It’s never been easier to start a business. Unfortunately, the business landscape has never been so competitive. To stand out and boost survivability, startup operators need to choose their niche wisely, but they also need to use the right tools. The good news is that tools and resources are available that can transform how startups grow.
If you’re planning for launch day or you’ve been operating for a while and met limited success, knowing there are tools to help is critical. So here’s our look at the kinds of tools that every startup needs. Choose the right tools for your marketing, customer service, or your tech team, and scaling your startup could be easier than you ever thought possible.
No business launching in 2022 should be without a website. No matter how small your business or how niche your offerings are, there’s no excuse not to have a website today. But once you do have a website, you need to do a lot more than post the occasional blog article and update your product pages.
Instead, you need to know as much about your website and your competitors’ websites as possible. That’s where website analytics tools come in. There are plenty available, and suitability is largely down to your needs and KPIs. However, it’s hard to beat Google Analytics when it comes to the tight bootstrapping budgets of most startups.
Free to use, it gives you plenty of insights into your web traffic, your backlinks, and how well each page of your site is performing. There is a paid plan for Google Analytics, but it’s extremely pricey and doesn’t offer much more than the free plan. Signing up for Google Analytics should be done as early as possible for startup operators.
One of the primary keys to business success in 2022 is offering the best customer service experience possible. The faster your startup grows and the more customer queries you get, the harder it becomes to manage that experience successfully. And that’s where chatbots come in.
Chatbots have come a long way since the early days of 2016. Despite suggestions that the rise of chatbots would be relentless, the reality of those early chatbots was very far from satisfying. That’s all changed, and artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing have accelerated the evolution of chatbots into something truly exceptional.
Not convinced that chatbots are a necessary tool for your startup? Take the time to think about some of the main benefits of using chatbots in 2022. From boosting profits to building brand awareness, chatbots might have more value than you think. And as we continue to recover from a global pandemic, those conversational chatbots could be the key to startup endurance.
Email marketing fell out of favour as the world first started getting to grips with social media. Businesses of all sizes slowly phased out their email newsletters and refocused on social media posts and engagement. The problem is that a) social media often provides little more than vanity metrics, and b) email marketing still has one of the best marketing ROIs in the world.
Having your brand communications land directly into an inbox is as direct as marketing can get. That’s why emails are rapidly outpacing social media marketing as the top choice for professional marketing teams. That’s not to say that social platforms are redundant, but more that you should align emails with your social media. To achieve that more seamlessly, email marketing software can be a game-changer.
Plenty of options are available to choose from. By far the biggest name in email marketing software is MailChimp, but many alternatives are available. Look for the software that matches your budget and offers the resources you need. The more you can learn about email marketing, the easier you’ll find it to build a readership. And that can be the key to more sales and faster growth.
Social Media Management
You’ve researched your target audience, and you know what platforms they’re likely to spend time on. Those should be the platforms that you’ve signed up for. Unfortunately, if you’re trying to juggle LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram posts regularly, it can become a complex juggling act where mistakes are too easy to make.
Social media management tools are more important than ever. When brand engagement is critical, social media has to be handled right. Tools like HootSuite and Sprout Social will change how you organise your social media while providing you with some robust analytics tools. So if you’re planning to use social media to build your thought leadership and improve brand engagement, check out the best social media management tools in 2022.
COVID transformed the business world in many ways. One of the most impactful was the move away from offices and shifting to a work from home model. While there are many benefits to a business that adopts remote working, there are dangers too. One of those is a more stilted collaboration process.
Remote workers need to be able to engage with each other and get to work without roadblocks to productivity. That’s where communication platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Google Hangouts excel. Google Hangouts is particularly useful if you’re also using Google Drive for your work output. Google Drive alone is beneficial since it allows teams to view documents and work on the same document simultaneously.
The best tip for improving team collaboration is to know your needs. No two startups are the same, so make sure that you use the best communication and collaboration tools suited to your needs. There’s a risk of using too many communication channels, which leads to communication roadblocks, missed messages, and convoluted workflows. Choose your tools and ensure buy-in from your teams.
Using Startup Tools in 2022
COVID changed almost every business sector. The necessity of digital transformation was immediate, and those brands that didn’t shift strategy to embrace that change are either falling behind or have collapsed entirely.
While launching a new business is easier than ever from a technical perspective, managing and growing a business is as challenging as it’s ever been. Every decision must be critically reviewed, and every tool must be analysed against value and budget. Yet, those tools can make the difference between a startup that succeeds and one that doesn’t make it past the first quarter.
Evaluate your needs, and choose the tools that will benefit your business, customers, and team. Choose the right tools, and you could stay one step ahead of your competitors, see your profits grow, and have the longevity of a true startup unicorn.