However ambitious, new businesses fail for two fairly simple reasons: lack of management skills and dearth of financial prowess. The eventual success in these early stages of growth directly depends on your ability to manage money in the cleverest, most efficient way.
Having realized that every dollar counts, frugal entrepreneurs started reaching out to technology for help. Luckily, inexpensive solutions are everywhere around; besides being cost-effective, online tools and services automate workflow, raise productivity and improve delivery rates.
The following are our top five choices for services that reduce operational costs and help startups stay on their feet.
Requirements for exponential growth are many, and you can hardly start making profit before meeting them all. Startups need to be heard of, noticed and recognized from the very beginning, which makes branding and marketing their investment the number one priority. Without a good website, launching a digitally native business is no longer possible.
In the modern world, an engaging landing page is so much more than a customer experience tool. It acquires and nurtures leads, guiding them through their decision-making process. Until recently, it marked the beginning of a customer journey map, but today it’s a mediator at every single touch point that a customer makes with your brand.
Still, building a good website is not easy or cheap. Professional developers are probably way out of your price range, but fear not: online website builders like Wix deliver the same package at a significantly lower cost. With Wix and a bit of creativity, you can now do it yourself.
Needless to say, this on-cloud development platform has it all. If you’re short on time, there’s a myriad of designer-made templates you can count on. In case you want to build it from scratch, Wix equips you with a seamless drag and drop tool. Whichever option you choose, secure hosting, SEO, stunning images and 24/7 support are guaranteed.
Website-empowered or not, startups can only climb as high as their budget management allows them to. Since every dollar saved is an investment in the future, there’s really no room for potential financial slips. Intelligent automation can compensate for a beginner’s lack of skill, and nowhere is it more important than in accounting.
Expense reports with Expensify take 83% less time, as stated on their website. This software was created with a straightforward purpose: to help you effectively implement your expense policy and save money, time and energy in both short- and long-term runs.
As such, it comes with a comprehensive set of features, all of which answer to the needs of a modern-day company on the rise. Being highly intuitive, it deals with expense reporting and submitting in real time, while approvals and reimbursements are fully automated as well.
In case you’re already using a different accounting system, Expensify will quickly integrate with it, tracking and syncing any changes in the process. A SmartScan system is added for receipt scanning on the go, with hundreds of satisfied users (Snapchat, Uber, Evernote and Pinterest among them) depending on this software solution as they keep moving forward.
Once your expense policy is in place and your website is launched, it’s time to start spreading further. Alongside content marketing, email campaigns are currently the most effective technique for generating new leads and nurturing long-time customers, both of which are crucial for your growth.
However, harnessing the potential of email marketing for growing your subscriber list is somewhat tricky when you’re still in the startup phase. With more than 122 billion emails being delivered to inboxes every day, you need to find a way to make yours irresistible to click. And, if you need that way to be affordable too, MailChimp has got you covered.
First of all, it will help you create visually stunning and highly informative messages that no consumer would want to ignore. Then, MailChimp’s advanced recipient targeting and build-in segmentation will enable you to send your emails directly to the right address. It comes with a robust reporting system and supports hundreds of necessary ecommerce integrations as well, which certainly makes it an all-in-one email marketing service.
Whether it comes to developing a good client base, staffing your startup with talents, or outsourcing tedious tasks to freelancers, open collaboration networks like Upwork are inexhaustible solution pools. Being by far the cheapest answer to your essential needs, this one is simply too good to pass up.
Depending on the type and level of service your company needs, you can choose to sign up as a client or a freelance team, and pick one of three available plans – Upwork, Upwork Pro or Upwork Enterprise. As a startup, you’ll be opting for one of the first two, whereas the costs of submitting bids and managing payments are different, but worthwhile all the same.
There’s plenty of money-saving tools on the market, but not one individual software tool is better than a centralized platform that manages various aspects of business at once. Such solutions are widely used as convenient, yet effective management systems with countless free or inexpensive tools, which is why savvy entrepreneurs have recognized them as Swiss Army knives of intelligent automation.
Bitrix24 is one of the best systems of this kind. Though it centers around CRM, it also brings tools for task management and team-wide collaboration (Social Network for Business), comprehensive project management, real-time communication, document sharing and drive, HR management, and customer support.
The package is stacked with options, but don’t presume that quantity trumps quality. Every individual toolkit comes with state-of-the-art solutions that facilitate workflow and improve customer satisfaction. The list of features covers everything from spotless group calendars to open channel client management, and it keeps scaling with your needs.
Bitrix24 is available on-premise or in-cloud, according to your preferences. As you’ll see, its pricing depends on the tools and features you choose, but startups don’t need to look further than the Free plan, at least for the time being.
In business, everyone starts small, but with the right resources, you can execute big plans. Fortunately, these five solutions are just as penny wise as they are beneficial to your startup’s growing plan.
Bitrix24 is a free CRM solution with over 20 sales and marketing tools. It comes with omni-channel contact center, Gantt chart, document management and task collaboration tools. Use promocode TIP10 when registering your free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB.