A Guest Post by Michael Deane
Being an entrepreneur causes a lot of stress and strain, regardless of the size of your company. As important as it is to have a great team that can take some of that weight off your shoulders, most of the difficult tasks will still be yours. That is why online tools have become such an irreplaceable part of every entrepreneurs’ professional life. We’ve compiled a list of nine tools that can work with any kind of company, aimed for the fast-paced lifestyle of a business owner.
Join.me is a collaboration tool that specializes in screen sharing and conference calls. It excels in simplifying both of these features down to a few clicks. For example, the host of the call is the only one required to create an account, while the guests need just a clickable link to take them there. Join.me is a great tool for setting up a quick online video meeting, sharing your screen with others, and even providing customer support.
When it comes to finances, it can become very difficult to keep tabs on all of your payments, past, and present. This is where Due comes in, an online platform that organizes all of your invoices, payments, and debts, and keeps them all in one place for easier overview. This platform is a lifesaver for busy entrepreneurs who handle multiple payments of a short course of time. It’s an amazing financial organizer, it keeps client and pricing information, and is an all-around a safe website to use. Due could be the right platform for you if you fear losing sight of the company finances.
Smaller firms and up-and-coming startups will probably benefit the most from Grapevine Logic. This is a website that merges brands primarily with YouTube creators and influencers. It boasts a detailed search engine to find creators that suit your brand, a messaging feature to reach them, and a workflow chart that lets you stay on top of the creator’s schedule, so you don’t miss your product’s feature. Additionally, you can track and analyse the engagement, views, and results from the influencer exposure, which will shed light on how effective your collaboration is.
The larger-scale alternative to Grapevine Logic is Hypr. This platform is intended for entrepreneurs who intend to spend a few hundred thousand dollars per year on influencer marketing. Unlike the first platform we mentioned, Hypr is largely data-focused. Its search algorithm favours results based on your desired target demographic, current popularity, and as such, it’s said to be a “living index” that changes constantly with its creator base. However, like Grapevine Logic, it offers workflow tools, tracking features, and analytics.
The next tool on our list is actually a diamond in the rough among websites. ShareDesk offers an overview of all available office spaces for rent by the day, or by the hour. All you need to do is enter the kind of space you are looking for and the city you want. ShareDesk will offer a Google Map view of rentable spaces, their prices, and photos. It also allows you to filter search results with the number of participants, price range, and more. This is a great tool for when you need to set up a meeting or a workspace for an out-of-office team, or a temporary meet up.
Every entrepreneur needs to keep tabs on industry events. That includes meetups with potential new clients, networking events, conferences, and so on. Meetup.com gives you just that. On their homepage, you can choose a category relevant to your professional interests, or your brand, then see which events are available near you. Choosing an event gives you more information on it: time, location, attendees, what to expect… It also gives you the option to organize your own event.
EOFire (Entrepreneurs on Fire)
To be honest from the get-go, Entrepreneurs on Fire is not a tool. It is a podcast aimed at entrepreneurs, discussing topics that concern them. John Lee Dumas is the owner and the host of the podcast, who’s interviewed over 2,000 entrepreneurs. Each episode has a specific topic, and most of them aim to help struggling up-and-comers, to inspire and offer solutions to various job-related issues. For those who need something other than books by famous CEOs, startup success stories and energetic music to motivate them, this could be a good alternative during office commute.
Even though Slack seemed to hold the title as the best office communication tool, Discord is hot on its tail. Made initially with the intent to replace Skype as an online gaming chat, Discord has become more widely used, both privately and commercially. Its uniqueness lies in possessing everything Skype, Slack (and similar chat services) do and improving upon them. With this tool, you can set up a chat room for a certain project, then smaller chats inside it for specific purposes – QA, bug reports, general questions, and so on. Discord is a fast, easy tool for chatting with different teams, sharing images, files, and even hold video calls.
Xtensio is a workspace where teams can easily create, manage and share visually impactful reports, graphs, presentations, sales and marketing pitches or any business documents. It’s a very convenient tool where teams can save time on design with its drag-and-drop functionality and high quality and editable templates, while staying on brand. Also, any changes in the documents are saved and synced across all devices to keep everyone up-to-date.
There are plenty of other tools and platforms that might suit your needs. However, with every new startup that arises, and with new niches of industry springing up almost monthly, it is not surprising that entrepreneurs have difficulty finding the perfect tool for themselves. That is precisely why you also have the great option of having a tool or a platform tailor-made for your needs. All you need to do is hire a company that can understand your needs and is able to implement them correctly.
To sum up
Most of the tools you will need to deal with finances, project tracking, marketing, and chatting with your employees. It is important to look for platforms that accommodate both computer and smartphone users, and don’t require a lot of time to master. Time is of the essence, and these tools are here to help, not hinder your progress. Lastly, if even after some searching you still haven’t found something that fits your business needs, you can always hire professionals who will make a platform specifically for you.