Getting a startup off the ground is not an easy task. Even if you're already up and running, keeping up with new developments and operational requirements and making sure your business running as smooth as possible takes a lot of hard work.
To make sure you're always ahead of the game, we've picked our favourite web-based tools which offer innovative new ways of streamlining and automating your day-to-day tasks — ranging from project management, online collaboration, mobile and web analytics, social media management, email marketing, accounting to workflow automation.
Trello is a great productivity tool for managing personal to-do lists and team collaborations. It uses a relatively simple system of interactive boards to represent projects and tasks, and allows you and your team to easily see which jobs are done and which ones require attention. You can also assign tasks to specific people and set deadlines so you can better keep track of a project's status.
Another popular online collaboration program is Slack. Compared to Trello, Slack is geared more towards team communication and makes working remotely less of a chore. It allows you to create separate channels or chat rooms for each team or project, which can be used for either public or private messaging. It has great search and file handling features so that users can easily see what everybody else is working on.
Using Hootsuite, you can manage all your social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedln. Instagram etc.) using a single dashboard or command centre. It lets you read posts from various feeds, create and schedule new posts. as well as read and reply to every message you receive. It also supports adding team members so that others can contribute to building and amplifying your social media presence.
As its name would suggest, Drip is an email marketing automation tool designed specifically for creating drip email campaigns. It uses a visual workflow builder and comes with pre-made workflow blueprints so you can easily setup email opt-ins, lead magnet delivery, appointment scheduling, customer onboarding, and many more automated tasks. It also has a full suite of features that are essential to inbound marketing such as email gathering, behaviour tracking, analytics and integration with other apps and platforms.
Bananatag is an email tracking tool that lets you know when your emails are being opened and read, which is essential for outbound campaigns to know which emails are generating leads and converting into actual sales. It is also a great tool for tracking team engagement when used with internal emails. You can also use it to create email templates and schedule when to send your emails to increase the probability of getting it read.
Heap Analytics allows you to get accurate data-driven insight into how your customers are actually using your website or mobile app by tracking down page views, clicks and other user interactions. It aggregates tracked data into an event feed with each defined event having its own visualisation. This gives you accurate data-driven insight into improving customer experience, and getting better conversion and retention rates.
Xero is a cloud-based accounting tool designed with small and medium businesses in mind. It features all the tools you will need to track sales, schedule payments, prepare tax forms, as well as manage inventory and payroll. Since your financial data is safely stored in the cloud, you and your team can access it from anywhere whether you're on a desktop or a mobile device. It's much easier to use than its competitors and has a lot of core features built-in. Xero also supports integration with hundreds of other apps and platforms like PayPal, Vend and Square.
If you already use a lot of apps to get work done, you can use Zapier connect two or more apps and automate many of the tasks in your workflow. It supports hundreds of apps and services and allows you to create an automated workflow using triggers and actions. For example, you can use Zap to send daily weather update to your email, calendar or phone via SMS. Creating a trigger and action combo, or Zap, is easily done with its intuitive interface and requires no advanced technical knowledge in order to get things to work.
All the tools mentioned either have free versions, free trial, demos or low-priced starter plans. So you can always try it out and see for yourself which ones will make a good fit for your own business.