It’s 2020 – and pretty much everything is digital. Online. ‘In the Google,’ as your Nan would say. And that, unsurprisingly, extends to your small business.
It can be a scary thought - knowing that the success of your new venture is so vitally entwined with something that didn’t even exist twenty years ago. But - on the plus side, it offers a whole new world of opportunity. With endless apps, websites and easily-available advice – setting up shop has never been more accessible.
So, before you get lost amongst the app store – here are a few of the best to get your startup, well – started.
We know. Obvious. But maybe it’s not. Social media is becoming the powerhouse of small business marketing. Opening times? Insta. Events? Facebook. Complaints? Twitter. Social media has become, for most, the go-to for B2C interactions, so if you’re a customer-reliant startup – social media is an absolute must.
Even for B2B – social media allows you to build a brand, gain inspiration, and interact with other businesses. And, as a small business owner – you’ll appreciate their support.
Once you’ve got your socials started, we recommend schedulers. Hootsuite is a simple way to schedule posts across platforms, and allows you to view all planned posts on a calendar. For content, Canva is a free, basic online design tool with tonnes of templates to get you started; and Unsplash is great for slick, modern (and copyright free) photos. You’ll be an influencer in no time.
24 hours just isn’t enough, is it? Before you reluctantly sign up to the no-sleep club – consider time tracking. We like RescueTime.
RescueTime improves your productivity, but without the fateful irony of wasting time in the process. This clever system automatically tracks the time you spend on different websites and apps, working across devices to categorise your time, and give you a visual rundown of where it’s going. On paid plans, you can set goals or alerts – and even block certain websites – and, if you were planning on avoiding your results – they send you a weekly email. Ouch.
Whether your team is numerous and global, or consists only of yourself and your long-suffering mates; it’s important to be organised.
For messaging and keeping up to date, we recommend Slack. It’s a workplace messaging app that integrates with pretty much anything, and allows you to snooze notifications when you’re out of office. It’s a great way to keep up to date, improve communication, and encourage a bit of friendly banter – all without the distraction brought about by traditional social media channels.
For projects – there’s Trello. We’ve spoken about it before, but it really is one of the best ways to keep to-do lists, tasks and projects in one place. Remote working is on the rise, which places office notice boards firmly in the past – so get ahead of the game with this digital replacement.
Our website. And we’re only joking a little bit. Have a quick Internet scour and you’ll find that a lot of small businesses have blogs just like ours. They’re frequently home to tonnes of hints, tips and advice guides, and best of all – they’re free. Why not utilise the hard-earned knowledge of someone else’s trails and tribulations, and build a community on the way?
If you're a startup that is unsure how to find the right technology for your business, get in touch with a member of our team today.