In this modern age of information, digital platforms have become the bread and butter of the budding entrepreneur. From social media to blogging and vlogging, we have made leaps and bounds in the tools we use on a daily basis on our search for success. But beyond the well-known and popular tech giants like Facebook and YouTube, there lies more specialised and niche tools that are vital for any would-be startup.
Let’s jump right in. The first tool any business needs is a decent website builder. Hiring a web designer is costly and they may not perfectly capture your ideal design. This often means a lot of back and forth which can cost you a bomb. Alternatively, look to services such as Wix or WordPress. Both sites offer free and premium packages but the open access versions are comprehensive enough for a start-up.
Wix and WordPress excel in user-friendliness and accessibility, allowing you to create a professional tier website for your business. You will have to pay for a custom domain name if you wish to be taken seriously but that is substantially cheaper than hiring a web designer. If you do have the cash to splash, there is nothing wrong with hiring a professional, but just keep in mind the time and budget requirements.
Once you have a snazzy website which you are comfortable with publishing, the next step is to find a place where you can monitor and allocate tasks. Asana and Trello are fantastic project management softwares, each able to handle multiple clients and projects with ease. These tools give users the ability to assign tasks, add assignees, monitor the activity feed, view log reports and correlate data.
Having both a website and a platform to assign tasks means you are well on your way, but you will also need a tool to manage your emails. Email marketing is a standard business practice, and MailChimp leads the pack as one of the world’s top newsletter services. It is user-friendly, simple but highly efficient at helping you to organise your email game. MailChimp comes with a free trial and a premium service starting at $9.99.
And social media? Last but certainly not the least bit important is Hootsuite, a highly popular and award-winning social media management tool. Hootsuite offers its users the ability to manage up to 35 social media posts across all major platforms, including scheduling and monitoring of engagement. Hootsuite comes with a 30 day free-trial with a standard paid service starting at £25 which is ideal for start-ups.
There are dozens of other tools and services out there to suit the needs of any business you can dream of, so do not be afraid to shop around. Funnily, many fresh entrepreneurs whom I speak to believe that they will not require any of these services and can handle it all on their own. Inevitably, the business begins growing and more requirements and tasks begin to pile up, making the services listed above utterly invaluable.