There has been tremendous growth in the number of start-ups and small businesses establish every year, many of them start right in a backyard or at home. Starting a new business can be difficult, there are many things that you need to manage right from managing resources to meeting deadlines. Capital investment is one of the main issues for most businesses, especially when you are just starting off.
Businesses today need to have a strong online presence. With the advancing technology, businesses need to adapt at an unimaginable pace. Since most people prefer finding you online before they even think of making a purchase, it is no longer leisure but a necessity.
Here are a few tools that will help you set up shop like a pro, that too without burning a hole in your pocket.
WordPress is a tool loved by start-ups and enterprises alike. It has been around for a while now, starting off as a free blogging website it took over the website world by a storm. Today be it a simple blog or a full-fleshed website, WordPress has something for everyone's need. You can start with a theme and keep customizing it as per your requirements. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) when you make a dynamic website you need to integrate a CMS tool. Which is not the case with WordPress.
So first things first you need to have a website for your company. It takes time effort and a lot of energy to get one made. Whether it is responsive or not, it has to be user-friendly and mobile-friendly at the same time. Making a CMS software needs coding skills, PHP, C#, java amongst other languages that are used to design one.
WordPress has beautiful designs that can be modified and it is secure. It has premium themes as well as free ones, you can customize every little aspect of the design, layout, the complete look, and feel of it.
- Easy setup
- Great themes and plugins option
- Gives you complete customization control
Once your website is set, you need to focus on reaching out to your right audience and generate more leads. After identifying your target audience, the most effective yet method to reach them at once is Email Marketing. Mailchimp makes email marketing very easy for you. It is the first marketing mode that you should start with, it helps to have a user base but even if you do not have a big one yet you should definitely start it.
Mailchimp starts with a basic package that has restrictions in regards to the number of emails you can send out but you can upgrade your package later. Since both B2B and B2C have seen really great results from email marketing, you can start planning different campaigns to target different audiences.
- 7 Marketing channels
- Get pre-designed email templates
- Easy to use
Trello is an organizer; you can organize your tasks and projects. Most projects need you to work in collaboration with a member of other teams. Keeping track of who is responsible for what makes it easy to work on your part and check up on other's progress. Plus, it instils a sense of responsibility when your name is on the board. Every organization needs this tool when you have one task with multiple dependencies it helps to have it all in one place. Trello lets you create boards that you can add task and project to, then invite others to collaborate with you. You can add comments, descriptions along with deadlines and ownership for each one of them.
- Personal and Shared boards
- Easy of collaboration
SoGoSurvey is a survey tool which can be useful for market research and gathering data which can later be used to understand your customer's needs, requirements and while assessing the market demand.
SoGoSurvey is a tool that not only lets you conduct market research but also keeps a track of how your customers and employees are feeling. Surveys can be really helpful; you can send one focused on a particular issue or identifying what is or is not working for you. Since data has become so important in today's time it makes sense to gather your own since the very first day.
SoGoSurvey has 5 tools
- Survey maker
- Quiz creator
- Customer experience (CX)
- Employee Experience (EX)
Just like mail chimp you can start with the basic plan and upgrade as you grow. Sending a survey and receiving the response is just the start once you are through with it the report segment will convert that information into data points for you to play with. You can revamp your strategy or work on the suggestions, there are endless possibilities.
- Multiple modes of sharing
- Report generation and sharing
- Real-time reports
- Templates for every segment
Hootsuite is a scheduling tool for the social media content, you can manage your channels yourself or have someone else manage them for you. Either way, a scheduling tool can be a really good addition to your toolkit. Share content on trending topics should be your go-to strategy but it doesn't hurt to have a content calendar for your social media. Hootsuite lets you schedule posts on multiple social channels and it is pretty easy to link your account and get started.
- Let's your schedule from your mobile device.
- Keeps a track of mentions
- Provides information about engagement
And these are two additional tools that will come in handy, Bonus tools
The first thing about GIMP is that it is a cross-platform image editing tool, also it is a free alternative to photoshop. And you can do just about anything with it, create, edit, add layers. Anyone from a novice to an expert image manipulator or designer can use this tool.
Internal communication is a part of every organization's basic needs. Slack is one of the best tools for this job. Not only is it free to use but it also lets you create groups and channels. They can be a company-wide channel or just a handful of people. While maintaining privacy that means members who are not a part of the channel will not see the conversation that takes place in the channel.
These are some of the tools that I think can be really useful for anyone from a Solopreneur to an Enterprise, which says a lot about the tool and it's potential to perform.
Evelyn Thomas is a marketer, writer and dog lover living off-grid with her husky named shade, real-world marketing, and sales pro. She loves reading and implementing new methods of improving product usability while giving a new face to the brands she works with. If you’re ready to learn how to market your business effectively, check out her practical steps for improving customer experience.