April 19, 2016
Running a business takes more than good luck and market awareness. Certain softwares can go a long way in making the startup journey a little easier for burgeoning CEOs. But if you're starting a new business, capital is a sparse necessity. Fortunately, there are pieces of software that are cheap or even free that can consolidate schedules, provide communication and even fast-track customer service. Here are 8 affordable apps that your business startup can take advantage of to achieve success.
Asana (Task Management Software)
Asana is a task management program designed for teams to effectively work online. It allows you to create tasks, assign projects and conduct online meetings. Team members can even look at the overall project progress and share files with team members as need. Everything is done online, so there's no software to install. Asana is available on multiple devices as well, including tablets and smartphones.
You can enjoy a free trial of Asana by signing up on their website, and the program is free for teams with fewer than 15 people. Premium accounts are available. Pricing depends on the number of users.
Insightly is a tool that manages your customer relationships. This CRM app is ideal for small businesses, as you can see all of your current and potential customers and add information to their contact details. You can also set permissions for each contact, so that no two employees are working to recruit the same customer. Insightly can even be integrated with many other apps, allowing you to use it in concert with Google Apps, Campaign Monitor, and many other programs.
Insightly is free for two users to use, but if you add any more, the cost goes up to $12 per month for each user.
If you need to stay in constant communication with your team, Dialpad is the way to go. This cloud based phone system works in integration with ‘Google Apps for Work' and has recently integrated with ‘Microsoft Office 365' to provide even more functionality. Dialpad lets your employees take calls from their business phone number from anywhere. Even better, Dialpad will pull up customer information from emails and calendars, so you'll have all the information you need right at your fingertips instantly.
Dialpad is priced at $15 per month per user. That includes a free business phone number and unlimited domestic calls/texts.
Cyfe (Performance Analysis)
All businesses, especially startups, need tools that measure performance so they know which strategies are working and which ones aren't. Cyfe lets you see all of your pertinent performance information in one program. It works with Gmail, Google Analytics, Campaign Monitor, and other tools to bring everything together in one cohesive report that shows distinct patterns in your business.
Cyfe does have a free option, but you get much more if you sign up for the Premium plan. It starts at $19/month.
Trello (Project Management Software)
Trello is a project management tracking program that helps you visualize your team's workflow. You'll be able to see the status of each project, create and assign tasks, and leave comments on to-do items. To keep track of progress, a sidebar shows you all of the recent activity so you can clearly see what others have been doing. You can even create things like idea boards to help you organize your projects.
Trello does offer a free version for those who don't have a lot of project management needs. Its business option is $8.33 per month per user, while the enterprise edition is $20.83 per month per user.
Campaign Monitor (Email Marketing)
When it comes to email marketing, you'll want an app like Campaign Monitor. It tracks current customers, organizes new leads, creates personalized messages, and tracks the overall success of each email campaign. It can be integrated with several other apps as well, including Google Contacts.
Campaign Monitor starts at $9 per month per user.
Freshdesk (Customer Service)
Keeping customers happy is easy with Freshdesk. It allows your customer service team to manage requests, prioritize queries, and leave detailed notes on how they were resolved. It can sort your incoming customer service tickets and automatically assign them to the right representative. With Freshdesk integrated into Gmail, employees can handle all of their tickets right from their inbox.
Freshdesk is free for your first three users; it's $15 per month per every user after that.
Wave is an accounting app that helps you track activity, view invoices and view your finances. It has tools to help you with your invoices, payments, accounting, payroll, and reporting. You can track your receipts and bills, view your bank account and credit card balances, and see what's overdue or has recently been paid.
The core Wave app is free–you can send invoices, scan receipts, handle accounting, and more for as long as you want. When you need an additional service, such as payroll, credit card processing, or additional support, you pay for them as you add them to your account. Each service is priced differently.
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