Did you know nearly 25% of startups fail within the first year of their existence, while the rest of them continue to wither away at the annual rate 36-50%, leaving only 13% alive after the period of only four years.
If you are an ambitious entrepreneur, bent on conquering the business world, you should take these statistics seriously. More importantly, do everything in your power to create thee best possible conditions for your startup to thrive.
For starters, you will need the right tools, so let us take a quick look at some of them.
1. Google Apps for Work
Google is a behemoth, and the behemoth determined to crush Microsoft’s rule in the area of powerful productivity and business tools. Packed with the wide array of useful goodies like great e-mail client, good web browser, very capable office apps, Google Apps for Work will force you to seriously ask yourself a question: Is it really possible to live outside the Microsoft’s and Apple’s dominion?
If you, on the other side, are not too keen on letting your important data being guarded by Google, you can always opt for a secure and reliable solution like pCloud. pCloud is your personal online storage space for your memorable photos and videos, your favorite music or important work documents. This Swiss-based company will offer you powerful Crypto encryption, 10GB of free storage (upgradable to 20GB through incentives), and absolute control over the access to your data, and the iOS and Android apps which will keep your employees productive all day long.
Basecamp, by far, is one of the most popular, and at the same time most well-rounded web-based project-management tools on the market. Basecamp looks nice, feels nice, and sports all the necessary features, like to-do lists, time-tables, a functional messaging system, and file sharing capabilities.
Ever since Skype was acquired in 2011, the video and voice call service became one of the strongest performers in Microsoft’s portfolio, and truly, Skype is one of the most capable, and feature-rich messengers currently on the market. If you are rooted in Microsoft’s ecosystem you will benefit the most from its tight integration in Windows 10. If you are not, you will still have a great support for all the other platforms.
This is a great tool that will make the lives of your marketing folks much easier. Namely, Buffer will allow you to seamlessly share links, pictures and videos across multiple social media accounts, like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and manage your social media campaigns with ease.
Xero is very simple, yet very customizable cloud-based accounting tool, characterized by good smartphone support. Access your latest financials, play with various plug-ins, and allow your accountant to do his job in a user-friendly and accessible cloud environment. What else could you ask for?
If your business sells products rather than services, you shouldn’t really have doubts about whether you need an online store. An online store is absolutely necessary, and an e-commerce platform like Shopify will allow you to set up shop quickly, and without too much hassle. That does not meant you will not get tons of options to play with later, but uploading graphics, product descriptions, product shots and site content should not take long.
Intercom, a customer communication platform, will allow you to ditch all of the apps, live chats, email clients, and other complicated means of communication between you and your customer, and get straight to the point instead. Intercom will analyze who is currently using your product and enable you to send personalized messages based on user behavior.
Creating shipping labels has never been easier with Shippo. This app gives you access to shipping labels and discounted rates from 14+ domestic and international carriers using their shipping API or apps. A key selling point is that you don’t need separate accounts with a carrier and can get started right away with their default accounts. Their simple pay-as-you-ship model is specifically designed to help you grow your business.
10. Cloud Phone
Phone systems are complex. Cloud Phone aims to make it easy. When you’re ready to setup an affordable, business phone line they make it simple with a virtual phone system that requires no hardware to buy or apps to download. You also avoid expensive contracts with affordable month-to-month service and can easily add or remove users or extensions as your business needs change. This and virtual phone numbers, enhanced voicemail, intelligent call routing, greetings and more make Cloud Phone a viable virtual phone number solution.
These ten apps, platforms, and services should give your startup some of the key resources you need to survive your first five years in business, as painlessly as possible. Although tools will not guarantee instant success they will, however, support all the necessary foundations for you to achieve it.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sarah Fields, at the Bizzmark Blog, has been combining her passion for writing and technology research for ten years now. Currently, she’s interested in business, startup culture and marketing, as well as latest technological trends. Connect with @bizzmark_blog on Twitter.
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