Anyone who’s ever launched a start-up company will know that it’s an experience that’s filled with highs and lows. For example, it’s great to be your own boss and have a real say in how things are run but, some of the responsibilities that go with starting your own business can be a bigger commitment than first anticipated.
You might feel that you’ve taken on not one, but several jobs – including being an accountant in charge of managing cash flow, an HR manager responsible for hiring the right staff and a business guru who knows just how quickly and in which directions to expand. But the good news is that there has never been a wider choice of software and business tools to help you do everything from manage your finances to keeping customers.
Here are five of the tools you should utilize:
We all know Microsoft Office. After all, it’s been the default suite of business software for years and has everything from producing documents and presentations to handling databases and spreadsheets. But what most people don’t know is that it also has many other features that can boost productivity and make everyone’s job easier and more efficient.
For example there’s a facility for several people to edit a single document at the same time – and if you jot down notes using One Note they can easily be converted into calendar entries showing “to do” lists and deadlines.
Every business needs a good online accounting program and Sage offers one of the best software. It allows you to send invoices online, which means you can receive quicker payments, and the software’s custom reports can pinpoint potential savings opportunities. You can also link your credit cards and bank accounts to the software.
Additionally, users can automate billing and many other admin tasks saving a great deal of time and money in the process. Most importantly, since the accounting software is cloud-based, it means you can keep an eye on your company no matter where business takes you.
Winning new business is the life-blood of any start-up but to do that you first have to wow your potential customers. While PowerPoint presentations have done a perfectly good job for years, the world is ready for a more exciting and interactive way to showcase what you have to offer.
Prezi is that program. Using animation, effects and a whole lot more, it really brings every message to life creating a truly memorable and motivating event.
One of the many things that the internet has done is open up a whole new world of funding possibilities beyond going to the bank for a loan. One with a very high profile is Kickstarter where you make your pitch online and random members of the public, and even some businesses, put up the money for your scheme. On the plus side, it’s a red-tape free way to raise money but on the minus side you’ll find that Kickstarter will take 5% of all the money pledged so effectively you’ll have to raise more than you actually need.
No business of any size can afford to ignore social media as a way of both attracting and keeping customers. But while it’s a great, and cheap, medium for marketing, unless you have the data to analyse who you’re talking to and how they’re behaving it’s not being used to its full potential. Hootsuite can give you those insights and really get social media working as a very effective business tool.