Trending Now

Four apps to boost the speed and strength of your startup

“Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

That’s how the old Superman television show was introduced each week as Americans stared at the grainy pictures on their black-and-white television sets.

Today, a variety of apps and cloud-based services put superpowers like those in the hands of the average business professional. Although there isn’t an app yet that empowers us to leap over buildings, there are many that multiply our “strengths” and allow us to react at speeds unknown just a few years ago.

And this is a good thing because the real power these apps and services deliver is the ability for even inexperienced entrepreneurs and first-time managers to be successful, and to illustrate that let me start with a cloud-service you might not consider too sexy at first.

HR infrastructure

One reality founders quickly face is the need to provide the infrastructure that employees and government regulators require of a business. However, creating an HR department or even dedicating a single person to the task adds to the overhead and that’s like Kryptonite to a small business or startup, if I can return to my Superman analogy for a moment. Yet, providing these services is critical.

Justworks takes care of this for startups and smaller businesses. It has the tools you need to handle payroll, compliance, benefits, onboarding, vacation time, and all the other details that entrepreneurs would rather not have to worry about.

Frankly, there have been others in this space, but Justworks may be the first to really give us the kind of logical dashboard interface that we’re used to working with.

Scheduling

Another thankless task that saps time and energy is scheduling meetings. Let’s face it, this is one of the main reasons people used to have administrative assistants. Founders and small business owners can’t afford to up their burn rate with that kind of overhead expense.

There are a few of these out there, but Doodle consistently scores high marks and since plans start at free, the price is right. They even keep my Superman thread going with their boast that Doodle empowers you to find a meeting date at twice the normal speed.

Sales

Now that we’ve given you back your time by liberating you from all kinds of mundane tasks, let’s start selling, which is why you’re in business in the first place, right? While there are apps and cloud services with more bells and whistles, everyone I know who uses Pipedrive loves it, and more importantly, they continue to use it.

The learning curve on some of the more complicated systems discourages people from ever unlocking all their features, and sometimes they just give up on them. Pipedrive users stick with the system and that makes them experts at it over time.

Feeding the funnel

To feed the sales funnel that you’re carefully nurturing with Pipedrive, you need to keep names coming in at the top. A funny thing happened on the way to finding lead generation software or services – most of them that say they do this, don’t.

There are plenty of automated customer relationship management systems that take over once you fuel them with some leads, but no matter what they say, they don’t really generate the leads, and that’s because finding prospects is difficult and not easily translated into a slick mobile device app.

However, you can greatly speed up lead generation with a predictive dialing service. Calltools has a good one and when you put it to work you can start stuffing beaucoup prospects into the top of your sales funnel.

As I finish this guide, I realize that I’ve sort of organized it in a way that will cause most readers to use it from the bottom up. You’ll use a predictive dialing SaaS to get your leads, you’ll use Pipedrive to see them through the sales funnel, you’ll be scheduling meetings during the sales process with Doodle, and when you get beyond an employee or two (or a couple of freelancers), you’ll sign up with Justworks so you don’t have to be hassled with all the details of creating your own HR department.

Avatar

Megan Totka

Megan Totka is a freelance writer, business expert and consultant. She was the marketing & editorial director at ChamberofCommerce.com for over a decade. As a business expert, she specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing business advice. She has significant experience with the topic of business marketing, and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing, list building, social media and any hot topics to help businesses run their business successfully. When she's not writing articles to educate businesses on the vast importance of building up their web presence, she likes to keep her finger on the pulse of the latest small business products, services, apps and other reviews. With a strong suit for managing business partnerships and developing partner relations, she often cultivates topics around the partnerships she's established by reviewing and highlighting what makes each business unique. She prides herself on keeping up with the diverse variety of services each business specializes in to spotlight new offerings.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top