooks, and securely maintaining vital employee information. It’s an easy way to keep everything organized as you start hiring.

 

Gusto – Payroll Management

As you grow, a platform like ADP becomes necessary, especially for next-day ACH. However, Gusto is a cost-effective, easy-to-use platform to handle your initial payroll needs. It’s tried and tested, and employees love it. There may be a few hiccups with document management, but overall, Gusto is an excellent first-choice for out-of-the-box payroll management.

 

Upwork – Fractional Hiring

Before staffing up full-time, consider fractional talent on Upwork for your initial labor needs. This platform is a game-changer for businesses needing to scale on a budget. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can achieve productivity with contractors from Upwork.

 

Microsoft Office – Document Management

Splurge on Office 365 for document management. With familiar tools like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, it’s worth using in your business. Microsoft has been on top of their game lately with innovative features. It’s also worth noting that GoDaddy is probably the best Domain registrar and initial place to set up Office 365.

 

Canva – Design

With Canva, you have the Ikea of graphic design software at your disposal. From templates to animations and video editing, Canva will save you time and money while ensuring you have ample graphics to get started.

 

Wix – Website Development

While WordPress has its merits, for someone looking to move quickly and cost-effectively in launching their first company site, Wix is a better option. It requires less maintenance and updates than WordPress, freeing up time and resources for other critical areas.

 

Financial Management with Xero

Xero is an excellent cloud-based accounting software catering to small and medium-sized businesses. With Xero, you can invoice clients, categorize expenses, and sync your bank account for real-time financial updates. Plus, it offers a comprehensive view of your cash flow, aiding in strategic financial decisions. Xero integrates seamlessly with other tools, like Gusto for payroll or Hubspot for CRM, creating a unified business platform.

 

Business Expenses with Brex

When you need to manage your business expenses seamlessly, turn to Brex. This platform simplifies expense management with features like automatic receipt matching, custom card limits, and seamless integration with accounting tools. Brex offers a much-needed respite from the tedious task of managing and tracking expenses, allowing you to focus more on growing your business.

 

File Storage and Collaboration with Box

For safe and reliable cloud storage, consider Box. This platform not only provides secure file storage but also fosters collaboration with features like real-time editing and seamless sharing. Box integrates with various productivity tools, making file management and collaboration a breeze.

 

In conclusion, the current digital age provides aspiring entrepreneurs with a plethora of resources to make their journey smoother. While the challenges of competition, financing, and customer satisfaction persist, these tools can help level the playing field, allowing you to focus more on innovation and growth. Now, more than ever, is the time to make that entrepreneurial dream a reality. Happy launching!

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