June 5, 2017
Pop culture often portrays startup entrepreneurs as passionate, tireless, and unstoppable. Meanwhile, in the news, Elon Musk sleeping on Tesla’s factory floor is just a source of amazement as him sending rockets to space. Though these traits sound aspirational, it is good to remind startup entrepreneurs to work smart.
These days, it is even possible to work for love. There are platforms now that promise to automate tasks that consume time, fall outside your area of expertise, and saps your energy. Take a look at four of these intelligent tools, which you can add to your startup arsenal:
“There’s an app for that” could very well be the battle cry of the digital age. With this reality comes decision fatigue, or the mental depletion that occurs within people as they make a plethora of choices each day. In particular, this brain drain could be happening to many members of the workforce—what with the abundance of app-based solutions for enterprises.
Enter Zapier, the tool that automates complementary apps, such as those you use to collaborate with teammates, manage workflows, and market products or services. Essentially, it lets apps talk to each other. With a free account, you can create “zaps” or customized workflows that allow you to skip time-consuming tasks. Say you receive an email with a file attachment on Gmail. Zapier will then copy the attachment to Dropbox and alert you about the saved file via Slack. PayPal sales can also be seamlessly transferred to Excel.
This platform understands how hard it is to launch, run, and grow a business or an interest group. It takes the client’s financial and labor capacity into consideration. It is a practical solution for entrepreneurs who, for instance, have a passion for tech but are not yet well-versed in all aspects of management and operations.
Designed initially for the sports and recreation industry, Amilia sought to streamline day-to-day processes of activity-based businesses. To date, it has expanded to accommodate municipalities, multi-location businesses, and associations/federations. There is a host of things you can automate on the platform. Some of these are resident cards, peak traffic management, and digital resident identity for local communities; online registration, auto-billing and installment plans, online store, client module (basic customer relationship management/CRM database), reporting and financials, and phone support for enterprises; and federation model, virtual warehouse, and club/chapter directory for organizations.
Popular among marketers, HubSpot provides tools for social media marketing, content management, landing pages, web analytics, and search engine optimization (SEO). To understand its benefits, you have to see HubSpot from the perspective of a digital marketer. By combining these categories, the platform has been offering marketing teams an easy-to-manage online ecosystem.
With SEO as one of its strong points, HubSpot breaks down this seemingly-complicated process into something simpler. It gives users a list of things to accomplish so they can boost their search engine discovery. It dishes out instructions on how to rank for the ideal search terms the users provide ahead of time.
Made of a series of applications that work together, Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s end-to-end solution for businesses big or small. You can choose standalone services or packages, depending on the need you want to fill in your company. Dynamics 365 caters to the following categories: sales, operations, marketing, field service, project service automation, financials, and customer insights.
It is good to know that giants like Microsoft have gotten into serving small and medium enterprises. Forrester regarded Microsoft’s CRM suites as a leader, together with the products of Oracle and Salesforce, among the top eight vendors it assessed.
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