5 Essential Business Tools for Startups

Startups tend to face many roadblocks in their journey of bringing a great business idea to fruition. Budget constraints, limited time and manpower can increase the friction towards reaching your business potential. In order to move towards success rapidly, entrepreneurs need a solid team and some highly specialized tools for streamlining business processes. Adopting the right tools is advantageous in enhancing productivity and finding and retaining customers.

Though each business has its individual needs based on which they can select the various tools available to ease business operations, below I have mentioned a curated list of 5 tools that almost all small business owners can utilize.

CRM Software

An effective CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system helps businesses organize and keep track of information surrounding their customers and prospective clients. It makes it easy for you to follow up on your customers and activities and also increases the possibility to create long-term relationships. Knowing the customers and ensuring greater customer satisfaction is the priority of every startup owner and there is no better tool than CRM to understand your customers and satisfy their needs. CRM software, not just aids in improving the level of customer service but also improves your sales and marketing efforts along the way.

Cloud Telephony

Cloud telephony system is a virtually hosted system and upgrading your telephone software to the cloud offers a lot of advantages. It is a more cost-effective, reliable and secure communication environment where business owners have to pay for only the services or applications they use. It includes features such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, call tracking, call recording and call conferencing among others which lead to improved customer service and better marketing campaigns. Cost savings, ease of implementation, minimum downtime, flexibility are some of the benefits that would definitely encourage a business founder to invest in a cloud telephony system.

Social Media Platforms

Social media channels can undoubtedly make a big difference for startups and small businesses at a lower cost. According to Social Media Examiner’s seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 92 percent of marketers working with small businesses (between two and 10 employees) agree or strongly agree that social media is crucial to their marketing efforts.

With social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter businesses can reach all ages and demographics (target audience) within seconds. It makes easy for you to establish two-way communication and improve your product or services by collecting instant feedbacks and suggestions from your audience.  You can update your customers about any important news and activities and showcase thought leadership. Through effective listening, you can also monitor what customers and prospects are saying about you and respond accordingly to handle any negative publicity. All in all, social media is a perfect brand awareness tool which helps in finding and expanding your customers and improving brand loyalty.

Google Analytics

Small business owners need to create a website in order to attract customers, understand their problems and set their business up as a solution to their problems. However, it’s critical to know whether your website is working and producing results. Google analytics aids in understanding what your website visitors are doing and can significantly improve the marketing efforts of your website. It allows you to comprehend your customers better and stack-up with your competition. Keeping track of SEO campaigns, improving your web page’s quality, measuring offline campaigns success and segmenting your website visitors are some of the key activities through which Google Analytics can improve your website’s and online marketing efforts.

Skype

Skype is an online meeting tool which is an inexpensive way to stay in touch with your customers, prospects, partners, and suppliers, etc. It prevents you from exorbitant phone bills, especially if you are a globalized organization. It’s very easy to install and set up and you can use it from anywhere through any device. Skype is really reliable and offers a high-quality communication facility. So, as long as your internet connection is stable, you can expect your call won’t get dropped. Skype is a powerful tool with video, call and chat facilities and allows its users to share documents instantly.

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