You have a great idea, drive, and you’re ready to get your feet wet with a startup. But where do you begin? And how are you going to figure out how to run all the complex areas of a business?

Trying to get a company off the ground can be overwhelming. And keeping costs low while making sure you have all of your operational tools in line can be a challenge.

Fortunately, there are a number of tools to assist you in getting your startup off and running. From financials to marketing, creating a virtual team of tools will give you a well-rounded business plan. Here are 5 that are worth checking out.

1. Track Tasks with Asana

Created by two Facebook founders, there is a reason Asana is used by over 70,000 companies worldwide. The user-friendly, social media-style format and intuitive tools are essential in staying organized. It’s a great tool for teams to track and collaborate who is doing what and when. It is essential to communicating and delegating among your team.

Like a virtual project manager, Asana makes large projects more manageable. Bigger projects can be easily broken into smaller tasks. Assigning and transferring tasks among employees is easy and convenient. Timelines and milestones can be created to manage deadlines. The activity feed, to-do list, and reminders will keep employees on track.

Asana can be used for communication and meeting planning. You can make managing schedules easier with Asana’s calendar tool. With everything from marketing tools to sales tracking, Asana is the well-rounded tool your startup needs to function efficiently.

The basic version is free but is limited in features. Higher priced plans are reasonable in cost but include access to more features and greater customization. A free trial is available so you can check it out before committing.

2. Manage Your Finances with Wave

One of the most intimidating tasks in starting a business is managing the financials. Especially if you don’t have any background in accounting or banking. Wave is a reasonably priced option to take the guesswork out of the large variety of financial tasks involved with running a business.

Wave’s payroll system can manage internal financial needs like direct deposit. Employees have access to tools for budgeting, investments, and other personal finance needs. 

Wave can also be used for billing with customizable invoice templates. Sales tax can be added easily, and the generated invoices can be easily mailed to customers. Customers then have the option to pay their invoice by credit card.

The reconciliation tool gives businesses the ability to connect their bank, PayPal, and other financial accounts. Receipts can be recorded in the system, and transactions can be easily categorized. This combination of features makes generating accounting reports quick and efficient.

Wave is incredibly affordable. The accounting, invoicing, and receipt features are free. Each credit card and ACH transaction is charged a service fee. Payroll features have a monthly subscription cost with a per-employee fee.

3. Using Mailchimp for Marketing

Letting customers know that you exist is a huge hurdle in the startup world. Get the word out about your company using Mailchimp. Design and send your company’s emails from this easy to use program. The program allows you to create eye-catching, professional-looking emails with little to no design experience.

Priced reasonably, the company even has a free version of the program available. This option has a 10,000 email per month sending limit and access to basic email templates. Still, it may be enough to meet the needs of a start-up at no cost.

The paid versions gain you access to great features. Additional email templates are available for customizing messages. The plan also includes chat and email support. The ability to target on social media is a valuable feature of the paid plans. 

Not ready for the commitment? Mailchimp offers a pay as you go option. Credits can be purchased, then applied to your communications individually. This is a great option for a startup that’s not emailing a ton yet.

4. Handling HR with Recruiterflow

Good employees can be tough to find. Finding and attracting high-quality applicants can be challenging, especially when trying to avoid the costs associated with agencies. Simplify your recruiting process and keep costs low with Recruiterflow. The simple to use interface makes the hiring process more efficient, and the low cost makes it an attractive option.

Recruiterflow makes it easy for you to post job openings and track their engagement. It also stores easily-searchable resumes to keep a candidate database. You can quickly screen applicants by qualifications and reach out to candidates. Interview instructions, as well as candidate scorecards, can be managed in the system.

The system enhances the communication of everyone on the hiring team with email and calendar synchronization. Reports can be generated to find potential improvements in your recruiting process.

There are several plan options available. Recruiterflow even has a plan tailored to new and growing businesses. There is a 14-day trial available before committing to a monthly plan.

5. Manage Documents with ContractZen

You don’t need a full legal team to keep your company secure and in compliance. ContractZen can manage your legal documents and help you minimize risk. Use this cloud-based program to transfer, sign, and store documents securely.

You can send and request signatures on contracts digitally with the E-signature feature. This makes getting legal documents signed from third parties safer and more efficient.

The unique Virtual Data Room feature gives you the ability to access your company’s documents from anywhere. The Full-text search feature allows you to search for documents easily. Tax documents are stored securely, and easy to find should an audit arise. 

The program also gives you the ability to better coordinate meetings. The scheduler allows meeting attendees to agree on the best time. Meeting documents can be exchanged, and meeting minutes can be signed right in the program. 

This easy to use service also comes with a reasonable price tag. The less than $10 per month is worth the legal peace of mind. A thirty-day trial is available before committing.

Conclusion

Starting a business can be a scary feat. There are so many working parts and pieces to fit together. Like the CICD pipeline, you have to make sure you’re being organized, especially when the business you’re starting involves software development.

There’s a lot of effort involved in researching what tools are best for you, and the effort can be a little daunting at times. You might be tempted to go with whatever tools you find first on a Google search, but it’s best to forgo that idea. Making sure you have the right tools in your arsenal will give you confidence and be your best chance for success.

Posted by Miley Dowling

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