10 Must-have tools to be a more productive entrepreneur
Starting a new business can be tough, as roadblocks you never thought to imagine crop up especially when doing startup fundraising. Limited time, manpower, and budgets can all be a factor as the workload starts to pile up and the bills come rolling in. With a solid team and the right tools however, you’ll soon be on your way to reaching your business potential. And, it’s not necessary for you to spend a fortune on web-based products.
Here is a list of 10 tools to be more productive as entrepreneur,
1. Wrike – Project Management
Wrike‘s project management solution is one of the best on the market regardless of which tier you choose. The free version supports up to five users, an unlimited number of collaborators, and 2 GB of free storage. With this plan, you can manage tasks, share files, and monitor your group’s activities in a real-time feed.
If you need customizations and reporting, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher tier. But if you’re just getting started and your team is small, the free project management tool will be perfect for you.
2. Niko Niko – Employee Engagement
Niko Niko assesses employee happiness and engagement with quick, fun surveys that can be answered with emoticons. Participation is fast and easy, so the resulting insights are actionable. It makes it fun and easy to capture your mood throughout the day. Powerful analytics enable your team to know how everyone is feeling creating an open, honest, positive environment for peak performance.
3. Gusto – Payroll
Gusto streamlines bookkeeping for small-business owners, managing and automating everything from health insurance to workers’ comp. It integrats payroll with benefits and workers’ comp so you can manage everything in one place.
4. HootSuite – Social Media Listening
A free, easy-to-use dashboard that lets you stay up-to-date on what your customers are saying should be enough. Fortunately, Hootsuite offers a free version of its software that’s good enough to do the trick.
With HootSuite Free, you’ll be able to manage multiple social networks, schedule posts, and interact with your followers. You’ll also be able to track how many followers you have on each of your social networks and monitor which posts are generating the most clicks. If your business grows, you can move up to one of three premium plans, which give you access to additional profiles, analytics, and multiple users.
5. Deputy – Human Resources Management
Once you’ve found the right candidate, you’ll need to track his or her progress via a human resources (HR) management tool. Deputy offers a starter plan that costs just $1 per employee per month. Yes, I know, this isn’t free. But at only $1 per month, it’s an incredibly solid investment.
Deputy will allow you to schedule employee shifts, make company announcements, and manage tasks, all within one easy-to-use tool. Unfortunately, at this price tier, you won’t be able to add timesheets or payroll integration. For that, you’ll have to spend an extra $2 per employee per month.
6. EquityNet – Business Planning
If your company is still looking to lure investors, EquityNet offers a free crowdfunding platform that will help you plan, analyze, and share your business plan with investors. You’ll create your plan using EquityNet’s plan and analysis software, and you’ll publish it onto the website and share it with anyone who is willing to read your pitch.
Although this is more of a funding tool than a planning tool, the software is good enough to get you through the initial ideation stages (and, who knows, you might even get lucky and find a deep-pocketed investor).
7. MailChimp – Email Marketing
MailChimp is one of the best and most popular email marketing platforms on the market. Service tiers are priced depending on how many emails you send per month. If your company sends fewer than 12,000 email messages per month to fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you’ll absolutely love MailChimp’s Forever Free plan.
You can use MailChimp’s drag-and-drop designer and email templates to craft the perfect message.
8. Dropbox – Storage
This powerful product ends the challenge of storing and syncing files and documents on different devices and computers. And, with the ability to share all of your important stuff with others, Dropbox is a cloud-based productivity tool that entrepreneurs love. The free offering comes with 2GB of space, with paid plans for a fee.
9. Google Analytics – Analytics
In a business environment that mandates a presence on the Web, Google Analytics helps you maximize your online efforts. This robust reporting tool can tell you almost everything you need to know about the visitors to your website, the content they consume and the efficacy of your digital programs.
10. Google Apps – Business e-mail address
If you have a business, your e-mail address needs to end with @YOURDOMAIN.com. Using Gmail, yahoo, or other services can look unprofessional and hurt your credibility. Google Apps solves all of that for free (for up to 10 users), plus you will have access to familiar Google tools and applications and lots more from third-party developers to help you run your business from anywhere.