Starting and growing a business from the ground up is no easy task. A lot more goes into it than deciding on a business name and finding products to sell.
Especially since the pandemic, it has become necessary for businesses to adapt to the changing environment. They now require different solutions and approaches in order to stay flexible and successful.
This article will cover the various tech tools and solutions to help start and grow a thriving business in these trying times.
1. Web Hosting
When starting a business from the ground up, one essential element is web hosting. It is a service that stores your site’s files and data on a server, so they’re available online for visitors to access.
In practice, web hosting can take different approaches depending on the platform you choose. For instance, website builders and eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify and Squarespace, come equipped with web hosting services.
Meanwhile, content management systems, such as WordPress, Magento, and PrestaShop, require an external hosting service from a hosting provider.
That said, it’s crucial to understand the type of platform your business needs before starting one.
Whichever route you pick, look for the following features when choosing a web hosting service:
- Storage space. The amount of server space available to store files, databases, and media resources.
- Bandwidth. Controls the amount of data that can be transferred to and from your website. The higher the bandwidth, the faster your website loads.
- Uptime. The percentage of time the web host’s server is up and running uninterrupted.
2. Domain Name Generator
A domain name works hand-in-hand with web hosting. It is just as essential for building a reputable online business.
A domain name serves as your website’s address. It is the URL people type in a web browser’s address bar to access your site.
Let’s take a look at the ways a domain name can affect your business:
- Adds professionalism and credibility
- Increases brand recognition and trustworthiness
- Boosts ranking on search engines result in pages (SERPs)
- Prevents other businesses from using the same name
When coming up with a domain name, here are several practices to keep in mind:
- Add keywords. Choose a name that represents and reflects the industry of your business.
- Easy to pronounce and remember. Avoid numbers and special characters, so the domain name is memorable and easy to pronounce.
- Use the correct domain extension. Choose a universal or localized domain extension depending on your needs.
Once you’ve come up with several domain name ideas, check the availability using a domain name search tool. It will show the available domain extensions and let you purchase them right away.
3. Project Management Tools
When starting a business, it’s essential to have a project management tool to keep your work organized.
Essentially, project management tools help with planning, tracking, and collaborating with team members. Popular examples include Asana, Trello, ClickUp, and Monday.com.
While each tool offers unique qualities, make sure to choose one with the following features:
- Task management. Organize tasks and make quick changes to adjust to new requirements. Handy features include drag-and-drop reordering, mentions, and priorities.
- Time management. Schedule time and organize calendars for team members to see.
- Integrations. Connect with third-party tools, such as GitHub, Google Drive, and Zoom.
The key to choosing the best project management tool for your business is understanding your needs. If you’re just getting started, it’s best to go with a more straightforward tool, like Trello. As your business expands, migrate to another platform that is more scalable for the long term.
4. Communication and Collaboration Tools
Similar to project management tools, communication and collaboration apps help with streamlining your business.
Here are several must-have tools for your business:
- Zoom. This freemium video conferencing platform allows recording calls, storing recorded calls to the cloud, and muting participants’ mic.
- Slack. A popular communication tool used by enterprises such as Lyft and Cole Haan.
- Dropbox. Transfer files online and allow others to access, comment, and track changes through the folder history.
- Airtable. Keep your team on track by sharing survey forms, managing contacts, and tracking ideas.
- Scannable. Allows your mobile device to act as a printer, scanner, and fax machine by snapping photos.
5. Performance Monitoring Tools
Once your online presence is established, it’s important to keep track of your site’s performance. This includes tracking visitors’ bounce rate, targeting the audience, and measuring traffic.
This information can help understand:
- Where visitors come from
- What do they enjoy on the website
- How much time do they spend on the website
- Which content didn’t match the search query
Based on that information, businesses can improve their website through various ways, such as tailoring a specific marketing campaign and continuously finding potential problems to improve.
Great tools for the task include Google Analytics and Chartbeat.
6. Customer Relationship Management Tools
A CRM tool takes care of your customer relationship. It helps turn leads into potential customers and eventually make more sales.
It logs and tracks the history with each visitor, such as the timeline of your interaction, the last time you’ve followed up with them, and the information about visitors who filled out forms but didn’t close the deal.
Instead of keeping track manually in a spreadsheet, tools like HubSpot and Zendesk will do the job for you.
7. Email Marketing and Social Media Management Tools
Another crucial step to growing your business successfully is using marketing tools. They help inform the target audience about your products or services.
Other than that, marketing tools also communicate company values and unique selling points. When done right, the information will evoke customer’s interest and motivate them to make a purchase.
There are several ways to promote your business, including email and social media marketing.
Email marketing is excellent for converting leads into sales. It works by sending emails to potential customers that are already interested in your product or service.
If you use email marketing tools, such as Constant Contact and MailChimp, they will provide information about who opened your email, what links they clicked on, and the list of people who might be interested in a follow-up offer.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, will help increase brand awareness. It includes managing your online presence on social media channels, which is highly recommended.
To help with posting, responding to customers’ feedback, and being active across all social media platforms, use tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer.
The right tools and solutions are crucial for starting and growing a business from the ground up. They can help you plan strategically and begin with confidence.
However, that’s not to say that you won’t face any challenges – that’s an essential part of starting any type of business.
Here’s a little recap of the tools that can make your professional journey a little easier:
- Web hosting. A service to store your site’s files and data to make it accessible online.
- Domain name. A site address to help people and search engines find you easily.
- Project management tools. This includes software like Asana, Trello, and Monday.com.
- Communication and collaboration tools. Keep your business running online with useful apps such as Slack and Zoom.
- Performance monitoring tools. Track insights and improve site performance using tools like Google Analytics or Chartbeat.
- Customer relationship management tools. Keep potential customers in the loop with the help of CRM tools like HubSpot and Zendesk.
- Email and social media marketing tools. There’s various software to help with marketing, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and MailChimp.
Now that you’re well-informed, it’s time to start planning and growing your business. Good luck!