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4 Types of Effective Business Tools for Startups

4 Types of Effective Business Tools for Startups

Companies big and small have all sorts of tools to keep themselves moving along. From email platforms to accounting programs to knowledge bases housing process documentation, there’s no shortage of software to choose from.

But launching a startup comes with its own unique needs. You’re searching for streamlined tools that give you the most bang for your buck. You need a robust filing-sharing system to stay organized. You’re on the hunt for user-friendly, multipurpose software that encourages cross-functional collaboration.

Finding the right tools for your business takes plenty of research and vetting and a bit of trial and error. But you have to start somewhere. Here are some of the most effective business tools you and your team can use.

1. Contract Management Software

You’ve got prospects who are ready to put your startup’s offerings to work, but there are contracts to sign before you can get started. That’s where contract management software comes in. These tools can help you craft air-tight agreements that take all stakeholders’ concerns into account. With automated workflows, sales, accounting, and other relevant parties can co-create, edit, and sign off on agreements with ease.

Once a contract is finalized, digital signature capabilities make getting things signed a snap. Still, there’s a lot of documentation required when it comes to contracts and other legal agreements.

Contract management software allows your startup to keep every contract and its related documentation in one spot. So you can easily double-check whether a request is within a contract’s scope or pull up a client’s contract expiration date.

In addition, many contract management tools offer integrations with your favorite software, such as procurement or sales apps. That helps to maximize efficiencies, and that’s good for business.

2. Project Management Tools

Startup culture is known for being demanding because there’s a lot to do, and driven employees are anxious to get it done. However, not having visibility into what your team is working on can be a recipe for disaster. That’s one reason why project management tools are so important.

Project management tools let you break down the different steps of each project into discrete tasks, making workload management and prioritization easier. Approvals and feedback are documented in a centralized place for future reference, too. Have an idea that’s similar to something you’ve done in the past? Your project management tool can remind you how you handled it last time.

And there are many options to choose from. If your team is more visual, a project management tool that allows custom views or Kanban organization may be the right fit. For analytically minded business people, a spreadsheet-based tool may be more suitable. The point is to offer a tool that can help your people do their jobs in as easy and organized a way as possible. Enabling project management through the use of a great tool does just that.

3. Content Management Systems

Have you ever received a bevy of targeted ads from one company within the span of a week? Unless you’re incredibly interested in what they’re saying (or selling), it can make you dislike the brand before you’ve even tried them out. Translation: Lost business. That’s what makes organizing your channel and promotional content in a content management system so key.

Finding the right message for the right channel at the right time can be a challenge. As a startup, you may still be testing to uncover your target audience’s preferred channels. You have to strike the balance of being both informational and intriguing without overwhelming potential customers. Seeing your content laid out in a content management system can help you identify where you may be doing too much.

You simply enter your planned content in the system, which can even automate social posts or emails to free up time. Many content management programs offer a calendar view that’s perfect for quick reviews. Your leadership team can be in-the-know about what you’re posting, where you’re posting it, and when all in one space. Making adjustments, such as swapping out an email for a social post, can happen on the fly. Ultimately, that gives your startup the chance to shine with key messaging on the right channel at the right time.

4. Customer Relationship Management Platforms

All businesses want repeat customers. For one thing, it costs up to five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Consequently, it’s no wonder businesses of all kinds, including startups, are keen on doing the latter. One tool that can help your startup succeed in creating excellent customer relationships is the aptly named customer relationship management system. CRM solutions enable companies to maximize their interactions with current and potential customers through data.

CRM software creates profiles on individual customers that track their history with your company in detail on many platforms. So if they engaged with your social posts, made a purchase, or reached out to customer service, it’s all documented. If you detect a trouble spot, such as an unsatisfactory CS encounter, you can step in and make things right. Whether the individual is a lifelong advocate of your brand or — so far — a one-time customer, you want to leave a positive mark. This helps ensure your customer base has an enjoyable experience throughout their lifecycle with your company.

These data points help startups immensely because they’re a direct look into how your company is doing. For example, are people asking for their money back on the same product repeatedly? Maybe there’s a quality issue to resolve or a process that needs changing. This information is invaluable when growing your business and is a small subset of all that CRMs can do for your startup.

Continued Growth and Improvement

The competition in the startup market is stiff, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break through the noise and find success. You just need to ensure your company is set up to work as effectively as possible. Putting any or all of the tools above to use is a great step in that direction.

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