8 Startup Products Your Business Should Be Using Right Now

September 20, 2012

9:00 am

Yes, it’s great that this startup raised capital or that startup was sold to Google, but what products are they creating that can have an immediate impact on your business? Glad you asked.

We put together a selection of products to help give your business the edge you are looking for and make life a little easier in the process.

1.VoiceGem: Add voicemail to your website. Embed a simple button wherever you like and know exactly how your customers feel about your company, services, or products. A nice alternative to the traditional Contact Us section.

2. Gumroad: Add a Buy button anywhere, and “sell the way you share.” I saw sales the first day I introduced this nifty widget onto my site.

3. Shoeboxed: If you have a small or medium business, you know what a pain tax time can be. A time when we suddenly go back to the Stone Age and start going through our receipts. Not anymore – send all of your receipts to Shoeboxed and they digitize everything, leaving you with files you can search, archive, and send to your accountant.

4. Podio: The most exciting product I have had a chance to play with in years (and that is like 30 digital years). This is a complete business solution with that social enterprise feel you didn’t know you needed to have. Your complete “online work platform for collaboration and project management in one central place.”

5. Xero: The best accounting software out there and the best user experience, bar none. It handles invoicing and payroll, and syncs nicely with Google Apps. The video on their homepage does not do it justice, so check out the feature-specific videos.

6. StartupPlays: Regardless of what business you are in, it’s true that the more flexible you are, the more entrepreneurial you can be. That is why we sometimes marvel at how quickly small startups can accomplish such grand-scale projects in such a short space of time. StartupPlays gives you a series of very affordable step-by-step guides from the world’s best startups and entrepreneurs, learning that can be applied to any business and help you skyrocket. Definitely worth checking out.

7. SendGrid: Every email you send out that gets caught by spam (for whatever reason) is costing you money. SendGrid helps ensure your mail gets delivered.

8. Social Engine: Would you love to leverage your community in a much more meaningful way? Turn your business into a social network overnight with Social Engine. Social Engine gives your community members the chance to have their own profiles, form groups, contribute in forums, and chat with each other, all under the umbrella of your brand. Bring that social chatter in-house – embrace and foster your own community.

All of these products will undoubtedly improve productivity and increase automation. The dream, though it sometimes seems unreachable, is automation, and why not? We live in a beautiful digitally enhanced world; everything is meant to get easier.

Guest author Chris Joannou is a serial entrepreneur with businesses in everything from tech to tequila. He runs two of Melbourne’s largest online business and startup networks – the Melbourne Internet Business Group and Startup Grind Melbourne, in addition to DreamPushers.com, which showcases startups and visionaries. Outside of tech, he runs an innovative, private-label food and beverage business that primarily imports for the retail and food service markets within the Asia-Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @dreampushers

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