Over the last few years, more people than ever before have decided to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test and are opening their own businesses. Like anything else in life, opening and maintaining a business will come with hurdles and obstacles along the way, but once you find success, you feel like you truly accomplished something.
Finding success early on can be difficult, but there are steps that you can take to help ensure that your business takes off. A few things that you will need to do to be on the right track include surrounding yourself with the right people, dedicating your time to offering a unique product or service, and last, don’t forget to utilize the right tools to maximize your workload.
When you are just starting out, you likely will not have the resources to hire an entire staff. Using the right tools and technologies to aid you with certain tasks will be necessary, but knowing which tools to leverage can be confusing. Luckily, we are here to help!
Here are the must-have tools for startup entrepreneurs who are trying to grow a business.
As a business owner, it will be on you to manage the finances across the business. You will need to handle everything, from payroll to projections. In the beginning, these tasks will be easy, but as your company grows, so too will the difficulty of maintaining your finances. Utilizing these tools early on will allow you to scale your operations as the business grows.
Lean On Outside Funding:
When you are just starting out as a new business owner, the first thing you will likely realize is just how expensive it is to run your own business. Every decision or action comes with a cost and if you don’t have the funds available to propel the business forward, you may be sacrificing the success of the business for your own personal financial health.
While startup costs will differ from business to business, the SBA claims that the average startup cost for a micro-business is $5,000. This price tag will only increase if you choose a more lucrative business model. A more traditional business will need upwards of $40,000 to cover overhead costs and larger expenses.
If you are like most other business owners, you likely don’t have a cool $40,000 just sitting in your savings account. To help get the funds you need to get your business up and running, we recommend looking into the different types of personal loans available to you. Using something like a personal loan to gain a lump sum of capital can give you the buying power you need early on to source the rest of the tools for your business.
Automate Accounting Tasks:
Handling the day-to-day and year-long finances within your organization can be one of the most daunting tasks for a new business owner. Business math is something you likely haven’t encountered since your days in undergrad, so you might be rusty.
Accounting errors can lead to a slew of issues within your company. In fact, issues with capital and cash-flow management are two of the most common reasons small businesses fail early on. As a new business owner, it can be easy to try and take these tasks on, but if you aren’t a financial expert, it can lead to disaster down the road.
The thing is, business owners don’t need to front the finances alone anymore. There are plenty of tools and resources out there to help even the most financially challenged business.
Using cloud-based accounting software can help even the newest business owner get their finances in order. Our team offers customized, tailor-made accounting solutions for a business of any size or stature. Our virtual services allow businesses to get their QuickBooks® dashboard up and running. After our initial set-up, you have our dedicated assistance throughout the year to help with any financial or accounting issue that may come your way!
Leveraging the power of accounting technology will help your business more accurately handle each and every financial task across the company.
To survive in the modern market, your business will need to use the best e-commerce tools available. The use of online shopping has been increasing for some time now, but over the pandemic, online shopping rates have skyrocketed. If you aren’t focusing on getting your e-commerce operation up and running, you need to as soon as possible.
Leverage Website Development Tools:
As mentioned, your business needs to exist online if you want to be successful. Internet usage is only going to continue to increase, and if consumers cannot find your product or service online, they might choose another.
Building a powerful and appealing website in 2021 does not require you to be a coding expert! Using one of the top website development tools on the market will let even the most technically inexperienced be able to craft a great website.
Website development platforms allow users to easily craft websites either from scratch using drag-and-drop widgets or by using a pre-built template you can customize to make your own. The drag-and-drop tools will let you implement anything that you could want on a site, from top navigation bars, to review forms – these platforms will let you do it all. In the past, using a website development tool would make your website look like a “cookie-cutter” site, but now these tools allow for more advanced customization and even support coding.
Use Storefront Software:
Simply building your site will not be enough to capture the e-commerce consumer. Your site will need to feature a powerful storefront that offers an optimized buying journey.
Just like with a website, just about anyone can build an effective e-commerce store using e-commerce software. Certain web development tools will include e-commerce store tools, but if you want to have the best shopping experience possible, it would be wise to use specific software made specifically for creating a storefront.
The most popular offering on the market is Shopify. This tool allows anyone to get an online storefront created and integrated into their existing website. Shopify handles all of the behind-the-scenes coding and engineering that goes into keeping your store running. Using a tool like Shopify will help your site be more appealing to customers and should help increase your e-commerce sales.
If you were to ask a room of business owners what is one thing they all need more of, the unanimous answer would likely be time. When you run a business, it can feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions at once. Making headway on one task can feel impossible when you have to put out fires elsewhere in the business. This is where tech can come into play again. Technology makes daily life easier, so you should be using it every day across your business to be more productive.
Plan Stuff Out:
As a business owner, you will be on the go constantly. Meeting after meeting, call after call, it’s easy to lose track of time or a specific appointment. You never want to be known as the frazzled business owner who misses appointments. Using a smart planner that syncs across your phone, computer, and other connected devices is a great way to remain on top of your schedule.
Being diligent with your planning will not only improve your work, but your appearance as well. Vendors and consumers will be more apt to work with a business owner who is on top of their game. As your business grows, having a planner that allows you to create meetings, jot notes, and create reminders and alarms will be crucial.
Use the Cloud
Cloud computing is a technological advancement that has really taken off in the last five years or so. Essentially, companies can create large repositories of files and data, but instead of these files taking up space on your computer, it exists only in a cloud server. In the end, cloud computing saves consumers’ memory, which allows us to take advantage of faster processes and operations.
One way your business can take advantage of cloud software is through the Google G-Suite. G-Suite is a connected platform of Google applications housed in the cloud. The G-Suite allows users to collaborate, share, and edit any file across their company. The most popular G-Suite apps to leverage are:
- Gmail – One of the most popular email servers today is Gmail. It is a secure platform that checks all the boxes in terms of an email provider.
- Drive – The drive is where your company’s files can be stored. Drive allows for anyone within the company to access certain files and documents from any device anywhere.
- Sheets – An Excel clone, Sheets is great for any of your spreadsheet needs. There are some differences between Sheets and Excel though, so be sure to brush up your skills before jumping in.
- Docs – Docs is a real-time word processing program that allows users to work on a document together even if they are in different locations.
- Chat – Google’s chat and hangout features are great for disjointed workplaces that need to collaborate often.
Remaining productive as a business owner can be challenging. Using the tools that are available to you will help unlock some time and will allow you to tap into your business’s potential!