A startup distinguishes itself from the business industry by creating original products and services. In comparison, other companies duplicate other business ideas (franchises). Some examples of startups that came up with something new on the market include Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google.
Of course, it isn’t easy to notice what’s missing in your local community and act toward solving this issue. After all, we live in a fast-changing technology world, where you can find almost anything you need to fulfil your needs. But sometimes, people need more than that ―a human approach to the problem. Therefore, if you’re interested in having a start-up, here are the tools you need to grow and maintain it.
Most startups begin their activity online; therefore, they need communication tools because otherwise, miscommunication can lead in and ruin everyone’s plans. A great website for this is Slack, which provides various benefits in terms of assigning tasks and efficiently communicating for teams.
You should try it if you want:
- Channels for every department (analytics, design, social media) and for every project you’re currently working on, as well as channels only for casual conversation with your teammates;
- To ensure productivity within your startup business;
- A tool that you can connect with other applications, like Google Drive, Zoom or Gmail.
Why is communication so important for a startup? Well, most of the time, as an owner, you need to share information among a certain number of stakeholders and keep your community updated with your progress. Doing that efficiently can be followed only by successfully assigning and completing tasks, and that implies that you communicate with your team frequently and productively.
Remember that your tone for communicating with your team depends on you. That means that your teammates will behave exactly as they see you do, so consider being an example of transparency, correctness and fairness to make them trust you and truly create a homogenous team.
For managing your company’s financials
As a startup, you must ensure financial security for founders and investors. Therefore, you need to provide real-time information, progress metrics and other key elements to update your shareholders.
One of the most important metrics is cap table management for startups. This capitalisation table displays an analysis of your company’s ownership by stakeholders. It will help you and your investors understand your firm’s capital structure (debt and equity employed by a firm to fund its operations and assets). This spreadsheet might include common shares, equity shares, warrants and more.
These documents are one of the first created at the beginning of a startup because you need them for:
- Keeping track of your equity ownership
- Calculating dilution (when a company issue new equity)
- Making better decisions about fundraising and investments
Such software to balance company finances is also beneficial for steward ownership businesses. As a steward, you have the economic rights and responsibility to take care of the company for future generations. This type of ownership is also believed to be the most sustainable of them all, so you might check it out to find more. Share vesting is also common in startups, when employees or founders earn the right to own company shares. It’s an efficient way for the company to grow (preserving your cash flow), with benefits for the employees too (aligned interests).
For website building
A startup can’t operate without a website. You need to provide your followers and shareholders with a place to comprise all the required information, but there are also other reasons for having a website, like:
- It helps with credibility. Nowadays, a startup without a website can be questioned regarding its legitimacy as a business.
- Branding. In today’s digital marketplace, you need to establish who you are by creating your brand (name, logo, vision, style).
- Organic traffic. If you have a well-made website and are SEO-optimised, you have a high chance of appearing in Google’s search results and reaching more people.
- Digital marketing. To increase your leads and grow your startup, you need to drive traffic to your website, and this is where having a marketing strategy can help you evolve more than anything.
WordPress is one of the best and most used software for website building, known to be affordable and easy to use by everyone.
For monitoring performance
For a startup to thrive, you need to watch its path closely to see where you can make adjustments. The only way to grow is to learn from mistakes or lack of operation processes, so software for monitoring your team’s and business performance is mandatory.
A program like Asana can help you:
- Keep track of do-dos with a task management system
- Make information accessible for your team
- Create and share templates for recurring projects
- Stay organised and avoid digital clutter
Or, if you like more traditional approaches, you could start writing SMART goals two times a year to see how you’ve evolved (or not). This technique stands for goals that are:
- Specific and simple
- Measurable and meaningful
- Achievable and attainable
- Relevant and realistic
- Time-bounded and time-limited
Be careful not to make this task of monitoring performance an obsession. After all, we’re all humans, and it’s pretty difficult to do everything perfectly.
For social media
Lastly, like any other business, you need to ensure that your startup is visible on most social media platforms. And because each of them is populated by different age groups, you can have better coverage of your target audience. You can start with the basic apps: Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about managing them separately because that would take too much time.
For Facebook and Instagram, you could use the Meta Business program, from which you can share posts simultaneously and manage your accounts in the meantime. Also, you can create content to post for certain days because each app has its best time to post on social media (Tuesdays through Thursdays at nine or ten AM are optimal). There’s also Hootsuite, which can give you a better insight into analytics on more social media platforms. These programs have free options, but if you choose to pay and benefit from other services, the prices are affordable for a startup.
Finally, having a startup is quite challenging, given that you’re searching for shareholders, and fundraising is not easy. But at the end of the day, it’s worth it.