WRITTEN BY NICK DJUROVIC
One of the biggest challenges startups and new entrepreneurs face is staying on top of the game. When you don't have many (or any) employees, there is only so much you can do within one workday. Not only is this lack of fingers, eyes, and minds frustrating, but it can be highly detrimental for your business as well. Luckily, nowadays, there are an abundance of tools designed to help you stay sane while conquering the business world. Whether you need a platform for internal communication, assistance with planning projects, or a safe space for all your files and documents, some very creative and clever people have got you covered. Here are a few basic business tools new entrepreneurs can't do without.
1. INTERNAL COMMUNICATION
Remote online work has become somewhat of a norm nowadays. However, communication between employees can be a bit challenging outside of a typical office setup. Unless you're using the right tools, that is. Considering how essential uninterrupted communication is for quality teamwork, it's easy to understand why these apps shouldn't be a choice but rather a necessity.
Here are a few good options when it comes to internal communication tools:
Slack - To put it simply, Slack is a chat app. However, once you start using it, you'll see that it is much more sophisticated than that. You can use it for private and group conversations. You can create channels for different teams or duties. Additionally, you can share files and pictures, search for specific messages, etc. The app's notifications will ensure you don't miss a thing, but you can customize this feature if you prefer to check messages in your own time.
Zoom - Online meetings don't have to be a hassle if you use Zoom. This video cloud platform allows you to schedule and host meetings, share your screen, gather information from attendees, record calls and video, etc. This kind of concept isn't new. However, Zoom quickly became popular because it's free and incredibly user-friendly.
Join.me - This is another excellent option for video conference calls and screen sharing. It's easy to use and allows you to customize URLs and backgrounds, among other things.
2. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION
Another aspect of online work that has been simplified with the existence of innovative apps is project collaboration. Not only are these tools super convenient, but they enable new entrepreneurs to save a few bucks on office space and utilities - without compromising the workflow! This way, you can make room in your budget for developing a marketing strategy and helping your business grow.
Here are a few apps that make working on projects a piece of cake:
Trello is the most popular option as it allows users to make lists, plan projects, and track whatever they need to track. It works well on all devices and has a very intuitive design.
Entrepreneurs who aren't using Trello are probably on team Asana. This tool is pretty similar to the previous one, but it is slightly more complicated to master. However, some of its more advanced features make up for this.
Google Docs, sheets, and slides are perfect for working on and sharing various documents.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
Presence on social media platforms is of the utmost importance if you want to succeed as a new entrepreneur. However, managing several social media accounts without help will probably make you feel dizzy.
Luckily, there are fantastic tools that can help you stay relevant across all platforms.
Buffer allows you to manage all of your accounts in one place by scheduling posts and analyzing engagement. The app supports Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Hootsuite offers similar features to Buffer and more. Its options are slightly more advanced.
Social media is irreplaceable when it comes to content creation and promotion. If used correctly, a huge audience can see your blog posts, products, ads, and more. Remember, blogging is a great tool, and when you combine it with social media management tools, you increase your chances of success drastically.
4. CUSTOMER SUPPORT
When talking about basic business tools new entrepreneurs can't do without, it's important to mention customer support tools. With many social media accounts, it can be hard to respond to all messages timely. And speed is of the utmost importance when it comes to quality assistance to your current and potential clients.
Freshdesk allows you to achieve uninterrupted workflow by automating routine tasks, creating preset responses, and directing tickets to specific people and places. What's more, many of this tool's features are free.
Zendesk is equally helpful as Freshdesk. However, it is a bit more pricey. If you want to try it out, you can sign up for a free trial.
Useresponse is another good option. This tool is more suitable for small teams. Its open-code style makes it highly customizable, so you can make it even more adequate for your specific needs.
All of the tools mentioned above would be futile without cybersecurity. Even though we tend to think these attacks happen only to people who work with confidential information, the reality is, they can happen to anyone. And relying on luck just doesn't cut it in this case. Luckily, there are a few options that will guard your business so that you can worry about other things.
Avast is a popular choice, and it's perfect for new entrepreneurs as it offers both a free and a premium version. The free version has a good number of features and provides adequate basic protection. However, if your cybersecurity needs are a bit more refined, then the premium version might be a better choice.
Wireshark protects you by analyzing network protocols and thus providing real-time security.
Business tools come down to helping you achieve better productivity and efficiency while working. Nowadays, it doesn't really matter whether you're working from your living room or a high-tech office. Using the right tools for your needs makes surviving in the harsh business world so much easier.