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Starting a company is about growth and opportunities from day one. It’s about getting people excited enough to look at your products and services, come back again and again, and become a paying customer. Here are some tools to consider when starting your company so you can focus on your growth and expansion goals.
Start out by getting good office tools into the hands of your team that allow them to collaborate and communicate. There are various online office tool solutions available for little to no cost. Many of these products use cloud computing as way to create easy access to tools and data from anywhere.
Your team can have access to a common calendar as well as their own private calendar. Documents are easily shared and can be updated by multiple people. An outside vendor can manage data backup and recovery, so you’ll have little overhead in your own environment.
The use of a cloud-based file sharing system means there’s no waiting for important documents to exchange hands. Staff can keep current, active information and reports in these file systems and access them anywhere, anytime. Time is important when starting up a company and there’s no need to waste it looking for key documents.
From the very beginning, start backing up your data and have one or more file and data recovery programs available. If you’re working in the cloud, have backup files of your data available even though the vendor will be doing backups. The inability to recover key information in the startup phase of your company can mean the loss of critical business and revenue.
Know Your Customers
You can begin recording customer and pipeline information into a spreadsheet, but there are free and low cost CRM (customer relationship management) solutions available to the business startup. Potential customer information can grow quickly and, unless you start out with an organized solution, finding and communicating with those people can become a time consuming task.
Get the Word Out
No startup should get far into their initial phase without a website. Regardless of the product or service, a website has become key to getting information into the hands of potential customers. There are many free or inexpensive website hosts and many ways to create a quick website. You can change the appearance and structure of your website an infinite number of times and ways, once you have an initial site up and running.
Even before you have a website up, you can have a blog running and begin creating some excitement and anticipation. There are several free blogging tools available, many of which will integrate into your website. Your blog can begin to talk about your product and services, when people can expect to see them, and even offer deals to early customers.
Begin your marketing effort even before you open your doors by getting connected with potential customers through the various social and professional networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. These are all free to set up accounts and allow you to get exposure to people who, if they like your products, will share your information with people in their networks.
There are many tools available for the startup business. These inexpensive options will get you productive quickly and help you focus on your initial goals. Organized and efficient, you’ll be prepared to handle the expected, and unexpected, challenges of being a startup.