There aren’t many secrets to having a successful startup: Most entrepreneurs will freely tell you that it’s a messy mix of good timing, quality products, good luck, and a dash of hard work. To put it plainly, in starting and running a business, there is no simple equation for success.
Yet, business leaders do tend to keep some information close to their chests, specifically what tools they use to manage their growing businesses. A good tool makes the difference between a day wasted on a menial task and a productive day that accomplishes major business goals. While every entrepreneur might know about tools like Google Analytics and Skype, you probably aren’t familiar with some of the smaller, more specific, and more impactful tech tools that could give your business an edge. If you are searching for the best tips and tricks to set your startup on the road to success, you can’t ignore the following tech tools.
Electronic Signature Creator
There’s a surprising amount of signing necessary to run a business. From signing loan applications to signing employees’ W-4s and W-2s to signing new clients, your signature hand is likely to get exhausted relatively quickly. Worse, if you have to print documents out to sign them, you then have the responsibility of keeping paperwork filed in physical cabinets which can get out of control absurdly quickly.
There’s a better way: electronic signatures. E-signature software allows you to digitally send documents to merchants, clients, and others to obtain a signature without wasting paper or time. EDoc is an excellent example; you can track your documents as you await their signature, and you can trust that the service is compliant with security rules. Before you print out another contract, you must acquire an electronic signature creator.
Email Newsletter Manager
It might be hard to believe, but the email newsletter remains among the most effective marketing tricks to date. The concept is simple: By sending out a daily, weekly, or monthly newsletter to subscribers, you can remind them that your business exists and offers noteworthy benefits. Newsletters can be informative, advertise discounts and sales, and provide other useful content to potential clients - but setting up an email newsletter system isn’t easy, and keeping it viable is even harder.
Unless your startup has the resources to maintain an entire social media division, you need a tool to help you manage email newsletters. Often, these tools will help you design and send emails with rich content your subscribers will enjoy. For example, MailChimp provides users a variety of templates so they can tailor the email blast to their message. The service you choose should be flexible enough to fit your startup but structured enough to make email content creation a snap.
This might sound more like a job title than a business tool. After all, aren’t your workers supposed to be able to manage their own tasks? Or else, shouldn’t you, as their manager, be able to keep everyone’s responsibilities in order?
Actually, outsourcing the task of project organization to a brainless tool is a cheap and efficient way to accomplish more every day. When it comes to project management software, there is a wide range of complexity you can acquire. Lightweight freeware like Evernote keeps track of ideas and events, while paid software like Wrike can provide extensive solutions, including collaboration tools, task management tools, and more. There is a project organizer out there for you - you just have to find it.
Contractor Hiring Service
While your business is still a startup, it is vital that you keep your staff lean. In the early stages, you don’t have the budget to bring on entire teams of professionals full-time. Instead, you should be hiring contractors - but where and how you find those contractors matters.
There are dozens of familiar sites where contractors congregate, including Craigslist and Fiverr, but if you are serious about seeking high-quality talent, you should subscribe to a contractor service. Upwork and Toptal are both reputable sites for finding valuable freelance workers in a variety of fields. Instead of trusting some random schmuck online with the future of your business, you should use a service to find someone trustworthy and talented.
Getting your startup off and running smoothly isn’t an easy task, but with the right tools, you can reduce some common frustrations and maybe even find yourself ahead of other entrepreneurs in the same vertical. Make your life easier by trying these tools to get important paperwork squared away quicker, keep everyone in your organization on the same page, and more.