Every startup or new businesses are always looking for the best way to be cost-effective or not spend at all, luckily for us, we're in the age where technology has made it so much easier for startups/small businesses to launch with little or no money and still survive, better yet, grow into big companies.
I have decided to write a list of tools which i believe can help any startup, or give it some kind of backbone till the money starts coming in for more advanced tools or softwares.
Hope this helps you in some way.
Skype -Conferencing / Networking / Customer Support
For a while now, using skype for me has been like using my mobile phone, been very instrumental for speaking to entrepreneurs or having video chats, great for mini-conferences or speaking to workers and clients.
you can set up local phone numbers in multiple countries that all ring through to one account, answer your calls from anywhere in the world that you have a Web connection, hold conference calls, route calls through to certain cell phones and so on.
Great for scouting employees, tracking down potential clients and investors. A great way to build and expand the business network of the company/getting the word out what about the company does.
Creating a facebok page/fan page can be an effective way of quickly driving traffic or gaining exposure for your business, a lot of people may argue about the return of having a lot of people on your fanpage with no significant jump in profits or sales, i say it is a free tool that doesnt cost anything, why not right?
Twitter has proven to be a major tool for companies to sell products, direct traffic to their websites, blogs, you name. Also a great way to connect with clients, investors, employees, you name it, just tweet it!
To send e-mails to customers, if you want to use more than your typical e-mail application, mailchimp is the hottest email-marketing provider so far.
MailChimp gives you a web-based tool for managing e-mail lists and designing e-mail newsletters and fliers. The web-based mailing list manager MailChimp offers list management, tracking and analysis, and custom HTML templates for up to 1,000 subscribers and 6000 emails a month for free, after that payments kick in
For new startups looking to meet other entrepreneurs, investors or just to get involved in the startup/small businesscommunity, there's no better place for you to start than meetup.com, select events according to your preference, location, great opportunity putting your name or company's name out there, opportunity to meet journalists and bloggers.
Not having a blog or a website as a business right now is like not-existing, yes it's that serious!
Blogs are great ways for companies to keep in touch and communicate with customers/users. i have also seen blogs being used as a medium to attract investors, a few startups will tell you a story of them getting investors or connections with an investors with a blog post they posted on their blog.
For me, Wordpress solves that problem with ease, it has a large user base (great for community support and custom development), loads of plugins, and a huge range of themes, a very easy platform to use.
Scribd is a document- sharing website that allows users to post documents of various format and embed into a web page using its ipaper format (almost like the pdf)
This can certainly allow you to share documents with your employees or co-workers.
Even though you might argue that there's a lot of email options out there, but one thing is for sure, gmail offers the best email option option out there with realibility, amazing features and name cache. you also have the option to have VoIP and video chat capabilities via the in built chat systems. This will also give you access to google docs.
Enternships offers you the opportunity to attract top students and graduate to your company interning at your company. great way to save some money on costs paying employees, also a great way of building a team, having someone who believes in the company from the start.
Enternships is a great way for employers to connect to enterns.